Los Angeles – Hollywood Boulevard

Let’s continue with my LA travelogue. I only have two more posts to go, so let’s finish up…


When weΒ talk about Hollywood, the first thing that comes to mind is that world famous HOLLYWOOD sign on top of a hill. Almost every movie with a setting in Los Angeles would feature that sign. The thing is, it is actually not an easily accessible place. Most LA city tours would not bring you to visit this famous sign. And even if they do, they will bring you to the foot of the hill and let you see the sign from far far away. The easiest way to see it is from a helicopter.Β Or if you are feeling adventurous, get a car, drive to the top of Hollywood Hills and then trespass over the gates surrounding the sign like how Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis did it in the movie [Friends With Benefits]. It’s a good movie by the way, you should watch it if you haven’t…

Anyway, my point is, I did not visit the world famous Hollywood sign. What I did visit, was Hollywood Boulevard.

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Hollywood Boulevard

This is a famous street on its own rights. Why? Because the Hollywood Walk of Fame is here. Most tourists come here to walk that walk and locate the stars of all those famous people.

I did the same too, but I quickly got bored. It was sunny, and there were a lot of people walking around. Between bright reflections and shadows galore, it is really very difficult to take photos on this walk. An advice: if you want to do this, come early in the morning on a weekend.

Also, notice the image in the center circle of each stars? That’s how they identify whether this person is a singer, movie star or TV star.

No, I did not enjoy the Walk of Fame. I did enjoy some other stuff on this Hollywood Boulevard though. For example, I came here by taking the Metro.

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Metro station: Hollywood/Highland (Red Line)

The moment you exit the station, you will be stunned to see action heroes surrounding you. Watch out for Spiderman, he is particularly impressive, as far as costume buskers go.

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Spiderman
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Spiderman

I also spotted some other superheroes lingering around. Of course, they are buskers. Free to see, but if you want an up close photoshoot, then you have to pay up. I did not want to pay, so I did not get close, so I do not know what’s the rate.

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Batman
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Darth Vader and…

Okay, Vader is not a superhero, he is a supervillain. And I don’t know whose that cowboy looking guy. He sure as hell is not from Star Wars…

Oh yes, like Santa Monica, there are also street performers doing their busking here. I guess the performers are trying to kill two birds with one stone by being here. On top of making a living, apparently all the major production houses are around here, so if you have real talent, there might be a higher chance for you to be spotted by the producers if you perform here.

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Street performers

Here’s the tricky part. I mentioned if you want to walk the Walk of Fame, it is better to come early in the morning on weekends. But, if you want to see these costumed heroes and street performers, then you cannot come too early. They will only show up when more people show up on the street. I came here twice, once was in the afternoon by train, and once was early in the morning by driving, so I got to experience both things…

Another place that I particularly like is this staircase. I don’t know if it has a name, but it is a staircase leading to a mall called the Hollywood and Highland Center. It is right next to the Metro station, and if you are driving then the cheapest parking rate around the area is this mall’s car park. This is probably the most well connected mall in the area, it is connected to a few theatres (Dolby Theatre, TCL Chinese Theatre) and Madame Tussauds Hollywood. Of course, entrances to these places cost money, so I did not bother.

Again, you’d get two different views depending on what time you come.

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Late afternoon
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Early morning

It is probably just a normal staircase for everyone’s day to day usage. The reason I like this staircase though, is because there are meaningful messages printed on the staircase floor as you traverse along it.

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You realize how difficult it is for all these famous Hollywood celebrities to have come this far. How much sacrifice they all have to make to be who they are, what they are. Not to mention the complete lost of privacy in their lives. And for each successful Hollywood celebrity, there are probably thousands others who have failed. Thousands others who will spend the rest of their lives doing street performances, or being bartenders just down the street.

Fame is really not for everyone. Heck, at least I know it is most definitely not for me…

Anyway, this is the end of our little tour of the Hollywood Boulevard.

24 Comments

  1. I only remembered Sunset Boulevard! Did they change name?

    It is so true that fame is not for everyone. Some who had it, lost it after their heads swelled and started boozing & snorting! Oh dear…

    Nice photos you have and many parts seem new to me. We drove up the entire Beverly Hills to see the fabulous homes and mansions. It was a dream come true for me.

    • Totally different. Sunset Boulevard is a big area covering Beverly Hills isn’t it? Hollywood Boulevard is just a… street. Actually I think the only thing famous there is that Walk of Fame.

    • Not by choice. Both times I was with different people. I was basically just playing tour guide, even though I was very much a tourist myself.. πŸ˜€

  2. That sure brings back some memories! I remember seeing Batman, Spiderman and Michael Jackson. There was also a bunch of girls from China dressed as characters from Toy Story. One of them thought I was from China too hah..hah…

  3. When I was in US on a tour, I was here (Hollywood Boulevard) briefly too (don’t remember much, probably coz it didn’t leave much of an impression). Walked through the Hollywood Walk of Fame…didn’t notice the little centre circle until you mentioned it here! πŸ˜€

    • I guess this is the most underwhelming place in the entire LA for many. I didn’t particularly enjoyed this place too.

  4. I went up to the hill last time and we did some crazy thing also, we visit those celebrities house, but just get to see the gate outside of course, and that was kind of fun for us

  5. Oh yes, you are right, when you talk about Hollywood in your first sentence, I think of those alphabets on the hills already.. And now, Astro got one advertisement, using the same concept, but they emphasize on the OD only (the last 2 words) – On Demand.. New channel kot..

    • Haha yeah, I saw that ad when I was back home last last weekend. I thought that ad was quite lame though πŸ™„ …

  6. When we visited the boulevard we were surprised to find how seedy the place was. For a spot that is renowned for glitz and glam it was not the nicest place to be, especially in the evening.

    • Yes. It wasn’t exactly what I imagined too when I exited the train station to the streets. Can’t say this is my favorite place in LA at all.

  7. This part of Hollywood is super touristy and I don’t like going there. I didn’t know about the messages on the stairs though.. that’s kinda cool. I think besides this part of Hollywood, it’s known for a lot of strip clubs lol. Oh, and good Thai food!

    • Yeah, I guess it is the same. I don’t like going to touristy spots in Penang and KL too if I can help it. Gotta avoid the crowds at all costs. But I was a tourist in your backyard, so I guess I had to do what tourists do LOL!

      What? Strip club?? Okay, then if I visit again I will have to go at night! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  8. interesting and useful tips on going to the Hollywood Boulevard.. and now I know the Hollywood sign is not easily accessible, how could that be??!! they should have built some cable cars and make that a tourist spot, after all it’s Hollywood’s landmark, sure making money dei!! haha~~

    • Well, I think they do have a visitor car park and observation deck on top of that hill, and the view is nice, but then you would be staring down at the sign, from behind, so it is pretty pointless. Then the hill is surrounded by residential areas for the rich and famous, and you cannot just stop in front of Justin Bieber’s house just to get a closer look at the sign. So you end up having to see it from afar.

  9. Eh, you don’t recognise the cowboy ah? Not cowboy lah. That’s Indiana Jones with his famous whip. He is acted by Harrison Ford who is also Han Solo in Star Wars so closely related to Star Wars lah.

    • Hah! Stupid me, I did not realize! I was too focused on those superheroes with superhuman abilities. Indiana Jones does not fall into that category, so I overlooked it! πŸ˜€

  10. When I visit LA someday, I do not know if I want to go see the Hollywood Boulevard. It really doesn’t strike my fancy. It is interesting to see buskers all around there. Were people throwing money their way (doesn’t sound like it apart from photos…)? We have buskers in Melbourne too and Australians tend to be very generous.

    • The buskers in the US, most of them are always very engaging. If you leave people alone, they would probably not throw any money into your hat (or bag or whatever it is you use to hold the money), but the guys here would always engage the crowds and entice them to “donate”. Their efforts to get the money is an amusement itself. πŸ˜€

      Having said that… yeah, there really is nothing much to be seen here that for example, Santa Monica doesn’t have.

    • Not in here. If we go buy those American ones, Iron Man of course! πŸ˜€ … Maybe Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy 7) is a close second..

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