SABR

SABR 41 — Things To Do

Looking to get away while you're in town for SABR 41? Check out our list of Southern California attractions.

Here's some information on the public transportation options available from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles and other area attractions.

About Long Beach

Long Beach is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and most tourist destinations are within an hour’s drive. But Long Beach itself has much to offer.

The Long Beach Public Library is near the hotel.

You’re on the ocean. You can rent a motorboat, go sailing, or go sportfishing.

Cal State Long Beach is an excellent school for academics as well as athletics. The campus includes the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, www.carpenterarts.org

The Long Beach Performing Arts Center hosts the International City Theatre, www.ictlongbeach.org

The Long Beach Opera, www.longbeachopera.org, will close its season in June with David Lang’s “The Difficulty of Crossing a Field”, which is actually about slavery and not baseball.

The Long Beach Playhouse, www.LBPH.com, will be performing Emlyn Williams’ “Night Must Fall” and “The Violet Hour” by Richard Greenberg.

The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, www.lbso.org, is usually dark in the summer.

You can catch “The Wedding Singer” at Musical Theater West, www.musical.org.

Museums:

Rancho Los Cerritos, built in 1844, celebrates Spanish and Mexican heritage and includes a research library. www.rancholoscerritos.org

The Historical Society of Long Beach, www.historicalsocietylb.org

The Long Beach Museum of Art, www.lbma.org

The Museum of Latin American Art, www.molaa.org, is the only U.S. museum of its kind.

Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens covers 1500 years of California history. www.rancholosalamitos.com

The Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum focuses on Micronesian culture. www.pieam.org

Restaurants:

Within walking distance of the hotel, restaurants include Jersey Mike’s Subs, the Daily Grill, Rick’s Snack Bar, Mosher’s Gourmet Cornbeef, and Buono’s Authentic Pizzeria. And if you don’t mind the extra distance to Pine Avenue, you will find many outstanding cafes.

Other local attractions

Angels Flight

For 25 cents, you can board one of the two orange-and-black incline railway cars and ride "The Shortest Railway in the World." It actually is not the shortest railway.

This funicular (inclined tram pulled by a cable) dates back to 1901, when Bunker Hill was one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in Los Angeles and the cars, Olivet and Sinai, ferried prominent citizens up and down the steep slope between Hill and Olive streets. The landmark was dismantled for "urban renewal" in 1969.

In the early 1990s, the Railway was refurbished and relocated a half-block south, reopening adjacent to California Plaza in 1996. The 298-feet Angels Flight is an essential Los Angeles experience.

The railway connects 351 South Hill Street (ZIP code 90013), near the Metro Red Line's Pershing Square subway station at the corner of Fourth and Hill Streets, with the California Plaza Watercourt at 350 South Grand Avenue (ZIP code 90071). Recorded telephone information: (213) MA 6-1901. The Railway is open every day, 365 days a year, from 6:45 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Aquarium of the Pacific

Only a 15-minute walk from the Long Beach Hilton, the Aquarium of the Pacific displays marine life from several parts of the ocean. The Southern California Gallery offers a glimpse of the colorful garibaldi (California’s state fish), giant spined sea stars, and the California scorpionfish. The Northern Pacific Gallery includes a sea otter exhibit. The Tropical Reef Habitat features over a thousand colorful fish and beautiful coral, including sea turtles, zebra and blacktip reef sharks, porcupine puffers, and a large blue Napoleon or humphead wrasse. You can even pet a shark.

Enjoy Turtle Vision, a film that combines 4D technology and digital animation to explore the ups and downs of life on land and sea.

Buy tickets online and save $4.

http://www.aquariumofpacific.org

Disneyland

Feeling low because your team hasn’t won a game yet? Come to the happiest place on earth — Disneyland.

A great place for adults as well as children, Disney offers two parks: Disneyland with theme areas (Main Street, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Toontown, Critter Country, and New Orleans Square) and California Adventure.

I particularly enjoy Soaring Over California, Muppets in 3D, Turtle Talk, Astro Blasters, and Pirates of the Caribbean. If you prefer something less tame, I recommend Tower of Terror and California Screamin’.

Close out your evening with a combination of fireworks, music, and digital projections on fountains.

Farmers Market

Farmers Market, located at the corner of Third and Fairfax, originated in 1934. The land was owned by the Gilmore family, the builders of Gilmore Field, home of the Hollywood Stars. The Los Angeles Bulldogs professional football team played at Gilmore Stadium, which was also nearby.

About 100 shops and restaurants serve 3 million visitors a year. Free concerts are performed on Thursday and Friday evenings during the summer.

See http://farmersmarketla.com for more information.

Grand Central Market

SABR members know two things: Don’t be evasive when talking to a grand jury and don’t miss SABR 41 in Southern California.

Grand Central Market is Los Angeles’ oldest and largest open-air market.

Opened in 1917, the market is located at Third and Broadway in the ground floor of the Homer Laughlin Building, which once housed an office for American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, in L.A.'s Historic Core District.

More than 38 merchants offer selections of produce, delicacies, and specialty items from around the globe. There's a variety of fresh-picked fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, exotic herbs and spices, candies, nuts, fresh cut flowers, plants, and lunches, including burritos, rotisserie chicken, pupusas (a Salvadoran stuffed tortilla), and Cuban sandwiches.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

Griffith Park

With more than 4,210 acres of both natural chapparal-covered terrain and landscaped parkland and picnic areas, Griffith Park is the largest municipal park with urban wilderness area in the United States. Situated in the eastern Santa Monica Mountain range, the California native plants represented include the California species of oak, walnut, lilac, mountain mahagony, sages, toyon, and sumac. Griffith Park offers numerous family attractions, an assortment of educational and cultural institutions, and miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, and provides visitors an ideal environment for enjoyable recreation activities.

Originally a part of the Spanish land grant, Rancho Los Feliz, the park was named for its former owner, Colonel Griffith J. Griffith. Born in Glamorganshire, South Wales, Griffith emigrated to the United States in 1865, eventually, making a personal fortune in California gold mine speculation. Col. Griffith died July 7, 1919, however, he had left a sizeable trust fund to complete the dreams he had for the park; specifically designating funds for the construction of a Greek amphitheater (the Greek Theatre, built 1930) and an observatory and hall of science (Griffith Observatory, built 1935.)

The Museum of the American West, formerly the Autry Museum of Western Heritage offers you and your family a unique opportunity to explore exciting and inspiring stories of the people, cultures, and events that have shaped the legacy of this vital region. Relive the western myths of radio, movies and television. View the west through the eyes of Remington, Russell and other great artists.

You can rent a bicycle, ride a pony, go to the zoo and botanical garden, or ride a merry-go-round.

Located in Park Center between the Los Angeles Zoo and the Los Feliz park entrance, the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round has been a Los Angleles family attraction for over five generations. Built in 1926 by the Spillman Engineering Company and brought to Griffith Park in 1937, the Merry-Go-Round boasts 68 horses, everyone a jumper. Each horse is finely carved with jewel-encrusted bridles, detailed draped blankets and decorated with sunflowers and lion's heads. A Stinson 165 Military Band Organ, reputed to be the largest band organ accompanying a carousel on the West Coast, plays over 1500 selections of marches and waltz music.

The miniature train ride has served the public in Griffith Park since 1948. The track stretches over a mile and takes the rider past pony rides, through a lush green meadow, through an old Western town, and past a Native American village.

Located adjacent to the Travel Town Museum is a local club devoted to the preservation of locomotives through scale models. Free public rides are offered by the club on their live steam scale model trains.

In the late 1940s, Charley Atkins, a Recreation and Parks employee, along with a handful of rail enthusiast friends, had the idea that a steam locomotive would make an attractive addition at the Griffith Park miniature railroad ride. Travel Town was dedicated on December 14, 1952. In 1965, Travel Town's exhibits were re-grouped, and the park re-dedicated. Today, Travel Town is in a state of new growth and development. Charley Atkins passed away in 1959, but he left Los Angeles a grand legacy at Travel Town: http://www.laparks.org/grifmet/tt/pdf/webmap.pdf.

Hollywood

Start your tour at the corner of Highland Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard.  The Walk of Fame celebrates 2,300 famous personalities in the fields of radio, television, motion pictures, recording, and live performance.

The Hollywood sign on top of Mt. Lee, the highest peak in the Los Angeles area, originally read 'Hollywoodland,' and was actually a huge advertisement for a housing development in the area. The last four letters were removed in 1945.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened in 1927. See the famous handprints and footprints in the cement courtyard. A tour is available.

The Kodak Theate is home to the Oscars. Tours are available. Check prices on the internet.

You can visit the Hollywood Bowl anytime of the day. You may find it empty or catch a rehearsal. The Bowl holds 17,680 guests.

The Hollywood Heritage Museum (across from Hollywood Bowl) is dedicated to the early days of filmmaking in Hollywood.

The Hollywood Museum is housed in the old Max Factor building and is four floors of movie memorabilia. You'll find George of the Jungle's loincloth and Mary Pickford's blonde curls.

Madame Tussaud's is a wax museum where you view life-sized models of actors.

I recommend the Hollywood Farmers Market, Sunday, 8 AM to 1 PM, Ivar Avenue and Selma Avenue (between Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd). You can buy fresh fruit and produce as well as baked goods and prepared foods. Street musicians perform and free events may take place (such as cooking demos, cookbook autographs, kids workshops, and family-oriented festivals).

Of course, there are tours of the homes of  movie stars.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, founded in 1899, it is the resting place of hundreds of stars.

In the evening, Sunset Strip offers comedy and music clubs.

La Brea Tar Pits

“La Brea” means “the tar”. The La Brea Tar Pits are located in Los Angeles and not in the suburb of Brea. No prehistoric baseballs have been found in the tar pits.

The liquids that seep out of the ground at Rancho La Brea are actually comprised of asphalt. Tar is a commercial by-product made by the distillation of woody materials, such as coal or peat, while asphalt is a naturally formed substance comprised of hydrocarbon molecules.

The La Brea Tar Pits is home to more than 3 million fossils from the last Ice Age. It was here that mammoths, sabertoothed cats, and giant ground sloths became trapped and entombed in the asphalt that has been seeping out of the ground for the past 40,000 years.

The Rancho La Brea fossil deposits began to form towards the end of the Pleistocene Epoch. Millions of years ago, the area of Los Angeles lay beneath the Pacific Ocean. During this time, marine sedimentary layers formed, and in some places these eventually became rich with fossil fuels produced from ancient sea life. When the ocean levels receded some 100,000 years ago, the area of Rancho La Brea became land. New layers of gravel, sand, and clay formed by the erosion of the emergent hills, and settled on top of the much older marine sediments full of oil.

With its numerous asphalt seeps, Rancho La Brea was a hazardous place for animals to roam. This was especially true during the warmer seasons. As the semi-solid asphalt turned softer and stickier, leaves, dust, and water would cover the surface and partially obscure it from view.

Wandering animals would often pass by and unknowingly venture into the camouflaged asphalt. If the conditions were right, the animals might become trapped. The stranded animal would be easy prey for the many carnivores that lived here. Not likely to pass on a free meal, a pack of dire wolves or a sabertoothed cat would attack the mired animal and even each other. After an intense struggle over the helpless prey, some of the attacking predators would become trapped as well. In turn, scavengers would eat those animals and also risk entrapment.

The unusually high quality of fossil preservation at Rancho La Brea occurred because the bones were buried rapidly by the asphalt and sediments. The asphalt not only preserved animal bones, but also plants, insects, and other specimens that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. At Rancho La Brea, these microfossils include freshwater shells and small animal bones

The presence of chaparral-type plant life along with coastal redwood and other canyon-dwelling trees suggests that the Pleistocene climate of Los Angeles was slightly more humid and cooler than now.

The museum is open daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Queen Mary

Queen Mary, the English monarch, never visited California. But her namesake, the ocean liner, resides in Long Beach.

The Queen Mary, commissioned in 1936, is actually a 12-deck hotel. You can eat in seven restaurants and shop in 12 stores.

Various tours are available, including the Ghosts and Legends show and a Russian submarine docked alongside. You can save money by purchasing a combo ticket that includes the Long Beach Aquarium.

See http://www.queenmary.com for extensive factual information about the ship.

Rodeo Drive

If you feel like spending a thousand dollars on a purse, we have the place. Perhaps you merely want to see the people who do shop in high-end stores.

Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is a three-block span that contains almost 100 boutiques. You can find Bang & Olufsen, Bally, Bulgari, Burberry, Brooks Brothers, Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, Coach, David Yurman, DeBeers, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Harry Winston, Hermès, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton (the real stuff, not the knock-offs sold in Times Square), Montblanc, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, Versace, Yves Saint-Laurent, Omega Watches, and many other stores. If you can afford any of these stores, you are doing better than I am.

You won’t see any cowboys. When the Spanish first arrived in California, they found water at this location and named it “El Rodeo de las Aguas”, “the gathering of the waters”. The area became an exclusive shopping destination in the 1970s.

Be sure to incorporate Rodeo Drive into your tour of Los Angeles.

Universal Studios

Ride the tram through Hollywood backlots, including sets from War of the Worlds, Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives, the Bates Motel, special effects from The Fast and The Furious, Jaws, and more. Survive an intense 3-D experience at King Kong 360. Learn how they do it at the special effects stage. See wild stunts at WaterWorld. Ride roller coasters based on Jurassic Park and Revenge of the Mummy. Or take a virtual roller coaster with The Simpsons. Experience a different type of movie with Shrek 4D.

Terminator 2:3-D is an interactive experience that combines 3-D cinematography, digital graphics, and live-action stunts. The Adventures of Curious George is a play area for children. Take the House of Horrors ride through scary exhibits. See the animal show, and hear the Blues Brothers.

For more information: http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com. Two-day pass costs $74 ($66 if you are under 4 feet tall.)

— Barry Mednick

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