Wednesday, October 28, 2009

RetroTravel: Hollywood Dream

My second time to travel in USA lead me to a visit in Hollywood! It was a starrry visit. It was also the second time I visit Los Angeles. This time I'm only traveling with my Mom and we stay again at my godmother's house who's been leaving there for a long time.
We were originally plan to visit Universal Studious but in a spin of events we went to Hollywood. We went to Hollywood via rail transit from Los Angeles. Travel time takes 30-5o minutes. Rail transit travel givwes you scenic views around Los Angeles and California. Hollywood is a district of Los Angeles and part of California.

A business and residential district in the city of Los Angeles, the core of Hollywood for a tourist is its three fascinating boulevards: Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard, and Melrose Avenue. All three are worth seeing. Hollywood Blvd. is known for its entertainment history; Sunset Blvd. for its clubs and nightlife; and Melrose Ave. for its shopping, nightlife, and eclecticism. If you want to see where films are shot, take a tour at one of the major studios: Universal Studios "bundles" a full amusement park with its tour, while several other studios offer smaller, but interesting tours. In reality, most films are shot in warehouses and sound stages in Burbank and elsewhere.

If you want to see celebrities, pack your patience or be prepared to play the role of boulevardier. The chances of bumping into a celebrity are very low (mainly because most of the celebrities who live in Hollywood usually do not go out in public), unless you're willing to do a lot of "hanging out" at expensive restaurants in Beverly Hills, on Sunset Plaza, or in Malibu. (Source: Wikitravel: Hollywood)

In Hollywood we visited various places of interests. Hollywood and Highland was a welcoming sight. It a place for shopping and entertainment. Various coffee shops and restaurants surrounds the area for dining and food trips. Hollywood and Highland is also retail and hotel complex at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in the Hollywood district in Los Angeles. The 387,000-square-foot (36,000 m2) center also includes the Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Kodak Theatre, home to the Academy Awards. The historic site was once the home of the famed Hollywood Hotel. Located in the heart of Hollywood, along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it is among the most visited tourist destinations in Los Angeles. (Source)

The famed Hollywood sign.
From Hollywood and Highland, one can already see the Hollywood Sign from Mount Lee. A famous landmark in Hollywood. For me it is a dream come true to see it in real life. It is located in Hollywood Hills area of Mount Lee, spelling out the name of the area in 45-foot (14 m) tall white letters. It was created as an advertisement in 1923, but garnered increasing recognition after the sign was left up. The sign makes frequent appearances in popular culture, particularly in establishing shots for films and television programs set in or around Hollywood.

With real American beauties at Starbucks Hollywood branch.
Grauman's Chinese Theater - the most famous movie theatre in the world, Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened in 1927 and is home to the cement footprints, handprints, and (in some cases) otherprints of many of history's most famous movie stars. The theatre is also a former home of the Oscars, and today hosts many movie premieres. The forecourt that showcases the star's prints is free to all visitors. Movies are shown for $10, and half-hour walking tours are available for $5. Here, I saw handprints and footprints of famous Hollywood celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenneger and Sophia Loren.

Grauman's Chinese Theater. 
Walking like stars in Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame is just around the corner of the long Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. Actually it is a sidewalk of the two streets. You'll see the star mark commemorations embedded on the sidewalk of famous Hollywood artists that has given a contribution in the entertainment industry of US from films, radio, television to theater. It features with more than 2,000 five-pointed stars featuring the names of not only human celebrities but also fictional characters honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for their contributions to the entertainment industry. The Walk of Fame is maintained by the self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust. I saw Bruce Lee, Micheal Jackson and even Lassie! It is quite a celebrity feel while walking in the Walk of Fame.

Los Angeles Cathedral.
On our way back, we visited the newly finished Los Angeles Cathedral. Located at West Temple Street, it is also known as Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. It is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and seat of its archbishop. The cathedral has unique architecture and scenic views of fountains and palm tree landscapes. Inside the main hall was huge place to held a mass. I also had the opportunity to tour in its mausoleum in its lower levels where a number of prior Bishops and Archbishops of the Los Angeles Archdiocese are buried in the crypt mausoleum. It also quite eerie but don't worry a lot of tourist were roaming the area for tour of the underground mausoleum. Among notable artworks in the cathdral for are the tapestries of the communion of saints by painter John Nava (where Filipino Saint, St. Lorenzo Ruiz is included), and the plaza fountain by Lita Albuquerque and Robert Kramer.

The facades of Los Angeles Cathedral.
Though, I haven't gone to Universal Studios, my second US trip was still a satisfying dream come true. Hollywood trip is exceptional. The Hollywood atmosphere is felt in every corner. Much more if I had a chance to pass by Beverly Hills area but unfortunately I haven't. While Los Angeles Cathedral is a trip down the architecture and historical lane. The whole trip is tiring but I had fun and hopefully I'll explore other places in Los Angeles on a future trip.

RetroTravel: Hollywood is my second trip to USA last October 22-30, 2002. In this second trip to US, I only explored the places of interest in Hollywood which is near Los Angeles. RetroTravel: Hollywood is also part of my RetroTravel series where I share my old travel trips in the past during the pre-digital era pictures of my travels.

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