Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I got the GTI bare bones with no options other than some floor mats. However, I always planned to get a cool navigation system installed. I didn't want a sunroof or automatic transmission, but I did want the cool perk of nav, albeit not the anemic, overpriced stock Clarion unit (which required other expensive options as well). It's my one want item on the car, as opposed to a need. But who am I kidding? I could have gotten a basic Golf for a lot less if it was just about need. The nav system I ended up getting is a swanky Pioneer AVIC-X930BT.

We woke up this morning in a downtown Los Angeles hotel with the sole purpose of getting the new nav system installed nearby. We ended up having a fantastic time in the Chinatown area. My son and wife explored Olvera Street while I did my business and we all enjoyed meals at Philippe's.

Philippe's is an awesome restaurant about 50 yards from the hotel best known for their French dip sandwiches, but their breakfasts are pretty special too. The place is quirky with an eclectic atmosphere without becoming too kitsch. We all agreed we should go back next time we're in the area.

I waited for the installation shop to open. It was in the wholesale district of East LA, a shop my brother uses for his electronics installation business. As they wheeled pallets of speakers and stereos onto the sidewalk for their brisk curbside wholesale business, I parked my GTI in the graffiti covered parking lot. The guys quickly got to work.

I want to say it went smoothly, but I ended up driving back to LA later that afternoon when the satellite radio ended up not working after activation and the AM/FM reception was nearly non-existent. The satellite was a loose cable and the radio required an amplified booster cable. It's all working now, despite the issues. I'm too happy with it to be upset over the installation issues. I'll gush over how cool it is in a later post (when I'm not so exhausted).

 Oh yeah. That point of no return.

There's actually very little glare during the day, despite the washed out photo

Red from the Pioneer system matches the VW switch gear at night

Miles: 1177

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