Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Hooray for Hollywood
We can see the Hollywood sign from the apartment. I didn't realise this yesterday night when we arrived, but noticed it as soon as it was daylight today.
The same with the stars on the pavement which go right past our building. There's Judy Garland and James Dean within a few paces. However, the main Hollywood Boulevard still has a wide variety of shops, ranging from tattoo parlours, places to by hubble bubbles and strange herbs all the way through to quite upmarket stores.
The tourist centre today is a few blocks west from here, by the Kodak Theatre and Grauman's Chinese Theater. We took a look around both. The Kodak is where the Oscar ceremony is held each year now although the off-duty outside resembles a shopping mall. For the Oscars around a quarter of a mile of the mains road is laid with red carpet for the fil stars to walk along. The rest of the year its a high pressure tourist location which somehow reminds me of an unfolded and very sunny Leicester Square in London.
Adjacent to the Kodak is the 80 year old Grauman's theatre, which looks very Chinese because Grauman was a fan of the Chinese. Inside, it s a very opulent and well detailed building, which can somehow teach the designers of the Kodak about adding some spirit and soul to a building.
In fairness, the inside of the Kodak theatre has been done well, but there are large areas which look as if the paint has been applied rather thinly.
But we are standing quite literally in the footsteps of the great and good outside Grauman's. All of Hollywood royalty is present with their feet and hands marked out in concrete slabs. I've seen one of the ceremonies in the past (Nick Cage) and he had Jim Carrey, Jay Leno and others show up for the session. I'm told they limit the ceremonies to 2-3 a year which stretch back to Marilyn Monroe (much handling of these impressions) via John Wayne (whose impression includes a fist) and up to the Harry Potter trio who share one large square together.
Now its time to head to a marina to catch up with another friend.