I landed at LAX and walked right out into the sunshine, and soon was zooming east on the 105 freeway headed toward Anaheim. This city has some distinctions that are surprising for its size and it has one of the most iconic tourist attractions in the US, Disneyland, where more than 20,000 of its residents work.
With just over 365,000 residents, Anaheim boasts two professional sports teams, the Anaheim Ducks of hockey and the MLB’s Angels. Talks were underway that would have brought the forlorn Sacramento Kings down here too, to play their games in the magnificent Honda Center, that’s right near the major freeways. That might still happen.
Juan Flores, of the Orange County CVB, was proud when he told me of other big city efforts he’s been involved with, like tempting the organizers of the massive Comic-Con International comic book show to consider moving it from its 40 year home down in San Diego up here to Anaheim’s massive convention center. It’s locked up until 2015, but after that, who knows? 140,000 comic book fans and the movie studio booths who promote movies made from comics is a pretty sweet prize.
We visited the Muzeo yesterday, a modern downtown building that hosts interesting art shows…one was about Steampunk, that mixture of modern and 1880s featuring all manner of gizmos, elaborate headgear, and strange ornate vehicles. Then we visited the gallery next door to find a local doctor and his wife’s amazing collection of things you can’t imagine ever being in their house. One was a clock with a Doctor Faustus figure and others were ornate walking sticks, with beautiful carved heads, and one that turned out to be a rifle.
Since Juan’s territory is all of Orange County, we ventured west to the smaller town of Fullerton, where we had dinner at Heroes’ a local bar and grill. With more than 119 beers on tap, I made it easy—bring me the local beer. That would be from Bootleggers, right around the corner. Later we met the owners there, who serve beer in a warehouse in a setting that resembles a college keg party. We tried four, including their flagship Heffewiessen and the mint chocolate black lager.
Fullerton is known for its famous thrift shops and antique stores, one neon sign stood out, offering ZOOT SUITS for sale.