Picture Yourself in Los Angeles This year’s Annual Convention offers educational and networking opportunities with mountains, sea, movie magic—and, yes, temperate weather. Features
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Features  |   August 01, 2017
Picture Yourself in Los Angeles
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Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Features
Features   |   August 01, 2017
Picture Yourself in Los Angeles
The ASHA Leader, August 2017, Vol. 22, 46-52. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR1.22082017.46
The ASHA Leader, August 2017, Vol. 22, 46-52. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR1.22082017.46
Ready for some professional development with added L.A. sparkle? When you’re not learning and socializing inside the convention center walls, find time to amuse yourself outside of them—in the entertainment capital of the world.
After all, the convention’s theme of “focus on the big picture” isn’t just a reminder to consider how our professional roles mesh with the world at large. It’s also a reminder to seek overall personal-professional balance in our own lives. So get out and see something of Los Angeles, whether you stay only for the convention’s duration—Nov. 9 to 11—or turn the trip into a vacation.
Simply walk around downtown to observe some of the city’s architectural landmarks and enjoy cuisine of all styles and price levels. Explore some of the ethnic neighborhoods. Enjoy the entertainment, from the lighthearted to the lofty. And sample some of the city’s wealth of culture, from its many museums to its theaters.
Find the ocean to the west, mountains to the east and family-friendly amusement parks in between. And, by all means, enjoy the weather during your stay. Historical averages for the month of November place the odds on highs in the mid-70s and lows in the mid-50s.
Culture near the convention center
This downtown area of the city features some first-class academia, as well as learning experiences for all ages.
Not far from the convention center lies the University of Southern California, home of the Trojans. Established in 1879, the campus comprises original Romanesque Revival buildings of the 1920s (when the university moved to its current location) and more modern buildings built in the following decades.
Across the street, you’ll find Exposition Park, which contains the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the California Science Center, and the California African American Museum.
At the time of convention, the Science Center will feature two certain-to-be-popular exhibits. “Body Worlds: Pulse” features more than 200 plastinated specimens, including whole bodies, to illustrate the body in health and distress. Additionally, the Space Shuttle Endeavor makes its home at the center. (For these exhibits, check to see if advance, timed reservations are necessary.) Visitors also can take in an IMAX movie, along with the museum’s permanent exhibits.
For some quiet, reflective time, stroll through the Exposition Park Rose Garden, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and featuring hundreds of varieties of roses, along with gazebos and sculptures. It closes at sunset.
If you enjoy art, you can visit a plethora of museums (with their distance from the convention center noted here):
  • MOCA Grand (1.5 miles), the main branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art, located on Grand Avenue near the Walt Disney Concert Hall, spotlights American and European contemporary art created after 1940.

  • The Broad (1.5 miles), a contemporary art museum on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, is a newly opened (2015) space with a striking “honeycomb-like” exterior.

  • Japanese American National Museum (4 miles) in Little Tokyo is focused on preserving the history and culture of Japanese Americans.

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (6 miles), the largest art museum in the Western United States, is located on Museum Row on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile.

  • Petersen Automotive Museum (6 miles), also on Wilshire Boulevard on Museum Row, is one of the world’s largest automotive museums and features automobile history and more than 100 vehicles displayed in 25 galleries.

  • Craft and Folk Art Museum (6 miles), also on Museum Row, is the only museum in Los Angeles showing exclusively craft, folk art and design.

  • La Brea Tar Pits (6 miles), also on Museum Row, is a natural history museum built around naturally occurring tar pits.

  • Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (7 miles), located in Pan Pacific Park and charging no admission fee, is dedicated to remembering the tragic events of the Holocaust during World War II.

  • Hammer Museum (12 miles), located on Wilshire Boulevard and free to visit, is part of UCLA and known for its edgy, progressive exhibitions.

  • The Getty Center (15 miles), a campus of the Getty Museum in Brentwood, is known for its architecture, gardens and views overlooking L.A. The center is accessible via hovertrain funicular.

  • The Getty Villa (19 miles), also part of the Getty Museum but located in the Pacific Palisades, is focused on the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome and Etruria.

Cuisine or just good eats
Los Angeles features one of the most diverse populations in the country—and it shows in the city’s culinary offerings.
Ethnic neighborhoods abound. Historic Olvera Street and Chinatown have offered, respectively, Mexican and Chinese fare for decades. On the other hand, Koreatown, located north of the convention center, has become one of the most hip and densely populated areas in the city. Those who love Japanese cuisine and culture can visit downtown’s Little Tokyo, or take an Uber to West L.A.’s Sawtelle Street, with its many Japanese restaurants and shops. The city even is home to a Little Thailand and a Little Armenia, though they are considerably smaller.
Additionally, Los Angeles is known for offering some of the highest-quality sushi this side of Japan.
For a cross-section of cultures at generally reasonable prices, visit Grand Central Market, located about two miles from the convention center. What began as a farmers market in 1917 has morphed into the best kind of food court, with stalls housing small restaurants of various cuisines.

Los Angeles features one of the most diverse populations in the country—and it shows in the city’s culinary offerings.

Some proprietors at Grand Central Market have responded to the country’s current Filipino food movement, which L.A. is said to lead. Eggslut has received positive reviews from many, including L.A.’s premier restaurant critic and city treasure, Jonathan Gold. Sari Sari Store opens this summer and specializes in rice bowls and desserts drawn from this culture.
Filipino fare also can be found relatively close to the convention center at LASA (727 North Broadway, in Chinatown) and Rice Bar (419 West 7th Street).
Near the convention center, those seeking higher-level cuisine can find restaurants that have been included in the annual Jonathan Gold 101 list. Fair warning: Bring a loaded wallet.
  • Shibumi, #2 on Gold’s 2016 list, serves Japanese at 815 South Hill Street.

  • Spring, #4, offers French cuisine and is located at 257 South Spring Street (entrance on Third).

  • Q Sushi, #10, is located at 521 West 7th Street.

  • Nickel Diner, at #101, serves American fare at 524 South Main Street.

  • Drago Centro, ranked #49 in 2014, is an Italian restaurant at 525 South Flower Street.

Day trippin’
Extending your stay beyond the convention itself? You have plenty of activities and settings to choose from.
The beach
Catch one of La La Land’s biggest draws. In early November, the weather likely will still be warm and dry enough for swimming, surfing, hiking or simply strolling along the sand. You might even be able to fit in some sunbathing. If you are relying on public transportation or ridesharing, visit Santa Monica. You’ll find classic carnival rides and an arcade, or you can join some of the locals by fishing off the pier.
Across Pacific Coast Highway, hikers can find hills and paths to keep them busy. For cleaner, more expansive beaches, take the scenic drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu or Zuma. Depending where you stop, you can fine massive stretches of sand or explore small coves and tide pools. Consider stopping at Neptune’s Net, a popular seafood joint marked for its motorcycle-enthusiast clientele.

In early November, the weather likely will still be warm and dry enough for swimming, surfing, hiking or simply strolling along the sand. You might even be able to fit in some sunbathing.

Wine tasting
You’ve entered the winemaking capital of the United States. While many of the heavy-hitter wineries are up north—with the milder weather that’s hospitable to more grapes—you can find vineyards within an hour or two of L.A. In the city, visit San Antonio Winery, about four miles away from the convention center. It includes a restaurant along with various tastings and tours. It stays open until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
If you can venture a couple of hours away, head north to Santa Barbara County, considered one of the world’s most diverse grape-growing regions because of its many microclimates. While there, you can check out Mission Santa Barbara or Solvang, a Danish-style town with architecture, restaurants and bakeries to match. Head in the other direction from the city and you can visit Temecula, located in Riverside County. Local vintners specialize in Syrahs, Cabernets and Zinfandels due to the warmer weather, but they offer all varieties.
Amusement parks
Within an hour or so of the convention center, families can find all levels of fun. The original Universal Studios is located 12 miles from the convention center, across the street from a Metro subway station. An hour or so drive south can take you to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm, while the same drive in the other direction leads to Six Flags Magic Mountain, with its more intense roller coasters.
Getting around
It’s true: Los Angeles has earned its reputation as a city whose public transportation system hasn’t kept up with its sprawl. But it’s improving. LA’s Metro Rail system can take riders north, south, east and west from downtown.
  • The Blue Line will take you south toward Long Beach.

  • The new Expo Line rides west, ending in Santa Monica.

  • The Red Line rolls north, through Hollywood and the beginning of the San Fernando Valley (with one stop across the street from Universal Studios).

  • The Purple Line runs east and west for a few miles in the city.

All lines converge at the Seventh Street/Metro Center/Julian Dixon Station, just north of the convention center. If you have the chance after sessions are over, hop on it and experience the City of Angels by rail. See you in L.A.!
Get Tickets Now for Hot L.A. Shows

L.A. is the entertainment capital of the world. But it’s not just about the movies. A host of musical and theatrical performances are scheduled the week of convention.

“Hamilton” Pantages Theater, Wednesday, Nov. 7, through Sunday, Nov. 12: As luck would have it, the touring company will be in town in November—at one of L.A.’s historic art deco houses. Needless to say, this run is sold out, but if you’re willing to pay, brokers offer resale tickets.

Katy Perry Staples Center (next to the convention center), Tuesday, Nov. 7, and Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m.

Bruno Mars Forum, Tuesday, Nov. 7, through Saturday, Nov. 11, 8 p.m.: Although this concert is sold out, resale tickets are available from brokers.

L.A. Philharmonic (Dutoit Conducts Ravel), Walt Disney Concert Hall, Thursday, Nov. 9, and Saturday, Nov. 11, 8 p.m.: In addition to enjoying a world-class orchestra, see and experience the music venue designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.

Les Arts Florissants (Classical), Walt Disney Concert Hall, Tues., Nov. 7, 8 p.m.

Tedeschi Trucks Band The Orpheum Theater, Nov. 10 and 11, 8 p.m.: In addition to enjoying the blues band, you can enjoy one of L.A.’s historic theaters, which has been converted into an event venue.

Theater offerings Los Angeles offers plays and musicals in theaters from micro to grand. More popular venues include the Ahmanson, Mark Taper, Geffen Playhouse and Kirk Sullivan Theater.

Comedy L.A. is home to some of the country’s benchmark comedy clubs, from the Comedy Factory—which spawned such stand-up talent as David Letterman, Sam Kinison and Marc Maron—to the Groundlings Theater, an improv house that launched Melissa McCarthy and several “Saturday Night Live” players and writers. Advance ticket purchase is not always required.

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August 2017
Volume 22, Issue 8