Saturday, 27 March 2010

LA woman

So here I am, right in the heart of Hollywood, and by jingo it's an unhappy place. The wannabe starlets are desperate, the people dressed up as Batman and Tinkerbell and the like outside the Kodak Theater, hustling for tips for having their photos taken with tourists, are desperate, and most of all the homeless people, who are everywhere here, are desperate.

Funnily enough, Downtown - which all the tourists are told to avoid at night because it's dangerous - is much more welcoming. I just spent the day there, looking at gorgeous architecture (from the metallic sails of Disney Hall to the Spanish Mission adobe buildings of the Pueblo, from the Art Deco-like City Hall to the wrought iron loveliness of the Bradbury Building, the location of Sebastian's apartment in Blade Runner). I also took in the Spanish stalls of the historic founding district, and soaked up the cheerful pandemonium of Chinatown. Tomorrow, more beauty - I'm heading out to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which has one of the largest collections in the States.

Mind you, Hollywood's not all bad: I have enjoyed looking at Grauman's Chinese Theater, with all the stars' hand- and footprints outside; and the stars on the Walk of Fame (most of whom have since sunk into obscurity, though apparently Viggo Mortensen's star was being instituted today - sadly I didn't see him!); and this evening I went to a Mad Max double bill at Grauman's Egyptian Theater (gold-relief scarabs set into the ceiling; statues of Canubis in the lobby) and it was frigging awesome! And walking home past all the neon and the hustlers and the wannabes was pretty cool too. But I won't be sad to get on the road on Sunday - out into the desert again, with a few days in Vegas to reconnect with civilisation. American road trip - now we're talking...

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