Happy Trails #9 – Lights, camera, action!

I think our experience of Los Angeles has been fairly untypical. Sure we’re surrounded by palms, wide roads and as many fast food joints as you can count, but that’s probably where it ends. Firstly, we’re staying in the San Gabriel area of LA. If you’re thinking ‘that’s not an area you’ve heard of’, unlike Pasadena or Hollywood – in fact it’s not even covered in our lonely planet, that would be because it’s more like staying in Tokyo than America’s premier film capital. Man, we have been dining on some of the best Ramen noodles the states has to offer (makes a change from Burgers!)

The movie business arrived in Los Angeles in 1908 and homage to the motion picture is at every corner. The Walk of Fame dedicates bronze stars to famous faces both old and new, whilst the Chinese theatre has famous prints set in concrete as its forecourt. My personal highlight was Mr. Nimoy’s vulcan hand salute literally cemented in Hollywood history. The Hollywood letters, which once read Hollywood Land, is the ultimate advertising real estate sign and had the last four letters blown down in a storm in the early 20th century. In 1970s residents of Hollywood campaigned to save the sign which had been left to deteriorate.

Mulholland drive, named after the famous engineer that built the LA aqueduct and which also helped the establish the LA boom, is the home for many famous faces including Mr Nicholson. When we were checking out our things to do, there’s a whole section dedicated to star spotting. Most cities, it’ll be architecture or cuisine, for LA, people watching is a serious past time. They say that everyone in LA has written a screenplay, this could well be. We took off around the Warner Bros studio to see sound stages and home to sitcoms like ‘Big Bang Theory’ as well as Bugs and Daffy. Still to spot any famous faces!

LA is the last stop on our tour and before we head on back to blighty (and proper tea!) we have Venice Beach.



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