A January 2003 trip
to Los Angeles by modernist
Quote: If you are on a budget, I will let you in on the best place to stay and cheap but great things to do.
Hotel | "Orbit Ho(s)tel"
All can stay in the slightly pricier single room, but this can be as much as $49 per night. There are two more options; you can stay in a room with two bunk beds or three bunk beds. The two-bunk option will cost you $20 per night. You also need a non-U.S. passport to stay in the dorms. Even though I have a U.S. passport, I was able to stay, as I had flown in from Korea on the check-in day and had a stamp from Korean immigration. You need to put down a $20 key deposit, which you will get back at the end of the stay. You must also pay for the entire stay while checking in. They only accept cash!
Very clean--the staff was actually installing a blue ball light in the TV room on my first day--although it was not as hip-looking as on the Internet site, as things have a bit of a worn look. I imagine when it opened a few years ago, it had that MTV Real World look; now it looks like the last few weeks of Real World, when all the roommates are snug and comfortable with the environs, i.e., worn down and thinking that going home would be nice.
The hostel is on Melrose Avenue--a bit away from the main action, but close enough so you don't get a complex. A few more blocks on Melrose is a place called eZen, which has T1 access at $2 per hour! Thus don't use the two slow-witted Internet stations upstairs at Orbit.
There is also a free shuttle to Orbit from LAX. I chose to rent a car to have more freedom of movement. Parking is a bit of a problem, but not a major one; I was able to find free street parking within close walking distance of the hostel. But the majority of the hostelers were using the bus system, which has improved a great deal since I lived in L.A. 10 years ago.
There is free breakfast served until 10:30am, but it's bad coffee and toast. You're in L.A., for Julia Roberts's sake, so go find a great diner for breakfast. On Melrose, there's a place called Vienna Cafe, which is a hip place to get breakfast.
This is a hip hostel, with lots of European backpackers. You are bound to meet some cool people. I was lucky to have one of the outside rooms (walls to the outside on two sides), thus I was able to sleep very well, although when I was checking in, there two Dutch girls who were checking out as they did not get any sleep the previous night.
The owner is also a great haircutter. When asking for a place to get a haircut, the girl working at the front desk suggested the owner, and for $20 I got a great haircut.
Overall, I was pretty happy with the Orbit expereince, although a bit misled by their website.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 4, 2003
7950 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, California 90046
Attraction | "Getty Center"
The Getty Center is great in a couple of ways. I always try to find a quiet spot where I can sit, read, and study in any new city I visit. I find coffee shops are great for people watching, but I can't get any work done in most places that blast music I don't like. So the Center is a great place to study and people watch. The restaurants on the grounds are great too. The art exhibits can keep an entire family busy for hours. I would schedule the better part of the day to see the entire complex, including the exhibits and gardens.
The great part is that the Center can be a very romantic spot. The south pavillion towers have a fantastic panoramic view of the entire Los Angeles area that can't be beat at sunset. The museum closes at 9pm most days and 6pm on Sunday.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 4, 2003
The Getty Center/J. Paul Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Drive
Brentwood, Los Angeles 90049
Attraction | "Star Wars in 30 minues"
I caught the 10:30pm show. There were about six seats left when I got to the ticket office at 10pm on a Saturday night. The actors are young, and it was really ingenious staging. You don't have to be a geek to like this show; however, if you have friends who constantly quote Star Wars, they will love you forever for introducing them to this show.
Call (310) 657-7377 for tickets, or go to www.ticketmaster.com.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 10, 2003
Star Wars in 30 minutes
366 N. La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90048
On Saturday night, there were a 9pm and a 10:30pm show. I caught the earlier show. The six comics were all unknown to me, though I might have seen some of them on cable. The level that night was not good at all; I felt I had perhaps two or three good laughs. It was definitely not worth my money--I had more laughs at the Star Wars Trilogy in 30 Minutes show later on in the evening, which was a much better deal in terms of minute/dollar/laugh ratio. Sit close to the stage if you like to get picked on or made fun of. I guess it would be funnier if you were drunk.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 10, 2003
8162 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, California 90046
+1 323 651 2583