i'd lived here for 14 years prior to venturing into our downtown library. suffice it to say that's just far too long.
but driving from breezy santa monica beach to downtown LA was never high on my list of priorities. now, however, i just hop on the Metro 33 or 333 along with something to read, a notepad and my blackberry and soon my city-powered chauffer drops me at Fig & Venice. once downtown, the Dashes take over with enviable frequency and cleanliness.
our 'brary is gorgeous, from the large courtyard with ample shade, to the vast atrium ... but the old section is the real glory. now the children's zone and also the locale for exhibits, you can still see murals originally hung in 1928.
get there prior to the end of July and check out the Getty Gallery's exhibit of Fred Marcellino's work. Marcellino illustrated the covers of some of my favorite books (Bonfire of the Vanities, Handmaids Tale) as well as Puss in the Boots (he'll be quite familiar as a member of Shrek's posse).
one more tip: if you go during the week, wear your swimsuit under you clothes and treat yourself to lunch at the rooftop bar of the Standard ... you'll have the pool -- and view -- to yourself ... perfect for devouring the books you just picked up!