Growing up I was always fascinated by Hollywood. Being a bigger than usual movie fan made it seem like some kind of Mecca; the place where all the magic happens. I was determined to visit the city of angels where dreams are supposed to come true. And sure enough, when I was 21 I finally managed to go there…only to discover it was a dump, full of bums, wannabes and tourists. I’m sure there’s a lesson or moral in there somewhere about how perceptions never measure up to reality…
Of course my disappointment as a young, naïve 21 year old hasn’t stopped me from revisiting LA, although this time - with 8 years of life experience behind me and my understanding of Hollywood slightly more reality based - I wasn’t looking for Mecca anymore.
The nice thing about visiting now was that the bubble was already burst, so it could only go up in my opinion. And it did. But more surprisingly it also went up in Joe’s; a first time visitor and the one who had originally vetoed us going in earlier versions of our trip. I convinced him that he really should see it at some point, so why not now?
It would be remiss to expect everything in LA to have improved since I was last here, Venice Beach is still scuzzy – we didn’t even bother parking the car, just drove on by – the bums, wannabes and tourists are still present everywhere, but something has changed. It seemed less overwhelming, less like a mythical land where movies are born, and more just like a regular city; like any other in the world.
We made our way to Rodeo Drive. Most of the shops were closed due to it being Sunday, but this was just as well really; it’s not like we could afford anything they had to offer anyway. After leaving the riches of Beverly Hills behind us we went over to visit young Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard. We stopped in at the famed celebrity hotel, Chateau Marmont, but for some reason we didn’t feel welcome and made a quick exit.
So, until tomorrow…
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