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How To Navigate The Chaos At LAX This Holiday Season, And Even Enjoy Some Art

A view of the TSA room as dozens of blurry people moves through it. A large multicolor bell sculpture hangs in the air with panels of etched flat materials lined up to make the curve.
The Bell Tower sculpture at LAX.
(Kelly Barrie
Courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports)
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I can’t tell you how many times in the past 16 years I’ve rushed through Los Angeles International Airport with only 30 minutes to spare. I don’t know, friends. I think I subconsciously enjoy the exhilarating (though quite nerve-wracking) feeling of playing the extremely risky game: Will Aaricka make or miss her flight today? On top of Olympic-style sprinting through the fifth busiest airport in the WORLD, I have to deal with the chaos of taking everything off at the TSA security checkpoint. It’s like the Amazing Race.

Why do I do this to myself time after time?

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How To Navigate And Even Enjoy LAX

If this scenario sounds familiar and you suspect this might be YOUR story at some point in the next couple of holiday weeks, I’d like to direct you yet again to my colleague Caitlin Hernández’s excellent guide to LAX — the history, the design and the answers to why it ALWAYS seems under construction.

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Their article offers hacks on how to get in and out — and through — the place so you can be confident you’ll make that flight. Caitlin also offers these tipson what you can do before your next trip to make that whole TSA process a tad easier.

There’s something else to Caitlin’s coverage of LAX that makes me actually appreciate this often infuriating place. This week they take note of the sweet, artsy golden nuggets you can find throughout the terminals.

Did you even know that LAX has an art program that features local and regional artists through exhibitions, performances and art installations? Have you ever noticed the Bell Tower? Or really taken a good look at the Theme Building, the Space Age-inspired Googie design that Southern California is famously known for? It’s actually pretty cool.

So let's make a promise: Let’s commit to taking a breather, making time to get our coffee, and arriving at the airport early enough to enjoy our surroundings.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • The Metropolitan Water District expanded the drought emergency to the entire Southern California region. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was already under restrictions. Now the emergency extends to all 26 of MWD’s partner agencies. 
  • Even if you don’t know Julie Gigante by name, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen her likeness, looming over the 110 Freeway downtown in her green gown and long, wavy dark hair. Well, after 37 years, the L.A. chamber orchestra violinist has retired. 
  • The future of L.A.’s most famous mountain lion is uncertain. According to a health report, P-22 is extremely underweight and his face shows signs of trauma from possible impact. It is unlikely that the big cat will be released back into the wild.
  • After almost three years of repairs, the Queen Mary will partially reopen Thursday. The City of Long Beach hopes to have the whole ship open to the public in March. 
  • After suing the city of Hesperia in 2019 for a policy that discriminated against Black and Latino renters, the U.S. Department of Justice entered an agreement for a landmark settlement that includes the city and Sheriff’s Department paying nearly $1 million, most of which will go to people victimized by the policy.
  • Some rural counties in California are having a hard time finding staffing for their police departments. For some counties, that means ending daytime patrols and leaving citizens to solve their own problems. Everyone involved has their own idea for how to solve the issue. 
  • With the rise of antisemitic behavior across the country, students near and far are continuing to turn to the Holocaust Museum L.A. as a way to learn a history lesson that sometimes textbooks can’t teach.
  • The U.S. Postal Service is honoring the life and legacyof civil rights activist and former U.S. Congress member, John Lewis, by making a postage stamp in his image.  
  • Did the pandemic warp our sense of time? Here’s what a psychologist had to say about how the pandemic era proved that time can be both flexible and variable.
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

(more news headlines here)

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Wait... One More Thing

Let's Dress Up and Eat Good Food In The South Bay

The Redondo Beach pier at sunset
The South Bay is jammed packed with plenty of food and drink options to choose from.
(Photo by Hester Qiang via Unsplash )

I’ve been wanting to get my Anthony Bourdain on in Los Angeles for a minute, and to start somewhere new to me. Let’s head to the South Bay.

The South Bay area has sprouted more than 50 restaurants since 2021. Does that overwhelm you like it does me? Well, I have a treat for you. Dominic Capaldi gave us a great guide to almost a dozen restaurants in cities like Manhattan Beach and Redondo. Check out the list here.

My competitive gamer spirit is yearning to try out Sauced BBQ & Spirits in El Segundo . At this eatery, there’s shuffleboard, bocce ball and even ax-throwing. All they need is Connect Four and I am set for a good time! My soul misses Texas so much that I dream about brisket on the daily. Guess what? They have all kinds of regional-styled meats, including my Texas fave. Ugh — and jalapeño cheese grits, sweet honey cornbread and fried Oreos? Yeah, I am going to this place before the year is up! Check out the other absolutely delectable restaurants in the South Bay Dominic chose to highlight for the foodie in you.

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