Posts Tagged With: Los Angeles

Ten things I’m looking forward to in 2016 (and a couple more that I’m hoping for)

42762094_sI think it’s fair to say that any year when you undergo heart surgery is a rough one. By that standard, 2015 was challenging for me. Not that the year was without its magical moments; seeing Angkor Wat and Mount Rushmore in person were certainly bucket list experiences, and after I recovered from my operation I increased the number of countries on my World Karaoke Tour to 39 by singing in Rome.

On a non-travel-related note, in July I moved to a new apartment — still in Manhattan, but in a much better building, with far superior management to the slumlords who own the apartment that I vacated, and in a nicer neighbourhood. My new residence provides me with more pleasant surroundings — a big plus, since on the vast majority of my days I’m not off globetrotting, but am hanging out in my home base of New York City where I work full-time as a lawyer.

Me at Mount Rushmore in July 2015.

Me at Mount Rushmore in July 2015.

So with my surgery 110 days in the past, 2015 is ending on a high note for me; and as the world prepares to begin using its 2016 calendars, I have heaps of exciting plans for the year ahead. Here are the things that I’m most looking forward to in the upcoming 366 days (remember, ’16 is a leap year!):

1. Charleston, South Carolina for New Year’s

Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Charleston, South Carolina; it’ll be my first-ever visit to this city in the southern U.S. that I’ve long sought to experience. In 2014, readers of Conde Naste Traveler magazine voted Charleston the no. 1 city in the U.S. to visit, and the no. 2 city in the world to visit. I look forward to finding out firsthand why Charleston makes such a spectacular impression on its visitors. While in town, I’ll be taking in historical sights as well as reconnecting with some old friends who reside in the area. And Charleston is where I’ll be ringing in the new year. Because this is a karaoke travel blog, I feel obligated to mention one more aspect of what’s in store for my sojourn in Charleston: either in the last days of 2015 or the very beginning of 2016, South Carolina will become the 21st U.S. state in which I’ve sung karaoke! (Technically, my tally will then stand at 20 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, which lacks statehood status. But I’m trying to keep things simple here. 🙂 )

Stock photo of some historic homes in Charleston, South Carolina.

Stock photo of some historic homes in Charleston, South Carolina — the city in which I’m going to start 2016!

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Categories: Asia, Europe, travel, World Karaoke Tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

L.A. story, part 2: cities of the dead in the City of Angels

P1040854A common pastime for tourists in Los Angeles is to drive past the homes of celebrities. One of my cherished activities during my own trips to L.A.. has involved a twist on that concept: visiting the current residences of people who are rich, famous — and dead. As you might expect given the association of the city with show business, several area cemeteries include large concentrations of former stars from the entertainment field. I’ve been to two of those cemeteries so far: Forest Lawn, which is located in the town of Glendale; and Hollywood Forever, which as its name implies is situated in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.

This post is a sequel of sorts to my article from December 2012 about offbeat attractions that I found in Los Angeles. Below, in part 2 of the series, I recount my excursions to a pair of the L.A. area’s “cemeteries to the stars.” As those visits took place in 2012 and 2013, it has obviously taken me a while to get around to writing about them. However, be warned: death waits for no man. Continue reading

Categories: North America, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

H-Bomb’s Sunday photo, week 46: a space shuttle in Los Angeles

As I write this, I’m on a plane from Cancun to Chicago, on my way back to New York. I just spent the weekend at TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange), an amazing conference where travel bloggers connect with the travel industry and with each other. But that long weekend in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula was only one of several fun journeys I’ve been on in recent months. For example, a couple of weekends earlier, I made my seventh visit to Los Angeles.

A highlight of this particular trip to Southern California was seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavour. One of three surviving space shuttles that have flown into space, it is now on display at the California Science Center:

endeavour

The other space shuttles (Discovery and Atlantis) are on display in Chantilly, Virginia and Cape Canaveral, Florida, respectively. In addition, the Space Shuttle Enterprise, a prototype that did not actually slip the surly bonds of Earth’s atmosphere, can be visited in New York City. I previously checked out the Enterprise in August 2012.

Would you like to go into outer space?

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Categories: H-Bomb's Friday Photo, North America, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

H-Bomb’s Friday Photo, week 31: a house on a 29-foot pole in Los Angeles

Happy Friday the 13th! As an explorer, I draw inspiration from the achievements of Voyager 1 — which, scientists announced this week, became the first man-made object to enter interstellar space. Launched in 1977, that space probe has now traveled roughly 11.7 billion miles from Earth. Kind of makes my own wanderings seem pathetic in comparison. 🙂 But I do what I can. (Note: many news articles have stated that Voyager 1 has left the solar system. But technically that’s not quite true; the probe still needs to pass through the Oort cloud, a region of comets that orbit the sun. Voyager 1 won’t even reach the Oort cloud for another 300 years or so, and it won’t transcend the outer edge of that region — thereby officially bidding adieu to the solar system –until about 30,000 years down the road.)

Speaking of my own, Earth-based travels, it’s time for another photo drawn from one of my previous trips. This week’s image comes from Los Angeles. It’s a very unusual house. Called the Chemosphere, this residence is octagonal-shaped, which would be distinctive enough; but what truly makes it unique is that it stands atop a 29-foot concrete pole.

The Chemosphere, a distinctive octagonal house that stands on a 30-foot pole, peeks above the treetops.  This abode was designed by the architect John Lautner in 1960.

Here, the Chemosphere — which was designed in 1960 by the architect John Lautner, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright — can be seen peeking above the treetops. (This is as close as I was able to get to the Chemosphere; it’s privately owned and its driveway is gated.)

Although as you may recall I was just in Los Angeles a couple of weekends ago, this photo was taken during one of my earlier visits to that city, in September 2012.

Would you like to live in a house like this?

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Categories: H-Bomb's Friday Photo, North America, travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

L.A. Story, Part I: Off the beaten path in the City of Angels

This past Labor Day weekend (a holiday weekend in the United States that falls in early September), I visited Los Angeles for a few days. Prior to September 2012, I’d been to that city four times. I therefore had already experienced many of the area’s signature attractions, such as the La Brea Tar Pits, the Griffith Observatory, the Universal Studios theme park, the Getty Center museum, and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. This time around, I focused on investigating some of L.A.’s lesser-known treasures. Of course, as with just about any H-Bomb vacation, I also searched for karaoke. 🙂

Somehow, even though over three months have gone by since that trip, I haven’t yet blogged about it. It’s time to get caught up already! This will be the first of two articles recapping that weekend.

I arrived at LAX late on Friday night and headed to my hotel in Hollywood, near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and North Highland Avenue. I really like staying in that area. In contrast to much of the sprawling, freeway-centric metropolis that is Los Angeles, that section of Hollywood is easily walkable — an important consideration for me, since I refuse to drive ever. Even in California. 🙂 It did help, though, that I have friends with cars who live in the area and were nice enough to take me around town. At the same time, it was good to be able to walk around on my own in the vicinity of my hotel.

A MACABRE MUSEUM, A QUIRKY HOUSE, AND A BREATHTAKING VIEW

The Museum of Death

On Saturday I began by hoofing it to the Museum of Death, which is located on Hollywood Boulevard. Continue reading

Categories: North America, travel, World Karaoke Tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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