Recently I heard someone ask, "What's the fanciest thing you've ever done?" It's a fun question to answer, because first one has to define "fancy". It's not merely – or necessarily – expensive. But it is luxurious. Classy. A little snooty. And I don't come from fancy stock. Never been on a private jet or a yacht, or in an Italian sports car. Never had… read more!
Lists of Nine with Keyword "travel" (most recent at top)
I'm not Mr. Adventure, but I do travel abroad more often than the average American. I've been doing it long enough to remember when American Express traveler's cheques were almost your only option for obtaining currency abroad. Today, of course, you can use your credit and ATM cards as freely as you can in the US – at least in… read more!
The Academy Awards are just around the corner, and once again they are being held in Hollywood, in what is now known as the Dolby Theatre. But the Oscars have hopped around all of Los Angeles since the first ceremony in 1929. In chronological order: The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Just across the street (and down a block) from the Dolby… read more!
If you're coming to Los Angeles, the movie capital of the world, then you really should see a movie. And whether you're a tourist or a local, you'd do well to spend an evening or two at every one of these venues. As you will soon read, each one promises much more than just a movie. The Academy. You know… read more!
Who says nobody walks in LA? I walk around this city all the time. And this list is proof that I'm not alone. Even multi-millionaires have times when they need to tumble out of their limousines and stretch their legs. And lo, here are nine famous Angelenos who, as I can personally attest, have actually placed their feet upon a… read more!
My wife and I just spent a few days in Australia. What a great place. Expensive as all get-out right now, but still a swell destination for the curious. Obviously it's all quite huge and there's lots to see, but we got enough of a "sampling" of the country for me to make the following nine observations. I'll bet you… read more!
There are over 19,000 incorporated municipalities in the United States. I have no idea how many of them have English-based names. It may not even be a majority. But since English is still the primary language of this country, it's easy to assume that it's the default source for most of our city names, e.g., all the Springfields, Fairviews, Greenvilles… read more!
Hi all. My unusually busy period in my freelance career is still going strong, which explains the dearth of new Lists of 9. I was hoping to put this up a few weeks ago, when the calendar still read 2011. Oh well, in any event, this list sheds some light on what life in West Hollywood, California, is like. Halloween.… read more!
As the saying goes, "comedy is tragedy plus time." One may also say, "a tourist trap or Halloween costume is tragedy plus time." Because there are some disturbing things that, decades or centuries later, have entered the realm of popular culture and are now accepted as entertainment. Here in Hollywood, for instance, there are tour bus companies that will take… read more!
A couple of years ago, my wife Miki and I went on a cruise with her parents. It was their idea, not ours. But we were good sports. The consensus: neither Miki nor I enjoyed cruising. It was all too mainstream for us - the food, the activities, the decor, our fellow passengers. So while we don't consider ourselves hipsters… read more!
You can be famous in New York yet be famous nowhere else, and it doesn't matter. New York is an insular, exclusive place. But if you're famous in Los Angeles - the world's epicenter of popular culture - but you're an unknown outside the city, then there must be something wrong with you. Or so the logic goes. Your band… read more!
A couple of weeks ago, I went for a walk around my neighborhood. Over the course of thirty minutes, I passed an elderly Mickey Rooney (yes, the Mickey Rooney) being helped out of a building and into a black SUV, then went to a park where a Mexican teenager and her family were posing for her quinceañera photos, not far… read more!
There's a saying: someone moves to Manhattan and five minutes later he calls himself a New Yorker, while someone lives in Los Angeles for twenty years and he still says he's from somewhere else. What defines an "Angeleno" when one is not born and raised here? How long do you have to live in this city before you can call yourself… read more!
Recently I was having a discussion with a friend and told him that I felt that, out of all the countries in the world, only two can be called truly unique: One is Japan. The other is the United States of America. And while one might say that Japan is not dissimilar to Korea and the US is kind of… read more!
Los Angeles is unique among American cities for the many individual towns contained within its borders. I don't mean neighborhoods like Hollywood or Venice, which are part of the City of Los Angeles, but those independent cities with their own laws, mayors, city councils, street signs and police forces, surrounded by LA though they may be. West Hollywood. Hollywood is… read more!
I've been thinking about the past a lot lately. Mainly because my 20-year high school reunion is coming up, but also because I had recently put most of my old CalArts films online, which took me back to 1992. That was the year I graduated college, moved into the city of Los Angeles, and started spending most Saturday afternoons watching matinees (while I… read more!
Although the rest of the world loves to hate Los Angeles, we still get hordes of tourists every year, most hoping to see a movie star in real life. These tourists book expensive meals at The Ivy and Spago and mostly only see each other. Meanwhile, West Hollywood's vegan restaurant Real Food Daily is often packed with health-conscious celebrities. My… read more!
There's not much point in writing this list, but I do hope it will inspire you to go out to the movies when you are on vacation. I really enjoy doing this, even though it seems counter-intuitive to the whole point of traveling, since you can see the same movie back home... right? Well, maybe, but seeing a film in… read more!
Sweden is the third largest exporter of pop music in the world today, after only the United States and Britain. Think about that. While Japanese pop groups are big in their home country, and the same can be said all over the planet - France, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Italy, India, etc. - not even musicians from Ireland or Australia… read more!
Although I've now lived in the Los Angeles area for almost half my life, I'm still a Northern California boy at heart - raised in Cupertino, home of Apple and about forty miles south of San Francisco. So this is my tribute to all the Bay Area recording artists who have given the world a wealth of great music. While… read more!