Welcome to Los Angeles!
On this page, we’ll post logistical information (about transportation, your hotel, UCLA). And in case you decide to spend an extra day or two soaking up the warm LA sun’s rays, we also have a list of some fun, off the beaten-path, things that we locals enjoy.
Transportation to the hotel:
You’ll be arriving – most likely – at the Los Angeles Airport (fondly known as LAX). If you email us (Gustavo Garza: email@example.com) your arrival time, we’ll try to put you in contact with others with similar arrival times. You can agree share one of the many bright yellow taxis that will be waiting outside baggage claim, or take a Super Shuttle (a blue and yellow van, also waiting outside), to the hotel.
The Super Shuttle is the most economical choice and will cost you about $15-$22 dollars, plus a few dollars tip. The downside is that the van is shared, and you might not be the first dropped off. Even though the website lets you make reservations, you usually can talk to the Super Shuttle agent at LAX. (I’ve never heard of anyone not being able to get on a Super Shuttle when they arrive.)
If you are arriving very late, some of us on the MEPHISTOS organizing committee might be able to fetch you in our cars. Email Dan Crosby (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need to arrange this.
Whatever form of transportation, you’ll be heading to the Claremont Hotel.
The Claremont Hotel:
Most of the conference speakers will be staying at the Claremont Hotel.
1044 Tiverton Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Ph: (310) 208-5957
It is walking distance to UCLA, where the conference is being held. The hotel and UCLA are located in a part of Los Angeles known as “Westwood.” This area – housing a lot of UCLA students – has a number of restaurants, cafes, shops, and coffee places nearby. To unwind after a long day, there are also a few bars: Maloney’s (sports bar), Westwood Brew Co. (brews their own beer), and Palomino (for happy hour, 4-7). We are, it should be mentioned, providing breakfast and lunch each full day of the conference, in addition to a celebratory dinner on Saturday.
The Mephistos Conference:
On the mornings of the conference, we will have someone guide you to where the conference is going to be held at UCLA. We’ll have more information on the specific logistics when you arrive.
Back to the airport:
You should talk with the conference participants and either plan to share a Super Shuttle (1-800-BLUE-VAN) or a taxi to the airport. If you do the former, you have to make a reservation with your pick-up time in advance.
If you have the opportunity to stay an extra day or two, LA has a lot to offer to almost everyone – from those who enjoy communing with nature, discoursing about avant-garde art, and blasting the current sad-state of the movie industry, to foodies, shopaholics, and music-lovers. Since LA is so diverse, and has perhaps too much to offer, I would recommend investing in a travel guide, such as Lonely Planet, or browse some websites (like this one) before arriving.
The one – but crucial – caveat is that LA is not friendly to the carless. There are a good number of places you can take the buses from Westwood (they’re clean and come often), but they won’t easily take you to places like downtown LA. There are many buses in Westwood, however, which will take you to Santa Monica beach. So if you are staying a few extra days and want a more full LA experience, you might want to consider investing in a rental car. Or if a few of you are staying longer, you might want to rent a car together!
Since most of the major attractions are located in the guide books, you should have plenty to do. However in case you have something specific in mind, there is a good chance that me or someone on the organizing committee have some knowledge of it. So don’t hesitate to email me (Sam Shah: email@example.com) and I’ll do my best to help. In fact, between me and the rest of the organizing committee, we probably have some knowledge of whatever you might be interested in doing: CD shopping, going to a play or concert, thrift store hunting, bars, classic movie viewings, surfing, etc. So again, feel free to email.
[note: the ones marked with a * are not so close to campus, defined informally as "I don't know graduate students who live near there."]
... Getty Museum
... *LACMA (LA Country Museum of Art)
... *West 3rd Street: One section of this street (7900-8400) has some of the best shopping in LA - largely stores selling furniture, design objects, women's fashion, regular clothes, and "stuff." Two examples: http://www.plasticashop.com/ and
... Melrose: Just driving on Melrose in West Hollywood (an LA neighborhood) will give you stretch after stretch of shops and restaurants.
... Abbott Kinney: A really cute street in Venice (an LA neighborhood) with some cute shops. One of my favorite places in LA is on this street: Jin Patisserie – an incredibly cute and very delicious place to sit down, relax, get some tea and scones.
... West Hollywood: West Hollywood is known for its celebration of diversity and gay pride. This area features a number of restaurants, design and furniture shops, and famed music venue The Troubadour.
... Mall wise, there are two that I like. My favorite is the newly renovated Century City mall, an outdoor walking mall with semi-upscale stores. The runner up is The Grove, a semi-upscale outdoor walking mall. The Grove has a neat food court and a farmer's market.
... Culver City is another neighborhood of Los Angeles. Actually, technically it isn’t part of Los Angeles, even though it is surrounded by other Los Angeles neighborhoods. It has cute shops and restaurants (more restaurants than shops) and a thrift store and movie theater. It's nice to go and walk around.
... Giant Robot and Giant Robot 2 – Japanese imported toys, books, shirts, etc. – on Sawtelle Blvd. are pretty cool. Also Sawtelle itself has a lot to offer, including a number of boba places and good restaurants. In fact, one of the best meals I’ve had in LA was at a Japanese-French restaurant on Sawtelle called “Orris.”
... * Gingergrass, in Silverlake/Echo Park. It's an updated look on Vietnamese food and is mouth-wateringly delicious. The atmosphere rocks too.
... Jin Patisserie: Cutest, best tea and scone place ever. And surrounded by lots of fun stores.
... The Counter. It has a killer veggie burger and I've never heard anyone
give anything but praise to the regular burgers.
... Orris. The only "kinda" expensive restaurant in the list; a Japanese-French fusion.
... Al Gelato: Really good gelato, open late, and they have some damn good
... Fritto Misto: One of my favorite Italian restaurants. They make their
pasta fresh. Near Santa Monica beach.
... Clementine: Great breakfast. Star sightings.
... Sprinkles: Cupcakes. Yum.