This would be a "dollar movie theatre" in the rest of the country (major metropolitan areas excluded), but in L.A. it's a steal at 6 bucks. The screens are small, and often off-center and, sometimes, the theatres aren't cleaned out between movie showings. Still, this is a great place to catch those art films that you hadn't gotten a chance to see during their limited release.
PROS: Great film selection, discount price
CONS: Small screens, poor sound quality
This museum is housed in a gorgeous building in Exposition Park. They have a sizable collection in their regular exhibits and frequently alter their special exhibits to make repeat attendees entertained.
The childrens' area is remarkable. They have a two story room the size of a basketball court filled with interactive exhibits and toys that kids can touch and enjoy. Their friendly staff also hosts frequent activities (animal encounters, etc.) that children can enjoy.
Memberships are very reasonably priced. The place is awash with kids on the weekends. You could spend a day there, or use it as a point of departure for the many other museums in Exposition Park.
PROS: Excellent facility. Kid friendly.
As zoos go, the Los Angeles zoo isn't anything to write home about. You have to walk half a mile uphill before you see an animal (a mile if you want to see a mammal).
There are, however signs of improvement. While it doesn't do much for the current visitors, about half of the zoo is under construction. The newly refurbished entrance is a great improvement and hopefully a sign of greater things to come.
On the positive side, they have a variety of family friendly programming. There are usually lots of programs & animal encounters on the weekends. Their memberships are relatively inexpensive.
Half Price Books is a chain of bookstores featuring used books and some new (usually publishing surplus).
This particular store is the flagship store for the chain. While the inventory at any individual store may vary, this store has a remarkable selection of used books in virtually any category. And it doesn't stop at books. They have an immense selection of used vinyl records.
And their prices are unbeatable. Any bibliophile could easily spend a day or two browsing in this store.
PROS: Huge selection. Fantastic prices.
In charming Wrigleyville, this bookstore has reasonable prices on its fine collection of used books. In addition to a fair stock of classic fiction, they have a pretty good amount of non-fiction (philosophy, psychology, history).
They also have a decent collection of records, particularly jazz & classical (both vinyl and CD).
While it's not a warehouse of books & records, it has an impressive amount & quality given the small size of the store.
PROS: nice selection, helpful staff
CONS: Small store - no parking.
Nu Way is a dependable dry cleaner with prices lower than nearby competitors in this Glendale neighborhood. The management is always responsive and takes care of any issues completely when they occasionally arise.
They have taken care of a number of unusual laundry problems that I've had.
CONS: sometimes they take too long.
I've made two major jewelry purchases here, both for my wife. First, her engagment ring, which was a very unique, antique-style ring. A few years later I went back and asked them to custom design a complementary wedding band. Incredible work. I can't recommend them enough.
These recently renovated apartments (I lived there pre and post renovations) are in a very nice, quiet neighborhood in Burbank near Toluca Lake and Warner Brothers studios, walking distance to video store, bank, grocery store, coffeeshop, etc. They are very clean, very secure, but not quite nice enough for their near-luxury prices.
This is great 4-star hotel in Times Square. This is the perfect location if you plan on being in New York and seeing Broadway shows, everything is within walking distance. Rooms are very nice. We had a great view from an upper floor. They also have a very cool martini bar with huge windows and great views. I recommend coming here, even if you're not a guest of the hotel, for post-show drinks.
I hate the process of buying cars. At Honda Pasadena I experienced my first positive car-buying experience. The key I think was using their internet sales program. We negotiated everything via email and received a quote. By the time we went into the dealership, the deal was done: no negotiations, none of the "let me bring my manager in" nonsense. Easy! I'll buy my next Honda there.