Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

After hiding from the rain all day Saturday, we fled the house on Sunday as soon as the sun came up. Like everyone else in Culver City, we drove up to the relatively new Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook to admire the windswept view. (The best thing about rain in L.A. is how clean everything is the day after!) No new snow on the mountains, but the view of the city was spectacular. The Scenic Overlook is quickly becoming one of my favorite destinations.

From there, we drove downtown and used Tim’s pass to park for free in the ESPN lot. We then walked half-a-mile to the subway station at Figueroa and 7th.

“What?! Los Angeles has a subway?” you say.

Why, yes we do. And it’s a pretty darn good one, too, though it doesn’t go very far--only from downtown L.A. to North Hollywood (about 11 miles). Still, it’s new enough to be relatively clean and it’s fast, cheap and on time. It cost us only $5 total to ride to Hollywood and back--far less than the cost of driving there and parking. Plus, most of the subway stops are decorated in art depicting the local neighborhood. Our stop in the heart of Hollywood (Hollywood Blvd. and Vine St.), for instance, was festooned in film cans (the ceiling!) and old movie cameras. The hand-painted wall tiles reflected L.A.’s car culture.

I was hot to see the new W hotel that opened last weekend across the street from the Pantages theater, so we went to the W first. The red-carpeted stairwell and modern fixtures were dramatic; but at almost $300 a night (and that’s with my AAA card!), I doubt we’ll ever stay there. Back outside in the real world, we headed up Vine toward the Capitol Records building, where Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was due to get his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame the following night. In the distance, we could see the Dept. of Public Works’ plastic barriers standing guard over Ringo’s covered star and, next to them, a man on his knees cleaning the sidewalk. Turns out he’s a volunteer who has “adopted” (i.e. maintains) John Lennon’s star. I, of course, immediately struck up a conversation.

I attended the ceremony when John posthumously got his star in 1988 and was thinking of schlepping back up to Hollywood to see Ringo, so I asked the guy what he knew about the festivities. He was happy to tell me and even offered to peel-back the protective covering over the newest star. But I decided Ringo should see it first and so graciously declined his generous offer.

We then turned our sights to the famous Hollywood farmer’s market, where we bought the usual fruits and vegetables (luckily, I always carry a microfiber bag in my purse for just such occasions!). From there it was a short walk to the subway station. It seemed a shame to be underground on such a gorgeous day, but my feet were happy for the rest. We were back home in time for the Super Bowl kickoff.

By the way, I never did return for Ringo’s ceremony, but I did watch it live on the Internet.

No comments: