A day in L.A.

On a weekday off last week, I did one of my favorite things, which is riding Metrolink into L.A. for an afternoon. I didn’t go with a plan other than lunch somewhere. But I did go with a book, H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine,” which at 126 pages looked like one I could read from start to finish.

I ended up having lunch at one of my favorite spots, even though I only go there perhaps once per year: Molly’s Charbroiler on Vine Street between Hollywood and Sunset boulevards. I’ll write more about that place sometime…like when I remember to bring my camera.

From there I hoofed it west on Hollywood Boulevard to soak up the day and the atmosphere. My destination was the Virgin Megastore at Highland, which will be closing. (This is a case where Ontario was way ahead of trendy Hollywood. Sorry, but Virgin Megastore closings are so 15 minutes ago.) The store hadn’t yet begun discounting anything — that was supposed to happen this week — and presumably store personnel were busy raising all the CD and DVD prices before then. I browsed but didn’t buy.

My final stop was going to be Philippe’s for pie and a cold drink before heading home — until I remembered the Disney Soda Fountain across the street from Virgin, next to the El Capitan Theater. Jonathan Gold said something nice about the milkshakes there and, unlike a recent Saturday when the place was packed with families and I kept walking, there was virtually no one inside at 3 p.m. on a Thursday. I sat at the counter and enjoyed a pricey but worth it chocolate chip shake.

From there, the subway took me back to Union Station and Metrolink whisked me home. And, yes, I finished my book. Did you know Wells came up with the phrase “time machine” and the idea of it too? It’s an amazing little book.

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