December 28, 2006

Atwater Village Newbie's Best of 2006

Leave year-end restaurant rankings and political punditry to Los Angeles veterans. These are year-end bests for us, two of the LA newbies who helped bump city population over 4 million in 2006.

Best Secret On-Ramp - From Riverside Drive in Elysian Valley, just south of Atwater Village, there's a well-marked ramp to I-5 south. But around the bend the ramp splits, without warning or signage, to join highway 110 south toward downtown LA. Shhhh...

Best Secret On-Ramp, Spanish Language Version - In Boyle Heights, the Mission Rd. ramp to I-5 splits to I-10 East

Best Reason to Know About Secret Ramps: Closures of I-5 north from I-10 west after midnight every time we try it

Best Tacos in Walking Distance - Tacos Villa Corona

Best Tacos in View of Hollywood Sign and Griffith Observatory - Sidewalk tables at tiny taqueria Casa Diaz, 4666 Hollywood Blvd., give unobstructed angles on two of the icons that drew us here

Best LA Blog Family - Mike & Maria & Baby Blogger, curators of Franklin Avenue and Rate-a-Restaurant - among other blogs on every LA newbie's must-read list - and originators of the term Blog-LA-Sphere

Best Blog-LA-Sphere Member Who Graciously Answers Pesky Questions from Moving Newbies - LA City Nerd

Best Eight-Hour Stroll - Wilshire Blvd., the whole length of it, 16.2 miles from downtown Los Angeles to the ocean

Best Local Show to TiVo - Eye on LA, a half-hour of trendy and traditional hot spots

Best Web Site for Learning Where LA Neighborhoods Are and How Much It Costs to Live in Them: Rentslicer, especially cross-referenced with this city map

Best Way to Make a Colorado Transplant Chuckle: Complaining about how cold it is in LA

Second Best Way: Wearing Uggs when it's cold in LA

Third Best Way: Being excited about Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Best Vet for Newbie Pets: Gateway Animal Hospital, Alan Jimerson, DVM, 431 W. Los Feliz Blvd., Glendale

Best Way to Read the Los Angeles Times Online - Fishbowl LA's LAT in 90 Seconds

Best Automobile Accessory for Newbies - Thomas Guide for Los Angeles and Orange Counties

Best Grocery Store Analogy for Newbies - VONS : SAFEWAY :: Ralph's : King Soopers

Best Refurbished Grocery Store - Vons, 311 W. Los Feliz Blvd., Glendale, where employees must get paid for friendly greetings the way other grocery store employees are compensated for blank stares

Best Place to Take Visitors Who Hate LA - San Diego

Second Best Place - Pasadena

Best Place to Take Two-Year-Old Visitors in LA - Shane's Inspiration Playground, Griffith Park

Second Best Place - Travel Town, Griffith Park

Best Traffic Web Site for Newbies -

Best First Stop for Newbies Moving from a Landlocked State - IKEA, because landlocked states do not have IKEA

Best Second Stop - The Getty Museum, because 1) it's free, 2) it gets you used to the idea that in LA "free" means you still pay for parking, and 3) the view makes you glad you moved from a landlocked state

Best Song to Hear While Driving a Hyundai to Zankou Chicken in Glendale - "Debra" by Beck

Best TV Show to Sharpen LA Geography Skills - From "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip": "A caller from Toluca Lake called us Barbra Streisand loving, Michael Moore worshiping jackasses;" "I keep all your things nicely stored on a garbage scow off Catalina"

Best TV Show to Set Unrealistic LA Traffic Expectations: "24"

Best Blog by Another LA Newbie: BLDGBLOG


Mike said...

Thanks for the love, guys! Let's all meet up soon -- perhaps at Canele?

sherru said...

Those showbiz douches on Entourage never seem to sit in traffic much either. And they are ridiculously cheerful all the time.