Top 10 Things to do in LOS ANGELES
Author Carrie Kim offers her top 10 things to do in L.A.:
1. Spend the morning working up a sweat by conquering the “secret stairs”: Start at Beachwood Cafe, 2695 N. Beachwood Drive, Los Angeles. Go to secretstairs-la.com for more information.
2. Dine in the dark: Yes, we mean the dark, at Opaque, 2020 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica.
3. Stop to admire the Chandelier Tree: The tree has 30 vintage chandeliers dangling from its branches that light up the night at 2811 W. Silver Lake Drive, Los Angeles.
5. Participate in a Passage Ride: This is a 20- to 35-mile bike ride through the city that takes place 9 p.m. every Wednesday. For more information, go tothepassageride.com.
7. Have a creamy rosewater ice cream cone: Available at Mashti Malone's, 1525 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles.
9. Work up a sweat with Richard Simmons: You can work out with the fitness mogul at his studio in Beverly Hills. For more information, go torichardsimmons.com.
What: Discussion and signing for Carrie Kim's book “100 Things to Do in Los Angeles Before You Die” (Reedy Press, $16).
When: 2 p.m. July 26.
Where: Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles.
There's a lot to do in Los Angeles, from roaming around The Getty to hiking Runyon Canyon to exploring the beach cities.
It may seem overwhelming to choose from all the fun adventures L.A. has to offer, but author Carrie Kim can help, and just in time for the long summer months. Her new book, “100 Things to Do in Los Angeles Before You Die” (Reedy Press, $16), is meant to help newcomers and residents alike see the memorable spots the City of Angels has to offer.
Kim offers suggestions like where one can enjoy a Korean spa treatment in the afternoon; eat a comforting bowl of matzo ball soup at Canter's Deli (“It's more comforting than a hug from Mom”); and still have the time to stand in line at a Sprinkles Cupcake ATM (“Yes, a cupcake ATM does exist and of course it exists in Los Angeles”).
Los Angeles has it all, and then some, when it comes to potential bucket-list items to mark off.
“My parents and family are from Ohio, and ever since I was a kid, we had families visit us and my parents would take them all around,” said Kim, who has lived in Long Beach since she was 3 years old. “We were their tour guides and I never got tired of that. Hey, I love Los Angeles and I like showing her off.”
The Santa Monica College graduate continues her travels now with her husband and daughter. Kim has explored much of the Los Angeles landscape, both the familiar spots and some of those out-of-the-way places known only by locals. She finds the city and its many neighborhoods both exciting and sometimes overwhelming.
The “things to do” listed in her book aren't presented in any particular order. All, however, are memorable and conjure up nothing but good vibes.
She tried to stay away from typical tourist stops such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame because popularity doesn't always mean something is worth a visit, but she included a few in the book, admitting that some of them are fun to visit.
“I got to No. 79 on the list and I admit I had to start thinking. And also I didn't want it only to be through my eyes, so I started a Facebook page and asked people their thoughts on the subject in an informal poll,” she said.
“But I did try really, really hard to present a broad image of Los Angeles. There are several museums mentioned simply because I love them. My daughter thinks they're playgrounds because we go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art all the time.”
In writing the book, it was important to her to showcase what makes Los Angeles different from any other metropolis.
“The biggest theme is our diversity,” Kim said. “It's really that basic, but I don't think some people realize all this city has to offer.
“Take Koreatown, for example. My husband is Korean, so maybe I know more about it than others, but look at its rise in popularity. It's crazy how we are all learning to embrace it.
“I also look to the Farmers Market, which I think on a small scale is a reflection of all of Los Angeles.”
Since her family is a big part of her exploring group, Kim specifically points out what places and activities are kid-friendly and which ones are seasonal and which are year-round. Her personal goal, she said, is to continue to tour the town and to know more about Los Angeles than she knew the weekend before.
“Over time, as you explore different areas in Los Angeles, you learn more about the city and its diverse communities,” she said. “My advice is to take your time; don't rush. I want people to discover the hidden gems and maybe find out a lot more about things to do here than people might have thought. I want to push people out of their comfort zones.”
Another of her favorites is the Los Angeles Conservancy downtown tour.
“I can't say enough about how great Union Station is and how much you get to see and learn by taking a walking tour,” she said. “Everyone should get out and walk Los Angeles to really get to know her.”
She gushes about the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in her book.
“Catching a film outdoors there is one of the most unique experiences you can have in Los Angeles, hands down,” she wrote. “Don't worry, you won't be camping out on anyone's final resting place. Out on the Lawn, with the ornate headstones behind you and the stars above, it brings a whole new meaning to spiritual experience.”
And the Museum of Jurassic Technology? Well, one has to see it to believe it, according to Kim.
“It was a real surprise to me,” she said. “I mean, the name alone is insane, and then you see it, and you think you're part of some bizarre practical joke. It's got to be on your list.”
Kim also encourages those who have read her book and share her love of Los Angeles to become a social media fan at #100ThingsLA on Twitter to offer comments and more suggestions. And they've responded in a big way.
“Another fun part of this whole experience is sharing my memories and the fun places I love with others,” she said. “Everyone's list is going to be different, but I hope people will contribute and make this their own. We can learn from each other.”