|the famous sign|
We spent the day yesterday seeing the sights. We were driven through Beverly Hills where the homes of various celebrities were pointed out - Dionne Warwick lives here, Sammy Davis Jr lived there, John Candy lived there for a while, Alex Trebek lives way up there, Die Hard was filmed there, Sisterhood at that Church, Janis Joplin OD'ed in that hotel, River Phoenix passed away in front of the Viper Club there, the Doors where the house band and were discovered there, and so on and so on.
|Graumann's Chinese Theatre|
First stop? Rodeo Drive. At the bottom of the street is the Wilshire Hotel where much of the movie Pretty Woman was set. Very posh. And we walked up and down Rodeo Drive, but didn't dare venture into the shops. Some were by appointment only. One gallery had a Picasso hanging just steps from the front door. The real thing! YIKES! Even the advertising was fancier - the street pole banners were decorated with Swarovski crystals. And then the cars that were parked here and there! Ferraris, Bentleys, a Bugatti, lots of fancy things!
Next we went down Sunset Blvd to the Kodak Theatre, Graumann's Chinese Theatre and the walk of Fame. This part all disappointed as far as I was concerned. These places all look so much larger and grander on TV! From the walkway behind the Kodak Theatre we got another glimpse of the Hollywood sign.
After walking around for a while and reading star after star on the sidewalk, we reboarded the tourbus to continue to Mulholland Drive. Had it not been so hazy and smoggy, the view of downtown LA from the Santa Monica Mountains would have been spectacular. A pretty enviable view nonetheless. From the lookout on Mulholland Drive we could also see the Griffith's Observatory and the Hollywood Bowl. It's weird being in LA - seems like every building is famous for something. All the street names sound familiar, because we've seen them in movies, in song lyrics and on television. I can't even look at a sign for Santa Monica Boulevard without thinking of Sheryl Crow.
The traffic is really something to be seen. There is construction everywhere - apparently many highways are being widened to add HOV lanes. I didn't envy the driver at all. One more thing? If you own a Toyota dealership in LA you must be making out like a bandit. Seems like every third or fourth car is a Pruis!
Dinner last night at the Galley - Santa Monica's oldest restaurant. The dining room and bar are lmost entirely lit by string after string of mini Christmas lights, which is odd and quite disconcerting at first. But we soon settled in and became altogether too comfortable. I worked through several Steam Ales from Anchor Brewing in San Francisco
and enjoyed the whole dinner thoroughly.