Posted by Billyjam, February 3, 2008 06:20am | Post a Comment

i am legend will smith
If, like me, you are in the minority today (Sunday Feb 3) when it comes to the cultural obsession with all things Super Bowl and you have no plans to watch today's big game in Arizona between the Giants and the Patriots, then you already know from previous Super Bowl Sundays that this one day of the year can provide a rare opportunity to have the rest of the world to yourself (almost) when you can visit near-empty stores, museums, cinemas, galleries, bowling alleys, theme parks, zoos, city & regional parks etc. etc. With nearly no one else around it's almost like being WIll Smith in I Am Legend.

And considering that Super Bowl Sunday is not just the time of the actual game itself but basically the whole damn day for most folks, with the pre pre-game TV broadcasts beginning as early as 9AM, and the post game wrap up lasting well into the evening -- that means the rest of us (the minority) have the whole long day to ourselves to roam that outside near-deserted world. I would normally recommend heading out to parks and outside events today but with the weather forecast for heavy or widespread rain in both the Bay and LA areas today I suggest sticking with indoor activities -- many geared for all ages -- unless the weather clears up.

This is the perfect time for shopping, and at the top of the list of stores to visit I recommend any of the three Amoeba Musics (Berkeley, San Francisco, Hollywood), where you will be able to crate dig with ease for CDs, vinyl, DVDs, posters etc. And before you head to Amoeba, I recommend spending a little time surfing this great website to get an idea of some of things to look out for at each store. And today is also a good time to head to other stores that you may have always wanted to go to but didn't want to deal with crowds. You should also find parking with ease for once at most places today.

Museums and galleries, often busiest on weekends, are refreshingly emptier today. So if you have never been to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, you should go, as it offers one of the world's most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history. And for those who don't wish to (physically) visit this fine museum that is located near USC, they also offer an excellent online tour. Admission is $9 for adults, $6.50 for teens, only $2 for ages 5 to 12, and free for under 5. 

Other LA area museums include the J Paul Getty Museum, where there is no admission but parking is $8. Open 10 - 6PM on Sundays. The Japanese American National Museum at 369 East First Street is open 10 - 5 with admission of $8 or $4 for kids. And of course, in LA, today is a good time to go to the big (overpriced) theme parks and resorts like Disneyland and the Universal Studios  tour.

In San Francisco there are some really great museums to choose from, including the Museum of Modern Art, open til 5:45PM ($7 - $12 admission), the Cartoon Art Museum on Mission St. ($6, 11AM - 5PM), and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco that include the Legion of Honor at Lincoln Park and the De Young in Golden Gate Park. Meanwhile, over in the East Bay UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science  (10AM - 5PM, $4, $8, $10 admission) is a fun place to visit, especially with kids.

And speaking of entertaining non-Super Bowl-interested kids (especially tween girls), probably one of the best bets would be the new film Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, which (like the new just opened U2 movie) is in 3D. Reportedly all cinemas screening the film are charging full adult ticket price of $10 or $12 for kids, which is cheap compared to the Disney teen star's concert tickets for her 2007 tour (from which this film is culled), which fetched as much as $2000 a pop on eBay. However, since this film is scheduled to play in theaters for one week only, you may want to chamoebaeck ahead with theaters before heading out.

Of the recent new movies I have seen, I agree with the general opinion that No Country For Old Men is a good one, but I also thought that Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream -- while dismissed by most critics as average or worse -- was actually a really engaging and enjoyable film. For good, dumb fun Meet The Spartans is a non-stop barrage of rapid one-liners and sight-gags that spoof current popular culture. You could also buy a movie on DVD at Amoeba to take home and watch on your computer (all TV sets will most likely be in use).

Other indoor activities to pursue could include heading to your local gym/sports club (for once it won't be packed on a weekend) or getting some other non-football fans together to go bowling, which also will be refreshingly crowd-free. 6801 Hollywood Blvd is the location of the Hollywood Lucky Strike. Meanwhile, in the Bay Area, bowling alleys include the Albany Bowl at 540 San Pablo Ave. in the East Bay and the Presidio Bowling Center in San Francisco. (Amoeba Factoid: the Haight Street Amoeba Music store is located on the site of a former bowling alley).

For more general listings of entertainment in Los Angeles visit the LA Weekly's online listings. And for the Bay Area, visit the Bay Guardian's site and click on "listings" or visit SF Gate. Another good online resource is an extensive list of Things To Do In The SF Bay Area (many free) compiled by the folks at SF Carnival.

Of course there are a million other things one could do, from playing chess to reading a book, or listening to some old albums, or doing something that you have been putting off, like, say, writing a letter (not an Email) to some long lost friends that you have been meaning to get in touch with for the longest time. And if you have any suggestions for Super Bowl Sunday alternatives PLEASE add them in the COMMENTS below. Thanks!