Leaving Los Angeles via Watts

Trip Start Feb 12, 2011
Trip End Mar 09, 2011

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Where I stayed
The Hollywood Downtowner Inn

Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, February 19, 2011

Our plan this morning was to visit Simon Rodia's Towers at Watts, an outer suburb of L.A., on the way out to Las Vegas so we followed Sheila's (our host at the Inn) excellent directions to LA airport to drop off our Focus and pick up a new car to drive to Vegas. It was about 40 minute drive from Hollywood. On the way out of town we stopped to take pics of the Chateau Marmont and look for Whiskey a go-go, which we had actually driven past about five times! We felt like right knobs once we realised. 
Even though we did all the right things, our new hire car wouldn't start, so we traipsed back to the desk in the middle of the lot, too afraid to return inside to the main desk where we had been originally grudgingly served by a scary, disapproving woman. Our car was probably frightened into submissive stillness, much like ourselves.....the lovely Barbara at Hertz Customer Service offered us free GPS etc in another car. Wonderful! This pause in the proceedings however was enough for Viv's eyes to glaze over and a strange robotic voice to come forth saying "Must.....have....Mustang"
So, we did - a RED one which everybody knows goes faster.
Barbara then phoned her friend who would know where Watts Towers are, which she did, and gave us both an overview of getting there and to Las Vegas, and specific directions complete with landmarks. A gem. She wanted to come adventuring with us and we wanted to take her.

Watt's Towers are stunning.The story for me had echoes of Hearst Castle; a man's dream and achievement now left for others' to admire and marvel at. Hearst Castle didn't tighten my throat though. When Simon abandoned his property, the local kids used the spires as a climbing park until the site became protected and fenced. The guy that guided my tour was one of those kids. After the Towers we had the experience of eating at a Denny's....


Watts has the longest running Jazz Festival in the States.

Charles Mingus was born in Watts.

Off, then to Las Vegas. Tally-ho!
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