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Hollywood: Where Dreams Are Made

Good afternoon from the sultry side of the Cloud!

 

I was day-dreaming the other day about the place where dreams are made: Hollywood. This borough of Los Angeles belongs to the world but it is uniquely American.

According to the diary of the land developer, H. J. Whitley, the name came from a chance encounter he had with a Chinese workman while he was viewing the valley from the hillside in 1888. Whitley asked the labourer what he was doing and the workman responding “Holly-wood” (‘Hauling Wood’). Whether true or not, Whitley later claimed in court that the name was his because of this encounter. The legendary D. W. Griffith was the first to film in Hollywood when he made “In Old California” in 1910. Reportedly, the iconic Griffith filmed in Hollywood because it was remote from New York City where Thomas Edison held a patent. If this is true, then Hollywood became the film capital of the world primarily because it was remote!

When you know you made it in Hollywood!

There is so much to see and do in Hollywood. Of course, the famous Walk of Fame is probably the best place to start a tour. It’s fun to see the handprints and signatures of well-known stars and to quickly Google names that you don’t know. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is right in front of the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. It is always lively with tourists and buskers but really comes alive when there is a film premier.

Here’s a pro-tip: many fans believe that the Academy Awards are always held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre but that isn’t true. The venue has changed from time to time, but most recently the ‘Oscars’ have been held at the iconic Dolby Theatre down the street at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland.

The Hollywood Bowl is fantastic for a concert or play! This art deco jewel was designed by Frank Gehry and Lloyd Wright, the son of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is the perfect venue for a warm evening. You might also enjoy one of the many bus tours that drive by houses of the stars and other landmarks in ‘Tinsel Town’. The tour will undoubtedly feature the cool Capital Records building on Hollywood and Vine – it was the first round high-rise building ever made when it debuted in 1956.

Can I have one of these please?

I enjoy the walk up the hills to the Griffith Observatory. It is too close to the city for serious astronomy but it’s powerful telescope is still great for viewing celestial sights. It’s a pleasant walk in the early evening after sunset. I also really enjoy the Universal Studios Theme Park, located at the former site of the studio, with its exciting Harry Potter themed attractions.

Here’s another pro-tip: you can no longer walk up the hillside which holds the world-famous ‘Hollywood’ sign. You can, however, take the canyon walk that offers spectacular views.

Everyone loves Hollywood!

Reaching Hollywood is really easy. Most cities in the world have non-stop flights to LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) but there are several other airports that serve the area. The closest is the John Wayne Orange County Airport which is served from major cities in the USA. Ride-sharing services are hugely popular in the LA region and it’s much easier than finding parking!

If you are looking for an authentic Hollywood experience, then you can do no better than staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel which is literally right across the street from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  Another one I really like is the W Hollywood. Situated on Hollywood Boulevard and a mile from the TCL Chinese Theatre, this trendy hotel is close to the Hollywood Bowl and Universal Studios. If you are looking for a more budget venue, there are a huge number in and around.

Hollywood and Los Angeles are full of fantastic restaurants to fit any dietary taste and constraint. My favourite, however, is Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles. This soul-food restaurant is fabulous for star watching while consuming tasty treats. Another landmark restaurant is Musso and Frank Grill. This iconic venue is the oldest steakhouse and is still frequented by the rich and famous. You’ll find plenty of other options. You’ll not go hungry for long in Hollywood!

The BEST Chicken & Waffles ever!

Here’s a final pro-tip: for something offbeat, check out Mystery Pier Books in West Hollywood. This eclectic bookstore only stocks first edition books and has an incredible collection. Many of the bookstore’s clients are stars and you may bump into someone famous as you browse. There is never any pressure to buy and the pictures of clientele on the wall are an exciting attraction.

If you’ve ever dreamed of being in the movies, Hollywood is a place where dreams are made and sometimes still come true!

 

Love,

 

Isabella

Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, Bus Tours of Tinsel Town, Universal Studios Theme Park (https://www.walkoffame.com/, https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/, https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/web/en/us )

Where to stay: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, W Hollywood Hotel (https://www.thehollywoodroosevelt.com/,  https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/laxwh-w-hollywood

Where to party: There are nightclubs and cool bars on every road and corner      and in hotels that are up and down the Boulevard and Strip.  You won’t be disappointed.

Where to eat: Roscoes House of Chicken and Waffles, Musso and Frank Grill (https://www.roscoeschickenandwaffles.com/, https://mussoandfrank.com/ )

What to buy: Shopping Malls, Designer Outlets, Souvenirs and Tattle from  shops on the strip. And of course, a fridge magnet to remind you of your visit to the land of dreams!

Hollywood isn’t a place, it’s a way of life! By Helene Hanff
Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, Bus Tours of Tinsel Town, Universal Studios Theme Park (https://www.walkoffame.com/, https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/, https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/web/en/us )

Where to stay: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, W Hollywood Hotel (https://www.thehollywoodroosevelt.com/,  https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/laxwh-w-hollywood

Where to party: There are nightclubs and cool bars on every road and corner      and in hotels that are up and down the Boulevard and Strip.  You won’t be disappointed.

Where to eat: Roscoes House of Chicken and Waffles, Musso and Frank Grill (https://www.roscoeschickenandwaffles.com/, https://mussoandfrank.com/ )

What to buy: Shopping Malls, Designer Outlets, Souvenirs and Tattle from  shops on the strip. And of course, a fridge magnet to remind you of your visit to the land of dreams!

Hollywood isn’t a place, it’s a way of life! By Helene Hanff

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