August in Hollywood can be unbearably hot. And when you can't afford to pay your air conditioning bill on your $11/hr wage, well, you gotta find somewhere to keep cool. Sure there are the "Cooling Centers," but who wants to hang out with a bunch of Senior Citizens who will tell you "this is nothing compared to the Summer of Nineteen-Ought-Nine." So the Hollywood Temp Diaries is here to offer some fun, cheap places to stay cool if you don't have to go to the office this weekend:
Dash (multiple lines) -- What if I offered you an air-conditioned coach to any of L.A's "Hot Spots" -- the Sunset Strip, Hollywood Boulevard, The Grove (assuming you count The Grove) -- and it only cost 25 cents. Well, that's Dash for you. Also known as the "Short Bus for the Rest of Us," this public transit system zig-zags much of Hollywood/Los Feliz and elsewhere Monday-Saturday. And with annual ridership that's equal to just 5 days worth of NYC subway passengers, you know there are lots of empty seats. Best of all, the air conditioning puts the cabin temperature just north of Absolute Zero. Bring a sweater and enjoy.
Pet Love (Beverly Center) -- Take the east side Habit Trail (a.k.a. the escalators on La Cienega) as far as you can go, and just off to the left is the cutest collection of breathing stuffed animals in the Greater Hollywood area. Pet Love has puppies of all kinds frolicking around for your amusement. If you pretend you have an extra $3,000 for a pure-bred French Bulldog, they'll let you play with one. Just don't tell them you're an admin, because they'll know you can't afford it and they'll toss you out on your ass.
Costco (multiple locations) -- If I learned nothing else in science class, it's that hot air rises and cold air falls. That's where Costco fits in nicely. The combination of 50-foot ceilings, a decent HVAC system and concrete floors means this store is cool and comfortable even when it's 100 in Burbank. But you say "I'm not a member. How will I get in?" A little secret I learned, tell the person working the door you're there to get a membership. They'll let you right in. And if you go there on weekends, there's free food. Bon Appetit.
Guitar Hero (multiple Best Buy locations) -- Therapy not working? Wanna channel you inner Johnny Napalm? Or do you just want to feel superior to the 12-year old next to you? Get to Best Buy and play the hottest video game on the market. Sure it's basically "Simon" but with Motley Crue playing under it, but what's the dif? It's all the fun of going to an arcade, but you can save your quarters for laundry.
Pasadena Ice Skating Center (310 E Green St, Pasadena) -- What if I told you that you could go ice skating in the desert? You'd be certain I was suggesting a junket to Dubai. Well, as your boss tells you all too often, "You're Wrong!!" Nothing says "screw the global energy crisis" like ice skating in August in Southern California. It's cold inside until the "Couples Only" skate time starts. Then it starts to heat up (wink wink). General admission $7.00 and $3.00 for skate rental. Call for more info:(626) 578-0800