📸 | My Trip to Los Angeles, Days 3 & 4

Jay Fingers at Urban Light

As mentioned in my previous post, I’m going to take you through a quick(ish) recap of my recent trip to Los Angeles, where the sun always shines, the people are friendly (and always seemingly high), the fast food is plentiful and cheap, and the overall quality of life just seems to be that much fuckin’ better.

Ready for the next set of adventures? OK, leggo …

Day 3

Today was just a day to futz around and see the city, namely parts of it that I hadn’t before explored. But first things first — breffus!

Jack in the Box breffus
Mane, look, this was good as hell!

I made my way to Jack in the Box, except not the one I usually frequent at Sunset and Cahuenga, which, oddly, has the distinction of being the worst restaurant in the world. (I humbly disagree.)

After taking a morning walk around Hollywood, I ended up at a JITB somewhere on Highland Avenue. It was there that I had to ridiculously inexpensive breakfast you see posted above.

Now, you’ll note, I love me some fast food. It is what it is. But what I marveled at during my time in Los Angeles is just how much cheaper fast food is out there. An entire meal at In-N-Out might cost me $7; the breffus pictured above, $5. Shit in NYC is so overpriced it’s offensive. This is but one example of why I don’t buy into the whole “L.A. is just as expensive as New York” nonsense.

But, I digress.

After breakfast, I made my way down to Wilshire and over to the La Brea Tar Pits.

Yeah, yeah, I already know. The Tar Pits are the pits — literally. But I’ve been intrigued by them since I was a kid, and I finally had the opportunity to visit. It’s actually quite fascinating.

For starters, tar and methane continue to seep up to the surface to this day. I could see it all bubbling up in one of the pits. Pretty freaky — and cool.

There are places on the grounds where tar emerges and so the staff has put out cones warning people to “look out” for “sticky” areas. I found that most visitors like to poke sticks into the tar, proving that we are all still children, no matter our actual age.

I also bugged out at the fact that, to this day, small animals and bugs still get trapped in some of the tar pits. Crazy, son.

After touring the La Brea Tar Pits, I went next door to LACMA — you know, the Los Angeles County of Museum of Art. While there, I walked around its outdoor sculpture garden, where I saw, among other works, the iconic Urban Light installation. It’s pretty damned cool, if you ask me.

Jay Fingers at Urban Light
All of the lights.

After checking out the art, I went around the corner, where Johnie’s Coffee Shop sits.

Declared a historical landmark by the Los Angeles City Council back in 2013, Johnie’s Coffee Shop is another example of the Googie-style architecture that once dominated Los Angeles. It’s appeared in numerous films, including Reservoir Dogs, The Big Lebowski, Miracle Mile, and Gone in 60 Seconds (the Nicolas Cage one, not the good one).

Interestingly enough, it became a hub for Bernie Sanders supporters during the 2016 election, and much of the political artwork and messaging remains, as you can see above.

There were a few other notable places I passed and saw on my journey back to Hollywood. The SAG-AFTRA headquarters were right there near the Tar Pits; the Petersen Automotive Museum was across the street from Johnie’s; although I didn’t get to go during this trip, I passed by the classic Canter’s Deli on Fairfax; and I also saw the Groundlings improv and sketch comedy school, retro burger house the Oinkster, and, of course, Winchell’s donut house.

And then it was on to Big Wangs, mane. They had little Buffalo bites, like four for $2, son. I had to get down on some. And while I was there, I worked on a screenplay and treatment, because even on vacation I gots to get some work in, ju heard!

After dark (and a quick beer-induced nap), I made my way back over to the Chinese Theatre so that I could get a good look at some of the celebrity handprints in its forecourt. I spotted classic and contemporary stars such as Sidney Poitier, Sophia Loren, Jane Fonda, George Clooney, and Michael Jackson.

Feeling a wee tinge of hunger, I also revisited Dave & Buster’s, where they had specials galore, including $4 beers and $5 nachos. So that was dinner. Tee-hee.

Day 4

I woke up a bit later than I had planned, so I decided to get something quick and easy for breffus …

In-N-Out for breffus
In-N-Out for breffus

In-N-Out, mane!

Oh my God, I so love the Double-Double. So delicious, so sublime.

Madame Tussauds

Once my belly was stuffed, I moseyed on over to the tourist trap of all tourist traps, Madame Tussauds. Now I know what you’re thinking: “How corny!”

Yeah, I actually thought the same thing. But then I went through the exhibit …

Bruh. Madame Tussauds takes you on a 45-minute journey through Hollywood, showcasing stars from the 1930s up to the present day. As you can see above, they had wax figures of everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Rihanna, from Alfred Hitchcock to Quentin Tarantino, from Bette Davis to Kylie Jenner.

The Marvel room was the very end of the exhibit, and I was wearing a Marvel T-shirt. One of the employees was like, “Man, you’re gonna love the next room.”

Seriously, I had so much fun, it’s ridiculous.

Jay Fingers in North Hollywood
Hanging out in NoHo … that’s North Hollywood, not North of Houston.

After the tour at Madame Tussauds, I hopped on the Metro and journeyed out to North Hollywood.

North Hollywood

Ah, yes. North Hollywood. The Valley. I kinda dug it. It’s a bit quieter than Hollywood proper or Downtown L.A., with its arty sensibility and retro-chic aesthetic. I imagine it would be a cool place to live.

I loitered around North Hollywood for a bit, and then it was time to head to — where else? — Big Wangs! More beer, more bites, more music, more fun.

Also, did I really snatch the Big Wangs mayorship on Foursquare Swarm? Bruh, I’m from out of town! LOL.

Seeing Thor: Ragnarok again!
Seeing Thor: Ragnarok again!

And because it was a relatively chill day, I decided to end the night with a movie. So of course I saw Thor: Ragnarok a second time!

This time I saw it at Regal’s L.A. Live 14. On Tuesdays, they screen first-run movies for just $8. That’s a bargain!

And, yes, I enjoyed Ragnarok just as much as I did the first time. Hell, it’s so good, it may be the first film I see three times this year.

"You are a goddess living in a city of angels."
If only this were true …

And on the way back to the hotel, I saw this … on a street named Hope.

One day … maybe … one day …

OK, song time until next time! Here’s “MotorSport” by Migos featuring Nicki Minaj and Cardi B.

Author: Jay Fingers

Complications arose, ensued, were overcome. | Novelist. Editor. Journalist. Screenwriter.

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