Category: Local news


Fall Fun Must-Do’s in LA

Although it may seem like we just oo’d and ah’ed at Fourth of July fireworks, fall is actually well underway. So, with the leaves starting to change and the weather cooling down, it could be a good time to go out and enjoy some fall fun in LA.

For starters, if you’re looking for a scenic yet quiet option, Mulholland Drive is sure not to disappoint. Winding through the Santa Monica Mountains, you’ll find yourself taking in some breathtaking views – of both the city and the San Fernando Valley – along the way, as you make your way from Hollywood to the Pacific Coast Highway.

Those who are into unique architecture will love taking a visit to the Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House. This, Wright’s first house in LA, was recently reopened to the public following a fairly extensive restoration – which evidently brought the residence back to how it appeared in the 1920s.

If you’re new to the LA area, or you just simply can’t get enough, then there are any number of ways that you can take in the view of the iconic Hollywood sign. This cool landmark can be viewed from near or afar. And if you’re looking to burn a few calories, be sure to put on your walking shoes and pick one of the many trails that leads you directly to it.


LA’s Game Plan for 2028 Olympics

As the now-official host of the 2028 Olympic Games, Los Angeles has a bit of time to prepare for the big event. Yet, in some ways, given the City of Angels former hosting status, there may not be a significant amount of planning to do. That’s because many of the buildings where various events will be taking place have already been built – and for those that aren’t, there is a fairly long time line with which to get things done.

Some of the key locations include:

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – An “old pro” with Olympic events, this venue has already hosted two such affairs – the first one back in 1932, and the other more recently in 1984. Here you will find the track and field competitions, as well as the closing ceremony.

Dedeaux Field and Galen Center – The current baseball stadium for USC will be temporarily turned into a swimming and diving space for the 2028 games, while the arena that typically holds volleyball and basketball competitions for the University will be home to the badminton events in ’28.

LA Stadium at Hollywood Park – Although not yet a physical structure, the future home of the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams football teams – which is anticipated to open in 2020 – will play host to the games’ opening ceremonies, as well as to the archery events.

As the time draws closer for LA’s next Olympic events, more details on scheduling will become available.


Summer Isn’t Over Yet! Here are Some of the Best Places to See in LA for Some Added Summer Fun

Ferndell Nature Trail

Not quite ready to say good-bye to summer yet?

The good news is, you don’t have to. There is plenty to do in the LA area that can keep the summer season going – which can be particularly enjoyable if you are a lover of nature and the great outdoors, while at the same time exploring the City of Angels.

For example, the Ferndell Trail offers a fern-lined nature trail where you can wind through the path, following a beautiful stream. And, if walking tends to make you hungry, the Trails Cafe – which features sandwiches, scones, and even homemade pies – is located directly along the route.

For those who hold an appreciation for the arts, a trip to the Barnsdall Art Park can offer a great way to spend the day. In addition to some of the most stunning views in all of LA, you can partake in the weekly Friday evening wine tasting that continues to take place through the end of September.

If listening to live music is more your thing, then be sure to check out the Hollywood Bowl, where there is literally no bad seat in the house. While listening to the tunes, evening concert-goers will also oftentimes have the added benefit of a nice cool breeze.

So, don’t bid farewell to summer quite yet – at least until you’ve had a chance to take in a just a few more must-do activities.


Living in San Fernando Valley – What’s Not to Love?

Just a tad north of the Los Angeles Basin sits one of California’s hidden gems, which lies picturesquely among mountains and rivers, and provides a long list of amenities for its nearly 1.8 million residents.

This quaint area has a rich history that dates back nearly 200 years. Today, what was at one time a land of ranches and farms is quickly becoming a vibrant center of commerce. And, while offering a nice quiet space away from the hustle and bustle of LA, the big city amenities are not too difficult to access.

For those who are lovers of nature, as well as have an interest in historic California architecture, there is no place better than the quaint small-town atmosphere of the San Fernando valley. Here you will find a plethora of well preserved homes and businesses, all set within the backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance.

If you’ve been considering a move to the Mission City, there is a wide array of home styles and settings to choose from. But finding the ideal residence can be as easy as working with a realtor who is focused in this area. Contact Us and we’ll arrange a private tour of the next place the you may be calling home.


Looking for Late Summer Fun in L.A.? There is Still Plenty to Be Had

While the booming July 4th fireworks displays may now be just a fleeting memory, these is still plenty of summer 2017 left to enjoy. And, with a weather report calling for some scorching days ahead, it may be time to head out and enjoy some of LA’s cooler hot spots to have some fun.

One key destination should include the Japanese Garden at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant. Here you’ll find a 6.5 acre oasis that features waterfalls, an arbor, and lots of green, leafy trees to provide you with shade.

You could also plan to paddle your way through Echo Park Lake. Initially a reservoir, this local fun spot has been home to recreation seekers for more than a century now. Check out the cool water from the boardwalk or the path that goes around the lake. And, after you’ve worked up an appetite paddling, enjoy lunch or a tasty treat at the cafe.

If you’re in more of a wine tasting mood, be sure to check out Malibu Wines. On the weekends here, you can listen to live music, while sipping on your favorite vino. You’re also free to pack a picnic and plan to stay awhile.


Take a Trip Back in Time to California’s Best Yesteryear Motels

You may or may not have a first-hand memory of traveling in the 1950s or 60s – a time when many families would pack up for their yearly vacation, and stay at roadside motels. Unlike today, where you see the same-looking franchised hotels and motels in nearly every town along your route, these one-of-a-kind inns were unique, colorful, and in some cases, they themselves were the actual destination.

While there are only a few of these smaller, oftentimes themed, time capsules remaining, you can find them along California’s west coast – and not only do they make for good sight-seeing, but many of them are still a great place to settle in for the night.

For instance, the Ambassador Motor Lodge in South Lake Tahoe still looks amazingly like it did 50 years ago – starting with its eye-catching sign out front. This cool motel also offers a pool for cooling off, and it’s within easy walking distance to several casinos and the beach.

Speaking of casinos, the Stardust Lodge – also situated in the South Lake Tahoe locale – opened soon after the iconic Stardust Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in the late 1950s. With a similarly shaped sign to catch travelers’ attention, this lodge offers reasonably priced rooms, and is close enough to stroll to Stateline.

For more details on these and other retro destinations, check out Heather David’s book, “Motel California,” which is due out in mid-summer,


Make Way for Metro’s Smart Phone Fare Payment System

Gone are the days – well, almost – of having to rustle around and find a subway token, or even of making sure you have your TAP card ride pass. That’s because soon, everyone will be able to easily pay their Metro fare using a smart phone.

Recently, the Los Angeles transit agency started to set the ball in motion for the creation of software that will put the transportation era in Southern California into the modern age. As it now stands, the plan is for the development of a cloud based connection system known as Nextlink, which will essentially link up the current TAP fare infrastructure to a convenient mobile payment app.

This being the case, it may not be too long before TAP cards are no longer in existence at all, as riders will be able to easily use a TAP card that is “virtual” for paying fares directly from their mobile devices.

Just as with any of the other countless venues that now allow payment via phone, it was only a matter of time before the L.A. rapid transit system went digital. The estimated time frame for this switchover is roughly 7 to 9 months after the start of the app’s development.


2024 Olympics – A Golden Opportunity for LA

With its bid firmly in place for hosting the 2024 Olympics, artists’ renderings have begun to be presented which detail various sites around Los Angeles where the events would likely take place.

There are numerous potential venues, which offer ample space for the Olympians to perform, including a space for water polo, handball, marathon swimming, and sailing, as well as for the famed triathlon.

In addition, there will also be a long list of items on tap for spectators of the games. These include seating and food venues for both ticketed viewers, as well as other curious patrons. Presently, there are four sports parks in the plan, which are located in Downtown Los Angeles, as well as in Long Beach, Carson, and in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation area.

While preparing for the 2024 event would require a long list of construction projects – for both indoor and outdoor events – in a number of distinct areas around the city, should the City of Angels win the opportunity to play host to the Olympic games, none of the structures that are created would be permanent.

So, once the games are completed, the temporary venues can be easily dismantled – which in turn, can help Los Angeles to sidestep the financial loss that has been a sore spot for numerous past hosts of the games.

Currently, LA is one of only two cities that are still left in the running, with the other competitor being Paris. And, while the International Olympic Committee will not decide the winner until this coming September, there have been hints that the losing city for 2024 may be awarded the following games in 2028.


Explore Some of the Top Family Friendly Spots in LA

With the approach of summer nearly upon us, there is no need for parents to dread the ensuing months. In fact, there is a long list of family friendly hotspots in and around the LA area that can be ideal places for fun, education, and exploration with kids.

So, where should you begin?

One good place to start is at the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre. This long standing LA tradition has been in operation for more than 50 years. Now known as the oldest ongoing puppet theatre in the United States, there is a wide range of topics that you can choose from.

If your kids are into adventure, as well as possibly learning a thing or two, there is also a long list of exhibits to be seen and experienced at the California Science Center. You can check out numerous attractions, including a real NASA shuttle. Or, for a show that will literally put your in its midst, there is the famed IMAX theatre.

Prefer more of an outdoorsy event? Then be sure that you head over to Descanso Gardens. Here you will find plenty of space amidst trees, flowers, and even some lily ponds, for the kids to roam. The Gardens also have story time every day, as well as summertime concerts for the whole family to enjoy.


Spring Is In The Air

With January and February now just a memory, and spring officially in the air, Southern California is rife with beautiful, blooming wildflowers that are unlike any that have been seen in over a decade in this area – and there’s no better place to take in the explosive growth than at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

If you’re looking for a place to capture some fantastic photos, or to just take a nice, colorful stroll, the fields of bright, scented flowers may be a great place to do so over the next couple of weeks. With the “rolling bloom” of the wildflowers this year, different things will be coming into bloom at different times, depending on the area, elevation, and species.

Not sure exactly how long these sights (and scents) will last – or what the traffic heading to and from the park may be like? Before you head out, you can take a look at the wildflower updates page on the Anza-Borrego Desert State Parks’ website by going to: You can also pick up a free flower map in the park’s Nature Center, which is located at 652 Palm Canyon Drive.

The park’s website information and flower maps are updated on a daily basis, as reports come in. And, to take part in the Borrego Desert Garden Tour, you can easily purchase your tickets online, too.