Tag Archives: historic

5 Great Places to go if You Love Nature but not Hiking

By Stephanie Wicburg

I personally am someone who loves nature. Whether it be pristine rose bushes or a nice area of grass, I love seeing the color green in my environment. However, unlike most people, while I enjoy nature, I don’t typically enjoy hiking. Therefore, if you’re like me, and want to enjoy nature without all the extra effort, check out these 5 places around Los Angeles which give you both the beauty of nature and peace of mind.

1. Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens

Photo by InSapphoWeTrust on Flickr

At this amazing hidden beauty, take the opportunity to visit yourself. You can unwind your mind walking the labyrinth, reflect in the meditation gardens, and tour the historic mansion. Given all the stress we face as students with midterms, papers, and finals, the Tranquility Garden lets you tap into the peace that nature presents and leave recharged! 

2. Kyoto Gardens (Double Tree by Hilton)

Photo by Maggie Mbroh on Flickr

The idyllic Kyoto Gardens are located in Little Tokyo, and features a lush sanctuary on its rooftop. Spanning a half-acre of manicured greenery, cascading waterfalls and tranquil ponds, the garden is a meticulous recreation of an ancient Japanese Garden in Tokyo that was originally established for the 16th century samurai lord Kiyomasa Kato. One of L.A.’s most popular event and wedding venues, Kyoto Gardens also features the outdoor Upper and Lower Terraces, as well as the Thousand Cranes room, which boasts stunning views of the garden and skyline. A beautiful place to go and enjoy both the city and nature.

3. Huntington Gardens

Photo by SmartDestinations on Flickr

The Huntington Library and Gardens is one of my personal favorites. The Botanical Gardens at the Huntington Library feature thirteen stunning themed gardens just outside Pasadena. The gardens include rare and exotic plants from around the world as well as California natives. You can easily spend all day in any one of the themed areas, such as the Japanese Garden or the Rose Garden. 

4. The Japanese Garden – Suiho En

Photo by timwinter79 on Flickr

Suiho En (“Garden of Water and Fragrance”) is a 6.5-acre authentic Japanese garden fashioned after “stroll gardens” constructed during the 18th and 19th centuries for Japanese Feudal lords. This San Fernando Valley hidden gem was created by Dr. Koichi Kawana to provide beauty, relaxation, inspiration and a better understanding of Japanese culture using reclaimed water. A stunning place to go for tranquility and to enjoy the beauties of nature.

 5. The Getty Villa and the Getty Center

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The manicured gardens at the Getty Center campus feature zigzagging walkways, a stone waterfall, and a floating maze of azaleas are surrounded by a variety of seasonal plants. However, I personally prefer the Getty Villa, which has gardens that are both beautiful and functional modeled after what existed in ancient Roman villas. The villa has four gardens that serve to blend Roman architecture with the open space planted with 300 varieties of Mediterranean plants. Stroll the gardens at either location at your leisure or take a guided tour.

Featured image by SmartDestinations on Flickr

Stephanie is a junior studying International Relations Global Business, and is a member of Thematic Options. She is from San Diego, California, and enjoys music of a large variety, reading, and watching various TV shows. Stephanie has always had an interest in languages and cultures, and is slowly learning Korean and Japanese.  Stephanie thoroughly enjoys traveling, and looks forward to opportunities to travel abroad later in her educational career.  She loves talking to people and learning about other people’s backgrounds as well as discussing a wide variety of topics.

Home of the French Dip Sandwich

By Kurt Ibaraki

While spending some time looking for something to watch, I stumbled across an episode of Man vs. Food; this one happened to take place in Los Angeles. As I watched Adam Richman enter his first location, he reminded me of a restaurant from my childhood. Back when I used to live in Montebello, California, I played for a youth basketball team. Our games would be played in various parts of Los Angeles so my family and I would go eat at various restaurants afterwards. While I fondly remember those days, one memory stands out more than the others. That memory was when we visited a place called Philippe the Original on the corner of Alameda Street and Ord Street.

Known as one of the oldest restaurants in Southern California, Philippe the Original’s specialty item is the French Dip sandwich. The French dip consists of meats such as pork, chicken, beef, or even lamb, served on a French roll that has been dipped in au jus sauce, or drippings of the cooked meat. The restaurant is named after its owner Philippe Mathieu, who is said to have created the French dip. Legend has it that Philippe was serving a policeman when he accidently dropped the roll into a pan of beef drippings. The police officer took the roll anyways and it became a hit. In addition to the French dip, Philippe the Original has an assortment of other delicious food, such as breakfast items, potato salad, chili, soups, pies, and cakes.

Over the weekend, I decided to revisit Philippe the Original. With my roommate and his visiting cousins, we went down to Alameda Street around 5 p.m. to get our hands on these sandwiches. When we walked in, the first thing we saw was the unorthodox way of ordering. There were about ten lines throughout the entire restaurant, separated by dining tables. The lines were long, as the customers waited for their food at the register. We waited for about 50 minutes just to get to the front. When we got to the front, we ordered pork and beef French dips, with a side of chili and potato salad. Philippe the Original has three levels of au jus servings, single dip, double dip, and wet, so everyone can get their perfect sandwich. We all got the double dip.

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Bridging Old and New

By Zachary Cantrell

Earlier this month, I closed my first professional show in Los Angeles with Downtown Repertory Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Though one of The Bard’s most treasured comedies, this production was far from typical. In an attempt to bring the story to a modern audience we decided to contemporize it, setting it in an Orange County luxury resort called The Messina.

And what better place to put on this show than Olvera Street?

Photo by Kevin Stanchfield on Flickr

Also referred to as El Pueblo De Los Angeles, Olvera Street is considered the birthplace of the City of Angels. It is a place
that seems simultaneously frozen in time and humming with everyday modern Los Angeles activity. I did not know what to make of it. Business men and women bustle to and from Union Station (located across the street), and tourists snap pictures of themselves on the back of a painted stone donkey, while local families salsa dance in the square. On this tiny street, all walks of life mix and weave among each other, creating a bizarre collage of Los Angeles life.

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