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mistybleu Los Angeles - A travel report by Amanda
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Los Angeles,  United States - flag United States -  California
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mistybleu's travel reports

Sometimes dreams do come true...

  24 votes
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Some holidays enrich your life; some cater to your thirst for knowledge or your adventurous spirit and then some just fulfil your childhood dreams. For me going to LOS ANGELES was a fantasy that was only real in the movies and television shows. report of the month contest
Nov 2004

Paramont Studios
Paramont Studios
You see I grew up on American TV watching the likes of Charlie’s Angels, LA Law, Beverly Hill 90210 and Girlfriends, all filmed in and around LA. So when the opportunity presented itself I jumped at the chance to make my fantasy come true. Clive James a famous Australian critic once described LA as ‘Paradise with a lobotomy’; in some respects I have to agree with him, they have lovely sunny days yet everyone is stargazing. From the outside LA is make believe but digging deeper sees most people just getting on with life. But in true American style, everything in LA is large: wide boulevards, big cars, tall buildings, huge shops, mammoth supermarkets, long beaches – the only thing that wasn’t large was the people. In a State where image is everything most people seemed fit, they dined on fresh fruit and healthy food, they jogged along beaches, joined gyms and communed with a higher power. But I was more concerned with the iconic nature of being in Hollywood, Beverly Hills or even Santa Monica, each area drawing me in, like a magnetic.

Favourite spots:
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
Paramount Studios had cancelled all tours since September 11th; so I headed for UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, which is an operational movie/television studio and also has of a theme park. I went on some rides, then I saw ‘Waterworld’ based on the Kevin Costner movie and finally I took a guided tour of the backlot. My guide explained how movies are made, scripting, casting, filming and post-production; how they added the sound and visual effects. Eg, I went on a sound stage and I was able to create various sounds of a cyclone used in films like ‘Twister’. I also went on the set where ‘Backdraft’ (staring Kurt Russell) was filmed; they demonstrated how the fires were set and how they controlled the explosions including the timing of actors. It was fascinating, especially when I got back home and saw a show using the same set. The tour was a bit corny (ie when you see King Kong and Jaws), but the opportunity of being behind the scenes was brilliant.

What's really great:
Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Drive
… is taking a bus from Hollywood, up to RODEO DRIVE in Beverly Hills and wondering through the stores - Gucci, Louis Vitton, all the big designer names are available, off course I was just window shopping. The top end of Rodeo Drive is a residential area and the houses are perfect as the area boasts of being the most expensive location in the US. The huge buildings have four or five cars parked in the carports, it’s completely a different way of life.

Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Hollywood Walk Of Fame
The HOLLYWOOD SIGN is really nothing special, but for some reason I found myself smiling once I had seen it.

Initially, I thought I wouldn’t be interested in the HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME, however when I got there, this provided an element of enjoyment, especially when I noticed a star with my cousins name on it. Not only seeing the walk during the day but in the evening when all the stores are closed its fun to see the night gallery. This occurs when security gates are pulled down to reveal paintings of past celebrities by local artists.
VENICE BEACH was a must; I walked down to muscles beach to see all those ‘bods’ pumping iron, way cool. It was also interesting to have a look at the shops that sold a lot of handicrafts and unusually stuff.
The STAPLE CENTRE is the home of the LA Lakers one of the most successful basketball teams in the US. It is a massive stadium; should you get a chance you must watch a game. If I was a basketball fan the LA Lakers would be my team.

Bevery Hills
Bevery Hills
The BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL defines the area; I went inside to use the bathroom and ended up staying for drinks. There was a cocktail reception in progress for a film company, with lots of pretty women and gorgeous men, so I tried to bum a glass of champagne from the waiter and mingle. My motto is to try most things at least once.

But getting back to reality, I stayed in the HOLLYWOOD PLAZA INN on Highland Avenue, five minutes from the train station (Highland & Hollywood Boulevard). The room was fine; it had a refrigerator with tea-making facilities, which I thought was a bonus. I was also pleased that they provide a TV guide which as you know when you go to a foreign country it is very hard to watch TV as you can never find any of the programmes you usually watch.

Mann Chinese Theatre
Mann Chinese Theatre
Also in a city of movie production the cinema plays an important role in aura that is Hollywood. In a space of 2 blocks I counted over 4 cinemas: the EL CAPITAN was restored by Disney, the entrance is beautifully vintage and reminded me of an ‘old picture house’; the EGYPTIAN THEATRE was inspired by King Tut and saw the premier of The Ten Commandments in 1923; the KODAK THEATRE, the most modern, is now the home of the Academy Awards and is located in a shopping mall. From there, there is a great view of the Hollywood sign. Finally I came across the MANN CHINESE THEATRE; there were always stuntmen in front of the building; mingled with the tourists was Superman, Rambo and the Terminator etc, all encouraging them to see a film. I was no different; I ended up seeing Daredevil, not a great movie but I just had to experience the atmosphere of sitting in the same auditorium that saw legends premiere their films. They even had an organist playing an intro to the film.

The Pig N Whistle
The Pig N Whistle
The PIG AND WHISTLE on Hollywood Boulevard was great; the décor was much like an English pub and kind of quaint. The food was classified as simple yet sophisticated Californian but what it actually meant was expensive burgers and chips. I really liked this place and enjoyed the alfresco dining.
I was close to the L Ron Hubbard’s Celebrity Centre when I found a supermarket that made and sold sushi while-u-wait, Californian style, it was good. Outside the supermarket were table and chairs, and it nice just eating and chatting with the locals.

Other recommendations:
Take a coach ride down to SAN DIEGO. This is a really impressive area and there is also the world famous San Diego Zoo, which is definitely worth a visit.
Also, if you’re not pressed for time it might be fun to ‘run for the border’, nipping across to Mexico (Tijuana) is a nice way to spend a day or drive down the coast to Rosarito.

Published on Wednesday November 3th, 2004

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Sun, Nov 28 2004 - 01:10 AM rating by fieryfox

Just Super! Loved reading it!

Wed, Nov 17 2004 - 10:33 AM rating by bineba

Great report on one of my favourite cities.


Mon, Nov 08 2004 - 02:57 AM rating by picasso

Amanda,for me it was a pleasure to read,about the city,i had visitted allmost 200 times, maybe more.But unfortunatly i can give you only *****,if i would i could give you more.


Fri, Nov 05 2004 - 11:27 PM rating by gloriajames

bravo! another well written report! 5*

Fri, Nov 05 2004 - 10:19 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

hii amanda
well i can say that a nice effort again in your report ,very well written and pic are nice too

Thu, Nov 04 2004 - 03:29 PM rating by cycleboy

Another report of superb quality by Amanda!

Wed, Nov 03 2004 - 08:01 PM rating by magsalex

Nice report

Wed, Nov 03 2004 - 07:27 PM rating by jenny2

You sound like you had a fantastic time, I wish I was there...

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