Bil Browning

Open Thread: Going to LA

Filed By Bil Browning | March 21, 2010 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Bob Craig Media Award, Stonewall Democratic Club

Hey Projectors - I need your help.

City-Vacations38.jpgJerame and I are going to Los Angeles this week so I can accept the Stonewall Democratic Club's Bob Craig Media Award and our travel arrangements are a wee bit screwy. (Remember the trip at NY to accept the Anti-Violence Project's Courage Award? AirTran canceled our flight and gave us free roundtrip vouchers. We went to use them for this trip and found out that the days we could travel didn't coincide with what we'd originally planned for.)

Since we'll be there for an entire week now, we need your help in figuring out what to do. What should we see? Where should we go? The only thing on the itinerary right now is the award ceremony Sunday night but we're there for a week and neither of us has been to LA before.

As an FYI, I probably won't be blogging during the week. Don't worry though, we've lined up another Bilerico for you to torment and tease plus the rest of the Ed Team staff and contributors will be working their fingers to the bone just like always. Out of all the traveling I've done lately, it's all been work related! While the award is for the blog, the rest of the time is vacation time.

So what should we do in late March in LA?

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Juston Thouron Juston Thouron | March 21, 2010 2:53 PM

Hey Bil .... check out this web page.

Maybe you and Jerame can use the links to watch a film/TV shoot. Best of luck!

Juston Thouron Juston Thouron | March 21, 2010 3:02 PM

It looks like they only post notices on the day before/day of shooting but check out:

A. J. Lopp | March 21, 2010 3:40 PM

I lived in L.A. for 20 years (well, Cerritos, actually, a suburb on the east edge of L.A. County).

L.A. is huge and if you want to really get around, the first thing you might want to do is get familiar with the light rail system --- the routes obviously cater to low-income workers, but otherwise it is excellent.

A "Green Line Bus" will pick you up along the main loop in LAX, and take you to the Green Line station. Green Line goes east-west across LA County. Blue Line goes north-south between Long Beach and Metro Center in downtown LA (and goes right past Staples Center for a bit of sight-seeing). At Metro Center you can pick up Red Line which goes east to L.A.'s Grand Central Station. From Grand Central, you can get on Metro Rail and go all over the L.A. basin, even to Riverside, and can get on Amtrak south to San Diego or north to SF (that's 500 miles, not an afternoon trip, though!). At Metro Center Red Line also goes west to Hollywood, then under the Hollywood Hills into North Hollywood. So, despite L.A. being the automobile capital of the world, you can get around quite well without a car, and might rarely even have to call a taxi.

All the tourist books will tell you about places like Hollywood Boulevard, Disneyland, and Knott's Berry Farm. But gay spots: I'd start by getting familiar with [ LA Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center ] --- they have two buildings, the main one at 1625 N. Schrader Blvd. and the newer one, The Villiage at Ed Gould Plaza, at 1125 N. McCadden Place,
which mostly is a complex of meeting rooms. The Center people at either location can tell you everything you'd ever want to know about gay L.A. --- and since you two are "gay celebrities" ask whether Lorrie Jean, the Exec Dir of the Center is in town and can take a few minutes to meet you. (Or hunt her down at the awards banquet, good chance she'll be there, and almost guaranteed that someone from LA-GLCSC will be there.)

Of course I had my favorite eating spots, but your tastes may vary. I would suggest you consider visiting the Yamashiro, the Japanese restaurant on the Hollywood Hill above the Magic Castle. The food is wonderful and so is the view from up there.

Also, on a sunny afternoon find a way to visit Venice Beach and/or the bluff in Santa Monica --- may require a taxi or bus, but the ocean doesn't get any better than this!

Killing a week in L.A. is a piece of cake. I killed two decades there.

P.S. Bil, do drop a line to Neil Patrick Harris and let him know you'll be in town. Jerame will be OK on his own for one evening, won't he?

The SanDiego Zoo and of course the rest of Balboa Park are always a nice way to spend a sunny afternoon.

dharmapupil | March 22, 2010 4:37 AM

There's an interesting performance art space called Mastadon Mesa ( and if you like art or museums, head out to the Getty in Malibu after you have breakfast in Venice Beach and walk along the boardwalk to Muscle Beach. And the La Brea Tar Pits are a uniquely LA place near the LACoMuseum of Art. Long Beach also has a nice art museum.

dharmapupil | March 22, 2010 4:41 AM

I'm assuming you will rent a car when you arrive: LA is much more biddable with wheels.

Also, there is a performance at MM this Thursday at 5 pm.

If this is your first time, head to Venice Beach and see the canals and the eye candy (of which there is a lot!). It's a lot more upscale than the first time I saw it in the late 70s, but it's still a wondrous little community.

It's been 10 yrs since I ended my 14 yr 'reign' in LA, but.... the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena should be bloom-crazy in late March. Stroll the grounds and bring a picnic lunch. Once a month, on a Sunday, the Pasadena Rosebowl Flea Market is a must if you're into antiques - see if your visit co-incides? Take a drive thru legendary Griffith Park and you'll soon note you're not the only gays cruisin' around. By all means, rent a car and here's my best tip: Be sure to have an empty litre-size bottle with you. At it's worst, it can take two hours to drive 5 miles in L.A., and there are no porta-Johns in those median strips! :)