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