LIVE - Downtown Los Angeles
Entertainment Center for Sports Teams, Awards and Clubs
Live is the new and growing downtown Los Angeles Entertainment complex,
rapidly becoming the center for big events in the City of Angels (not
the Anaheim ones though). It started with the Staples Center arena for
sports built at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Then the Nokia Theater
and Restaurants and just opened grand luxuy hotel tower of the Ritz-Carlton
and the JW Marriot Hotel. The Staples Center is home court to four of
LA’s sports teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Clippers for
basketball, the LA Kings for hockey and the Los Angeles Sparks women's
basketball, with the sporting events on a rotating schedule. The Nokia
Theater stole the American Idol finals from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood,
though the Academy Awards are still in Hollywood (see Hollywood & Highland).
The Nokia hosts a growing number of awards shows, the Grammy Awards,
the American Music
the ESPY Awards for sports entertainment, the EMMY Awards for television.
LA Live boasts “more music per square foot than anywhere else in
the world”. The Grammy Museum at the Nokia, rises through four
floors of interactive history of music recording, the great entertainers
and musicians and the Grammy Awards. The Staples Center presents major
world touring arena concerts and performances, from U2 to Paul McCartney.
The Club Nokia hosts high-profile acts in a more intimate concert venue
in a club like setting, with acts like Usher and Beck, and even jazz
great B.B. King. The Conga Room, the popular Latin inspired nightclub,
and its Boca Restaurant partially owned by actor Jimmy Smits, Jennifer
Lopez and other Latin celebrities moved from its original mid-Wilshire
Boulevard location to upstairs at LA Live on the second floor amoung
the other restaurants of the plaza.
Restaurants and bars in the LA Live center next to the Nokia range from
Wolgang Puck Bar & Grill, a Lawry’s, longtime LA prime rib
restaurant with a more casual setting called the Carvery, Yard House,
Katsuya, sushi restaurant of master Katsuya Uechi, Fleming’s Steakhouse
and a Trader Vic’s, famed Tiki themed restaurant, and the sports
bar extravagaza of food, drink and games, the ESPN Zone. Other entertainment
venues include the multi-screen Regal Cinemas and the Lucky Strike Lanes,
the uber current bowling alley and lounge bar – bowling LA club
To get to the Nokia Center by car, its off the 110 Freeway just south
of downtown and just north of the 10 Freeway from the LAX and the westside.
Parking downtwon LA has always been a challenge. LA Live has essentially
two garages the East Garage Lot E of Olympic Blvd is the most convenient.
The West Garage Lot W is on Gerogia Street around the corner across from
the Convention Center. Parking is pretty steep, rates are $5 for the
first two hours (four with Regal movie theater validation) and $5 for
each additional half hour. Some restaurants validate for the west lot.
There are some private lots and the Convention Center lot has a flat
rate. If your’re really chintsy you can troll for a free street
neighborhood parking spot to the west of the freeway south of Olympic,
but it’s a good walk in not the brightest of areas. When its busy
the East lot fills first, then the west. If two big events are going
on at one time, a game at the Staples Center and a concert at the Nokia,
or definetly duing an awards show, traffic and parking can be a trial,
so allow plenty of time.
public transport, there are no direct services. Figuring out the LA
Metro system is an adventure. There are Red and Blue Metro stops
nearby for city busses from downtown or along Olympic. A Dash Bush runs
downtown neighorhoods and from the USC Campus. There’s a free tram
for USC Students on Friday and Saturday picking up from the The Lab or
901 Bar. From Hollywood the subway line runs to downtown, then a bus.
From the LAX area, the LAX City Bus, and from Long Beach the Blue Line
to Olympic then a bus or walk.. From Pasadena, the gold line to Union
Station, subway to Civic Center and bus. Aside from the new tower ritzy
luxury hotels of the Marriot and the Ritz, a number of hotels are around
the area, many of them a several blocks away to the north at 7th and
8th streets and Wilshire. Or just forget all that and order a limo. © Bargain
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