Since we may need to be using the Metro system later this month, we thought we should probably give it a try beforehand. So today we decided to explore L.A. a bit by rail.
We caught the Green Line in Norwalk and headed out. It cost $5, but no one ever checked to see if we had a ticket. In D.C. you had to scan your ticket just to get into the stations so this was a bit odd. Most of the stations (especially on the Green and Blue Lines) were open so you could just walk onto the platform from the street. That meant a lot of homeless people riding around.
We transfered to the Blue line and went up through the worst parts of L.A., right through the projects. On that train, there was a lady with a stuffed iguana on her hat and a homemade sign demanding the release of an Al-Jazeera cameraman from Guantanamo. The guy sitting next to her started to debate with her about what a bad idea that was. She didn't seem too informed and saw Al-Jazeera as being "fair and balanced". Scary.
We transfered to the Red Line (much nicer) and got off at Hollywood and Vine. Our only issue on that train was the guy who started yelling about Jesus and Allah and "we are protected so this train will not be harmed by bombs". A bunch of us decided if he didn't get off at the next stop, we all would. In Hollywood, Cyndi got Wicked tickets for her mom at Pantages across the street. We noticed there were quite a few police sitting around there, and then saw that the street was blocked off a block down. It turned out to be a big anti-war protest. More on that and pictures in another blog. We heard they were going down to Hollywood and Highland so we killed those plans. Instead we got back on the Red Line and went to Universal Citywalk.
At Citywalk we had lunch at Subway and walked around some. When it started to rain a little, we figured we should head back in case it got worse. On the way out we passed the iFly booth. It's the giant wind tube that lets you float like you're skydiving. We may have to try that some time.
We took the Red Line to Union Station and then walked around Olvera Street for a few minutes. We almost bought Bradley a "Los Dogers" shirt, but they only seemed to have women's shirts there. After that we headed back home. On the Blue Line there was a freaky guy in clown makeup who made balloon flowers for all the kids.
Overall it wasn't that bad. It saved us money, the time was probably about the same (less if there was car traffic), and we got to see a lot of odd people. We might use it more if it actually went all over, but I think L.A. is too spread out for that.