Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Koreatown to Burbank by Bus/ Rail (No Holds Barred!)

I have a weakness for IKEA. Somehow I'm disgusted by places like Bed Bath & Beyond, Linens & Things, and even Target sometimes, but IKEA can get me to go to places like Tustin and Burbank at the drop of a hat. It's probably the meatballs. Or the hilarious names, like an alarm clock with a large snooze button named "SLABANG"(!). It was a cheap piece of crap, otherwise I'd be "SLABANG"!ing myself awake every morning. I'd reach over, yell "SLABANG"! and simultaneously slam the snooze. I probably wouldn't be able to go back to sleep after such a performance, though. Another good one: "SLUMRA," which was the name of their cheapest sheets. I imagined some snooty IKEA employee looking at someone like me and saying, "Oh, you'd be interested in our SLUMRA sheets." I'll show you SLUMRA! SLABANG!
Anyway, so we took the Red Line to Universal City and waited for a long ass time because Metro's trip planner sucks. In the meantime we explored the spot where the Capitulation of Cahuenga took place (the truce that ended the Mexican-American War in 1847). Then we took the #96 bus to downtown Burbank. Wow! Talk about one too many Greek restaurants (I don't have anything against Greek food, but I associate Greek restaurants with a certain atmosphere of gross group meals where people shout and wear ugly blouses). It was the kind of soulless shopping district carved out of a once-functional Main Street USA that d-bags crave. We did a delightfully disruptive thing, though, walking through the Burbank mall as though it were an avenue rather than a destination. On the other side of the mall, this IKEA had the most pedestrian-friendly entrance I've ever seen. Even in Portland, where there's a light rail stop right by IKEA, you have to wend your way through a massive parking lot to get in the front door.
Then after our hours-long quest through the crowded bright halls, with two lamps we'd bought for $1 each and new blinds in hand, we made our way back through the mall to Olive Street and caught a different bus (#94) to downtown LA and got back on the Red Line at Civic Center. See our nice loop around Griffith Park:

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Tangentially, we got off the bus right by the space where, the LA Times recently reported, there are plans to build a massive show park. What's funny is that nobody wants to admit that a) there currently is a park there already, and b) why a big park right here in a dead zone? Do they really think the rich old people who go to stuff at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Music Center want to frolic in the big fountain with the hoboes? No, the city is more likely to pretend there is no park there and start again from scratch rather than make a minor investment in improving and promoting what is already there. That fountain's a doozy, lemme tell you, and the approach up to the Music Center from there is really cool. Already, now, without millions in investment.
But who uses parks in LA? Thar be dreaded piƱatas in them there parks!