March 17, 2006

My Trip to Hollywood Part 5

Filed under: My trips — movie_critic @ 1:39 pm

Quite frankly, Hollywood proper was not high on my priority list of places to see, but as the freeway was going past all the Hollywood exits I’ve decided to drop by and give it a chance. I have to admit, I was quite disappointed with Hollywood when I first came there in 1993. I did not know then that the most well-known places in Hollywood are actually compressed into several hundred meters on

Hollywood Boulevard

and the rest of Hollywood is very much like the rest of towns in California – mostly 1-2 story buildings of the most ordinary architecture, occasional palm trees – in short, nothing to really incite the imagination. I have went up and down Hollywood Boulevard a couple of times, because I could not find that small strip with the stars and the celebrities feet and hand imprints and after I found it I realized again that it is indeed very short, in just about couple of hundred meters past that spot down on Hollywood Boulevard I could see a sign, which said Little Armenia. My cousin told me that somewhere in Little Armenia they have this legendary bakery shop which makes Russian and Armenian style bread and pastries at any time of day and night. They are always open and you can always find the bread you’ve been looking for waiting for you there, even though the shelves in the store might be empty. It generally seemed a very multinational area as right down from Little Armenia on

Hollywood Boulevard

I’ve noticed lots of Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese shops and restaurants. I went in that direction right after I took the exit to

Hollywood Boulevard

, since I did not really know which way to turn, but looking at all those Oriental signs I pretty quickly figured out that to find the landmark places I should have been going right instead of left. I’ve found the first place I could safely turn around at and went in another direction. When I finally saw El Capitan and the Chinese Theater I knew I was in the right place.
The Grauman’s Chinese Movie Theater is definitely the place to see for a movie fan like me. Unfortunately, as 13 years ago, I did not have the time to actually go in and see a movie – plus, they were playing “The Firewall” in the theater and I already made plans to go see it with my brother’s family when I get back from California, so I passed on that opportunity. I did go into the yard (the famous Chinese Theater Forecourt) and made some neat pictures of the stars imprints, as well as of the stars imbedded on the sidewalk. Across the

Hollywood Boulevard

the El Capitan, another old movie theater built in 1927, was a beautiful sight with its merry and colorful neon sign shining brightly in the relative darkness of the boulevard. It was already dark and I still had at least on hour’s drive back to South Pasadena ahead of me, so I went for a quick bite in Baja Fresh right across the street from the Chinese Theater and left Hollywood. I know that I’d like to return one day with more time on my hands to go to all the famous movie theaters and visit the Hollywood museums. It would be interesting, but the fact still remains that the glitz and glamour of Hollywood is really on a silver screen and in the lives of the stars, directors, producers and other people of the movies, who lived and created there. To me it’s not a place, it’s rather a concept, a notion, which has little correlation to a little Californian town of Holywood I have visited again that day in February.

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