David Koenig's Travel Blog

You've probably seen travel blogs before; people visit foreign, exotic places, then write about their experiences in those places. Because the most exotic place I've ever been to was Montreal, Canada, I don't anticipate this travel blog being very exciting. But I will try my best.

April 5th, 2012

Palmdale, Los Angeles, California

Palmdale seems to be the sister city of Lancaster, and they are both wicked step-sisters. That's not how I feel about it, but most of the people I've spoken to from Palmdale seem to think it's just as bad as Lancaster. A lot of people dislike their hometowns, however, so it may not be true.

I was called to Palmdale to perform an excorsism on a possessed baby, and I must say, it seemed like a very pleasant town to me. I suppose I could be wrong.

One thing – the only thing – that stood out to me was the unusually high amount of roadkill strewn across the highway exiting the city. Not just squirrels or birds, but large animals. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw a German Shepherd carrion on the side of the road. That is pretty unusual.

Posted by David at 5:45 P.M. 0 Comments

February 9th, 2012

Lancaster, Los Angeles, California

Let's see if there's a nice way I can describe Lancaster.

Lancaster is like the kind of place you'd take your kids to if you were punishing them.

Okay, maybe that isn't the most delicate way to express my feelings. I'll try again.

If aliens were trying to decide whether or not to demolish the Earth, and they landed in Lancaster to conduct their research, we'd be doomed.

I'll just jump right into it: I visited Lancaster for the first time today, as I had to pass through while I was hunting for a rare breed of butterfly up North. I realized immediately the two words you need to describe the place: Brown, and orange-brown.

It's as if the designer of Lancaster had a huge pallet, but forgot to buy new paints, so he checked the old bottles he had in his trunk that he never used, and they turned out to be different shades of orange and brown.

The scenery's brown, the buildings are orange and brown, and the people... well, they are all different ethnicities, but I can safely say that the ones I saw appeared to have had the life sucked out of them.

I have nothing against the color brown: I very much enjoy Primus's Brown Album, the Cleveland Browns never pose a threat to my New York Jets these days, and I have no problem rooting for the brown protagonist in the sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Still, an entire city draped in the dreary, dirty earth tones of Lancaster is pretty lame.

What's strange about Lancaster is that, thanks to its expansive neighboring deserts (which is already a con in my book) that people can cook in, it is pretty much the #1 meth capital in the world. That's not the strange part – the strange part is that it houses a military base, so you pretty much have two very different kinds of people living in town.

Lancaster also has the audacity to name its streets after numbers and letters, like it's some major city west of Long Island and East of Jersey City. Instead, Lancaster is East of Saddleback Butte State Park, and West of Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. In other words, it is sandwiched between a butt and poopy. Maybe that's why it's all brown? Either way, it doesn't even have a strict grid system, as you can see from the following Google Maps image:

So, no, I don't think they have any right to number and letter their streets. It's a mess!

I'm sorry to say it, but Lancaster receives my lowest rating so far: Two Stars. I guess that's also my highest rating, since this isn't a review site and I've never rated a location here before. Still, hang your head in shame, Lancaster!

Posted by David at 11:34 P.M. 0 Comments

January 16th, 2012

Thousand Oaks, Ventura County, California

I spent the day in Thousand Oaks, which is located West of Los Angeles. It seemed like a pretty lovely town. I certainly saw a few oaks trees there – not a thousand of them, but, then again, I didn't cover enough area to really check. There very well may have actually been one thousand oaks.

Town life didn't seem super exciting. If I had wanted to, say, go shopping, I'm not sure I would have had too great of a time. Ditto for bar-hopping, club-going, or date-raping, which are typical Los Angelino activities. But I didn't want to do anything of those things, so I enjoyed just being in a nice area.

When I got hungry, I traveled down the street from where I was to the nearest non-Arby's restaurant, which was a Thai restarant called Cholada Thai, I think. It was a small place that, while I was there, played only Beatles songs. So if you have something against the Beatles, you probably shouldn't go there.

The food was pretty good, but this ain't no foodie blog, so I won't be going into detail. I got complimentary tea while I was there, which I haven't received at a restaurant in a while, so that was nice. Also, there was candy, which is always a plus.

I didn't get a chance to check out their library, which is a shame, because it's apparently very good. I wonder if they cut down a lot of their oak trees to make books and lumber for it?

Anyway, all in all, Thousand Oaks seemed nice, and was rather pretty.

Posted by David at 7:13 P.M. 0 Comments

December 27th, 2011

East Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

I recently spent a combined period of maybe twenty hours stranded on the streets of East Hollywood. It was kind of lame, so if you are looking for lame travel tips, definitely read this blog post.

East Hollywood is probably best known for being located East of Hollywood. It features the following landmarks and tourist attractions:

  • The Church of Scientology West Coast headquarters.
  • Nothing else.
  • Finding a good bathroom, and a place to charge a cell phone for free, was a challenge. None of the many fast food restaurants I checked in had readily available outlets, and there were no Starbucks or Starbucks-type cafés in the area. A lot of the bathrooms I looked at during my "tour" were filthy, which is fine (except maybe for the purposes of a travelogue), but a lot of the stalls also lacked locks, which is kind of a red flag in my opinion.

    The Vermont/Santa Monica subway entrance in East Hollywood has no security, so you may prefer to enter without purchasing a subway pass, should you be unafraid of encountering security guards in transit or at your destination.

    I visited the Cahuenga Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, but it was already closed, despite it only being around 6:00 P.M. on a weekday. Thanks a lot, budget cuts. I became aware of the library's closed state not by a sign on the door (though there was one) or a lack of turned on lights in the building, but by the face that there was a homeless man in a sleeping bag right at the entrance. I assume he isn't there during the library's regular, operating hours, but I guess I can't be sure.

    Eventually, I did find a nice, clean bathroom with working outlets in what I think was probably a Fresh and Easy supermarket (though it might have been another chain; I don't remember). So I recommend going there if you ever need to charge a cell phone or Gameboy, shave, poop, or shoot heroin in East Hollywood. They had some pretty good deals on candy there as well (in the store, that is, not its bathroom).

    Overall, East Hollywood is not a bad place to live or visit. I think my favorite thing about it is that it is relatively within walking distance of Hollywood and Loz Feliz.

    Posted by David at 5:04 A.M. 0 Comments

    August 18th, 2011

    Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, California

    I've driven by this place a few times. Seems all right.

    Posted by David at 12:43 P.M. 0 Comments

    March 3rd, 2011

    Panorama City, Los Angeles, California

    What better place to document for a travelogue than one called "Panorama City?" The word "panorama," in case you didn't know, is typically used to mean a large, expansive view. I suppose it could be a large, expansive, disgusting view, but I think the word is usually used with a "pleasant" or "beautiful" connotation attached to it.

    First, let me tell you some facts about this wonderful city:

    Panorama City is the birthplace of actress Meagan Good, who you might know from her appearing earlier in this sentence. It also used to house a General Motors assembly plant, the closing of which probably would have resulted in Roger & Me-type devestation had Panorama City been located in a more depressing state, like Michigan. Panorama City is also where the Scranton Business Park building from NBC's The Office is located.

    I like Panorama City because it has Food 4 Less, which is a grocery store that sells a lot of its stuff pretty cheap. They have nice sandwiches, and huge bags of Sour Patch Kids for four dollars. I also like the city's library, the Panorama City Branch Library, which had a pretty cute librarian whose name I never learned, and who I don't think works there anymore. It does not have the greatest book selection.

    One of the more well-known tourist attractions in Panorama City is The Plant: a large, outdoor shopping center located in what used to be the General Motors assembly plant mentioned above. It has a fairly large Home Depot, a movie theater I would never go to, and a Hometown Buffet. One of my favorite shops there is a little souvenir shop that mostly sells Japanese toys and dolls, primarily of the Sanrio and Nintendo variety. I go there often when I visit The Plant, though I never buy anything, which is kind of awkward because the shop is small enough that usually it will just be me and the tiny Japanese lady working the cash register.

    By far, the most popular tourist attraction in Panorama City is Van Nuys Boulevard, the road that runs through Panorama City and connects Van Nuys to Arleta. It is pretty popular among those who are trying to get from Van Nuys to Arleta and vice versa.

    Posted by David at 11:21 P.M. 0 Comments



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