Not So Typical L.A. Activities And Attractions
Sunset Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, Venice Beach, Hollywood Walk of Fame. Are you seeing the theme yet? Everyone knows these places are the main attractions when visiting the L.A. we've grown up watching on TV and Film. By all means indulge yourselves with all of the tourist trappings you can get your hands on when visiting L.A. For the first time. Buy that "Map of Celebrities Homes", enjoy the street performers at Venice and fill up your SD card with the likes of the Capital Records building, the Hollywood sign and the palm tree lined strip of Beverly Hills. Once you get that out of your system, prepare to take in some not-so-typical Los Angeles attractions. We won't be sending you too far off the grid here. These are still popular destinations and ones you have probably seen as settings in film based within this Southern California region. They simply are not traditionally grouped into that standard pre-package LA "to-do" list so frequently followed by first timers.
La Brea Tar Pits
5801 Wilshire Blvd. @ Hancock Park, Los Angeles, California
Tens of thousands of years ago the La Brea Tar Pits formed in what is now the geographic heart of Los Angeles. These tar pits served as one big venus fly trap to the region in that it would find itself covered in water and assorted debris, disguising its true appearance and "luring" in all sorts of prehistoric mammals seeking a refreshing drink from what they assumed to be a lake or pond. Instead, they would often fall in and sink to their demise deep into the tar below. In an ironic turn, predators of these same animals would come to prey on the slowly sinking appetizers only to become victims themselves. This ill fate would work to our entertaining benefit (a common human side effect) in that the well preserved, browned and blackened (from the tar seepage) fossilized bones of the likes of mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, giant sloths, dire wolves and even an American Lion were recovered and placed on display at the on-site George C. Page Museum. Outside in Hancock Park, prehistoric scenes are recreated at the various tar pits for the public with replica mammals placed in a variety of stills and hazardous poses made for photography.
Cinespia Cemetery Screenings - Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Santa Monica Blvd & Gordon Street
If you haven't heard about this cinematic ritual at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery you may be taken aback at first. Watching movies in the park is fairly common these days but in a cemetery? A little creepy, no? Sure, but that's part of the fun. Hollywood Forever Cemetery is a true homage and final resting place for many classic stars of the silver screen and those behind the scenes. The "lot" feels more like a celebration of lives than it does a place for graves. In turn, Cinespia honors it icons and holds film screenings from May to October (Halloween is especially fun here!) and is open to the public for a $10 donation which is used to maintain the grounds. Hollywood classics and cult favorites play on a giant screen back lit by a palm tree silhouetted sunset that descends into the night sky. Attendees are permitted to bring their own food and drink, including alcohol, which makes the Cinespia Cemetery Screenings a perfect night out for a not so traditional "dinner & a movie" experience.
Museum of Jurassic Technology
9341 Venice Blvd, Palms district, Los Angeles
Founded in 1987 by an eccentric collector of strange, the Museum of Jurassic Technology is a tiny but baffling museum which houses an assortment of weird and wondrous things. One notable highlight, if you can call it that, includes miniaturized sculptures of characters that range from Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs to Pope John Paul II. We're not talking the standard miniatures here, like the ones you would find in a shop next door to a wax museum. These creations are set atop the eye of a needle, in intricate detail. Materials to create these abominations of what's possible include the use of grouped dust specks and other barely there components. Visitors are also treated to interactive performance theater. Reality is no friend of yours at the Museum of Jurassic Technology which makes for a perfect escape from the norm.
Porn Star Walk of Fame
8920 W.Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
While the innocent minds at YAHglobal.Com have no idea what porn is, we hear it's quite popular and thus we thought it worth mentioning that should one be inclined, they can visit this other Walk of Fame in front of the Hustler's Hollywood store. We were somewhat suprised to find out that there were only handprints embedded into the cement, if you catch our drift....
1765 East 107th St., Los Angeles
"Completed" in 1954 after over 33 years of work by Italian immigrant construction worker Sabato Rodia and branded a National Historic Landmark in 1990, the inspiring Watts Towers stands tall over the sun drenched streets of the Watts district of Los Angeles.
The towers, standing up to 99 feet tall, were constructed from steel rods, pipes, wires, and mortar and elaborately decorated with glass, logo bearing bottle caps, tiles and sea shells to name but a few items that combined to make this sturdy yet eclectic architectural marvel and stand as a testament to the generation it was created in. You could spend hours browsing every intricate detail of the towers and tours are available for $7 and under. The nearby Watts Towers Art Center is another point of interest for learning more about the community and is well worth checking out.