Yesterday was the day before the Electronic Entertainment Expo officially kicked off, and as you can tell, I’m getting in the spirit. Folks who have seen me before at past E3 and Macworld Expo shows know that I try to demonstrate my love for Apple by advertising the fact on my head. Hopefully Apple appreciates the free advertising — maybe one of these days they’ll cut me a deal on a Power Mac G4 or something.
My official stylists of choice in the Los Angeles area reside at Buzz Stop, located two blocks east of Fairfax at 7712 Melrose Avenue. Back in 1999, they were the first to put an Apple on my head. This year’s design was done by London, pictured here, who was inspired by the “sacred heart” motif used by tattoo artists. You can’t quite see it from this photo, but he painted leopard spots all over the sides and top of my head. Amanda, the store’s owner, is an iMac user herself, so if you’re in LA and you’re looking for somewhere to go for custom cuts and coloring, this is a great place.
Earlier in the day I paid a visit to the LA Convention Center, as construction workers and booth folks were putting the finishing touches on the show. I wasn’t able to get out on the show floor (security is tight), but from what I could see it looks like once the doors open, it’s going to be fun.
Based on the conversations I’ve been having with exhibitors and other folks at E3 this year, it’s readily apparent that Microsoft has a very, very strong presence. Its new game console, the Xbox, is slated for release later this year. Many third-party developers are using this show to introduce new titles that will debut on the Xbox. Second-generation PlayStation 2 games are starting to come forward, as well — good news, considering that many of the first offerings for Sony’s new game console have left players a bit underwhelmed. Game Boy Advance, the new Nintendo handheld, is going to be released in North America very soon, and that, too, is showing very strong support from third-party developers.
I had dinner with Peter Tamte, the founder of MacSoft and former Bungie exec who left to start his own game company last year. That game company is well on its way to developing original content and it’s also working on some Mac game conversions — please check the story for more details.
I wrapped up the evening spending some quality time with some colleagues from MacGamer, who are covering the event from their own perspective as well. We’ll all have plenty of news to report over the next few days, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for details.
My initial “Fear and Loathing” article evoked a fierce debate amongst our readers about the relative merits of Los Angeles and California in general. Let me say for the record that, despite the title of this column series, I quite like it here. I find it easy to navigate and the people I meet when I’m town are usually warm and friendly. In fact, it actually gets me a bit nostalgic, because I lived in Southern California for a brief period about a decade ago.
One thing I’ve discovered, however — this is the first year that I’ve stayed in a downtown hotel, and this area shuts down as soon as the businesses close. The downtown area is certainly convenient for access to the convention center, but it’s not very conducive to nocturnal activity, with the possible exception of some enterprising skateboarders, a few transients, and night maintenance and cleaning crews.
So, today’s question for LA residents: If you like to be around crowds of people after the lights go down, and you like to stroll the avenues, where is the best place to go people-watching? Westwood is a good example — it has a bustling nightlife with a population that’s dominated by UCLA students. Are there other similar areas in LA? If so, what are some of your favorites? Drop me an e-mail.