What's New_Hot Now

101 WHAT'S NEW IN LOS ANGELES

LOS ANGELES _ Los Angeles, the City of Angels, offers something for everyone. Trends start here...some say the future starts here. The nation's second largest city is constantly re-creating and redefining itself. The region enjoys a cultural diversity and depth that is unmatched by any city in the United States_and few worldwide.

Whether you seek the excitement of outdoor

activities, high culture or street culture, L.A. will keep you busy from dawn till dusk. The following is what's hot and happening in L.A. today: (contact names and numbers are for media use only).

CITYWIDE

The Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau has introduced a number of new visitor services and programs designed specifically for travelers.

New Official Los Angeles Visitor Guides - The Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau, in partnership with the Los Angeles Times, has launched a new series of official Los Angeles Visitor Guides. These seven easy-to-read and use guides are packed with insider's tips, suggested itineraries, detailed descriptions and local area maps. Whether you want hints for shopping on Melrose Avenue, recommendations for star gazing or advice for dining and nightlife, these new guides have it all. The new guides include Destination Los Angeles, which covers the entire city, and six innovative, in-depth pocket guides covering

Hollywood, Beach Cities, Downtown, Beverly Hills/Westside, Shopping and Dining/Nightlife. The books are available from the Bureau for a nominal postage and handling fee. Contact: Carol Martinez, 213/236-2357 or fax 213/2362395.

DOWNTOWN

Los Angeles' dynamic urban core has undergone a major facelift recently as construction of new buildings and facilities strengthen the area's reign as the Pacific's premiere business center.

Angel's Flight - This popular Downtown landmark dating from 1901 has been resurrected. Angel's Flight was once a funicular railway that transported passengers up a steep incline, from Hill to Olive Street. Torn down in 1969, this unique attraction has been fully restored and

returned to Downtown_just half a block from its original site. Contact: Chuck Sifuentes, 213/977-1794 or fax

213/617-0966.

Museum of Neon Art - The Museum of Neon Art (MONA) recently opened its main exhibit space on the first floor of the Renaissance Tower in Downtown L.A., displaying a fine art collection in electric media and neon signs. More than 400 artists have shown works in group and solo exhibitions since 1981. In addition to this new space, the museum maintains an exhibition of historic signs on the exterior of buildings at Universal CityWalk. MONA

also conducts night time bus tours of neon signs, movie marquees and permanent installations of contemporary neon art in the city. Contact: Barbara Trister, 213/626-3187 or fax 213/626-4918.

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA - This modern art showcase recently reopened after a three-year closure. Originally called the Temporary Contemporary, the facility has become a stable and popular exhibit space on the city's art scene. Designed initially as a short term home for the city's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), this facility incorporates a former municipal warehouse renovated by renowned architect Frank Gehry. For press information, contact Dawn Setzer, 213/621-1750 or fax 213/621-1748.

Metro Red Line - Los Angeles' growing subway system is scheduled to extend along Wilshire Boulevard July 13. The Red Line currently runs from Union Station, the city's main train depot, through the Downtown area to MacArthur Park. Future plans call for further extension into

Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley. The 300-mile Metro Rail transportation project opened in June 1990 with the Blue Line, a light rail system which runs from Downtown to Long Beach and also includes the recently opened Green Line. Contact: Jim Smart, 213/922-2713.

Los Angeles Central Library - In 1986, two fires gutted the Central Library, one of the nation's most respected research and resource enters. Seven years and $213.9 million later, the significantly expanded library reopened in 1993 to become the third largest in America. Adjacent to the library, the Robert F. Maguire III Gardens provide a 1.5-acre urban oasis with a garden restaurant, Cafe Pinot. Contact: Robert Regan, 213/228-7555 or fax 213/8921438.

Leimert Park - This up-and-coming Crenshaw District hub includes a number of happening spots, including 5th Street Dick's, which presents nightly jazz and after-hours jam sessions. This down-home joint was recently named by Buzz magazine as one of the 50 coolest places in the city. For more information about 5th Street Dick's, call 213/2963970.

HOLLYWOOD

The Hollywood area is regaining the classic charm and elegance for which it is famous. City officials have placed an emphasis on making the area more accessible and convenient for visitors.

Hollywood Walk of Fame - The legendary sidewalk recently added 148 new stars with an extension along Hollywood Boulevard from Sycamore Avenue to La Brea Avenue. The

extension is part of a $4.4 million improvement program to enhance the boulevard. Contact: Anna Martinez-Holler, 213/469-8311 or fax 213/469-2805.

Universal Studios Hollywood - Come face-to-face with a Velociraptor as the movie world of Jurassic Park comes to life at Universal Studios. "Jurassic Park_The Ride" will take visitors into the world of the Steven Spielberg hit, with some of the most advanced animatronics ever designed bringing the film's dinosaurs to life. Guests cruise through the tropical waterways of the six-acre attraction, which includes an 82-foot plunge and the chance to get up close and personal with prehistoric creatures up to five

stories tall. Contact: Lori Miller, 818/622-5985 or fax 818/622-0407.

Universal CityWalk - Adjacent to Universal Studios

Hollywood is perhaps the most unusual shopping complex in the world. CityWalk houses unique restaurants and shops that draw crowds of both visitors and local residents. CityWalk recently became the home of the newest Hard Rock Cafe, the first two-story restaurant in the chain. Contact: Tracy Howard, 818/622-2962 or fax 818/622-0151.

WESTSIDE

The Westside encompasses Beverly Hills, Westwood, Brentwood and Century City and offer the best examples of L.A.'s most glamorous lifestyles.

Museum of Television and Radio - A Los Angeles branch of the New York museum has now opened in Beverly Hills. With exhibits covering everything from classic radio to

favorite television shows and commercials, the museum's unique collection of more than 75,000 programs was

duplicated to make it available in both cities, allowing visitors the opportunity to access 75 years of programming history. The museum's L.A. home was redesigned by

architect Richard Meier, who also designed L.A.'s new Getty Center. Contact: Bridget Fitzpatrick, 310/786-1000.

Skirball Cultural Center - This new museum highlights the Jewish experience in the Old World and the New. The

center, located along L.A.'s Sepulveda Pass near the new Getty Center, includes the Skirball Museum, a hands-on Discovery Center, an Educational Center and a number of conference, classroom and auditorium facilities. Exhibits include original fragments of Ellis Island benches and a sectional reconstruction of an archeological dig.

Contact: Joana Fisch, 310/440-4578 or fax 310/440-4595.

The Petersen Automotive Museum - A celebration of the history of the automobile and its role in Southern California development. The largest such collection in the United States with 80,000 square feet of exhibition space, the museum contains more than 200 cars, motorcycles and memorabilia. The facility is located along Wilshire Boulevard's "Museum Row" between Beverly Hills and

Downtown. Contact: Gina Ward, 213/744-3515.

Craft and Folk Art Museum - Dedicated to the exhibition, study, preservation and celebration of cultural

expressions through the objects people use for

living_their folk art, craft and design_the Craft and Folk Art Museum has been an L.A. institution since 1973. After several years of exhibiting in temporary quarters, the museum recently opened a new facility at its original Wilshire Boulevard site. Contact: Heather Gore, 213/9375544 or fax 213/937-5576.

Carole & Barry Kaye Museum Of Miniatures - Diminutive mansions, pint-sized automobiles and exquisitely decorated rooms tracing the evolution of style are among the many undersized exhibits at the world's largest contemporary museum of miniatures. The lifelike reproductions allow visitors to travel around the world and through the ages under one roof. Contact: Arlene Davidson, 818/753-8280 or fax 818/753-0159.

Museum Of Tolerance - This unique facility features high-

tech exhibits dedicated to the promotion of understanding among people from all backgrounds and walks of life. The $50 million museum uses interactive exhibits to focus on two central themes: the history of racism and prejudice in American history, and the story of the Nazi holocaust. Contact: Avra Shapiro, 310/553-9036 or fax on 310/553-

4521.

Planet Hollywood - L.A. County's first branch of the famous restaurant chain owned by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and Sylvester Stallone recently opened in Beverly Hills. Here, visiting movie fans can get a close-up view of the dress that sparked Robert Redford's "Indecent Proposal" or "Forest Gump's" box of chocolates, along with numerous other film "artifacts." With film clips and videos playing throughout the

restaurant, diners have plenty to keep them busy. Contact: Michael Roth, 310/275-7828.

House Of Blues - The L.A. version of this growing chain has become one of the hottest places in town. With a vision to nurture live blues as a uniquely American art form, the popular L.A. venue on Sunset Boulevard (decorated like a Southern Delta home), features daily live performances of established as well as newer blues artists. Sundays feature a Gospel Brunch and an awardwinning buffet of scrumptious Southern cooking. The House of Blues is the brainchild of actor Dan Aykroyd and Hard Rock Cafe co-founder, Isaac Tigrett. For information, call 213/848-2510.

BEACHES

The quintessential Los Angeles ingredients of sun, sand and surf mix with the energy and culture of a worldclass city to offer the consummate L.A. life. The Coastal region offers visitors 72 miles of ocean, shoreline and beachside towns to enjoy.

Pacific Park - The old-time pleasure pier takes a modern twist as Santa Monica becomes home to the West Coast's only amusement park located on an ocean pier. Recently opened, Pacific Park has transformed the city's famous pier into a fun zone. A 55-foot roller coaster and giant Ferris wheel that soars more than 100 feet above the Santa Monica beach are among the park's 11 new rides. Other new additions include midway games and a full food court on the pier's southwest portion. Contact: Christie Conti, 818/776-1244 or fax 818/776-1174.

Streisand Center - It was the ultimate in celebrity digs_22.5 acres of lush property with four houses tucked into the canyons of Malibu. Then in 1993, Barbara Streisand donated her lavish estate to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Today, the property houses the Streisand Center for Conservancy Studies, an environmental think-tank. The center recently opened the grounds to public tours of the historical, botanical and

architectural background of the center. Two houses are included on the tour, as are landscaped meadows and orchards. Contact: Lisa Soghor, 310/589-2850 or fax

310/589-2561.

LAX Gets New Control Tower - In an effort to bring the latest technology to air traffic control, the Los Angeles International Airport constructed and opened a new control tower. The striking tower rises to a height of 277 feet (115 feet taller than the former tower) and has become a

noticeable addition to the airport skyline. Contact: Fred O'Donnell, 310/297-1431.

Bergamot Station - It once served as a station on Los Angeles' now defunct Red Car trolley line, but today Santa Monica's Bergamot Station houses art galleries. The 5.5-

acre complex offers art lovers a one-stop shopping experience with a dozen galleries. Contact: Wayne Blank, 310/453-7535 or fax 310/453-1595.

Metro Green Line - A recent extension of the Los Angeles' growing Metro system, the Green Line runs along the center of the new 1-105 Glenn Anderson (Century) Freeway. The 20mile light rail train route takes passengers from Norwalk to El Segundo and includes connecting access to Los Angeles International Airport and Redondo Beach. Contact: Jim Smart, 213/922-2713.

THE VALLEYS

Home to the infamous "Valley Girls" of the '80s, the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, Simi and San Gabriel valleys feature many cultural centers and entertainment venues.

Los Angeles Gallaxy - The Los Angeles Gallaxy, the city's brand new Major League Soccer team, drew record crowds to its opening game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The team will play 16 regular season home games through September, offering fans a number of opportunities to watch team stars such as World Cup favorite Cobi Jones and "Melrose Place" star Andrew Shue. Contact Ron Acosta, 310/445-1260 or fax 310/445-1270.

Six Flags Magic Mountain - "Superman the Escape" is flying into the rollercoaster record books. The new ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain_the tallest, fastest and most technologically advanced thrill ride ever

built_accelerates riders from 0 to 100 mph in just seven seconds, towers a record-breaking 41 stories into the sky and delivers an unprecedented 6.5 seconds of

weightlessness. The ride is the first to reach speeds of 100 mph and towers 415 feet above the ground. Contact Bonnie Rabjohn or Palmer Moody, 805/255-4817 or fax 805/255-4815.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor - A new themed waterpark, opened adjacent to Six Flags Magic Mountain, Hurricane Harbor features water attractions including tube slides, speed slides, a lazy river, a wave pool and other play areas. The 22-acre, multimillion dollar project is the first major Six Flags park addition since 1982. Contact: Bonnie Rabjohn or Palmer Moody, 805/255-4817 or fax 805/255-4815.

BEYOND LOS ANGELES

Knott's Berry Farm - The park transforms its Roaring '20s area into The Boardwalk, a colorful tribute to Southern California beach culture. This re-energized area is the home of the new "HammerHead," a water ride that spins riders from the surface of a grotto inhabited by a mermaid, sharks and other sea creatures to a height of 80

feet, taking passengers upside down and sideways. Other area attractions have been added or remodeled to fit in the new Boardwalk theme. Contact: Bob Ochsner, 714/2205130 or fax 714/220-5124.

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