Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

Road Trip days 22-28: Los Angeles, part I

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Having passed through the Valley of Death, the next and final stop was our pro forma destination, Los Angeles. My very first impression there was… entirely appropriate: our map claimed that one of the beaches in town had a campground, which seemed at least as nice as the forest glades we’d gotten accustomed to. Alas, there was no campsite access at night, but in the process of discovering this I had an almost magical experience of taking off my shoes and walking through the sand out to the pacific ocean, with the waves lapping at my feet and seagulls crying above. The smell of the sea, in the middle of the city. Very cool.

With the beach plan being unrealizable, we instead went to a hostel in West Hollywood. “Orbit Hotel” ended up being our home for the entire stay in LA, despite plans otherwise, and WeHo turned out to be a rather chic hub of youthful art and fashion. We spent some time checking out the quirky stores of the neighborhood, and it quickly became apparent that Los Angeles is a fundamentally strange place. Even though I might imagine living there, this underlying off-ness would take some adapting to.

A fundamental weirdness

After purveying the neighborhood we headed up to the celebrated Griffith observatory, which offered the first of many chances to recognize the place you are at as the setting for a scene in a movie or video game you’ve experienced. I’ve tried this before, in New York for instance, but it was a whole ‘nother story to have it happen several times per day.

Griffith Observatory

With James Dean long gone and the telescope not quite state-of-the-art any more (though I hear one can make an application to make use of it), it seemed that the overlook mainly served as an extremely popular date spot. Even though it was mid November and somewhat chilly, there were innumerable couples hanky pankying all over the areas. Not that I blame them, it was both pleasantly quiet and offered some great views of the city:

City of Angels

It would have been a silly statement of non-conformity to return to the hostel by any other route than Hollywood Boulevard. I’m not sure what to say about it: it is what it is, shiny stars on the pavement, bright light movie palaces and an endless stream of tourist shops. Mandatory, unique but probably not everything you imagined. Pretty photogenic, though:

Twinkle Twinkle

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Written by Martin

2011/01/19 at 16:36

Posted in Uncategorized

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