Travelogue: Los Angeles 2024, Day 3 – Admiring the hustle

Whenever I go to LA, I never miss a chance to head to Santa Monica. This time around, I went with my old buddy Lorin and went to the Original Muscle Beach for some stupid human tricks.

Combined, we’re 100 years old!

The next day, we woke up pretty early and headed out to Santa Monica.

The Firecracker’s kid is obsessed with trains and wanted pictures/videos of the LA metro system so, for the first time in my life, I took the Los Angeles Subway.

We got onto the Wilshire/Western Station and tried to pay with a TAP card that we bought but it didn’t work so I jumped the turnstile.

Me: Never thought I’d be jumping turnstiles at 51.
Her: Just don’t get arrested!
Me: Well, we paid for the fare, the reader just couldn’t read it.

I don’t feel guilty about it because of that.

The station itself was a ghost town. The Firecracker was decidedly less enthused than her son woulda been.

Her: Well, I took pictures and video. We can just go back up and take an Uber.
Me: We’re in it. We might as well head out to Santa Monica on this.
Her: OK, well, if nothing else, we’re saving a ton, and you can get some writing done.
Me: This is very true.

So, we did.

It was pretty quick, but also much less trafficked than what we were used to back home in NYC.

Me: I think LA people are self-selecting, which is why no one uses the subway here.
Her: How so?
Me: I assume most people that decide to live in LA love the sun and outdoors, which is why they come here. Well, these types of people are probably not keen on traveling around underground and away from the sun.

It was actually a pretty quick trip to Santa Monica, where we checked into our hotel, Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica.

The room was nice; we splurged for it since we spent two nights with my bro.

Me: The shampoo is peppermint, the conditioner is cilantro, and the body wash is sage.
Her: Great, you’ll smell like a salad.
Me: Luckily, that’s precisely what I was going for.

Once we got there, my good buddy Lorin – from whom I got the name of the character for 72nd to Canal – swung by to pick us up.

I’d last gone to Versailles Cuban like two decades ago with my buddies Francis and Cindy.

Wanted the Firecracker to try the food there, so off we went.

Unfortunately, there was a massive bike ride for earth day, so we had to spend quite a while trying to find parking et al, eventually cutting through a street fair…

…before we were finally able to eat.

The food was just as delicious as I remembered it.

Gotta remember to go to things again before decades go by.

Afterward, Lorin drove us to the Original Muscle Beach at Santa Monica because he’s a former acrobat and still keeps his skills sharp, despite pushing 50, like me.

Me: Can we watch you do some acrobatics?
Him: You two are gonna do some with me!

He wasn’t lying.

Me: Combined, we’re 100 years old! I think we look great, all things considered.
Firecracker: You’re the tower of old!
Me: Thanks.

Afterward, we went to walk the pier but not before watching the cops arrest a fella for selling BBQ outta a supermarket cart without a license.

Me: If nuthin else, you gotta admire the hustle.
Her: Very true.

After we watched that for a bit, we made our way to the pier…

…where we saw a fella banging out some Louis Armstrong and Prince…

…and made another furry friend…

…who seems to have seen better days.

But it was cloudy and overcast…

…so, we walked over to the Promenade where we saw someone driving on the street in a boat.

We walked to a bar where we grabbed a quick drink, or three…

…and checked out the Promenade, including watching some buskers (see, more hustle)…

…and meeting my mannequin doppelganger…

…before heading back to the beaches of Santa Monica to meet up with my buddy Paul, his wife, and their kids.

Him: You know, I think I have the single worst nickname out of your blog.
Me: It wasn’t my best work, no.
Firecracker: He tries.

I feel we look pretty close to how we looked almost exactly a decade ago.

After that, very full day, we were looking forward to heading home.

I was trying to fix something on the camera when the Firecracker accidentally hit the shutter button.

Location: A NYC playground surrounded by kids and pigeons. Not sure which I find more taxing.
Mood: caffeinated
Music: How I hate to spend the evening on my own (Spotify)
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3 replies on “Travelogue: Los Angeles 2024, Day 3 – Admiring the hustle”

Cindy and Francis as in Roger’s sister? One of these days I hope you’ll make it to orange cty and break some bread with me!

Yup, I haven’t seen Cindy nor Francis in ages! I think he’s still out west and she’s here.

And for sure! Or lemme know when you’re in town next.

I think I saw them last bowling in NYC in the early 2000’s!

Planning a trip in June for my dad’s one year memorial but let’s see how much time I have this trip.

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