on October 19, 2009
In every trip there are certain things that you are obliged to do. Even if you've managed to make it all the way to Hollywood California with out having any interest whatsoever in films or star-gazing - it is still all but compulsory that you visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If you arrive on Hollywood Blvd by car or - well, I guess it will probably be by car as there are very few ways to get around LA that aren't by car. (You could walk if you're not coming from too far away, but buses aren't recommended by those who live there.) Then you will all but stumble upon the Hollywood Walk of Fame. With all the glitz and glamour that surrounds it; you might think that it's set aside from the largely trafficked area of Hollywood. But you would be wrong. If you start walking down Hollywood Blvd towards the main shopping district, before long you will simply become aware that there are star-shaped steps along the sidewalk beneath your feet. And with a start you realize, you've been walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It's somewhat different than I pictured it, but there's something kind of cool (if very surreal) about this incredibly well known 'attraction' of Hollywood passing by unnoticed under the feet of those who work and live in the area every day. The locals say that this area has been cleaned up a lot in recent years - though I do have to say the whole thing still seemed a lot more dingy and dated than I would have imagined. Even at Christmas when there were live brass bands playing along the walk and the flashy new shopping centre and theater (where you find the Kodak Theater - home of the Academy Awards) was decked out for the holidays in a very beautiful way, I was still surprised at how down trodden much of it seemed. Not that it is lacking in character - and even though it's not the glitzy thing I pictured, is still a very unique and interesting thing to see on your visit to Hollywood. It can be difficult to photograph the stars, as so many people are walking past them - and do be aware that all the dressed up characters that are along the walk (some of them spectacularly dressed, and others quite sad and tatty) are trying to make money by having you take your photo with them. If you want your photo taken with Spiderman or Jack Sparrow - then you will have no trouble managing this here. But they can also be a bit pushy at times. This is also an excellent place to get the great cheesy Hollywood souvenirs. Shop after shop on Hollywood Blvd sell everything from Elvis salt shakers to John Wayne coffee mugs. And of course - any number of things with Hollywood stars or California licence plates on it. If you're looking for slightly more upmarket things from Hollywood - then go across the street to the Hollywood and Highland Center. The newly developed center has over 60 shops, restaurants, cafes and even nightclubs and hotels. It's very well situated, nicely laid out and at Christmas is particularly nice to have a festive coffee and enjoy the California sun. Go up to the top floor for an excellent view of Hollywood Blvd and LA city in the distance.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009