Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. is the place to go for music afficianados of all types. The amount and variety of cd's is staggering. There are music stations all over the store, allowing you the chance to sample some new music prior to purchase. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and will also make recommendations on request. The jazz selection is especially wide. The overall selection is so huge, if Tower doesn't carry it, it probably isn't available. Across the street, there is a Tower Classical Annex where classical music lovers can revel. And next door is Tower Video with an amazing stock of DVDs and Videos, including the old, the new, the independent and foreign, and many in-between. Most are available for rental or purcahse. The staff here is especially knowledgeable.
I love Borders. I have spent many hours there just browsing the book racks without the slightest pressure from staff to purchase anything. You are more than welcome to pick up a magazine from their astounding collection and pull up a chair and read. In fact, there's something very heartening about seeing people of all ages reading for a pastime. That's not to say I am not inclined to purchase something almost every visit. It's hard not to be enticed by their vast selection of books and periodicals, covering every topic imaginable. Also, it's fun to visit the music section and browse through the cds, pausing occasionally to listen on one of their many stations. They have a wonderful coffee bar on the top floor which offers many treats in addition to coffees. Book staff is very helpful. In fact, they seem to enjoy the challenge of locating a book, either in the store or on line. Although prices aren't discounted in the slightest, I highly recommend Borders for an afternoon (or evening) of browsing an
I discovered Park One at the LA Times Travel Fair and have been a devotee ever since. This is literally the closest parking to LAX of any lots. As their slogan says, any closer and you'd be in the terminal. Located at the intersection of Century Boulevard and Sepulveda, you've most likely passed this lot adjacent to Terminal One (Southwest Airlines) many times. Although their rates aren't as cheap as the outlying lots, if you are interested in proximity to the terminal, this is the place to park. They have a often-running shuttle to all the terminals. However, if you are flying Southwest, you can literally walk from the terminal to the lot in faster time. They do accept the AAA card for discounts and, if you go to their website, they'll give you one free day parking (3 day minimum). Highly recommended.
Sportmart is the Costco of sporting goods. There isn't one sport that isn't represented in this massive store. From baseball to tennis to weight lifting to golf to everything in-between, you'll find the equipment here at Sportmart. The prices are very reasonable and the staff is extremely knowledgeable and friendly and willing to help. There is also a large selection of sportswear and shoes. In fact, I've found some great bargains on shoes, name brands that cost much more in the department stores. Parking can be a little harried on weekends but it's worth it. This is a great place to browse for gifts as well. I have often come for something but left with something else that I happened to see as I strolled the aisles. Sportmart is a must for all your sporting goods/apparel needs. And parents note: it's a real kid-friendly place.
Bed Bath and Beyond is one of those warehouse-type stores you either love or you hate. Either you find it frustrating to have to trudge around this massive store looking for a can opener and sheets, or you find it somehow peaceful to roam the aisles comparing blenders. The staff is very friendly and knows its way around. Anything you need for the bedroom or bathroom (and beyond) is available in a wide variety of choices. Sheets, kitchen electrics, candles, lamps, pots & pans... I could go on and beyond. They surely have it. However, inexpensive is one word I wouldn't use to describe BB&B. Items are pretty much sold at regular prices with an occasional sale thrown in for good measure. On the other hand, I seem to find a 20% off coupon in my mailbox every other week so if you go into this store without one, you deserve the price you pay.
Most people's first impressions of IKEA are their do-it-yourself furniture. Indeed, this massive warehouse is filled with all types of home and office furniture, most of which necessitates building it yourself. If you are the type that enjoys this challenge, you can furnish your home, office or any other space with a minimum budget. There is also a very home furnishings section on the bottom floor which includes everything from dishes to linens to lighting to home accessories to just about anything you can think of. These are all at rock bottom prices as well and you will certainly not leave IKEA empty handed. If you need help building or toting your large boxes home, IKEA can direct you to these type services. And don't forget to stop into their cafeteria for a real taste of Sweden with Swedish Meatballs. I'm not sure of the authenticity of these little treats but they sure are good. The staff is always quite friendly and seem to know their way around (you could get lost on the top floor forever).
When fire destroyed the main branch of the library some years back, the city didn't wait long before resurrecting it in this dynamic building. With large atriums and plenty of room to mill about, this a library that kids accustomed to doing all their work on a home internet should visit. Situated on several floors, there is an astounding collection featuring books, magazines, music cd's and sheet music, dvds and much more. It's located very close to the L.A. subway line and is open daily. There is a wonderful computer system which helps you find your book instantly, although there is plenty of helpful staff at your disposal as well. I love to go down here occasionally and check out a wealth of books and music, all the more desireable as you can return them to any city branch of the library, not necessitating an immediate return downtown. It is well worth a visit just to walk around and look at the architecture. Also, lovers of research will think they've died and gone to heaven as they realize the amo
When I heard they were building a shopping centger next to the Farmer's Market, my heart sank. As a lover of old Hollywood, I just knew the integrity of the old market wouldn't be preserved. But was I wrong! The old bleeds into the new seamlessly in this wonderful street of shopping reminiscent in spirit of Main Street at Disneyland. There is a trolley that runs down the center which has double decker seating and is always filled with families out for a good time. There are chi-chi shops and reasonable ones, a terrific Barnes and Noble bookstore, a fun Apple Store, a huge Pacific Theaters with ticket takers and ushers dressed up like the ushers of old Hollywood and a Nordstrom's Department store and Crate & Barrel, to name a few. And all leads right up to the old Farmer's Market with its stalls of foods from all over the world, filled with customers roaming from the old to the new. There is a fountain which "dances" to prerecorded music every so often. A terrific destination for visitors and residents
When I was bemoaning the fact that I couldn't find a good croissant in California, a friend pointed me in the direction of this Kosher French bakery in Los Angeles' Fairfax district. I was skeptical, of course, but after tasting one of their homemade croissants, I was hooked. It is the closest thing to the taste I experienced while in Paris that I've come across. The staff is very friendly and speaks a seemingly wide array of language from French to Hebrew to English and a couple I didn't recognize. (I tried to order in French once but the particular salesgirl wasn't interested in playing along and said, "What'll it be?") This little gem is situation right on the way to my office so I have been known to stop in early (they open at 6) and grab a croissant for the road. There is always a windowful of other delicious looking pastries and breads, as well. Someday I'll try one of them but for now, it's the croissants for me.
Yes, Joan's on Third has a little restaurant with a few trables. Yes, they sell a variety of delicious take out food (at rather steep prices). Yes, they have a courteous staff. Yes, there is always a crowd and little parking. But the reason to go to Joan's on Third (and you should) can be summed up in one word: cupcake. I am a cupcake lover from way back and Joan's on Third, I am here to report, has the most outstanding version ever. More like a cupcaked shaped piece of cake than your standard Betty Crocker dried out version, this is a moist and delicious piece of heaven. I usually can't decide between the chocolate or the coconut (so I usually get both and have a treat for later). The prices are way higher than your usual bakery fare but the cupcakes are twice as large and twenty times as delicious. Not exactly inexpensive enough to pick up a couple of dozen for your kid's party, but worth it to treat yourself. Just get a carton of milk, park yourself in front of your favorite tv show, and it's he