Modernista Mama and family have arrived in LA. The greatest thing about being here is the ongoing deja vu I am experiencing. It’s as though I have been to LA before, as though I’m visiting a place from my youth—there is something about the sun’s angle, the dry, warm climate, desert hills and retro (pre1960) buildings…perhaps I lived here in a previous life. LA is probably the most spread out and huge (geographically) city I’ve been to. Driving and driving and 14 lane freeways become the norm. Good thing Peter likes driving—he’s been the best, never tiring of taking us all to our next desire. Even though, yesterday a giant semi, carrying a load of cars, swerved into our lane and cut us off—as though we didn’t exist. It was a close call.
I know there are horribly poor and violent areas to avoid, and lots of smog; yet, I can’t help but become seduced by the climate, Pacific Ocean (feels like home to me) glitz and glamour.
So far, we’ve explored Venice Beach and the Hollywood/Beverly HIlls areas. I love the dry hills, narrow streets, old Hollywood history, craftsman homes and retro one story buildings. It seems like the small town that could…it kept growing and growing and growing—the buildings are mostly one story and have a small town retro vibe. I truly appreciate the retro (Western North American) feel of everything–from craftsman style bungalows everywhere to the pre-1960 shops that line the boulevards.
I’ve always been a fan of old Hollywood. I’ve seen many old movies. My favourite stars have always been Gregory Peck, Cary Grant and Marilyn Monroe. It was interesting to learn just how many stars were born and raised in and near Hollywood—location, location, location: if you’re raised in LA, you’ll most likely end up in the entertainment industry.
We took a walk along the Walk of Fame and visited the Chinese Theatre.
Mist, thrilled to find her favourite musician’s star: David Bowie.
Harry Potter fans! The prints are of Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint .
My favourite Acto—Marilyn Monroe. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since I was a teen and watched every movie she made. This was a real treat for me.
Peter, kind enough to humour me and pose in Gregory Pecks prints—I have also watched every one of Gregory Peck’s movies (I did all my Old Hollywood research before I had kids–no time for old movies anymore).
Pippi posing on Shirley Temple’s prints—I’ve watched a fair share of her movies too (mainly when I was a child–my mom is a Shirley Tempe fan and some how my sisters and I were privy to many of her movies and songs from her movies). Shirley was a very tiny little girl; Pip’s hands are much bigger than Shirley’s and yet Pip is only a few months older than Shirley was at the time the hand prints were made.
Sunset Boulevard is long and lined in palm trees. We drove past Madonna’s estate on Sunset Bl. Though, like all the stars’ homes, nothing is visible but a massive gate and tall shrubs. Its odd, in a way, to desire to live front and centre in Beverly Hills and yet to have to barricad oneself away at the same time. If I was obscenely famous, if at all possible, I’d live further away from the limelight.
Beverly Drive–the very drive the Clampetts drove their junker truck into town in the opening scene of the Beverly HillBillies.
A Pink Berry treat during our self-guided tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
We didn’t shop on Rodeo Drive, but we did shop a bit, just outside of LA. Well, to be honest, we were practically at Palm Springs! I am feeling very ripped off tonight as we purchased Pip 3 adorable Ralph Lauren outfits and somehow lost the bag of items somewhere during our travels 🙁 Of course, I am more upset about it than Pip—she’s pretty easy-going in the wardrobe department.
One of the entrances to Paramount Studios.
These last two pics are rather bitter-sweet. I have the address of the last house Marilyn Monroe lived in before her death. We were within a few blocks of the address so we decided to see if I recognized it; amazingly enough, I had read about the house as a teen and still remember what it looked like in photographs. It felt strange and surreal to see it. Though, I felt quite sad about it all; her journey in Hollywood was not a happy one. To see the property, and to know she lived in the home alone, without even pets, seemed very lonely to me at that moment. Although, the street was super quiet and the property very lovely and seemingly untouched since the Spanish Style bungalow was built.
Tragically, the combo of fame and drugs has killed so many…the numbers seem to increase ever year.
Marilyn Monroe’s home: The address is odd, in that it leads to the back alley entrance. The front of the house is completely blocked from street view by shrubs (as in upper pic).