Monday, January 07, 2008

Touring Hollywood


The last few days have been quite eventful, or at the very least as eventful as Los Angeles public transportation allows. Saturday, after moving from Ramada Wrong to Ramada Right, I bravely navigated the world of Bus Routes to find my way to Hollywood Boulevard, (and by bravely, I mean I wandered through Koreatown until I happened upon the Metro) and eventually made it to the famous alley of the stars. I walked and walked ... and walked (it takes a while before Hollywood Boulevard gets good), but then I saw the start of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Click here to see photos!

Elvis and the Beatles welcome you near a statue of four silver women holding up an arch and what looks like the upper portion of the Eiffel Tower with the word "Hollywood" across its spine. Click on the link to see some of the stars I felt compelled to pose with -- Michelle's was the only one in which I I got close to the ground (LA isn't the cleanest city in the world, and Hollywood is not an exception).

After a handsome day of sightseeing, I worked my hardest to return to my hotel with as much grace and dignity as I could muster. I found my way home, by way of Ralphs (think of it like a California Dillons or Hyvee, but cooler) bought some Cheez-Its and some Hot Pockets and checked in for the night.

Sunday found me walking more of the streets of LA, for when I woke up I learned that the house from Charmed is actually in LOS ANGELES and NOT San Francisco, and to cherry the cake, was only 4 miles from my hotel. Of course, four miles in Los Angeles is about 40 in Kansas. I walked most of the way there (even through Hispanic Skid Row and Historic Filipino Town) and when I finally saw it, I couldn't believe it! It was really outstanding to see "The Manor" from the show I had watched from start to finish (when Shannen left) right in front of my eyes. The most surprising feature of the house was how small it actually is. It's really not much larger than the house I live in now -- in fact, it's only about 800 square feet bigger, or about a modestly sized apartment!

Another surprise was that its neighbor to the left (the house's left, or to the EAST, as it were) is in dilapidated condition. The boards are rotting, the paint has chipped, and it doesn't seem as if anyone is home. The other Victorian houses in the neighborhood were the most intricate I had ever seen -- and were almost scary. The house across and down the street had one of those circular Rapunzel tower-type features (I don't know the name) with dismembered manniquen parts in the window. A head, an arm, just lying there as if in some horror movie! Talk about a fashion disaster.

I ended up taking a Taxi back across town (to avoid walking through Skid Row again (I know Mother would approve) and went to "It's a Wrap" a clothing store that sells retired studio and movie clothing. I saw some beautiful Victorian-style dresses from Paramount Studios, a lot of suits from NCIS, a pair of ice-skates from Blades of Glory, and a great amount of fashionable items from soaps like All My Children! But the nice stuff was too expensive, and the not so nice stuff looked (and smelled) like something from Goodwill.

SO -- I decided to walk to The Beverly Center, the famous mall in Beverly Hills, and let me tell you, if you have "people/crowd anxiety" do not go to this mall. There was not a single time I was there that if I had reached out my arms I wouldn't have hit someone -- it was packed! I went into several stores, including Politix and Bloomingdales and found a LOT of clothes I liked. I saw a terrific sweater and thought, wow, I want to buy that! So I checked the price tag, and acted cool when it read $585. So I didn't stand out, I calmly put it back and looked at some other sweaters before a cool exit. I don't think people were fooled, though, because I saw a number of Beverleans notice that I was wearing Sketchers. I don't care what you say, Sketchers are COOL!

I walked back to the hotel in the pouring rain -- and that was OK with me. I like rain, it along with all the Spanish-speakers here (more than English speakers, it seems) reminded me of my time in Spain.

Today I was an hour late at work because of an electrical outage at my hotel, followed by another burdened bout with the buses and a keypass that couldn't get me to the 15th floor. Once I did show up, I went to the editorial meeting and wrote Daily News clips for the website for the rest of the day. My original plans were to go to the Red Carpet event from the Critic's Choice Awards that I had gotten tickets to, but because I felt bad about being late, and because I'm in Los Angeles for this internship, I decided to stay at work. I tried to ask my co-workers what I could do post-work -- what I NEEDED TO DO before leaving LA. After a lot of brainstorming they decided I should go to a local mall (The Grove) and chase it with a movie.

I asked, "So, New York is the city that doesn't sleep, but LA does?"

"Yes, very much so. There's like .... nothing."

But I did make plans for tomorrow evening -- I got another TV Ticket (this time to the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson) that is PEFECT because I can go there immediately after work (and have to dedicate 3-4.5 hours to the production!)

On my way home, I went by Ralph's again and visited the movie kiosk, "THE NEW RELEASE." Never heard of a movie kiosk? Neither had I! With over 100 titles, the kiosk works much like an ATM. Swipe your card, chose the movies you want to rent and they pop out like money. It's cheap, too! $1/day, and you don't have to deal with any annoying clerks, because the machine is completely automated! I picked up Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and a horror flick called Slither (Stardust had already been checked out).

Sweet dreams, from Hollywood, well, Koreatown!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Mobile Blog

Arrived over the bright nightscape and rush hour traffic of the City of Angels. I know you're all expecting the cliché so I'm going for it: I'm not in Kansas anymore! Actually, I'm at baggage claim...