Walking the walk over the Hollywood stars ⭐️ during the day - with its many stars under my feet as I stroll around the Chinese theatre where they present the Oscar’s every year; and then looking up at the twinkling stars overhead during the dusky early evening - as if Shirley Temple was looking down and smiling from above welcoming me to Hollywood!
All my favourite actors & directors are literally underneath my feet: their hand prints permanently embedded in the cracking cement! Though how long they will last, who knows?
(Video 🎥 below chicos):
Hollywood is ever changing - just like so many things California - always changing (first a Spanish enclave then belonging to Mexico, briefly independent? And then part of the Union, who can keep track). California always shedding its skin and replacing it with something glitzy and new.
Regresando a California después de tanto tiempo - I lived here a long time ago in a galaxy far far away lol (StarWars music in the background - can you hear it)?!
IBM time in Costa Mesa, Southern California - the OC (Orange County) and me tripping over myself, (trying to find myself) stumbling and finally finding my confidence again way up north in San Francisco - beautiful memories flashing in my eyes of my times there amongst the orange scented Berkeley hills: Wonderful times!
My heart filled with thankfulness for the time I got to be here, slowly tasting my memories, savoring one by one as they come back - yum! Like California itself muchachos - remembering its own past: from its Spanish dreams & its Mexican fiestas to now being part of the USA, infused with all the wonderful flavors of modern Americana!
So tristemente Hollywood ‘is’ REALLY touristy - but underneath it beats the true Los Angeles’ heart, pumping its latin rhythms and nourishing its angelino residents with savory sazón Mexicano, adding accents of Vietnamese Pho, Korean bulgogi and Armenian delicacies.
Cali (fornia) is multi cultured, multi ethnic and this gives it such a strong consistency amongst all the other states in the Union - it is the quintessential melting pot!
So how wonderful for me to be back here again - reminded of the many past lives lived here - some good (Larry Nichol’s time), some bad … but never with any regrets! Like California itself … you cannot taste the sweet without the sour (both go hand in hand - you cannot appreciate one without the other).
So welcome back muchachos! You’re always welcomed in Cali … bienvenidos!
Hollywood: The Glamour, The Glitz, and The Stories
The name "Hollywood" conjures images of fame, glamour, and the silver screen. Nestled in the heart of Los Angeles, California, Hollywood is not just a neighborhood; it's a legend, an icon, and a symbol of the American dream. As I set foot on the star-studded sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard, I embarked on a journey through a world of fantasy and reality, lights and shadows, dreams and aspirations.
The Boulevard of Stars
Hollywood Boulevard, lined with the famous stars on the Walk of Fame, is the epicenter of the district's allure. I walked down this iconic stretch, amidst the names of legendary actors, directors, and musicians etched in gold on pink terrazzo squares. From Humphrey Bogart to Marilyn Monroe, each star represents a piece of cinematic history, a nod to those who have made magic on the silver screen.
But beyond the stars, Hollywood Boulevard is a microcosm of the city's eclectic spirit. It's where street performers entertain passersby, dressed as superheroes, movie characters, or even dancing robots. In front of the TCL Chinese Theatre, I saw the handprints and footprints of stars immortalized in cement, a testament to their legacy in the entertainment industry.
The Hollywood Sign: A Beacon of Dreams
My gaze then turned upward to the iconic Hollywood Sign, perched high in the Hollywood Hills. It's a symbol that has captured the imaginations of countless dreamers who've flocked to this city in pursuit of fame and fortune. A hike up to Griffith Observatory provided a stunning viewpoint, not only of the sign but also of the sprawling city below. As I looked out, it was evident that Hollywood is not just about the stars on the screen; it's also about the stars in the sky and the dreams that take flight here.
Film History and the Studios
Hollywood is synonymous with the film industry, and it's where many legendary studios have their roots. A tour of Universal Studios Hollywood took me behind the scenes, offering a glimpse of how movie magic is made. From classic movie sets to modern productions, it's a place where you can see it all. The iconic Universal Studios Tour takes visitors through famous film locations, and thrilling rides based on blockbuster movies provide a dose of adrenaline.
Paramount Pictures Studio is another Hollywood institution. It's a place where history comes alive, as you walk through the same halls where stars like Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant once roamed. The tour not only highlights the studio's history but also offers a look into the movie-making process.
The Heart of Cinema: The Academy Awards
Hollywood is where the world watches with bated breath each year as the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, unfold. The Dolby Theatre, situated in the heart of Hollywood, is the epicenter of this prestigious event. Even when the awards aren't being presented, the venue attracts visitors from around the world who stand on the red carpet, imagining what it would be like to be part of the glitz and glamour.
A Cultural Melting Pot
Hollywood's charm extends beyond the film industry. The district's diverse population and its vibrant cultural scene make it an even more captivating destination. Thai Town, adjacent to Hollywood, offers a delectable array of Thai cuisine. A visit to Little Armenia, located near Hollywood Boulevard, introduces you to the rich heritage of Armenian culture through its food, music, and art.
Hollywood's Music Scene is also alive and well. The Sunset Strip, a legendary stretch of Sunset Boulevard, has seen the rise of iconic music venues like The Whisky a Go Go and the Roxy Theatre. These venues have hosted performances by legendary artists, from Jimi Hendrix to Guns N' Roses. For music enthusiasts, catching a live performance in this district is a must.
Grauman's Egyptian Theatre: A Time Machine
Grauman's Egyptian Theatre is a time machine that transports visitors to the early days of cinema. The historic theater's architecture, adorned with Egyptian motifs, is a testament to Hollywood's obsession with grandeur. It's a venue that has seen the premieres of countless classics, including the very first Hollywood premiere, "Robin Hood," in 1922.
Hollywood's Dark Side: The Museum of Death
Hollywood's allure is not without its dark side, and the Museum of Death provides a morbidly fascinating glimpse into it. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, the museum is a repository of crime memorabilia, photographs, and exhibits that explore the grim side of Hollywood's history.
Chasing Dreams: The Hollywood Dream
In Hollywood, dreams are palpable. As I walked the streets, I couldn't help but think about all the stories of struggle, determination, and ultimate success. From young aspiring actors to writers, directors, and behind-the-scenes talent, Hollywood is a place where aspirations are nurtured, where creativity flows freely, and where legends are made.
Hollywood, California, is a city of contradictions. It's where the red carpet meets the grimy sidewalks, where luxury lives alongside the everyday grind, and where dreams are both shattered and realized. It's a place where the world's greatest stories are born, and where, just maybe, you could be the author of the next one. Hollywood is not just a destination; it's a state of mind, a symbol of the American Dream, and a testament to the enduring power of storytelling.