READ THIS! Former National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis’ message regarding Trump:

READ THIS!

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From the Association of National Park Rangers (US)
Former National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis’ message regarding Trump:
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This morning former Director Jon Jarvis made this statement about recent events involving the National Park Service:

“I have been watching the Trump administration trying unsuccessfully to suppress the National Park Service with a mix of pride and amusement. The NPS is the steward of America’s most important places and the narrator of our most powerful stories, told authentically, accurately, and built upon scientific and scholarly research. The Park Ranger is a trusted interpreter of our complex natural and cultural history and a voice that cannot not be suppressed. Edicts from on-high have directed the NPS to not talk about “national policy”, but permission is granted to use social media for visitor center hours and safety. The ridiculousness of such a directive was immediately resisted and I am not the least bit surprised. So at Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta should we not talk about his actions to secure the rights to vote for African Americans in the south, or is that too “national policy”? At Stonewall National Monument in New York City, shall we only talk about the hours you can visit the Inn or is it “national policy” to interpret the events there in 1969 that gave rise to the LGBT movement? Shall we only talk about the historic architecture of the Washington, DC home of Alice Paul and Alva Belmont or is it too “national policy” to suggest their decades of effort to secure the rights of women can be linked directly to the women’s marches in hundreds of cities last weekend? And as we scientifically monitor the rapid decline of glaciers in Glacier National Park, a clear and troubling indicator of a warming planet, shall we refrain from telling this story to the public because the administration views climate change as “national policy”? These are not “policy” issues, they are facts about our nation, it is how we learn and strive to achieve the ideals of our founding documents. To talk about these facts is core to the mission of the NPS. During the Centennial of the National Park Service, we hosted over 300 million visitors (now that is huge) to the National Parks and most came away inspired, patriotic and ready to speak on behalf of the values we hold most dear. The new Administration would be wise to figure out how to support the National Park Service, its extraordinary employees and their millions of fans.”

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Kilauea meets the sea. Volcanoes National Park – Big Island Hawaii

JOIN NOW! You don’t have to be a park ranger to “Like” what they stand for – or even to join ANPR as a full-fledged member! The have categories for park employees, students and park supporters. http://www.anpr.org (RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”)

NOTE: A freeze on federal government hiring was instituted on January 24, 2017 by executive order. The memo, which does not apply to military personnel, states that “no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances”

Trump put a freeze on federal government hiring, and it could seriously impact the National Park Service and the need to hire thousands of seasonal rangers and other employees for the summer! Beyond seasonal positions, there are many permanent positions that parks are trying to fill and people who have already been offered permanent jobs but haven’t begun working… this will definitely affect the visitor experience and park safety!

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Waimoku Falls – Haleakala National Park in Hana-Maui, Hawaii

DON’T LET THEM SELL OUR FEDERAL LANDS
TO THE LOGGING, MINING & OIL COMPANIES!

PROTECT THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT!
CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL! (NOT A HOAX)

http://www.sierraclub.org
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“O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties. Above the fruited plain! 
America! America! G-d shed his grace on thee.”
– America the Beautiful
from a poem written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1893
(after a visit to Pikes Peak in Colorado)
music composed by Samuel A. Ward

Pikes Peak, named in honor of American explorer Zebulon Pike, is one of the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains in North America. The 14,115-foot mountain top is located in Pike National Forest, 12 miles southwest of downtown Colorado Springs. The summit of Pikes Peak is a high alpine environment with a polar climate due to its elevation. Snowfall is possible year round at the top and thunderstorms are common in the summertime. Pikes Peak, above 14000 feet, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

http://www.nps.gov
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JoshWillTravel in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias – Yosemite National Park

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Yosemite, California

JoshWillTravel in Yosemite National Park (Wawona Tunnel Picture Point)

 

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Travel Answers: Los Angeles!

Travel Answers: Los Angeles! (from a previously saved draft)

These are Travel Answers about Los Angeles saved from another website:

Best views in Los Angeles?

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Downtown Los Angeles from up high!

Q: Best views in Los Angeles? We will be visiting LA and want to take in the views! Ocean views, city views..from restaurants, hotels, parks, etc. Where are the best places to take some photos in LA? Thanks!

A: Great views of Los Angeles day or night?

The Standard and Skybar on Sunset Blvd and the Rooftop Bars/Pool Decks at the London West Hollywood Hotel, Montage Beverly Hills and Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive all have great views along with cocktails and food.

Nice views of Downtown at WP24 from the 24th floor bar and 25th floor restaurant (the WP stands for Wolfgang Puck), both the Elevate Lounge and the Rooftop at The Standard Downtown LA have excellent views.

If you can get into City Club on Bunker Hill (a private club on the top of the Wells Fargo building) there’s a men’s restroom with the best view!

The Music Center plaza has great views of DTLA, Cityhall and the DWP Building. The dancing fountains, the PEACE statue, and the architecture of Disney Hall, the Ahmanson, Mark Taper Forum and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion provide great scenery.

There’s a picnic area at the top of the Hollywood Bowl that has great views and it’s open during the day as a city park. You might also catch a (free) rehearsal if it’s the musical season.

Visit the Getty Museum for amazing views and amazing art. FREE just pay $10 for parking. Open late on Fridays.

Take a slow drive along Mulholland Drive for great views of the San Fernando Valley and West L.A. day or night. There are numerous turnouts and vista points between Hayvenhurst and Runyon Canyon Park.

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The View of the San Fernando Valley from the Top O’ Topanga

Free things to do in Los Angeles?

Q: My girlfriend and I are traveling to LA for 6 days and we would like to know what free or cheap things there are to do in Los Angeles? We are kind of on a budget! We would also like to find out the best mode of transportation and areas to stay in!

A: “Cheap” thrills in L.A.? There’s so much stuff you can do that is free or “on the cheap” in Los Angeles! The Getty Museum is FREE, it cost $10-15 to park.

The Beaches in Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach are FREE, pay only for parking.

Griffith Park and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area have hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Parking and park fees vary. There are also many other places in L.A. for hiking, biking, picnicking, etc.

There are also any number of free public parks and other unique spaces to visit! Bergamot Station and The Brewery Artist Loftshave art galleries in addition to numerous other galleries throughout the city. Check and see if you’ll be in town for “FREE MUSEUM DAY” which varies by location, and some museums are always FREE, but alway encourage donations. The museums also have relatively inexpensive entry fees.

Visit the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier, Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, NoHo Arts District, Universal CityWalk, Old Pasadena, Venice Beach Boardwalk, Hollywood and West Hollywood. No entrance fees. Pay for parking and other activities.

UCLA, USC – University of Southern California, Art Center College of Design, California Institute of the Arts and other colleges have museums, art galleries and events that are also worth looking into too.

See my other answers for more things to do in Los Angeles!

I recommend that you rent a car rather than uber/lyft/taxi/public transport if you want to see and do a lot while you’re here. You really need a car to navigate the city.

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Malibu Beach – Malibu, Los Angeles, California

Where is the walk of fame and how far is it from the airport in L.A.?

Q: This is my first time to LA and I was wondering where the walk of fame is and how far is it from the airport?

A: Where is the “Walk of Fame”? Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood!

The Walk of Fame runs from LaBrea to Gower and up Vine to the Capitol Records Building. You can see the stars’ hands and feet in concrete in the courtyard of (Grauman’s) Mann’s Chinese Theater, visit the Kodak Theatre and shop at Hollywood & Highland. Also in the immediate vicinity are Ripley’s, Madame Tussaud’s, Max Factor and the Hollywood Wax Museums. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the El Capitan Theatre and the Jimmy Kimmel Live studio/offices are just across the boulevard. There are also many restaurants, clubs, bars, retail and tourist gift shops in the neighborhood. The Musso and Frank Grill, Frolic Room, AVALON Hollywood (the old Hollywood Palace Theater), Pantages Theatre and The Egyptian Theatre are all very historic spots along the Walk of Fame.

How far is it from the airport?

Los Angeles International Airport in Inglewood is far away. And depending on the time of day, traffic and your chosen route, it can take 20 minutes or two hours. The LA Flyaway recently started a Hollywood Shuttle, but it’s timeliness because of traffic has been problematic.

Bob Hope Airport in Burbank is closer and the 170 and 101 freeways provide a direct route which can take 20 minutes or an hour depending on time of day, traffic or an event in Hollywood or at the Hollywood Bowl.

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Hollywood & Highland on the Hollywood Blvd Walk of Fame

Best Steakhouse in Los Angeles?

Q: My first question would be about food! I’m searching for the best steakhouse that’s at par with CUT. Aside from Lawry’s, Morton’s, Mastro’s and Ruth Chris, do you know of any? Thanks in advance!

A: Great Steakhouse in Los Angeles? So many… here are a few:

BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood and Santa Monica

Craft in Century City (and CraftSteak at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas)

Le Sanglier in Tarzana, Larsen’s Steakhouse & Delmonico’s Steak and Lobster House in Encino and the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Arnie Morton’s The Steakhouse – Burbank and Woodland Hills

and the Côte de Boeuf at Mélisse is exceptional!

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Dinner Party at n/naka in West L.A. (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

The typical great night in bars and then club in LA

Q: We’ll be a bunch of friends and we wanna experience the now famous ‘LA Style’ nightlife! So let us know, no restriction at all. Where could we start to drink? Then have a cool dinner? Then drink again? And finally be in a nightclub all night long? Or in a house? or swimming pool? or… I don’t know, you’re the one. Thanks!

A: So you want a great night bar/club hopping in Los Angeles? I suggest you pick the nightclub first depending on your taste in music, atmosphere and cost. Check the LA Weekly for listings and reviews.

Pick your location: Hollywood or Downtown Los Angeles, Silver Lake or Koreatown (Los Angeles), West Hollywood or Beverly Hills, Santa Monica or Culver City? Staying in one area is easier than trying to motor from place to place on a busy night.

There are any number of bars and restaurants in all of the locations, again depending on your taste in food and drinks, atmosphere and cost. Pick your restaurant, most have a bar or beverage service. Pick your poison, designer cocktails or craft beer, absinthe or single malt whiskey?

Cover charge, cost of drinks or bottle service, parking and tips add up quickly. Choose nearby bars and restaurants, within walking distance if possible, to avoid traffic, parking charges and/or a DUI. Designate a sober driver or get a limo. Choose a supper club where dining at the restaurant gets you admission to the club.

Contact local club promoters and restaurants and let them know you have a group party, and see what they’ll offer you! VIP treatment, free drinks, bottle service, and other perks can be negotiated with a large party. Make sure you have reservations and are “On the List” because waiting in line to get in sucks.

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Lucy’s 51 in Burbank (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Nice LA beach for swimming in July

Q: I will be staying in the Hollywood area for 5 days in July.  Any recommendations on a nice beach for swimming?  Thanks.

A: I recommend Zuma Beach and Malibu Beach north on Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica. There’s no beach close to Hollywood! Drive Sunset Boulevard from Hollywood to the Pacific Ocean and you’ll pass through West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, UCLA, Brentwood Villageand the Pacific Palisades on your way. When you get to PCH turn right and head up the coast to Malibu. Avoid “rush hour” or you’ll get caught in heavy traffic!

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Malibu Beach – Malibu, Los Angeles, California

Bachelorette in LA

Q: Hi – I am looking for some advice on a killer bachelorette weekend in LA. 7 of us will be traveling together, and I would love recommendations on a good location, any bars or events, as well as hotels. At lot of us are from cities that provide accessible public transit – so if possible, we’d rather save on cab money and be in a central location. I’ve heard West Hollywood and Los Feliz are good neighborhoods. Has anyone had luck finding a hotel that accommodates a large party like ours? We would ideally like to spend about $1K for the two nights. One random note – the bachelorette really likes Harry Potter. Know of any “entertainers” that could accommodate? Thanks!

A: So you want a great Bachelorette weekend in Los Angeles? I suggest you pick the hotel and nightclubs first depending on your taste in music, atmosphere and cost. Talk to the Sales Manager at the Hotel to arrange a Group Rate! Check the LA Weekly for club listings and reviews.

Pick your location: Hollywood or Downtown Los Angeles, Silver Lake or Koreatown, or Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, or Culver City Staying in one area is easier than trying to motor from place to place on a busy night.

There are any number of hotels, bars and restaurants in all of the locations, again depending on your taste in food and drinks, atmosphere and cost. Pick your restaurant, most have a bar or beverage service. Pick your poison, designer cocktails or craft beer, absinthe or single malt whiskey?

Cover charge, cost of drinks or bottle service, parking and tips add up quickly. Choose nearby bars and restaurants, within walking distance if possible, to avoid traffic, parking charges and/or a DUI. Designate a sober driver or get a limo. Choose a supper club where dining at the restaurant gets you admission to the club.

Contact local club promoters and restaurants and let them know you have a group bachelorette party, and see what they’ll offer you! VIP treatment, free drinks, bottle service, and other perks can be negotiated with a large party. Make sure you have reservations and are “On the List” because waiting in line to get in sucks.

NOTE: Avoid going to Comedy Clubs, most hate bachelorette parties.

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The Roof on Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

See my other Blogs with more answers about fun things to do in Los Angeles!

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RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

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Echo Park, Los Angeles, California

Saturday in Echo Park & Downtown Los Angeles

Echo Park – Los Angeles, California

“Saturday in the Park…”

It was a beautiful day. I found parking! The park was full of people and activity.

Here are a few pics of the park (not the people):

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Echo Park Lake & Downtown Los Angeles, California

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO SEE A LARGER PIC!

Echo Park - Los Angeles, California

Jose Marti Monument at Echo Park Lake – Los Angeles, California

“Man loves liberty, even if he does not know that he loves it. He is driven by it and flees from where it does not exist.” ~ Jose Marti

José Julián Martí Pérez  January 28, 1853 – May 19, 1895

Born in Havana, Cuba, he was a poet, an essayist, a journalist, a revolutionary, a philosopher, a translator, a professor, a publisher and a political theorist. His writings and political activity became a symbol for Cuba’s bid for independence against Spain in the 19th century and he is referred to as the “Apostle of Cuban Independence.”

“El que tenga patria que la honre, el que no, que la conquiste.” (“Honor your country if you have one; and if you do not have one, struggle for it.”)

 “Con todos y para el bien de todos” (“With all, and for the good of all.”)

In 1976, the city designated the intersection of Park Ave and Echo Park Ave “José Martí Square,” (plaza) to honor the the Cuban community of Los Angeles. Sculptor Sergio López-Mesa created the bust of José Martí, a Cuban writer and champion of Latin American identity whose poem from the book “Versos Sencillos” (“Simple Verses”) inspired the lyrics for “Guantanamera,” the definitive protest song of Cuba.

Civil engineer Carlos Sebastian Lorente, and Sergio López-Mesa installing José Martí Monument, 1976. | Cuban California Archive USC Libraries Special Collections.

Civil engineer Carlos Sebastian Lorente & sculptor Sergio López-Mesa installing José Martí Monument 1976. | Cuban California Archive USC Libraries Special Collections

More Jose Marti quotes:

“Liberty is the right of every man to be honest, to think and to speak without hypocrisy.”
“A grain of poetry suffices to season a century.”
“Others go to bed with their mistresses; I with my ideas.”
“It is necessary to make virtue fashionable.”
“The struggles waged by nations are weak only when they lack support in the hearts of their women.”
“Charm is a product of the unexpected.”
“The vote is a trust more delicate than any other, for it involves not just the interests of the voter, but his life, honor and future as well.”
“Man has to suffer. When he has no real afflictions, he invents some.”
José Martí was killed in battle against Spanish troops at the Battle of Dos Ríos in 1895.  He is buried in Cementerio Santa Efigenia in Santiago de Cuba.
“No me entierren en lo oscuro/ A morir como un traidor/ Yo soy bueno y como bueno/ Moriré de cara al sol.” (“Do not bury me in darkness / to die like a traitor / I am good, and as a good man / I will die facing the sun.”)
Echo Park - Los Angeles, California

US Bank Tower, Pedal Boats on Echo Park Lake & Downtown Los Angeles, California

US Bank Tower, formerly the Library Tower and First Interstate Bank World Center, is a 1018 ft skyscraper at 633 West Fifth Street in Downtown Los Angeles. It’s the tallest building in California, the 11th tallest building in the United States, the tallest west of the Mississippi River and the 65th tallest building in the world. (or thereabouts…) It’s 73 stories tall with two parking levels below ground. Construction began in 1987 and finished in 1989. The building was designed by Henry N. Cobb and architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. It cost $350 million to build.

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The Lady of the Lake Statue, Echo Park Lake & Downtown Los Angeles, California

On a concrete peninsula with benches facing the water, is a fourteen-foot Art Deco-style female statue. The official name is “Nuestra Reina de Los Angeles” (“Our Queen of the Angels”) but most people know her simply as the “Lady of the Lake.” Rendered in poured concrete, it was created in 1934 by Ada May Sharpless with funding from the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP). It stands on a pedestal box with four bas-reliefs featuring the Hollywood Bowl, L.A. Harbor, the San Gabriel Mountains and the Central Library.

"Nuestra Reina de Los Angeles" ("Our Queen of the Angels") aka "Lady of the Lake." 1934 by Ada May Sharpless

“Nuestra Reina de Los Angeles” (“Our Queen of the Angels”) aka “Lady of the Lake.” 1934 by Ada May Sharpless

Echo Park - Los Angeles, California

The “Wooden Bridge” at Echo Park Lake – Los Angeles, California

Possibly the Oldest Bridge in Los Angeles County, it was built in 1896. The bridge was originally all wood but was replaced with steel sometime before 1960. The bridge is currently closed to foot traffic and there are large locked steel gates at both ends.

Echo Park - Los Angeles, California

Palm Trees at Echo Park Lake – Los Angeles, California

NOTE: The City of Los Angeles spent a lot of money to “rehab” the park and they did a great job! However, the HOMELESS problem remains. A homeless man was camped under a tree when I parked, and another homeless man was passed out on the steps of an outbuilding with his overflowing shopping cart parked nearby.

Bonus Pics: PETA at the Bob Barker Building on Sunset and L.A. City Hall 

Echo Park - Los Angeles, California

PETA at the Bob Barker Building on Sunset Blvd in Echo Park – Los Angeles, California

US District Court Building & Los Angeles City Hall

US District Court Building & Los Angeles City Hall – Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA)

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO SEE A LARGER PIC!

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel

Echo Park Lake – 751 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026  (213)847-0929
City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation & Parks
http://www.laparks.org/dos/aquatic/facility/echoPkLake.htm

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