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Old 10-06-2014, 09:09 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,924 posts, read 52,321,990 times
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^^^ To all: I am out of town, but I am reading your posts, and I am grateful for all suggestions and tips! I will reply when I am back. Thank you!
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Corona del Mar & Coronado, CA
1,582 posts, read 1,136,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydlee View Post
No. Both terms are not commonly used.

From Rafu Shimpo's webpage:

"The Rafu Shimpo has been the nation's leading Japanese American newspaper since its original publication. We are proud to have served the Japanese American community from our Little Tokyo office in Downtown Los Angeles since 1903."

The area has been called Little Tokyo since at least 1905 when the LA Times first described the boundaries.

While there has been a push on recently for the "J-town" from some people who think it sounds hipper and edgier, you will get blank stares from most Angelenos if you ask for J-town vs Little Tokyo.
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
555 posts, read 577,244 times
Reputation: 1169
Default Little Tokyo is also J-town

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimTheEnchanter View Post
No. Both terms are not commonly used.

From Rafu Shimpo's webpage:

"The Rafu Shimpo has been the nation's leading Japanese American newspaper since its original publication. We are proud to have served the Japanese American community from our Little Tokyo office in Downtown Los Angeles since 1903."

The area has been called Little Tokyo since at least 1905 when the LA Times first described the boundaries.

While there has been a push on recently for the "J-town" from some people who think it sounds hipper and edgier, you will get blank stares from most Angelenos if you ask for J-town vs Little Tokyo.
As I said before, an area can be called more than one name. Your Rafu Shimpo quote includes the term "Little Tokyo," but nowhere does it refute the use of "J-town" to describe the same area. That's like quoting the Los Angeles Times as describing itself as the premier newspaper for "Los Angeles" and then using that quote to support some erroneous claim that "L.A" therefore is not a commonly used term to describe the city.

In fact, the Rafu Shimpo newspaper uses "J-town" to refer to Little Tokyo quite often in its headlines, such as the two I quoted in my previous post. It's quite interesting you completely ignored this. Here are some Rafu Shimpo headlines, since you apparently trust it enough to quote it as a source of info:

Dodgertown Comes to J-Town
http://www.rafu.com/2014/04/dodgertown-comes-to-j-town/
J-Town Goes 'Old Skool'
http://www.rafu.com/2009/08/j-town-g...kool%E2%80%99/
Get Down in J-Town this Saturday
http://www.rafu.com/2013/09/get-down...this-saturday/

Also, notice how local groups also use both Little Tokyo and J-town? Shocking, I know.
J-Town's 130th Birthday Bash - Little Tokyo Historical Society

Here's a very interesting story about the area's history. It's titled, "GRATEFUL CRANE TELLS STORY OF BRONZEVILLE IN ‘J-TOWN JAZZ CLUB’"
http://www.rafu.com/2013/10/102860/

OP asked for information about LA and specifically used the term "J-town" in one of OP's followup posts. I was simply responding to that post.

The term "J-town" has nothing to do with any "recent push" to make the area sound hipper. Plenty of people in LA -- especially Japanese Americans and other Asian Americans who have been engaged with this neighborhood for generations -- have called the place both J-town and Little Tokyo for decades.

If you don't believe me, call any of the local organizations that serve the neighborhood and Southern California's Japanese American population and ask if J-town is the same as Little Tokyo. Call the Koban on First Street, call the Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo Service Center, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, East West Players, and Visual Communications. Call every church and temple in the neighborhood. These folks have been in town for a long time, long before J-town became what it is today. Ask them.

I'm sorry the fact that this neighborhood has been called both Little Tokyo and J-town for decades offends you so. Go ahead and call it Little Tokyo if that's what you prefer; that's fine. But don't try to rewrite history. And don't insist everyone call the place what you call it. Because Little Tokyo is also J-town.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:32 PM
 
822 posts, read 931,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydlee View Post
I concur with Sydlee on the use of J-town. It's not out of the norm for Angelenos to also call Little Tokyo J- town. Maybe its more commonly used by Asians or people who frequently visit the place than your typical Anglo who sees the place as exotic and a possible replica of anytown in Japan when its uniquely American instead. In fact, Koreans run most of the shops nowadays there according to my real estate contacts. Did you folks know during WW2, J-town was a majority African-American neighborhood?
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:45 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,924 posts, read 52,321,990 times
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I am back and happy to see even more posts, with more tips!
I will check all of them and add to my "need to see" list.
Thank you, guys! So appreciated!
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Cali
3,887 posts, read 6,027,001 times
Reputation: 2201
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
I am back and happy to see even more posts, with more tips!
I will check all of them and add to my "need to see" list.
Thank you, guys! So appreciated!
Welcome Back!
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Prince George's County, Maryland
6,212 posts, read 7,089,861 times
Reputation: 2581
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
You guys are AWESOME!!! Thank you!!!
Started my list and printed a map - I am getting really excited!

I got everything written down. Bike is an option, if car wouldn't do (but car is faster, and I don't have much time). I will be busy 3-4 hrs a day on Thursday, Friday and Monday. Flex hours, so I can avoid rush hours. Have whole weekend off.

@mnita - thank you for the restaurants suggestions! Olvera Street will be checked, Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, Hollywood, some mountain scenic too (have to check the map). Maybe trip to Catalina.

How is Chinatown? What about other neighborhoods? OK - K-Town! Thanks @jamills21!!
Instead of Waze, I am using Trapster, but will try to stay of the freeways at rush hours. Got used to bad traffic here in Houston However, don't want to waste my time and sit in traffic.

@nightlysparrow - Venice Boardwalk and sunset - YAY!!

@jw2 - Getty and Huntington - YES!!

@DriveNotCommute - skip Chinatown, go to San Gabriel Valley? OK! "Din Tai Fung Dumpling House" - will take pix what I ate!
Thank you for the warning about Hollywood sign! Will Google and check the map. Noted the libraries.
Special thanks for the Spanish inspired architecture location, the JapanTown, and the Art District.
Will also check the Grand Central Market and the Bradbury Building!

@sydlee - Union Station, Phillipe's, Cole's and others! Wow, so many great suggestions! Love food - I will be sampling everything. Don't have any specific wishes, everything will be different than here in TX! Yes, I want good ethnic food (not for tourists!) - plenty of Mexican here, but the others sounds really exciting. Looks like I will spend some time in SGV I see you know that stuff!~ You know the history!
Is J-Town more interesting than Chinatown? I was in Chinatown in Chicago and SF. Never in J-Town. Will definitely check Little Tokyo. Hope to find it all on the map! Probably need to find a better map - map of neighborhoods.
Need to read about the history to get a better feel, and understanding.
Walking? Yes!! I need to! Otherwise I will be rolling - after sampling all the great food!

@Statz2k10 - everything noted! Heck, I need a bigger map!

Now I need to sort it, and group, to move subsequently from one area to the next.
Five days! I don't think I am going to sleep!

Thanks everyone for the great input! Post some more!
While in Venice, check out Abbot Kinney and get your camera out for the canals
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
752 posts, read 601,549 times
Reputation: 1188
A few more ideas came to mind.

Pasadena itself could be a quick destination with a handful of items of interest. It was mentioned earlier in the thread but with few details.

I think of Pasadena as having a high concentration of art but it has also recently gained a reputation as being one of the centers of tech startups in SoCal. Santa Monica happens to be better known as a tech hub thanks to newspaper headlines talking about "Silicon Beach." To my knowledge, neither is a larger tech cluster than the SF Bay Area even if combined.

Sydlee mentioned great views from the Colorado Street Bridge earlier in the thread. If you go east of that, you will find the Norton Simon art museum which, honestly, I only really know from seeing it every year as the place where all of the TV stations like to camp out to film the Rose Parade on New Year's day.

A bit further east of that, across the freeway, is Old Town Pasadena. It's a nice place for food, shopping and atmosphere. There's a "Slater's 50/50" location near by; the original restaurant was infamous for its artery-clogging burgers comprised of 50% beef, 50% bacon.

Pasadena City Hall would be a couple of blocks north-east of Old Town's core. A Beaux Arts monument recalling Spanish architecture, it's a nice building if you can spare the time to see it.

Scrolling back a bit to the Norton Simon museum, if you go north there is the Gamble House, as in Proctor & Gamble. It seems to be famous as a prime example of an Arts & Crafts style building and was featured as the exterior of Doc Brown's house in the Back to the Future movies.

A little further to the north east, at 645 Prospect Crescent, is the Millard House by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is private property but if you're a fan you could drive by and take a look.

Miscellaneous, non-Pasadena:

The Ennis House by Frank Lloyd Wright is in the hills above Hollywood. They used to have tours of the place but I'm not sure what's going on now. It is currently privately owned because the foundation that previously owned it could not afford the upkeep. It's a little out of the way and on a tricky, narrow road but it's an option if you're into Frank Lloyd Wright.

There are probably other FLW houses around LA but I don't know much about them; the couple that I listed are the most famous.

Maybe drive through the Sunset Strip on Sunset Blvd. I can't comment much about it or the past history and glitz though. May be more interesting to see at night. Driving too far along all of Sunset Blvd would literally take you across half of LA and would probably take too much time for very little return: You would see a good sample of the glamor and grit that you'd find all over LA but I assume you would want to focus on more interesting things. You can literally drive all the way into Malibu on this road but it is a long, windy, bumpy ride west of the 405.

Expo Park area, you can get here by train on the Expo Line. USC is located here as well as a cluster of museums, including the one that houses Space Shuttle Endeavour. The LA Memorial Colisseum here was used in the 1984 and 1932 Olympics. Don't wander into the city away from the museums, stadium and campus as many of the neighborhoods there are dangerous, especially to the south.

Randy's Donuts, off of Manchester Ave and next to the 405 freeway, NE of LAX is a pretty famous landmark. It has a kitschy giant donut over the building and has appeared in a number of movies, but I'd wager it's more famous as stock photos and footage used in ads. Can't comment on the donuts themselves as I never tried them despite driving by every day for a while.

Local food chains popular enough to have expanded to many locations:

Tender Greens - Emphasis is on fresh, locally sourced food.

Urth Caffe - Los Angeles area organic coffee and tea.

King Taco - Especially well known for their hot sauce. I heard that pro athletes and rappers contributed a lot to its popularity.

Kogi - Korean-taco truck that was one of the biggest, earliest names that contributed to the current food truck craze.

Umami Burger - Fancy burgers in a casual setting. Like everything else popular, people debate about the price and whether it is overrated or not.

Pinkberry - If you can find any of these, think of it as the yogurt that rekindled the current expansion in the popularity of frozen yogurt, back around 2006 or so. Unlike other popular places, this one seems to now be universally regarded as too expensive and overrated. This chain boomed like a supernova, then imploded as fast as a neutron star collapsing into a black hole. I'm mentioning it here as a local curiosity if you spot one somewhere and feel like finding out what hype tastes like.

Yogurtland - Supplanted Pinkberry as the largest frozen yogurt chain in SoCal, as far as I know. Reasonably priced, decent quality, interesting flavors.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:57 AM
 
822 posts, read 931,594 times
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You need to stop by the Pantry near Staples Center for a steak or pork chops or breakfast No visit to El A is complete without going there. Make sure you order the hash browns as a side. And its open 24/7 so you can go anytime.
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Old 10-18-2014, 12:26 PM
 
1,727 posts, read 5,961,305 times
Reputation: 1535
Wow. Only one mention of the South Bay. If your visit only includes places north of the 10fwy, you'll miss a lot of great LA areas. Start a day with breakfast at Wendy's in El Segundo or The Kettle in Manhattan Beach. Rent a bike and take a Strand ride through Hermosa, Redondo all the way down to Torrance. Pick a place on your way back for lunch.

Then hop back in your car and take Sepulveda down to Palos Verdes Blvd then to PV Drive west. From there you can traverse the entire PV peninsula with views from Malibu to Catalina. Head to the top of "The Hill" for panoramic views of the LA Basin. Then take the Vincent Thomas Bridge and head on over to Long Beach to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific. You'll find great places for dinner on Pine Ave. Or head back the way you came and enjoy the dinner views from The Admiral Risty restaurant at PV Dr. and Hawthorne Blvd.

It'll take a full day, but you'll drive back to your hotel wishing you had a few more days to truly see the area.
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