Rose Parade

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Adventures in City Walk

First, the bad news: Gladstone's is being replaced by Bubba Gump Shrimp. The only person I've ever known who has eaten at Bubba Gump's is my dad and he said it was terrible. They're selling the name not the food, but since City Walk draws tourists Bubba Gump is more likely to succeed than Gladstone's. Having eaten at the Gladstone's on PCH, I guess City Walk (as much as I love it) just isn't the right venue for it. But still, made me sad. In case you're interested, Bubba Gump is currently under construction/remodeling for a summer opening. The Team L.A. store hardly had anything for the Kings - I was looking for a license plate frame to replace the one popped off my car a few years back when I was involved in a chain reaction rear-ending. Now that they're actually showing signs of life and caring about their fans and putting a competive team on the ice I figure I should reciprocate and show my enduring, long-suffering support. The store had a few Kings caps and jerseys, everything else was mainly Clippers and Lakers. Hell, the Dodgers have their own store now, the big one that used to be Team L.A. and actually had Kings stuff. In fact, now that I think about it, there's also a Raiders store on City Walk and they haven't been L.A. for years. So no sale. I just wanted a stupid plastic license plate frame. Come on, Kings Nation! Had a Dodger dog in the food court for lunch. Although I don't go to games anymore it's nice to be able to get the dogs somewhere close to home. Skip the fries if you go, they're just so nothing special. There wasn't anything at the Universal Cinemas that I was interested in seeing except for United 93, which I wasn't about to watch in their crappy, archaic, multi-plex shoebox theater. What they need to do next winter is shut that theater down and remodel it, maybe reducing the number of screens in the interest of quality, not quantity, use the Arclight as a model. As for "United 93" I'd rather see it at a place like the Arclight, although I know it's going to be traumatic and I kind of plan to see it out of a sense of duty. It's like giving blood - I don't enjoy having a needle inserted into my arm to empty a pint of my blood into a bag, it makes me dizzy and nauseated but it's the right thing to do so sometimes you just do it. Seeing "United 93" is the right thing to do in a sort of "those who forget history are condemned to repeat it" way and also in a sort of "there but for the grace of God go I" way. I would have been reduced to a tear-streaked, quivering mass of jello had I been on any of the 9/11 planes. The least I can do is bear witness. I only had to experience it as a TV viewer (and that was horrific), I was spared the horror of living it, of dying horribly and undeservedly for the crime of showing up for work or boarding a plane. It's the least I can do. On a happier note: high point of my time on City Walk today was while browsing the Zen Zone I was seduced into buying a pair of "Happy Hands", these plastic things that simulate a really fantastic massage, and more importantly this bizarre head massage contraption, a picture of which I intended to post but Blogger wouldn't cooperate (alright, YES, I'll pay for it). So basically it looks like a piece of crap wisk with the ends cut off, not gathered, but which is really, really freaking awesome. It's just the most incredible head massage you can give yourself and then some. I say seduced because the guy there used them on me and they worked like a charm. Good thing he only wanted the sale, they felt so good I'm not sure I wouldn't have been talked into something more. I mean, they felt REALLY good! When I agreed to buy both the guy threw in a free 10-minute session in the water massage bed tank thingy. Basically you lay face down, they close the thing on top of you and you get a water massage (protected from the water by a plastic sheet) with increasing tempo and intensity. It's yummy. It was slow at the Zen Zone so the guy was in a mood to make a deal. Smart man - in the long run it will bring him business - the place is open until about 10pm on weeknights, so whenever I have a miserable day at the office I will have the temptation of Zen Zone just a couple subway stops (and a Universal City Shuttle ride) away. The really funny thing about today on City Walk was the fact that, as much as I hate crowds, the place today was really missing something in that it was really deserted. It's a weekday and not yet summer tourist season and as much as I thought I would prefer it that way, the lack of crowds left the place needing something, lacking something, the sheer force of humanity in large numbers. I can't believe I just said that. I hate crowds. Help me, as much as I want to be an unapologetic loner, today I wanted City Walk populated for my enjoyment. The hell?

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