Did you watch the Super Bowl or skip it? I’m perennially in the skip-it category and try to go somewhere that would normally be crowded. This year I went to L.A. to hike in Griffith Park and, near game time, eat at Philippe. That’s the subject of Wednesday’s column.
In one of my occasional change-of-pace columns, I drive to LA and walk around the UCLA campus, then break for lunch. That’s Sunday’s column.
After all the sturm und drang of the election, voting at an opera house made perfect sense. So I cast my ballot at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, home of LA Opera, on Sunday after a special Metrolink trip. A $10 round trip ticket was a small price to pay for a memorable experience. I write about it in my Tuesday* column.
*Tuesday, you ask, not Wednesday? In this case, yes. After the March primary, my column ran in print not on A3 as usual, but A10, and without the accompanying photo, all due to a space crunch from a newspaper jam-packed with election results. And that was a primary; I feared the presidential election might be worse.
So my editor let me get out in front of an avalanche of news to avoid getting crushed. And since this column is about voting, it made sense to get it into the Election Day paper rather than wait for my usual day. I’ll be back on my traditional schedule Friday and Sunday. In the meantime, if you haven’t voted, what are you waiting for?
I recently read “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean, which made me curious to take a fresh look at the setting, the downtown L.A. Central Library. What the heck, I wrote about it in Sunday’s column. Readers do say they like my Metrolink trips.
I stumbled upon the famous Randy’s Donuts while in Inglewood on Saturday. Naturally I got a doughnut for the drive home, while also reflecting on giant rooftop doughnuts and doughnut names. That tops Friday’s column, followed by a bunch of cultural items of potential interest and a Valley Vignette.
I took a day trip to L.A. for my birthday and enjoyed as many favorites as I could: public transit, pizza, the Cinerama Dome, Amoeba Music, Shake Shack and a book. The excursion is the subject of Wednesday’s column.
Needing a column to write on Christmas Eve, to run the day after Christmas, I wrote about my busy Saturday: two bookstores, a movie, a concert and more. Is anyone paying attention the day after Christmas? Probably not, which made writing a column about nothing very relaxing. Read it here.
The second time was the charm when I ventured to L.A. to try to eat at a certain restaurant. I write about an interesting outing and round things out with some Culture Corner items and a Valley Vignette, all in Friday’s column.
On Sunday I ventured to LA via train to check out the Corporation Food Hall downtown at 724 S. Spring St. It opened last fall. Ordering lunch at South City Fried Chicken, I came across a situation that was brand new to me. As I tried to hand over a 20 and two 1s, the employee said apologetically, “We don’t take cash. We only take cards, sorry.”
They use the Square payment system. (I use the tiny version that connects to a phone to process card payments for my books.) I handed over my credit card and left with just as much cash in my pocket as when I arrived.
Unless I’m forgetting some previous incident, this seems to be the first time my cash was no good somewhere. I don’t know if any of the other half-dozen food vendors at the food hall take greenbacks, as my sandwich and fries were all I needed (for the rest of the day, in fact).
It makes a certain kind of sense: Most of their hip clientele probably routinely pays for everything with plastic, and then there’s no fear of robbery, or the need to run to the bank for a deposit or change. There may be those who don’t have a debit or credit card, for one reason or another, and yet might like a sandwich or cold drink, though.
I still tend to pay with cash for modest purchases. Have you met up with a card-only situation anywhere? How do you feel about it?
I journeyed to L.A. to see “2001: A Space Odyssey” at the Cinerama Dome. My mind was blown. I write about it in Friday’s column.