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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pink's Hotdogs & Griffith Observatory (L.A. Family Vacation, Part 8)

In March of 2013 my wife, kids, and I were back in Los Angeles for a little three day get-away. Here's a list (with additional links) of what we saw and did. 

Day 2, after an afternoon visiting the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center, we decided to have dinner at Pink's Hotdogs. Pink's is neither high end or healthy. But no trip to Los Angeles is complete without a visit to this famous L.A. Landmark. 

Pink's is one of those hotdog stands that over time become legendary. As you can see from the sign, last year they celebrated their 73th year. 

What makes Pink's so famous? 

First, they've been around since 1939. In L.A., that's an eternity. 

Second, their menu. Sure, you can get a standard hotdog pretty much anywhere. But where else can you get a Mulholland Drive Dog, a Hollywood Walk of Fame Dog, a Huell Howser Dog, or a L.A. Philharmoic Conductor Gustavo Dudamel "Dude" Dog? 

Third, Hollywood. Thanks to it's location and the fact that it's open until 2am (3am on weekends), Pink's is a favorite among the Hollywood crowd. You'll see dozens of stars photos with endorsements lining the walls. Kinda fun. 

Finally, Pink's is not McDonald's. It's a small, local establishment with a funky vibe and character that says "you're in Los Angeles."  

Obligatory family photo. Good times. Pink's is located on the corner of La Brea and Melrose. There is a small parking lot with free parking. If you're driving (which we did) you enter the parking lot off La Brea (heading south). If you park on the street, be careful - there is no parking after 3pm. You'll get ticketed, and possibly towed (which almost happend to me once when we lived in L.A.). 

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel. This is driving up La Brea, with the Hollywood Hills in the background. 

We were in Los Angeles around Passover. Above, an Orthodox family walking home from a local synagogue.

Los Angeles is home to America's second largest Jewish community (New York City, of course, is first). 

"I am a stranger in a strange land" wrote Moses. As a follower of Christ, I think there are numerous things I and other Christians can learn from the Jewish community (whether Conservative, Orthodox, or Reformed). Here's some thoughts from a previous post from a walk through the Pico Robertson district of Los Angeles a few years back. 

Not all of Hollywood is "glamourous" - in fact, to the suprise of most visitors, most of it not. (f you're looking for glamour, keep going west along Sunset Blvd until you get to West Hollywood or Beverly Hills.)

A block from our hotel, located at the corner of Sunset Blvd and La Brea Avenue was a mini-mall (one of about a billion in Los Angeles). We walked over after dinner to check out Mashti Malone's Ice Cream. 

Brothers Mashti and Mehdi Shirvani, originally from Iran, have carved out a nitch of selling uniquely flavored ice cream for the past 25 years. Ever have Rosewater or Saffon ice cream? Either had we. Don't worry, in addion to exotic flavors, they also have traditional favorites. Good ice cream - and was nice to be able to just walk over. Here's their website

After dinner, my daughter and I drove up to the Griffith Observatory. Like almost everything on our three day excursion, the Griffith Observatory (located in Griffith Park) is free, including parking - never a given in la-la land. 

photo credit:
Despite the 45 minute wait, my daughter really wanted to look through the big telescope. 

Waaay too dark inside for my little camera, this photo is from Trip Advisor. 

Since opening in 1935, more than seven million people have put an eye to Griffith Observatory's original 12-inch Zeiss refracting telescope. Incredible fact, but more people have looked though it than any other telescope in the world. 

We walked around inside, looking at the displays, including the pendulum in the lobby. 

My daughter taking photos of the murals on the ceiling. The Observatory opened in 1935 and has some cool art deco murals. Here's a link with more photos and info from a previous visit back in 2009. 

"A Great City Needs a Great Park" - some information about the history of Griffith Park. 

As the Observatory is perched on a steep hill, there are also some outstanding views of the city. 

My daughter snapping a photo of a small John Deere utility vechicle so show a couple "John Deere" neighbor kids.  

Driving back to our hotel on Sunset Blvd, we passed by the Crossroads of the World, which opened in 1936 and is described as America's first outdoor shopping mall. Unfortunately, it's closed at night. My daugher was tired - so maybe that was a good thing. Here's a link with more photos and information from a visit during the day with my wife back in 2011. 

More in the next post, including taking our kids to Wilshire Blvd's "Miracle Mile" district to see "Levitated Mass", Urban Light, the La Brea Tar Pits - and the largest section of the Berlin Wall outside of Germany. 

© 2014


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