NFT Travel Guides - Blocks of Fun in LA

Ed Forteau's picture

One of our travel guides partners, Not For Tourists, has several unique offerings for travelers on their website this week. Check out the following highlights from their Los Angeles correspondents this week...  



Old Pasadena
By:  Brian La Belle

Tucked up against the mountains and home to the world famous Rose Bowl, Pasadena feels like a little town in another world when you consider it's just fifteen minutes from downtown LA. At the heart of Old Pasadena is Colorado Street, a stretch of a half-dozen blocks filled with shopping, dining and entertainment to keep you and your guests occupied for hours. Featuring a great mix of chain retailers and small boutiques, there is something for everyone and everything you could hope to find. A wide array of restaurants cover everything from fine dining to a certain American chain featuring large breasted women in tank tops. Take advantage of the super cool diagonal cross walks and pop your head down the side streets for even more stores. Street parking is available if you're not staying long and there are plenty of lots with a reasonable $6 maximum rate. If you're staying downtown ride the Metro Gold Line to the Del Mar stop and walk a few blocks, it's a great trip. I wish I could be a smart ass about Old Pasadena but it's one of the best parts of the LA area I've found since moving here.



Insane in the Membrane By:  Emerson Dameron

Crazy Gideon's

Do not feed the salespeople. They feed on hope. They're hungry. They're ready to negotiate. And they're a lot better at fucking you out of your green than you could possibly anticipate. This electronics clearing house is locally famous for its absurd commercials, but, in three dimensions, there's nothing silly about Crazy Gideon's. It's sucker quicksand. Nevertheless, some golden deals can be sealed here, if a few basic guidelines are followed. Don't engage with a CG salesperson until you've found something you want. If this happens, decide what you're willing to pay for it, which should be at least 33% less than the sticker. Do not shift your price. And, if everything works out, test it before you leave. (Returning defective merchandise here is a small but unforgettable nightmare.) If you can't remember all this, grab a few bargain-bin porn DVDs and haul ass.


2009 Party: This Friday, April 24th  By:  Rebecca Katherine Hirsch


Angelenos, the time of your life has arrived at last, in the form of this Friday, April 24th. No, really, we have leverage you wouldn't believe. Come o'er to Footsie's for a night you'll always remember and friends you'll never forget. In honor of the 2009 edition of Los Angeles NFT, books and beverages will be yours FREE for the reading and quaffing, respectively or inversely, depending on how much enthusiasm you have for our beloved brand. So come now, or pay later (at your local bookstore/bar) and bring the enclosed invite to partake in the revelry. It's all f-r-e-e (while supplies l-a-s-t). In this day and age, such a thing is unthinkable. Even we're concerned about the consequences.




Male Domination By:  Emerson Dameron

Townhouse Cocktails

This Venice neighborhood tavern was never the seedy shot-and-a-beer joint it appears to be from without--from within, it's spacious, furnished like a Mafia-owned restaurant, and hides a swanky little "speakeasy" downstairs. It could almost pass for a "club." And, as the night progresses, it starts to feel more and more like one, until there's a rope outside and, inside... it isn't so much "crowded," but it hosts too many large groups of obnoxious, unattached males (i.e., "choad crystals"), which can make it hard to maneuver, much less shoot a game of pool, without getting your feet stepped on and your drink jostled. The mixers are cheap and the staff is often gratuitously moody, but Townhouse is just posh enough to attract the runoff from other, more pretentious spots in the area. Drinking here from happy hour through last call can seem like watching one of those high-speed films that show all four seasons passing inside of a few minutes.



Walk on the Odd Side By:  Noah Albert

St Vincent Court

Walking down this alleyway in downtown Los Angeles is a journey somewhere else. First you notice that all the little cafes are decorated in a weird send-up of a European square, with outpourings of plastic flowers and Parisian psychedelia. Slowly you pick up on the spicy smell of tobacco that rises from the many cigars and pipes being smoked by the Persians in the outdoor seating. Everyone has tea in small skinny glasses and tiny coffee cups. The sound of backgammon dice and chatter in multiple languages is soothing. This odd alley is great place to grab a cup of coffee, sandwich or even omelette from one of the many cafes and delis. (There is a lot of Middle-Eastern food.) Most but not all of the establishments have predominantly open air seating.  And most of them are closed on Sunday, though the lady in the tea shop/deli at the very front said that she's there then. A former historical college site, in 1907 John G. Bullocks opened the first Bullocks department store here. The department store remained open until the mid-eighties. Now it's mostly jewelry businesses inside, and cafe goers and pigeons in the alley. When you have finished hanging-out in the alley, remember to check out Clifton's around the corner.



Check out their website  - they have free downloadable guides, maps, gear, and of course, the travel guide books. Not to mention, they are pretty funny people. I am always laughing when I visit their site, or read their newsletter.


They also have sections of their guidebooks available for download at only $1.50.


Not For Tourists has offered a coupon for Wandering Educators - please use the coupon code: WE for a 10% discount.