Cheap Thrills of Los Angeles: Part 2

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Photo above: the space shuttle Endeavor blasting off from Cape Canaveral, FL on its mission to repair the Hubble Telescope, from the IMAX film “Hubble 3D” now showing at the California Science Center.

- Just on the doorsteps of the Highland Park stop is the Southwest Museum. (Zachary Rynew)
– Just on the doorsteps of the Highland Park stop is the Southwest Museum.
(Zachary Rynew)

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My first Cheap Thrills was such a success that lawmakers are clamoring to raise the sales tax. Well, that’s not true.

As long as my memory works, I’ll keep listing suggestions for low costs ideas for finding fun things to do in Los Angeles. Here are my choices for the month of November:

Gold Line

Even though light rail moves slower than a subway, I prefer the above ground experience because it offers a different look at our city. Out of our six operating lines, my favorite is the Gold Line, particularly the segment from Union Station to Pasadena. For just $1.75 on your Tap Card, you can travel along Los Angeles’ oldest corridor spanning the Arroyo Seco.

Go see the real Interstellar at California Science Center
Go see the real Interstellar at California Science Center

The ride starts in Chinatown with a dramatic crossing over the LA River. Soon you’re brought into the historic neighborhoods of Highland Park and Mount Washington containing homes from the 19th century. You’ll soon pass the century old Southwest Museum and Figueroa Street with its adjoining businesses that used to be part of Route 66. The Sante Fe Arroyo Seco Bridge, built in 1896, then takes you into the heart of South Pasadena by Mission Street. Next, you’ll roll into Pasadena where you’ll see some of the new mixed with the old before reaching Memorial Park Station. I encourage everyone to take this trip and to get off to explore around the stops.

California Science Center

As a parent, finding a place to keep your kids entertained for hours is a challenge. While most are willing to pay Disney Dollars, you can have a total educational experience at no cost when visiting the California Science Center. There’s enough of a variety that it’s hard to cover in just one visit. You’ll find exhibits on a variety of subjects as space, anatomy, aviation and many more.

At these prices, Diddy Riese isn't just food for thought, but for devouring! (Zachary Rynew)
At these prices, Diddy Riese isn’t just food for thought, but for devouring!
(Zachary Rynew)

If you want to disperse some energy, kids enjoy running around the lush Rose Garden just outside of the north entrance. For a few dollars more, you also check out Endeavor, IMAX and the Natural History Museum right at your fingertips. Be sure to look at the calendar to see if Exposition Park is hosting a football game or other event before you go. Once again, you could also take Metro.

Diddy Riese

If you’re a Bruin, this is no secret. It is a staple! Three quality cookies for a dollar in an area that could demand three dollars for one cookie! Ice cream sandwiches go for only $1.75 and  shave ice also costs just a dollar. Diddy’s prices have been so historically low, that you’d think they’d originated in 1953, not 1983. It’s not only affordable for college students, but high schoolers as well.

You’ll find that there’s always a line for Diddy Riese, but the lines move fast. If you need parking, park a block south at the city garage where it’s free for two hours during the day, $3 after 6pm. Everyone also smiles with a Diddy Riese cookie in their hand.