LA Landmarks

One of the nice things about moving to a new city is that you can be a tourist at first. So once I got settled, I figured I’d get to know my new hometown so I could start to fit in a little better (or at least fake it for my East Coast friends when they come visit). Oh sure, I saw the Hollywood sign and the Walk of Fame and the La Brea Tar Pits, but there’s also a bunch of other stuff to visit. So here are a few places this LA newbie can recommend.

Griffith Observatory
This place has been around since 1935 and sits on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood; the view of LA below is second-to-none. It’s THE place to see stars, and I don’t mean the ones that end up in the tabloids.

Dodgers Stadium
Okay okay, I know if you’re reading this blog you’re familiar with this ballpark, but I have to put in a plug–did you know we have tours? The friendly guides will take you through restricted areas for a behind-the-scenes look at one of the game’s most notable stadiums. Come over and say hi if I’m around while you’re here.

The Original Farmers Market
Sample cuisine from all over the world, take home an international souvenir or two, and hang around for the special events that always seem to be taking place.

And then there’s the food; you could eat every meal there for a week and never have the same dish twice. But you won’t find much stuff like the pretzel or Italian ice stands I’m used to frequenting back in NYC. Squid salad? Uh, no thanks, pal.

LA County Arboretum/Botanical Garden
Remember “Fantasy Island”? Who doesn’t, right? You’ll see the Queen Anne Mansion from the series at this urban oasis. And in general, it’s a pretty place to visit. That’s all I’ve got for this one–I’m more of a city fella.

Skeletons in the Closet
The LA County Coroner’s office has a gift shop (no, I’m not kidding). You can buy coroner-themed t-shirts, mugs, corpse-shaped Post-It notes and even toe-tag key chains. I filed this under “I just don’t get it,” but that didn’t stop me from buying a chalk-outlined mousepad for my office.

I guess if there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s that it’s never too early–or too late–to get to know your town. I mean, I lived in New York forever, and now that I live across the country, I wish I would’ve gone sightseeing a little more often. Well, there’s always the away games against the Mets. Think I’ll start with the Statue of Liberty.

See more of Joe’s L.A. adventures at


  1. Phillyace

    well how does it feel knowing the team you just left (NY) will likely get left out of the playoffs, while your Dodgers have a good chance at getting in? must feel pretty good.



    I am 59-years-old and attended my first Dodger game in May, 1959. It was Roy Campanella Night at the L.A. Coliseum. I had my transistor radio plastered against my ear (along with 70,000 other people) so I could hear Vinny loud and clear. I have been a Dodger fan ever since! I must admit that when Tommy retired as manager and Scioscia was passed over like raw liver, some of my enthusiasm had perished. But, with you now being the skipper, I am back spending lots of money at the stadium and loving every minute of it! Thanks for signing with the club. The next homestand, “I am so there!”

    Jerry the old guy


    Hey Joe To say it hasnt been the same without you here in NYC is an understatement I havent watched or listened to a Yankee game,,,all the hats and stuffed have been given to charity and I found myself feeling real good watching Girardi’s slide into oblivian On the other hand I know watch LAs boxscores every day and wish you and the team much luck in the postseason You are the greatest leader and I hope the LA fans know what they have in you…..they are the luckiest fans in baseball Im going to be in LA for the first time on the 27 and 28th of the month…..hope to take home some Dodger memorabilia
    Rick ( now a LA and Met fan )

  4. amyw27

    Joe- I love visiting all those places in LA. My mom and I do one LA cultural thing every Christmas together and last year was the Observatory. We’ve done the LA Zoo, The Ghetty, etc. I wounder what we will pick this year.
    I am glad to see a winning Dodger team. I am so proud of this team for developing themselves as players and never giving up on the postseason goal. Let’s finish out this homestand in first and I will see you for the very last regular season homestand.
    Go Dodgers!!!

  5. blueeyedgal

    Welcome to the internets, Joe, where anyone with a keyboard can speak what’s on their mind, even if they don’t have one!

    I moved here from back east 12 years ago. You’ll miss the fall — not that you ever saw much of it anyway, playing in October — soft pretzels, and public transportation, but I hope you’re feeling at home now. It’s another planet, Joe. I knew that as soon as I saw birds of paradise (those weird ginormous flowers that look like they’re going to eat you) in the median strips outside the airport. And, yes, the things they put on salad. Haven’t tried the squid. Sashimi’s better than you’d think, though.

    Have fun. Keep our guys as healthy as you can… and good luck with October!

    We may all be stuck in traffic trying to get to the stadium (and in concession stand lines trying to get our Dodger dogs before the 3rd inning) but we’re with ya, I promise! Go Blue.


    I just discovered your blog today, but I’ll be a regular visitor.

    Although I’m a lifelong Cardinals fan, I’ve followed the Dodgers more closely this year than I have the Cardinals. The reason for that is that I’m from Sikeston MO and have know Blake Dewitt since he was born. It’s been fun watching you and Blake and the whole team play this year.

    Best wishes to you and the team in your playoff run.


    I just discovered your blog today, but I’ll be a regular visitor.

    Although I’m a lifelong Cardinals fan, I’ve followed the Dodgers more closely this year than I have the Cardinals. The reason for that is that I’m from Sikeston MO and have know Blake Dewitt since he was born. It’s been fun watching you and Blake and the whole team play this year.

    Best wishes to you and the team in your playoff run.


    Hi Joe,

    Boy oh boy, do I miss you. I was a Mets fan for many years and then when you took over the Yankees I became a Yankee fan. It made me so angry the way that they treated you after all you did for them that I said that I hope that the Yankees don’t make it to the post season and that the Dodgers win the World Series. Well, it looks like the Yankees are history this year and you and the Dodgers are on your way to the post season. You are a class act all the way Joe, and I’m happy that it all worked out for you. The Yankees got a little too greedy and didn’t appreciate what they had. Oh well, I guess you reap what you sow and good old Hal is finding that out the hard way. The Yankee powers that be will have a long off season to think about the mistakes they made.
    Best of luck in the post season and I?ll be rooting for you to go all the way!


    So happy to have found your blog! My husband became a life-long Yankee fan during the Mickey Mantle era, while I grew up Dodger blue and smitten with Steves Yeager and Garvey. Currently, we’re in the Red Bird territory of Saint Louis, just like you once were. We’re big Torre fans since you represent a cross-section of our three worlds.
    Whenever in LA, we catch a game at Dodger Stadium, one of the most classically perfect stadiums ever built. Hopefully, what I read in a recent Dodger program is true and they won’t tear that stadium down. Nothing beats watching a Torre game surrounded by California mid-century modern architecture, while silhouetted palm trees sway in ocean breezes and downtown lights sparkle in the distance.

    As we sadly watched final ceremonies at Yankee Stadium last night, we were happy to know that you’re on the opposite coast and likely on your way to the post season. How about a blog entry on your favorite Yankee Stadium moments? And perhaps you could spare a memory or two from your Saint Louis days in another stadium that shouldn’t have been torn down? …Take care…

  10. luvthatjaz

    Hello Joe…I still can’t believe you’re with the Dodgers!!! I’m still so excited about that! I was never really a big yankee fan…but I always thought you were an intelligent man (of course you still are!) I’m still oh so excited about the Dodgers being in the playoffs! All thanks to you…and of course the players! Good Luck..



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