Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Beaten by the rain...

My luck finally ran out today as far as the weather goes. Although the day started out just cool and gray, the rain went from a smattering to a spattering to an all out monsoon.

While James finished up his job, Connie and I went to the Hammer Museum. The Hammer has a tiny collection, but contains works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Toulouse Lautrec, Rembrandt--among others. By the time we finished, James had finished and by 1:30 pm or so we were on the road to Hollywood.

We took the scenic route along Sunset and James and Connie were able to see some of the stunning mansions that line the route. As we past through West Hollywood, I pointed out Chateau Marmont--infamous for being the site of John Belushi's death. James is a huge Blues Brothers fan. We drove out to Beachwood Drive where Connie snapped a picture of the Hollywood sign. Then we headed back to the Hollywood and Vine area, where we stashed the car in a nearby parking garage.

Then it started raining a bit harder. We walked down Hollywood Blvd. and checked out the stars on the Walk of Fame as we headed to Skooby's which had been recommended by my friend Jack as having the best hot dogs in L.A. Then we walked over to Grauman's Chinese Theater to purchase movie tickets (review of Cloverfield coming soon...) and check out the hand prints and foot prints in the cement. We crossed the street to peer into the Roosevelt Hotel and had a drink in the lounge.

It was raining even harder when we wandered around Hollywood and Highland, so we took refuge in the Lucky Strike Bowling Alley while we waited for our showtime. Lucky Strike is a very hip yet casual, laid back place to hang. There's a dining area, a bar with an area with couch seating and then farther back are the bowling lanes. It was warm, friendly and not too noisy. Even if you don't want to bowl, it's a great place to chill.

We then braved the rain to see the movie. James was duly impressed by Grauman's decor, the large screen and the sound quality. After the movie, it was POURING!!! Neither James nor Connie brought an umbrella with them despite my telling them THREE TIMES that they were calling for rain in L.A. during their visit. Why we would bring an umbrella to L.A.? they asked. To keep you dry when it's raining outside, morons!

We ended up taking a cab back to the parking garage--but since the restaurant we were going to was only blocks away, it didn't seem to make sense to move the car and try to find another parking spot. So we dashed through the downpour and got to The Bowery which was recommended by my sister, Laurie. Laurie warned me that it could be crowded--and boy was it ever! And loud. We got a table and my friend Dave showed up to join us for dinner. James was sulky and sour due to the rain. As if I have any control over that!

We arrived back on the westside around 9:30 pm. James and Connie head back to Pittsburgh tomorrow morning. And no doubt the sun will return to Los Angeles as well.

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