High Speed Rail to LAX

Chicago’s outgoing Mayor Daley wants high speed rail from the city’s downtown to O’Hare International Airport. It would be the first of its kind in the United States – meaning that it would be fast, convenient, and far too logical for American politicians to actually build.

Your move, @villaraigosa.

A few years back, I proposed the Metro Flyline – a rail network from Union Station to every airport in the region. It was kind of a joke, in that not many people need to hop a train from Downtown Los Angeles to fly their personal jet out of Van Nuys Airport. But what about a line that did service the major transportation hubs in the region? A high speed TRIANGLE, connecting LAX, Bob Hope in Burbank and Union Station.

Put it all underground. Run the whole thing elevated. Tunnel through every living room in Beverly Hills.

I don’t know where the money would come from. I don’t know ridership numbers. I don’t know environmental impact blahbitty blah. What I do know, is that people would use it. Isn’t that what mass transit is for?

The point here is that it’s time for Los Angeles to start thinking big again. No matter how far-fetched and ridiculous it may seem. Let other cities celebrate highway widenings and Target openings. We’re better than that.

Maybe someday, we’ll have a mayor that won’t mind rolling up his sleeves and putting in a solid 8 hours of work.

Classic Eats #14 – The Deets

Classic Eats #14 is on Saturday February 19!

And while normally I set up a voting system and give you options to choose from, I’m going to make it so much easier for all of us. (And by “all of us” I mean me.) Classic Eats #14 is going to be a reprise of Classic Eats #2: Downtown Delights – Union Station and Phillipe’s.

It was two years ago (how time flies) that we had a great gang of folks come down to Traxx at Union Station for a cocktail before walking the two blocks to Phillipe’s where we all had some classic LA nosh and a star sighting to boot! (Adam Arkin)

I want to relive that awesome night and I want you to join in.

Classic Eats #14 – Downtown Delights
Saturday February 19
5:30 at Traxx inside Union Station
7:00 (ish) at Phillipe’s

Union Station – Traxx – Classic cocktails in a classic location. All your train travel fantasies come true.

Phillipe‘s – They claim to be the original french dip sandwich place! Their mustard is pretty damn good too. I should know.

Classic Eats!

Santa Claus Came to Town

With nothing to do and two small children, we decided to give them their first ride on the Metro today. It was also my husband’s first time, which made it even more special. We boarded the Gold Line in Chinatown and wound up at Hollywood & Highland to take pictures of the tourists.

Waiting for the Gold Line from Union Station, I heard sounds of shock through the crowd. It was Santa Claus!

Santa Claus with my kids
Santa Claus with my kids

Needless to say, they were both thrilled beyond imagination. Santa asked them if they liked the gifts he got them. They both showed him their new watches. My daughter asked him why he didn’t eat the gingerbread house and he said it was because it was too pretty. Great response as earlier in the day she said it he didn’t eat it because it was ugly.

Thank you, Mr. Claus for capping a perfect day for my kids.

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Ghost Restaurant of Union Station: Harvey House

thank you Vix
photo by Vix

Thanks to Vix over at her “History, Los Angeles County” blog I’ve discovered yet another restaurant at Union Station. At first, I assumed Traxx had been built within the old “Harvey House,” but upon inspection it appears as if Vix’s photos of the deserted Harvey House date from 2007, while Traxx opened in 1997.

courtesy of Harvey House fan site

Apparently Harvey House is now used primarily for wedding receptions and the like. This evening while we’re at Traxx for Classic Eats I hope to sneak in to the former Harvey House location and snap some pics.

I’m also intrigued by Union Station’s Union Station’s environs’ former occupants, the original citizens of LA’s first Chinatown (now relocated several blocks to the northeast) and am grooving on this great collection of images of relics unearthed from beneath the station, from opium bowls to Bromo-Seltzer bottles.