hollywood

All posts tagged hollywood

Pharrell-promoting Amazon link time. I searched for his name on Amazon and came up with a children’s picture book of Happy with the song lyrics illustrated with pictures of kids. The Amazon preview looks cute, so this is my choice for today’s link: Happy by Pharrell Williams

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I hadn’t decided to make these into blog posts yet, so there’s some big gaps here. We spend 1:56 to 2:23:59 in the American Legion Hall.

2:24 East on Selma from Highland to the block between Wilcox and Cahuenga then south on Cahuenga to Sunset and east on Sunset to Gower

2:56 Sunset and Hillhurst* then inside the Vista Theater**, which sits where Hollywood Boulevard becomes Sunset Boulevard then inside the Caffe Vita cafe then back out onto the street about halfway along that block. We next start at the other end of the block, down by Fountain, and head back up northwest to the Vista and then south on Virgil then back up to where we left off after Caffe Vita (the restaurant that’s there, El Chavo, is being torn down or otherwise renovated in Google Street View’s pictures from June of 2017).

3:20 It looks like we might be somewhere else. I can see a Chick-Fil-A in the background and the dancer passes a round yellow sign with a smiling mouth in the bottom half. Never mind. We’re going back up Highland now, on the other side of the street, and then we make a right onto Selma on, again, the other side of the street.

3:24 Remember the Vista? We’re here on yet another side of the street now. I think we’re going west on Sunset. I take it back. We’re heading northwest on Hollywood. I think. Yes. Definitely northwest on Hollywood. The Auto Zone should be on our left. There’s the U-Haul on our right. We are going to leave this part of Los Angeles someday, right?

3:32 Farther northwest, starting near . . . Rodney Drive?, this time on the other side of the street. We have a rhythmic gymnast this time, which is a nice change. Then when we reach Vermont, we make a right rather than crossing the street. We get to Vermont and Franklin, then turn around and head right back up Vermont. Palermo was open for breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays in 2013. That’s good to know. And no, I haven’t been to Palermo. Neither the city nor the restaurant. It’s just that it’s almost 4:00 in the morning 24-Hours-of-Happy time and the area we’ve covered is bound by a polygon 5.93 square miles in area. At this rate we’ll need 338.6 Hours of Happy to cover the whole city.

3:56 Where are we? No clue. I can see a McDonald’s in the background. That oughtta narrow it down. Wait. There’s a 76. I wonder if we’re back on Vermont. Nope. Apparently not. No. Wait. Yes. We are back on Vermont just south of where we started out. Our dancer, who looks kind of like a young Lalla Ward (though that may be because I have a head cold and have been at this for two days now), just danced across the entrance to the northbound 101. Yay! With 10 seconds left to go.

And that ends the first four hours of Happy and our polygon is now 6.43 square miles. We now need only 312.3 Hours of Happy to cover the whole city.

I take it back. I forgot about the Alexandria Hotel and the block between 7th and 8th on Hope. So we’re up to 11.42 square miles. So 175 Hours of Happy.

*This one started out as “IDEK. There’s an Auto Zone and a brick wall and the word “Food” in neon”

**This is where Pharrell makes his 3:00 appearance and my original comment is “How many Egyptian-themed movie theaters are there in Los Angles, and why aren’t any of them turning out to be the right one? The word “family” seems to be written above the marquee.”

Okay, here’s the deal. I don’t want Pharrell to be all, “Hey, this lady’s using my work as a naked cash grab!” But then I don’t want to avoid the cash grab completely. But, it is important to me that Pharrell at least have the possibility of making a bit of money off of this.  So, every post will have an Amazon link to something that will potentially put money in Pharrell’s pocket at the beginning. If it’s something that I’ve spent some of my own money on (the DVD of Despicable Me, for example), I’ll link it through my Amazon Associates ID. If it’s not (Britney Spears’s Britney album, which has the song I’m a Slave 4 U, which Pharrell wrote and produced, on it), I’ll post the naked Amazon link. I’m currently toying with buying Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories album, but haven’t decided yet. I guess we’ll find out if I buy it or not when I get there.

So I guess we’ll start with Britney, since it’s on my mind.

I hadn’t decided to do this as blog posts at first, so these first two hours are just my notes on where we go and what we see. Things get chattier and more detailed in future hours.


Midnight Mobil – Vermont at Melrose

12:40 – 4000 Fountain east to Hyperion then north to Glendale then south on San Fernando to Fletcher then northwest on Fletcher to Glendale to Rowena (?)

12:56 between 7th and 8th on Hope

1:00 a.m. Beats me. We’re indoors and the only words I can read look like maybe The Plump Gander? The Palm Court? That looks like a distinct possibility. There’s a Palm Court Ballroom in the old Hotel Alexandria in downtown LA that looks a lot like the room that Pharrell is dancing around in. If only I could see the ceiling. . . . Well, until I find something better, that’s my decision.

1:04 Hollywood American Legion Hall*

1:12 Outside American Legion Hall heading south on Highland to Mel’s Drive In

1:32 Back farther north on just south of Highland and Johnny Grant then west on Hollywood boulevard to Sycamore then back east on Hollywood to Highland and back south on Highland again to Hawthorn

1:56 Back at the Hollywood American Legion Hall, apparently.**

*2035 N. Highland

**You’ll see the term “apparently” a lot in these posts.

Okay, let’s cast our memories back. Back, back, back. Farther than that. Okay, are you to 1978 yet? If not, we’ll wait.

Are we all here? Jimmy Carter is in the White House (I’m a big fan). David Berkowitz is tried and sentenced (I am a bit of a true crime geek). We had three popes, including the eerily prophetically named John Paul I, who really did put the “I” on his name (also a religion geek). And the top-grossing movie for the year? Grease.

If you’ve seen Grease, you’ll probably remember the drag racing scene. Remember the street they’re racing on? That’s not a street. It’s a river. The Los Angeles River, specifically.

There was catastrophic flooding along the Los Angeles River in 1938 and to fix the problem, they completely destroyed the river’s ecosystem. They dug the river deeper and widened it and covered the whole damn thing with concrete, as if that doesn’t add insult to injury.

In past visits, I’d seen the river occasionally, and it was just as heartbreaking an eyesore as you’d expect. I couldn’t believe that there ever had been a healthy river there.

In recent years, however, I’d been hearing that they’d been working on restoring the ecosystem. I’d heard rumors that there was enough water in some places that people were actually kayaking. This, I wanted to see with my own eyes. I spent quite some time trying to figure out exactly where the improvements had been made and how to get there. Finally I found an article in the Los Angeles Times giving directions that involved parking by the tennis courts in Griffith Park and walking behind the soccer fields. There, you’ll find a bridge over the Golden State Freeway which will lead you to the river. So, we did just that. It certainly was an experience, and on an early Monday afternoon in late July there aren’t a whole lot of people out and about, which made Alex very nervous. We got some fantastic pictures and got to watch an actual blue heron in the water of the river.

After a few blocks, Alex had enough. So we took what turned out to be the Alex Baum Bicycle Bridge back to Los Feliz, took Los Feliz back across the 5 and returned to our car. I’m glad I got the chance to see the revitalization of the river, even if it was kind of creepy and deserted, and I hope to get a chance to explore more (maybe on a weekend when there will hopefully be more people there) on future visits.

Also, coming back on the bridge is why I began my 24 Hours of Happy project. I was watching the video for Happy and noticed that Pharrell is on the Alex Baum Bicycle Bridge at one point. The end of the video directed me to the 24 Hours of Happy site and then I found the individual hours on Pharrell’s iamOTHER channel at YouTube, and it was all downhill from there.

Los Angeles River between Glendale and Los Feliz, 2017

Look at that. From this angle it almost looks like nature. And someday it will hopefully look completely like nature from all angles.

But back to our final day. Traditionally when someone from our pharmacy goes on a trip, they bring something back for everyone else in the pharmacy — magnets, food, pens, whatever. I hadn’t found anything yet, so I looked up souvenir shops and found that most of the best ones are in Hollywood. We hadn’t been to Hollywood yet on this trip, so we figured why not?

We found a parking lot not too far from Hollywood Boulevard and hiked for maybe a quarter or a third of a mile. But what a quarter or a third of a mile! We walked down the Walk of Fame looking at all of the names and watching the people looking at all of the names. I noticed, by the way, that Betty White’s star and that of her late husband, Allen Ludden, face each other, which I thought was sweet. We also went past the establishment formerly known as Grauman’s Chinese Theater. You may be familiar with Grauman’s. It’s the place where all of the actors’ hand- and footprints are in the squares of the sidewalk. I dragged Alex from actor to singer to director just agog and I managed to restrain myself and only take one (not very well framed) picture of Bette Davis’s square. Finally Alex dragged my attention to the task at hand and we continued to the souvenir store. I resisted the temptation to stop by again on our way back to the car, but we needed to get on our way to the airport to return to Texas.

We got our souvenirs and made it back to the airport in plenty of time for our flight. Unfortunately we were seated on the “wrong” side of the plane, by which I mean the side that faced out onto the ocean. As it took off, the plane circled around the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and from that side of the plane I could have maybe gotten one last picture of Cabrillo Beach, the lighthouses, Seal Beach Pier and the Queen Mary. Well, now I know. We need to be on the left side of the plane on our flight back next time.

And there will be a next time. Not in 2018, and maybe not even in 2019, but someday.