The Sophomore Slump

Home » California » URBAN: My LA and SD Tips and Tricks

URBAN: My LA and SD Tips and Tricks





  • VENICE: It’s a MUST go to place in California. Bring quarters or dollar bills. Pay your parking especially the hourly parking on the side of the road. Parking ticket is expensive. Or just make it a practice to always bring change whenever you travel. Art vendors don’t like their crafts and art pieces getting photographed. Check out the skate arena and street arts.
  • If you decide to go to Cabrillo National Monument Park, check out the Rocky Intertidal Zone. See my post here and find out what you’re missing if you don’t.
  • If you want to try an African cuisine, go to City Heights in San Diego. They have a street row full of no-untensil-required African restaurants.
  • Wait for the sunset when you decide to go to Griffith Park Observatory. It has one of the best views of LA cityscape, LA sunset and the HOLLYWOOD sign.
  • Make Fairoaks Pharmacy your automatic first stop when you drive the California portion of Route 66.
  • A lot of people go to Getty Center and not go to Getty Villa. It’s a NO-NO!
  • California is a diverse state. It’s easy to cross-culture. You might know about Chinatown in LA, but what about Hsi Lai Temple?
  • You might also like:
    Balboa Park is an Absolute MUST | See the seals and birds in La Jolla | You don’ have to go North to see jellyfish in MBA, go see Birch Aquarium, they also have a great display of seahorses | Going to Universal Studios? It’s a family theme park. To me, honestly, it’s a lot geared towards for kids. Make sure you ride the studio tour. | Looking for a leash-free beach, Ocean Beach, aka OB or Dog Beach, is what you seek.
  • It is wise to bring a GPS when driving. In case of traffic, a GPS can provide you alternate roads other than being stuck in a traffic jam.
  • Museums and parks offer free admission on a specific weekday. Check out their websites first before going.
  • Always be early.





If you want to know where I took each of these landscapes, just point your mouse to the pictures.


LA? What about NYC?


Here is Ms. Elena on traveling. There is no need to explain why this post is a major success. Elena composed the best New York blogpost I’ve ever come across. She captured amazing night photos, artistic random pics, clever shots and with a combination of B&W. She compared LA to NYC, then smartly segued it to cultural and social insights. Scroll down her Categories and you will be floored by the number of places she’s been to. Her blog header remind us to: Live simply, travel lightly, love passionately & don’t forget to breathe.


Last Advice: Before visiting California, check out this blog first. *BIG GRIN*


Last Call …

This is not LA nor SD. The picture above is taken from Cissy Field in SF.


  1. tokyohamster says:

    Oh your Getty pictures are amazing – especially the one at night. And I’ll have to make a trip to Cabrillo National Monument – the views look gorgeous! Great tips tooπŸ™‚

  2. Cher says:

    Beautiful photographs and amazing post!

  3. I love the Universal Studios tram tour. I love Griffith. Have to explore SD more though next time.

    • rommel says:

      People think the studio tour takes up time thinking about the line. WRONG! Unlike the other rides, that line always move. And yeah, it is worth the time other than the other ones that are quick and sometimes feels so short. Hope you get pointers from my blog when you get to SD.πŸ˜€

  4. Angelia Sims says:

    Been to southern Cal many times, but never made Venice. So! I must return soon. Oh yeeeah!

    Awesome shots!

    • rommel says:

      Venice Beach is so Californian that you do not want to miss it. Have fun and travel safe. Ow, I need to go back there. I haven’t seen the Venice Canals yet. Having gone to Venice, Italy, I can get my fix on missing that city.

  5. BTSCelebs says:

    Great photos! I would love to see photos of my hometown Chicago too. Lake Michigan is very photogenic!πŸ™‚

  6. I recognize all of them! Yahooooooooooooooooo!

  7. Wow Rommel – these are great shots!!!!πŸ™‚ **

  8. flujan says:

    Damn— I wish you would have posted this in August…. We were just there! We went to Huntington Beach which was cool, but I paid a visit to Venice Beach with my girlfriend some years back. Is Gold’s Gym still on the beach there??

    • rommel says:

      I don’t exactly know the name of the gym there. But there’s an area set-up for the buffers to work-out. They are big, huge guys. Hehe.

      Tsk, tsk, tsk. Next time you come to California. Click on my Califonia Category first. HeheheπŸ˜€

  9. D.M. says:

    Great S.D. photos! Love the Midway & B Street pier shot.

  10. Elena says:

    thank you for sharing my NY post with your readers!

    I absolutely LOVE the night photo.. although I’m in gorgeous Morocco at he moment, this photo actually made me miss LA .. ; )

    love & light


    • rommel says:

      Once in a blue moon, I get to see what people who reside on LA’s high end get to see everyday.πŸ˜€

      Well Thank back to you, Elena. The excellence on that post of yours is just brilliant, and memorable.

  11. J9 says:

    Remember when Getty Villa was THE Getty Museum? I only went there once but it took my breath away, it was so beautiful. The Norton Simon in Pasadena is a wonderful museum, too. It was there that I learned that the people everywhere who look like security guards are actually art experts, and their jobs are extra boring so they love answering questions and talking about the museum and its art. Olvera Street in Downtown L.A. is one of our favorite places. Get taquitos and horchata at Cielito Lindo. A ride in a glass elevator at the Bonaventure Hotel is a must, too. Favorite place in SD is the Maritime Museum. It’s only a block away from the Amtrak station and includes a couple of tall-masted ships (like pirate ships) and a Russian submarine. Two of their ships are supposed to be haunted too!

    • rommel says:

      When I was in Getty Museum, those guards don’t know anything. Oooops. Just being honest, though. I don’t really expect them to. I had to always go back to the front desk Information to find out something. The videos on Getty Museum is cool to watch though, if you really are interested.
      I know of Norton Simon and, of course, Maritime Museum. The ride in a glass elevator sounds interesting. That word “favorite” is convincing enough for me. Cielito Lindo, Aye. Thanks for the recommendations, J9. Will sure look into those.

  12. adinparadise says:

    It’s much too long ago since I was there. Your photos are great.πŸ™‚

  13. LuAnn says:

    We loved Cabrillo National Monument but your pics make it look sooo much more special. Loved your shot from the USS Midway and Griffith Park Observatory at night. Thanks for the tip on the African fare. We love checking out ethnic restaurants. Have a great day Rommel.πŸ™‚

  14. Sony Fugaban says:

    Perfect pictures, bro!

  15. Gilly Gee says:

    You keep on growing and givingπŸ™‚

  16. bucketdave says:

    Oh my goodness! All of those boats on the deep blue water are so beautiful!

  17. Amy says:

    I used to visit LA and SD regularly when my parents lived in Pasadena. Love the Getty. Viewing your amazing shots makes me happy. Thank you, Rommel!

  18. Janice D says:

    Stunning photos! I will keep all of your pointers in mind for when I make my way out there!πŸ™‚

  19. Thanks for the tip on Griffith Park Observatory – been out to LA a few times and always struggle with where to catch the skyline. My next trip out I’ll check it out.

  20. cocomino says:

    What a great view. I like all of them.πŸ™‚

  21. Jo Bryant says:

    wow – lots of info and great pics…what more could a girl ask for and i love the night shot

  22. Fergiemoto says:

    Great photos of urban! I used to live in Pittsburgh, but my home base was Los Angeles so I traveled there a lot. It’s been several years since I’ve been to San Diego. I’ve been to San Francisco a few times on work and pleasure, I’ve worked near NYC, but would drive into the city in the evenings. I’ve worked in many big cities, even outside of the US, but I wouldn’t want to live in a big city. Visiting is nice. I like my home in the mountains.

  23. Bro, you captured the beautiful images of L.A and the amazing urban scene of California and made it even more amazing. Totally blew my mind. The harbor water scene looks like a fun and relaxing place to be.

  24. […] Sophomore Slump–How do you guys think I get inspired to post all them pics, this guy is nice w… […]

  25. msdulce says:

    These are beautiful. The picture from Griffith Observatory in particular!

  26. shammee says:

    hey you changed the look of your blog ??
    Nice …. very classy ….
    & so are your posts …..πŸ™‚

  27. abbspepper says:

    Argh! I’ve just come back from 6 weeks in SoCal, esp in SD and LA… would have loved to read your tips before I went. Still, I had a fine time and found great beaches and piers and all sorts, by random chance. Took plenty of pics, too.
    Glad you found the Magura Transylvania blog – come and visit us, virtually and really. Thanks for following.

  28. I like the night shot – reminds me of the film ‘Heat’!

  29. Chris says:

    I’ve been to the sunset cliffs and La JollaπŸ™‚ Need to catch up with you!!

Don't be shy to say hi.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Join 5,282 other followers

%d bloggers like this: