Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hollywood Sunset; Part One

So.  As I've mentioned, it's been c-c-c-c-co-co-cold!  

In L.A. lately.  But that notwithstanding, I asked Mr. Paradis, "How's about a walk?"

Remember here, where I mentioned that I needed a really good soul-cleansing walk?

So Mr. Paradis said "Yes".  And off we went.  On a long one.  Around Hollywood.

Mr. Paradis remarked, "We've never done this part of the neighborhood before!"  Yes, that was true.  

As for the walk: "Soul Cleansing"?   MAYBE NOT SO MUCH!

Hollywood?  Tacky, Tawdry, Over-The-Top!  (For similar LA themes see also:  Wood of Wonder also here, and Venice BeachAnd so has it been for a very long time, my native So-Cal friends will have told me.

The  City Fathers are trying to remedy this situation.  It's a project far from being achieved.  And I will let you decide for yourselves, whether or not a worthy or desirable one.

Where ARE we?  In the immediate vicinity of the Hollywood-and-Highland (Shopping) Center and Theater.  (Formerly known as the Kodak Theater - where the Oscar ceremonies usually are held)

The good news?  You might run into some characters that you are familiar with!

The bad news?  They might not be all that they seem. 

Add to that "tawdry tacky" description of Hollywood: "fraudulent"?

No-no-no....let's just go back to that old Disney chestnut:  A Wonderful World of Make-Believe.

On less chilly days, it might not seem like such a terrible idea to be standing all day on a sidewalk only half-clothed.  There are worse ways to earn a living in Hollywood.  (Like Porn movies?)  (Could we "make-believe" it's 80 degrees out?  A spray-on tan could help?)

A lot of these people would prefer you did not take their pictures.  No, they are not afraid you're from their hometown in Nebraska and will show these pictures to their,......they do WANT you to take their picture.  BUT ONLY with..... their camera.  And only, AFTER YOU PAY.  (Please.)

But maybe you knew all this already.  (You did not just fall off a potato truck from the provinces.)

Meanwhile, BLESS! THAT GUY who invented cellphones and texting!  Time passes so much more quickly in between pictures taken.

No explanations needed here.  Except - aren't their hands and feet tiny?

Nor here.  (Commerce!)

All this within one L.A. block.  So very many contrasts.  From hustle to hush.......

But still so much the same.  This noble beast?  Fiberglass.  What was I saying about "Make-Believe"?

And in the midst of it all.....Hollywood High.  Wedged in right between Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset.  (They run parallel to each other.)  Immediately South of the Hollywood and Highland "Complex".  And....also quiet on a Sunday afternoon in January.  

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?  They call themselves "The Sheiks".  After Rudolph Valentino?  (Since well before Osama Bin Laden was a twinkle in his Daddy's eye, I guess.  When Americans were having very different conversations about men with white draped heads.)

Hollywood High is now listed on the National Parks Service's "National Register of Historic Places".  As of last January 2012.  And if you follow the link to the Wikipedia entry, you might be surprised by the range of famous names who found education here - from Carol Burnett to Marcel Ophuls with Lon Chaney and Judy Garland in between.  

So ends Part One of our last Sunday's walk.  Part Two to come soon.

So what do you think?  Should Hollywood be modernized?  Sanitized?  Genericized?  Properly GLAM-O-RIZED??????  Or should it be allowed to ebb and flow in it's tacky human way and allowed to evolve just as it has?   

And while you're considering all that......maybe this could help:

Time for a hot toddy to take the shivery edges off.  Isn't it?


  1. il y a de sacrés courants d'air dans les bâtiments de la scientologie, ils pourraient mettre des double vitrages....

  2. It's so strange to think of you being cold when we've had a wicked heat wave. :-) So glad you went for a walk. That always, always cheers me up too. :-)

  3. Oh you must have known better MP, maybe you were secretly craving the tacky and tawdry!?! Just like Fisherman's wharf in SF... the mythology lives on until you see it for yourself. I am so looking forward to part II!

  4. The world needs contrasts. That's why I love your pictures! Our common point today - cold weather, but I bet you won't get any snow!!!!!!!!