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Sep 10, 2003

The Road Trip - Part 7(California) - Los Angeles & Hollywood  

A lazy morning of lounging around found us all heading fordowntown LA, Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood. We drove thru' historic downtown LA, along Broadway, flanked by 1920-30ish buildings, mostly in brick. Then we took a u-turn back to the New Downtown, Fashion District and South Park which is a world away, architecturally, from the old downtown area. One thing that struck me, was LA seemed like a true Hispanic city, or was it roads we took, whatever it was there were more brown faces than faces of any other color.

Inspite of visitng LA 3 times or so in the past two years, I had never seen Hollywood or Sunset Boulevard before and had high expectations. As we got off the exit from 101 and hit Sunset Blvd, it seemed to me like any other road in urban America, maybe I didn't have enough associations I could remember except the name. We did get the Hollywood sign in the camera and palm trees on the Blvd, but other than that it was just another LA street.

Sunset Boulevard became Sunset Strip while going towards Beverly Hills and Bel Air. Click here if you want to know more about Sunset Boulevard and other Hollywood streets. About Hollywood and Bel Air, not up to my expectations (that meant they were too high or my imagination required a 'grounding' real soon), maybe the hour and the light played a part in my perceptions. Sun had almost gone down and it was kinda dark, and all I saw was ivy covered walls or watchman's tiny cubicles standing outside the gates,forlornly in the night and above all it was just a winding one lane highway (did you expect Hollywood starlets to build a mansion beside I-5, in all that noise, traffic, pollution and people?. My mistake!) The houses, or the part of them which were visible above the walls of the properties, looked comparitively big, very much like the Gulf boom bungalows back in my native place in another continent far away. But I guess its the real estate thats pricey in Bel Air and Hollywood, you can have the house and property of the same size somewhere in Montana and pay not even 0.001% of what you would have paid in Hollywood (you wish!).