Day 55: There’s Magic in L.A.


DAY 55: Los Angeles, California
Miles traveled: 7,288
States visited: 20
Weather: 73, sunny

So, I’ve completed my two weeks in Los Angeles. Last week, I chronicled my unsuccessful efforts to find celebrities. Two weeks later, I can report that I ended up seeing four famous (in some cases semi-famous) folks during my fortnight in the city. Here’s the recap.

1) Hal Sparks
Best known for his appearances on VH1’s I Love the 80s. I saw him at a protest outside the Beverly Hilton when President Obama gave a speech there. He was taking pictures of protesters with his cell phone. He’s the only one I actually got a picture of:


I walked up to Hal and made him riff on random pop culture topics from the ’80s. “Hey, Hal Sparks – He-man & the Masters of the Universe… Go!” Ok, I only did this in my head.

2) Steve Johnson
The guy who played “Patch” on Days of Our Lives. Major star power here. I spotted him on La Cienega coming out of a restaurant. Yes, I recognized him – this program was a major part of my childhood. I can’t believe they wrote John & Marlena out of the show!

3) Mike Dirnt
One day after seeing Green Day at a taping of Last Call with Carson Daly, I spotted the band’s bassist on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, walking with his wife and pushing a stroller with his baby. I was on the phone at the time or I would’ve done my best paparazzi impression and gotten exclusive photos.

4) Magic Johnson
Here’s the big name. He was having lunch at the Newsroom Cafe on Robertson in Beverly Hills. I went there for a lunch date with Melanie from the travel blog Travels with Two. She suggested this location as a possible celebrity hotspot, and indeed it was. His booth was right on my way to the bathroom, so I walked by close enough to say, “Hey Magic, your talk show was lame!” (Again, only in my head…)

Of course, Jason saw bigger stars at his work. During the last two weeks, Ricky Schroeder and David Hasselhoff dropped by his office. The Hoff!

What else did I do in my remaining days in L.A.? I went to Santa Monica beach. But it was 63 and rainy, so I couldn’t even go in the water. Fail!


I met up with my friend Justin who also used to live in Pittsburgh. We shared pitchers at 1 pm on a Thursday afternoon? Why? Because we could! I found a good sports bar called Barney’s Beanery where I could watch the Penguins beat the Red Wings – while enjoying nachos 1/2 off for happy hour. That’s the benefit of being on the west coast – the hockey games start at 5 pm local time.

Jason hosted a small gathering at his place on Saturday, then we went to see Peaches in concert. She’s like Lady Gaga, but way more raunchy. Go look her up if you’re not familiar.

Drivers in L.A. park really close.


I wouldn’t want to live in Los Angeles – the traffic and maniac drivers and just the whole pretentious culture would get to me before long. But it’s a lot of fun to visit. Now, I head up the Pacific coast!

4 Responses to Day 55: There’s Magic in L.A.

  1. I think even failed missions are interesting travel experiences. That’s the exciting with travel: You’ll never know what’s gonna happen!

    … and there is so many places that’s very interesting to see, but not that many that I would want to live in either. I can love it as a tourist. Strange but true 🙂

  2. Well spotted. I’m terrible at spotting celebs. Uma Thurman walked by me a few months ago and I didn’t notice until a friend pointed her out.

  3. I’m so glad I had a chance to meet you — and create an opportunity for you to see Magic! A fabulous sighting, Hoff or no Hoff.

    Thought of you today when I met Selma Blair at brunch (our dogs got friendly, and we got to talking about pets) and Angela from “The Office,” who lives in our ‘hood, Studio City. I wasn’t kidding — stuff like this happens all the time here!

    I wish you a great time in Berkeley — it’s not a whole lot easier to park than it is here, but it can be a lot less ridiculous :).

  4. scott says:

    Wow, that’s pretty cool, Melanie! (Though I wouldn’t have recognized her, either…)

    Uma Thurman, I think I would recognize.

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