Exploring with Detour: Downtown Los Angeles

I took another tour of Los Angeles using the Detour app, which is a free app where you can download audio tours and use your phone’s GPS to explore cities. This tour was called “Downtown: Gateway to the City of Angels,” and it was all about the story of immigrants coming to Los Angeles to build a life and the cultures they brought with them.

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Full of canals and bridges, Amsterdam is surely a beautiful city… even in the rain! Being a smaller city, I felt it was easy to navigate. Most people travel by bike there, but I found that being on foot was just as good. Amsterdam seems to be a hotspot for cultural arts and scenic views. So it was fun to explore the culture and experience #typicaldutchstuff.

Oh, and everyone there speaks English. Which is more than I can say for France.

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Louvre pyramid

It’s been weeks and I’m still thinking about the magic of Paris! The city is highly romanticized but there was still so much to it that made it live up to the expectation. Paris is so easy to get around that most of the time you don’t need to use the metro or a taxi. Walking the streets of Paris is magical mostly because of the history, culture, and ambience. Some of my favorite movies take place in Paris and I loved singing all the songs in my head as I walked.

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This city is full of so much history, yet so completely urban at the same time. I knew I would enjoy it, but I wondered if it would feel too familiar to be an adventure. They speak English, how foreign could it be? Well, little did I know that London was exactly what I was looking for in a trip. Easy to get around the city, easy to communicate with locals, and a comfortable city vibe that was both new and familiar at the same time.

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Rogue Artists Ensemble’s ‘Wood Boy Dog Fish’


“There’s a kind of magic in the material of things. Don’t you think?”

This was the sixth Rogue Artists Ensemble production I’ve been to and it definitely did not disappoint. The Rogues are phenomenal at their art of puppetry, masks, and “hyper-theater.” While implementing such jarring and intricate imagery, their stories also always have so much heart. The deeper themes in each production seep through the eeriness to create something beautiful and fascinating. As the gentlemen next to me at the show said, their shows are always like a “delightful acid trip.” I couldn’t agree more.

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The Getty Center

20141228_150945The Getty Center, contrary to the Getty Villa, is huge! I feel like I could have explored all day and still have missed a bunch of exhibitions, displays, and galleries. The museum is built on the top of a hill, so it provided stunning views of LA and the ocean. A tram took us from the parking level to the museum campus. That made it feel all the more exclusive.

We started off by taking a tour of the highlights of the museum. I have never know how I feel about tours. They are so informative and I learn so much from them, but I always want to explore on my own, too. But this one was interesting, seeing as how it chose highlights from each room and discussed them with the group. Continue reading

The Last Bookstore

20141129_140313I have been wanting to visit The Last Bookstore for a long time! There are so few bookstores around now, making the name of this one pretty accurate. LA is filled with old buildings that were once department stores or theatres and are now banks and restaurants. The Last Bookstore occupies the first floor of a corner building in Downtown LA. The space has been renovated to accommodate hundreds and hundreds of new and used books. Continue reading