Another day crossing town here and there on vacation in Los Angeles. We started off with pleasant hazy sunshine this morning to funky Silver Lake to Millie's Cafe for breakfast. Mmm mmm, corned beef hash and poached eggs plus multiple mugs of hot coffee was a good way to fuel the day. We met up again with my pal and traded outrageous and unthinkable stories from the small Wisconsin town we grew up in. The kids were patient with our nostalgia hoot, I must say. Perhaps they were just really hungry.

Then it was off to Olvera Street, "the birthplace of Los Angeles." We wandered around looking at the traditional Mexican buildings and traditional Mexicans and traditional tourists looking at traditional Mexicans.

For the most part, it was a lot of stalls selling stuff like this. I like stuff like this.

On a whim, and because it was across the street from Olvera Street, we walked over to Union Station. I'm amazed it's still there, considering that everyone is just stapled to their cars here. It's quite nice and clean inside, too. Don't say, "that's because no one rides the trains." They do. I saw them.

On a further whim (and recommeneded by my pal as well), we decided to hop on the new (or new to me) Metro subway over to Pasadena. Why? WHY NOT? I hadn't been to Pasadena since the '80s.

We got off at the Memorial Park stop to let the kids blow off some steam on the playground there. It was very quiet and pretty with lots of tall peculiar California trees and a lovely band shell and only one guy lying on the grass possibly comatose.

Across the street was a small but top-rated art museum, The Armory Center for the Arts. I was really happy to see that they were featuring a very nice selection of works by pop artist Robert Rauschenberg. There were so many subtleties to each piece -- I wish I could have taken more time to look at each one. These were two of my favorites, multi-layered on a fine meshy fabric with a large lightbox behind each one to illuminate the details. I wish you could see the beautiful 3-D effect.

After that, we grabbed a quick coffee/snack, then walked around Pasadena's main drag, Colorado Boulevard. It was mainly a lot of the upper-medium range shopping, like Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel and Guess and Urban Outfitters and such -- nice, but not anything I can't get at home or online for that matter. The kids were getting tired, so we trudged back to the Metro station for the ride back to Union Station and our car.

Time to go to the ultimate anti-midbox store, the sublime Wacko on Hollywood Boulevard.

Wacko is like Archie McPhee in Seattle, but with WAY WAY WAY more stuff, and more variety of stuff.There's all kinds of goofy CRAP there, like the King Kong flipbook that MissSeven giggled over and over about, weird toys and soaps and t-shirts, an AMAZING (and often quite hilarious) gallery of original art, and a fantastic selection of pop culture books. This was painful for me, truly difficult. I could have imported the entire book section to my home to just sit and read for several years. But I am not wealthy and my eyes are shit anyway, so I limited myself to only three books: Vintage L.A.: Eats, Boutiques, Decor, Landmarks, Markets & More,Fashionable Clothing From The Sears Catalogs: Late '60s, and Hot Chicks With Douchebags. No, not like ACTUAL bags, like creepy jerk dudes, jeez. What kind of creep do you think I am, HAH? Anyway, I was so entranced and overwhelmed at wonderful Wacko that I took no photos. Just visit their site or for GODCHRISTSAKE go visit sometime.

Heading back down Hollywood Blvd., there's always a few things to attempt to catch with the camera as we drive by. Like Thai Town Express, which has a hot dog on top of it...

...the Giant Afro Tree...

...the Museum of Death...

...the Hollywood and Vine sign with a clock that does not at all say the right time...

...and a crowd of people outside the Kodak Theater being led astray by a man holding a red flag, hopefully to the Museum of Death.

Crash. More tomorrow.