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This is ultra-commercialism at its finest (or worst). As someone attracted to bright color, the intense palette of hues of the buildings and structures here at Universal City impress me. However, having been here many a time, the blatant commercialism makes the place a bit dull. Yet, I say this as a local but for a tourist, one will really have a good time. As for entertainment, no one really can be absolutely bored. There is of course the theme park, Universal Studios here, as well as the Universal Amphitheater and clubs for nighttime pleasure. Besides these, there are almost two dozen places for dining, a fun zone for arcades and what's perhaps best --people watching! I love to see the kids especially smile and have fun here.
Updated Nov 21, 2004
Address: 1000 Universal Center Drive, Universal City
Staying in North Hollywood can prove quite convenient for the traveller. Because of the attraction of Universal Studios and nearby Hollywood, transportation routes are a plenty here. Mainly, the best way to get around is to go aboard the tourist Red and the very Valley accessible Orange Line. Other modes of transport to note are the Metro Rapid bus lines, one of which, 750, stops at the Red Line- Universal City station stop. This bus route saves much time to get to fun spots along the fabulous LA classic Ventura Blvd.
Written Oct 10, 2006
The price for (car) parking at Universal City is $10 and a whopping $17 for prefered parking, which cuts on walking distance to the Universal Studios theme park and the City Walk entertainment area.
I try to use public transportation as much as possible. More So Californians are doing this with the increasing fuel costs though most are so, so used to driving themselves. If more people could leave their comfort zone just a little, they'd save money!
Here's a good tip: Leave the car alone and take the Metro Red Line to Universal City. The subway stop is walking distance to the park. However, to enter the entertainment area there is a steep hill. So, take advantage of the shuttle that goes up the hill for you!
Updated Oct 10, 2006
Can it be- that which is unique, vintage and affordable all existing in one shop! Art N Soul is one of my favorite and one of the most special shops in the entire southern California region. Located along the urban chic Lankershim Blvd in NoHo is this boutique, featuring hip and vinatge furniture, women's and kids' clothing, healing jewelry and various knick-knack. Being some steps away from the Metro stop bodes well for the shop's accessibilty. Local artists serve as vendors here and display their own work along with the merchandise. Here I have bought jewelry and some home acessories. I do plan to bring home a furniture piece and/or artwork in the future.
What to buy: If local, you should check out furniture here, all pieces are harnd-crafted, unique and most are colorful. Best of all, the prices are really inexpensive, at least %50 less than what you would imagine and often lesser. Several pieces look as if they would be would be thousands of dollars but are priced mostly around and lower $300. Furniture can only be delivered in California, preferably in southern CA.
What to pay: candles/small home decorative items- a few dollars to about $50.
boho/hip style clothing and accessories -$15-$80
healing jewelry- just under $100
local artwork(paintings, card sketchings)- about $25-$200
furniture- about $80-$500 depending on item
Updated Oct 10, 2006
Address: 5120 Lankershim Blvd
Phone: 818 508-7063
Universal Studios is a fun theme park. If you love the movies, it's like a dream come true. Don't expect many fast rollercoasters here, but rather slow and moderate rides which have entertaining components "coming at you "as your ride.
Unique Suggestions: Go during Halloween or Christmas time, when there are special holiday-related attractions. During Halloween time, there is a frightful haunted house.
Bring your own and drink plenty of water, especially if you go in the summer. Walking around the park can be tiring and can drain the body. Bringing your water means not paying $3+- . Save the money for possible souvenirs.
Try to avoid eating in the park. The dining options are better outside of the park in City Walk.
See my piece of advice on parking in "Transportation Tips".
Written Nov 21, 2004