MEMORIES OF LOS ANGELES AND YES THEY DO HAVE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION THERE.

When I first moved to Los Angeles from Boston in 1996 courtesy of Delta Airlines , I really didn’t know that much about the city,

People would give me all sorts of advice.

One especially I heard from everyone including family members, “It’s LA, you NEED a car,”

Being from New York City , you don’t miss what you don’t have.

I didn’t need a car, and I didn’t drive.

After seeing those infamous LA freeways, I’m glad I didn’t drive and I sure wasn’t about to learn, either.

I lived in one of the South Bay cities of Los Angeles called Torrance , California for 10 years and I never drove.

I took public transportation, either a bus or a train.

People are surprised when you mention that the city has a subway system,a very good one called the Metro.

You can get a day pass, which with fees comes out to $9.

We don’t even have that on the New York City subways and our trains run 24 hours, something the Metro in Los Angeles doesn’t do.

When I first lived here, there was the Blue Line that went from Los Angeles to Long Beach, the Red Line from Los Angeles to West Hollywood , and the Green Line that can get you to a shuttle bus that will take you to LAX, Los Angeles International Airport .

Not only are these train lines still around, but while I was there recently , I discovered that there’s an extention of the Blue Line that goes from DTLA all the way to the beach city of Santa Monica .

These trains can get you to the major tourists spots in town.

Union Station is the main terminal so the red and the blue lines can get you there, even if you’re coming from Santa Monica .

Want to see the famous Chinese Grauman Theater with the stars footprints or the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

The red line will get you there.

Since you are on a 30 Plus Teams Tour , you KNOW you want see some basketball or hockey action at Staples Center .

The Blue Line will get you there,just get off at the Pico/Chick Hearn Station.

If there’s a game, you won’t get lost .

Just follow the crowd.

Hold onto to your TAP card.

That’s how you get anywhere on the Metro in town.

Some of them are reloadable and there are machines at every station to guide you.

As I rode the train from Long Beach back to my hostel in DTLA, it brought back a few memories .

Good memories of a place where you wouldn’t expect to see a subway .

A GREAT STAY AT THE FREEHAND HOTEL IN LOS ANGELES

The next part of my 30 Plus Teams Tour took me to the city that I called home for 10 years, Los Angeles, California .

I left LA in 2006, and this was the first time that I had been back since then.

(Ironically, I moved to Las Vegas after that.)

When I lived in town, I rarely went downtown .

The only time I got to what is now known DTLA or Downtown Los Angeles, was to go to, where else , Staples Center to see a Kings hockey game, and as I was a freelance hockey writer , to interview opposing hockey players .

This time, I looked on line and saw a place called The Freehand Hotel and Hostel .

If it sounds familiar , that’s because they have branches in New York City , Miami and Chicago .

I haven’t been to any of the others, but if they’re anything like the one in Los Angeles , I’m going to be staying there too, except for the New York City one.

This hostel looks NOTHING like a hostel.

It’s located in a former commercial building and you can see that as you go up to your room.

Even though it wasn’t that warm, they have a rooftop pool

The lobby here at the Freehand reminds me of the lobby of the Hostelling International in Boston , very spacious , and could be a living room in someone’s house .

It’s that big and spacious.

The hostel is very convenient to get to by public transportation if you are at Union Station.

(Yes, they have trains in Los Angeles and they’re very clean, but more about them in another post.)

You can also take a cab or Uber or Lyft to get there as well.

There’s restaurants in the place as well as a store .

How are the rooms?

Sorry,not sorry, my bed at home should be as comfy.

The beds have lighting , very good lighting at that , outlets, and padding so that you either don’t roll over or can store things on.

(My stuffed animals had a spot on the bed for themselves , don’t judge me , okay ? )

What I liked about this hostel , among other things , was not only how professional the staff was from the moment that I checked in, but you needed your key to get everywhere, even the lounge for eating,relaxing and to get to the laundry room .

In every room,there were lockers but not your average metal lockers thay you see in most hostels.

These lockers were made of wood.

Wow how classy is this place?!

You pay much more than you would for a regular type hostel, but hey, I’m from New York City , EVERYTHING is expensive , so I don’t mind paying a little bit more for great service and a great stay, which is exactly what I received at the Freehand Los Angeles .

You better believe , God willing , my next stay in the City of Angels is gonna be here.

Thank you, Freehand Los Angeles , ya did good!

MEMORIES OF SUMMERTIME 2018

As I sit in my room, watching the rain and thunder strike everything in its path, I forget that we here in New York City might not get the devastation from Hurricane Florence that North Carolina got, but we can get her remnants and thats just what we’re getting right now.

The nights are starting to get darker earlier than usual, and those 90 degree temperatures with the just as high humidity are slowly going away.

(Truth be told, I won’t miss those.)

It’s the 19th of September and in two days we’re going to be saying goodbye (and good riddance) to those sweltering hot days.

The cooler weather is coming, which means stock up on all things that are Pumpkin Spice, whether it be tea, coffee, cake or even ice cream.

I’m taking a break from traveling for awhile, but who knows, that may change.

The summer months of May, June, July and August were full of good memories.

Smelling the flowers on the Bronx campus of Manhattan College, a place that I hadn’t been to since I was in college in the 1970’s.

Revisting Atlantic City , something I hadn’t done in 4 years and walking on the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk , another one of the things on my bucket list .

Eating seafood and getting a history lesson in one of my favorite cities, Baltimore, Maryland .

Yeah, there was some baseball in there too, because no matter what the season is, there’s going to be a 30 Plus Teams Tour going on.

There was even some time to enjoy New York City , Roosevelt Island and the Brooklyn Bridge Park , another thing to cross off my bucket list .

Finally in June, there was one of my favorite memories.

Getting together with other sports divas at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas , another one of my favorite cities.

Summer went very fast, but then it seems as though 2018 is going by wicked fast .

But my great memories of 2018 will live on and I hope you enjoy these memories as much as I did.

MY FAVORITE  MEMORY  FROM THIS YEAR

The  year isn’t  over yet ,  and I’m  sure  that I’ll  have  many other favorite  memories  to talk about . 

At this time  though ,  at the middle  of  October ,  my favorite  memory  from this year so far occurred in a five day span, June 18th  until June 23rd . 

This was my annual  trip to  Las Vegas  for the NHL  Awards  and  red carpet  ceremony.

This year was an extra  special  one though.

Las Vegas  was getting  a  brand  new  hockey  team, the Golden  Knights.

(You know what  that means ,  right? Las Vegas  has become  a stop on the 30 Plus  Teams  Tour . )

Not only was the city hosting  the awards, something  that they had done for the  past few years at some theater in one of the many casino – hotels in  town, but they were going to hold the ceremony  and  the Expansion  Draft  at the T-MOBILE  Arena ,  home of the team.

Everyone  who attended  the  awards ceremony  also got to see and hear just what players would  be  wearing  that black hockey jersey trimmed  in gold and red with the gold Knights  shield  on the front.

I was really  excited  because  for once not only was I  going to  the red carpet  ceremony  and take pictures  with hockey players nominated  for  awards, but I  could  actually  afford  tickets to  the  awards  for once.

$25 for a seat in Section  13, row 9 sounded awfully  good to  me.

The only thing  that  I  didn’t  like was the unbearable  heat.

The  city does get wicked  hot in the months  of  June, July ,  and August ,  but maybe because  I’m  getting  older and hadn’t  lived in  Vegas in 7 years, the heat did bother me a lot this time and  I  was wearing  a  sleeveless  dress.

I can never forget how excited  I was when five of the newest members of  the  team came on stage and greeted the crowd.

They were wearing  their jerseys without their names or numbers on the back.

I wasn’t  the only one  who  was excited . 

The crowd in the arena was electric  and this wasn’t  even a hockey  game  that was being  played . 

There was even a question  and answer period after the ceremony  was over with not only the same five players, but the coach of the team as well.

It was something  that  I’ll  never forget . 

Vegas was ready to  show the world  that the newest member  of “The Shield  ” could  put on a show worthy of “The Entertainment  Capital  of  the  World  ” when their first inaugural  home game happened on October  10th . 

Yes, this was definitely  my favorite  memory  of  the  year ,  if not the summer.

I couldn’t  wait to  see  them play, and it’s  even part of  my bucket list to see a game at the  T-MOBILE  Arena . 

Who would  have  known  or even  thought  that  just a few  days  before  October  10th ,  someone  would  make  my favorite  memory  of  the  year very bittersweet ? 

I  will  still  remember  in spite  of  everything those days, June 18-23, 2017, and how they will be my favorite  memory  of  the  year.
#VEGASSTRONGFOREVER