Red line photo gallery

By Matt Jones and Hassan Nicholas, 18, L.A.C.E.S. and 17, Hamilton HS
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Quiet, clean and on time—that's the Metro for you.
Photo by Matt Jones, 18, L.A.C.E.S.

We always do the same thing: hang out at the mall with friends, eat and see a movie. After a while, walking around the mall gets boring, so hopping on the Metro Red Line seemed like a good move—it was easy, cheap and a change of pace.

We began our trip on the Red Line in North Hollywood. Getting out there was pretty easy, but to our surprise, we were just barely able to find a parking space. Whoever said no one takes the Metro? The architecture of the station was beautiful, colorful and very inviting.

We were pretty excited to jump on the subway but first we had to buy tickets. You have to stick your dollars into these annoying machines. Several of the machines did not work and continuously spit our money back at us. After five minutes we finally had our tickets—$2.70 round trip. Down we went into the subway—but this was no smelly, dirty, crowded New York-style subway. The ride was on time, smooth and clean with a lot of available seats, very different from regular MTA buses. As we rode along, we peered out at the beautifully decorated subway stops—in one Hollywood stop, the walls and ceiling were covered with thousands, maybe even millions, of tin film reels. It looked dope.

Our first stop was Pershing Square. With its mixture of executives, homeless, pigeons, traffic and buildings towering over you, you feel like you’re in a city at Pershing Square. There’s a beautiful fountain at one end of it with many interesting sculptures, however the homeless people might make you feel pretty uncomfortable.

We then walked over to the Central Library on Grand. The building was huge and there were a lot of people walking around. There were several different sections for books, a gift shop and an eating area. The eating area had a Panda Express and a Deli, however both are pretty expensive. The most interesting part of the library was TeenScape, the teen center on the second floor. Teenscape features a cyber café with at least 20 high powered, stylish computers, books, CDs, and magazines for teens and a sort of lounge area where we saw several of the teens watching a movie.

(Hassan: Nice design—it lacked those bright childish colors they usually put in the "kids" area.

Matt: There were way more teens there than I expected and they all seemed to be about my age. I am not a library type of person, but if I lived a little closer I’d definitely check it out from time to time.)

Being cheap, Hassan and I found a McDonald’s across the street under the Arco Tower. There was also a Taco Bell, juice stand, and several other inexpensive places to eat. We grubbed for about five dollars each.

We jumped back on the rail headed for Hollywood. One tricky thing about the Metro—you have to keep an ey on which train you get on. Make sure it’s going the right direction.

(Hassan: If you guys weren’t here, I would’ve been lost.)

We got off at Hollywood and Vine and walked along to the next station at Hollywood and Highland. Along the way we passed the Egyptian Theatre, the Wax Museum, Ripleys Believe It Or Not, the Mann Chinese, the Pantages, the Capitol Records Building—we saw it all.

Matt: It was more fun than I expected. I’ve lived in Los Angeles all my life, but I don’t think I have ever spent more than a couple hours in Hollywood. But if you are looking for another cool place to just hang out, shop or go to the movies, you have found it.

Hassan: Hollywood is perfect for goofing around. There’s a lot of see, especially if you want to buy wigs and lingerie or get a tattoo. (Visit my favorite shop, Crossroads, for cool urban gear.) You’ll see Goths, gangsters, families—all kinds of people. Tourists wander around confused, with Sony cameras and maps. There are weird people, like the guy who told me I could change history by drawing on his art pad. It’s lively. I think I might have caught a glimpse of Michael Jackson, but I’m not sure.