Category Archives: las vegas

When next in L.A….stuff to check out

This from a recent list in the NYTimes T Magazine recommended by Dean Wareham, a singer and guitarist who recently moved to LA after many moons in Brooklyn! (Maybe that’s a trend, seeing as my brother just did the same…Or one more example and we’ve got a “trend”…)

 

Hollywood Farmers Market
“We have an avocado tree in our backyard, but the squirrels get to them before we do. This is one of the only places we can walk to, and we go every Sunday. The produce is amazing. I buy the fruits, Britta buys the vegetables.”
Ivar Avenue and Selma Avenue between Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard; Sundays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Chichen Itza restaurant
“This place is in a kind of cheap mall downtown. Jonathan Gold wrote about it. It’s Yucatan cuisine. I don’t know how it’s different from other Mexican food — I’m not expert enough. But it’s great.”
3655 South Grand Avenue; chichenitzarestaurant.com.

Vermont Canyon Tennis Courts
“It is much easier to exercise out here. And right over here in Griffith Park, it costs five dollars an hour to play tennis, whereas in New York, you’ve got to get a season pass, and it’s a luxury. I go to the courts up Vermont, right by the little golf course. I took my son there three times a week last summer.”
2715 Vermont Canyon Road; laparks.org.

Books on L.A.
“When I got here, the first thing my friend gave me was Reyner Banham’s famous and controversial book, ‘Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies.’ I also loved ‘City of Nets,’ by Otto Friedrich. It’s a great look at Hollywood in the ’40s, with a focus on Europeans like Thomas Mann and Stravinsky. Bertolt Brecht lived up Argyle Avenue, right over here. He was the most famous playwright in the world, but he was in Hollywood writing out of his native language, and he was broke.”

Largo at the Coronet
“‘City of Nets’ was recommended to me by Flanny, the owner at Largo, where we’ve played. In fact, he sells copies at the concession stand there. He likes it because his new location (in the old Coronet Theater) is mentioned in the book; it is where Brecht and Charles Laughton staged ‘Life of Galileo.’ Brecht was my hero at age 17, and to perform on the very same stage was cool.”
366 North La Cienega Boulevard; largo-la.com.

Cinefamily
“This is an old silent movie theater. They show movies that don’t get a wide release. I went and saw ‘Once Upon a Time in America,’ the Sergio Leone three-hour epic. And a lot of comedy stuff, too. We’ve played there, and Britta did a reading there once.”
611 North Fairfax Avenue; cinefamily.org.

Acting

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Filed under california, las vegas

Tips on flying Southwest out of Des Moines

Southwest Airlines Logo.png
IATA
WN
ICAO
SWA
Callsign
SOUTHWEST
Founded March 16, 1967

As word comes from today’s DMRegister that there’ s talk of trying to expand the selection of direct Southwest flights out of Des Moines (Orlando and St. Louis but no promises and would happen, at the earliest next summer), I’ve been thinking about advice I’d give to people flying Southwest out of DSM right now – based on my first trial run earlier this month. And here it is:

– Although Southwest offers no fee to check your luggage (how refreshing), I am glad I didn’t check mine because if I had I wouldn’t have been able to switch flights in Las Vegas at the last minute after my LAX flight was delayed and I hopped aboard a Burbank flight. Or so I gather. The first question the counter agent asked me after I inquired about switching was whether I’d checked my luggage. I hadn’t and miraculously I was en route to Burbank minutes later. When I got to Burbank, I received another update on my original LAX flight. It still hadn’t left Vegas, delayed over 2 hours and counting…

– Paying the extra $12 or so to get priority boarding was definitely worth it!! Otherwise it is essential to check in as close as possible to exactly 24 hours before flight time so you get a good position in line, preferably A group or failing that B group but NOT C group. Those folks get the middle seats and there’s less likelihood, if the plane is booked, of getting an overhead spot to stow their luggage. The one flight I didn’t take and pay the extra $12 I got an A44 number in line – not bad. And I ended up with a good aisle seat close to the front of the plane (so I could exit quickly and make my connection).

– Speaking of connections, in Las Vegas my flight arrived in the C terminal and I had to haul a** to make my connecting flight in the B terminal, which seemed like miles away (with only a few moveable walkways). The slot machines strewed in the corridors didn’t help as I had knots of people to get around while dragging my suitcase. I don’t know if this is always the case on the DSM-Vegas-LA flight. (The one I took was at noon on a Friday out of DSM.)

– My connection at Chicago’s Midway was much much better – the Seattle-Midway flight landed in a gate only three gates away from the Midway-Des Moines flight. Yippee!! (This was on the 2:30 Wednesday flight from Seattle to Midway and the 9:30 pm flight from midway to dsm.)

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Filed under airfare, chicago, Des Moines, las vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle

Guess which airport I am in right now?

Yes, it’s Vegas. Where else are there slot machines in the airport? (Reno? Atlantic City?) although it is a spectacular day here, sunny, 70s, my connecting flight to Los Angeles is delayed about an hour due to late arriving equipment, although I am told to stick around since we could get a substitute plane and leave earlier than two hours from now.

My inaugural flight on Southwest out of Des Moines went well. It’s been several years since I flew Southwest and never before from Iowa since Southwest arrived only within the last year and this Vegas flight is only a few months old (and so remarkably affordable). But I soon remembered why I like Southwest. It feels like a younger, more efficient even hip airline compared to the older creamier ones. The staff are cheerful and helpful. And the boarding process seems much less chaotic than it used to in the old days when there was what felt like a free for all to get a seat and overhead luggage bin spot. Now you have a boarding group letter and number so you line up accordingly. My B8 got me a very pleasant aisle seat near the front of the plane. All good. And I had free access to some tv shows on my iPad, although none were worth watching. here’s hoping my LAX flight goes as well.

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Filed under airfare, Des Moines, las vegas, Los Angeles, Uncategorized