ALL EYES ON THE PRIZE

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - WELCOME THE PENINSULA BEVERLY HILLS -

There’s no doubt that when the Es­cape team gets to work to­mor­row there’ll be an in­box of emails sug­gest­ing that our cover story list of the best of LA could do with some re­work­ing, and that an­other beach, theme park, mu­sic or sport­ing venue should take the first prize.

This cheer­ful dis­so­nance and mild out­rage hap­pens with all lists and any opin­ion piece or story stamped with the word “best”. It’s be­cause un­less the mea­sure­ment for great­ness is sci­en­tific or math­e­mat­i­cal – for in­stance, cal­cu­lated on the most vis­ited, or a poll or vote large enough to be valid – just about ev­ery one of them has a de­gree of sub­jec­tiv­ity.

In the case of Los An­ge­les, we’ve en­listed a Cal­i­for­nian na­tive with a keen knowl­edge of how Aus­tralians think, to cast a crit­i­cal eye around his home town. He’s nom­i­nated a short­list and then a win­ner in at­trac­tions and places hol­i­day-mak­ers to the US would be keen to visit.

Aussies love this part of the world as the beach and ac­tive out­door life­style and food and drinks cul­ture feel fa­mil­iar to those of us who live in coastal cities and towns. Op­po­site to that is in­trigu­ingly in­sane fame and wealth that comes with a place that’s home to Hol­ly­wood and the epi­cen­tre of the world’s en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try.

We timed our story on the eve of the Academy Awards when all eyes are on the red car­pet and fans are won­der­ing how one of the world’s most fa­mous pop­u­lar­ity con­tests will deal with the de­ba­cle of last year’s mis­taken an­nounce­ment. While Moon­light got the top gong, we can as­sure you that in our minds LA LA Land – the place, not the movie – de­serves a gold stat­uette. Or at least a place in your travel di­ary for the year to come.

JANA FRAW­LEY, NA­TIONAL TRAVEL EDI­TOR

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