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Los Angeles is the third coolest city in the United States but also the single most stressful. Maybe because of all that stress it ranks fourth among American cities as the overall best place to live, despite how the top six areas in the United States where people "value sex most"literally #1, #2, all the way down to #6are in and around Los Angeles.
What this teaches us is that lists are stupid. Even when they're not just made up (which is almost always) they tell you little to nothing about how people live and travel. Except lists about the best zoos for looking at baby monkeys, which often end up including the Los Angeles Zoo. Those explain a great deal. Because baby monkeys.
Zoos / Animals / Green Travel / Nature Travel / Los Angeles / Los Angeles Travel / California / California Travel / Washington DC / Washington DC Travel / Maryland / Maryland Travel / → All Tags
Spring is quickly transitioning into summer, which means two things. One, the weather is perfect for outings to the nations' zoos, where you can see baby otters and baby giraffes and baby tigers and - as you're about to read - baby monkeys. Two, those zoos are about to get overrun by screaming children so you won't be able to view any of those animals in peace and quiet (no but seriously, we heart kids).
As usual we've tried to give you parks on both coasts, because people are going on vacation. Also as usual we've embedded a bunch of videos at the bottom, because baby monkeys.
Art Travel / Los Angeles / London / London Travel / Paris Travel / Dubai / Geneva / Hong Kong / New York / Exhibitions / → All Tags
Elizabeth Taylor's jewels, clothes, and art are crisscrossing the globe leading up to their auction at Christie's in December
If you've never been to LAX, it's tough to convey to you the precise degree to which the food options spectacularly blow. This Chowhound thread, where a discussion of tolerable LAX restaurants turns into a debate over whether you should flee the airport by rental car or taxi, should help you get started ("the quality of the food at LAX is criminal... LAX ranks among the worst" airports). Heathrow has a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. LAX has four McDonalds's, three Burger Kings, and two of those Home Turf Sports Bars where you can double your vodka for only $2. Not a bad deal, but still.
Now a coalition of Los Angeles restaurant owners and civic leaders is gearing up to change all that. A meeting in downtown last week brought together fourteen of the city's most respected and successful eatery owners, the intention being to turn LAX's food options upside down. From high-end steaks to niche Latin options to sushi that's safe to eat even before a 6 hour flight, the hope of the SSP group is to totally transform the airport's reputation, and to do it with a Los Angeles flair. All of the new eateries will in some way be tied to established local institutions like Nick & Stef's Steakhouse or the Border Grill.
[Photo: Steve Jurvetson / Wiki Commons]
Downtown Los Angeles has been languishing in a perennial state of about-to-be-revived for decades, but in recent years it looks like it might actually be happening. There's always been a vicious cycle: to get people to move in you need businesses, and to get businesses to move in you need people. Finally someone made the decision to just start building shops and restaurants by brute force, hoping that people would subsequently follow. To take only the still-opening but impressively huge LA Live "entertainment campus," you've got Club Nokia, the Staples Center, the new Ritz-Carlton hotel, a Regal Cinemas, and a dozen restaurants including an ESPN Zone, a Yard House, and a Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill.
So while it's impossible to exhaust even a tiny bit of what there is to see and do nowadays, there are some definite highlightsand a few niche locationswhere visitors can eat and drink and shop and see.
Los Angeles' reigning auteur of "weird," director David Lynch, doesn't limit his mode of creative expression to the screen. Though better known for helming films such as Mulholland Drive and hawking the benefits of transcendental meditation on college campuses, the fabulously-coiffed Lynch actually began his career as an artist. In 2007, a major retrospective of Lynch's multimedia art was featured at Paris' Fondation Cartier, and earlier this year, a selection of his photographs were on display at L.A.'s Michael Kohn Gallery.
We deemed the latter exhibition, a visual offshoot of the Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse album Dark Night of the Soul, a mediocre representation of Lynch's creative bounds. We've yet to see his paintings in person, but as dedicated Lynch-o-philes we'll be rushing off to see his first L.A. painting show in a decade at Santa Monica's Griffin Gallery.
In this installment of Off Rodeo Drive, we're calling attention to a Los Angeles shopping destination that some would say looks like a shadow of its former self. Driving down West Third Street just past The Grove, you'll notice many more empty, stripped-down storefronts than there were just a year ago. Contemporary favorites like Built By Wendy and Pixie Market—both New York transplants—have shut down, along with a beloved cookbook store whose departure locals mourned.
Yet, West Third Street remains one of our very favorite places to shop in the city. Stores that have stuck around have earned their loyal clientele, customers which include oft-photographed celebrities ducking into Joan's On Third or Toast for a post-shopping lunch. So, without further ado, here are five stores to hit in the area for a quality retail fix—after the jump.
How To Get Tickets To / Ellen DeGeneres / Television Travel / Los Angeles / Los Angeles Travel / → All Tags
Few people saw Ellen DeGeneres' second-coming as an entertainer when her talk show launched in 2003. Now, though, she's adored by many for her signature dance, relaxed interviewing style, and ability to deliver a killer commencement speech, making tickets to Ellen seemingly impossible to come by. The best you can do is try your luck via the booking process, which we're going to walk you through step-by-step. Demand for certain days and times, and your degree of luck, will ultimately determine whether you'll sit in as an audience member.
First, you'll have to consult the online calendar to see if there are open dates in the near future. Already this is problematic. We tried scrolling across dates in December and January and weren't allowed to click on any, which tells us that they're either not open for request yet, or they're full.
Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is one of the world's most trafficked shopping streets, with the allure of Chanel, Dior, Vuitton, and other luxury retailers attracting shoppers with padded wallets or those just wanting a taste of over-the-top glamour. The first time you do Rodeo, it's all good fun, but the novelty quickly wears off after you realize a few things: a) there are way too many picture-happy tourists milling around, b) its clientele and shopkeepers sometimes live up to the snobbery seen in Pretty Woman, and c) dropping $3,000 on the latest "It" bag may not be feasible.
But you've come to Los Angeles to shop, and shop you will with our guide to what's off Rodeo Drive. There is no shortage of consumer fodder in the city, from West Third Street to Silverlake, and we'll introduce you to what these different neighborhoods have to offer, starting with a nondescript street just east of West Hollywood: Larchmont Boulevard.
Los Angeles Travel / Television Travel / Chelsea Handler / Los Angeles / How To Get Tickets To / → All Tags
E!'s Chelsea Handler is a boisterous blonde with a dirty mouth, a cutting sense of humor, and a history of deviant activity on the Oxygen show Girls Behaving Badly. These days, she's known for dishing on topics ranging from sex to ridiculous reality television in her books, standup routines, and her late night television show Chelsea Lately. Conan and Dave aren't the only ones ruling TV after hours, with Chelsea having gained a following for being brash, honest, and one of those non-parelil females that refuses to be prim and proper.
If you're a fan from the Los Angeles area or will be visiting soon, requesting tickets to Chelsea Lately is slightly less annoying than the process we've experienced with other late night shows. The reason is simple: you'll know right away whether you've landed a coveted bunch of passes (up to four in one party) rather than being thrown into a lottery pool where nothing is guaranteed. Obsessive planners should appreciate this.
Museum Travel / Comic Book Travel / Literary Travel / Los Angeles / Los Angeles Travel / Museums / → All Tags
Spider-Man, Batman, and the X-Men are just a few of the superheroes who've earned a respected place in the comic book canon. Dedicated collectors know about mainstream bionic men and woman, and maybe a few underground characters as well, but a new exhibit at Los Angeles' LACMA introduces the public to the transportive world of Indian comics.
Being generally familiar with stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana, our interest in modern renderings of ancient gods and goddesses, and the interpretation of said stories, is what drew us to the exhibit. Heroes and Villains: The Battle for Good in India's Comics runs through February 7th of next year, and is a compact representation of cultural comic book art and well-preserved folios from hundreds of years ago.
Televison Travel / Mall Travel / Glee / Los Angeles / New York / New Jersey / → All Tags
The cute cast, catchy tunes and biting one-liners of Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) are making Glee a runaway hit. The show is about Will (Matthew Morrison), a Spanish teacher hoping to bring back the glory of the school's glee club as we follow the drama of the kids in his club and, of course, of his arch nemesis, Sue.
Fanatics of the new Fox comedy, or "Gleeks" as they are known, are finally going to get the chance to not only buy the first volume of music from the show, but also see the cast live at mall appearances in New York, New Jersey and California.
Where to get your Glee on, after the jump.