I had ambitious notions about multiple pieces chronically my adventures in Hollywood, but it just hasn’t turned out that way. It’s actually a good thing because any truthful account of my weeks in L.A. would have to be primarily concerned with navigating traffic and the importance of paying 110% attention while driving unless you want to get in an accident. When I reach my destination, I am usually focused on the person I’m visiting with, which is also not very conducive to writing (though appropriate, and polite).
For the last few days I’ve been housesitting for my friends Patrick and Carlos and I finally have found some time to write. They live in the legendary B.H. Dyas building located in the epicenter of Tinseltown: Hollywood and Vine. This spectacular building was built in 1927 and was home to the Broadway-Hollywood department store from 1931 to 1982 and was renovated into luxury condominiums in 2007. The building is an important cornerstone in the redevelopment of the district and is best-known for it’s famous sign, the rear view which is depicted above and remains unchanged after all these years.
The glamour of the building and its neighboring upscale restaurants contrasts sharply with the still down on it’s luck element of the district, which is about as close to the socio-economic mash-up of New York City that you’re likely to find here. My favorite part of this part of my visit, (aside from getting to take care of their wonderful dog Newman) has been exploring the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a kid I was obsessed with the gold stars that lined the Boulevard and on my first trip here in 1980, I made my dad walk the entire length of Hollywood Boulevard just to see every one. The Walk of Fame was created in the mid-50’s to commemorate achievement in four categories: film, TV, radio, and recorded music. For some reason, Theater/live performance was added in the 1980s, which makes little sense because out of all the things that Hollywood is known for, live theater would be last on the list.
So now I’m grown and I know these memorials can be purchased by a studio or even an individual, but it still made me wistful to walk down the street and note how filthy and poorly maintained the stars are. I wanted to grab a can of Brasso and get all Joan Crawford on the street!