Thu, 12/6/12 2:16 PM
Friday November 23, 2012 (cont.) The first local attraction we decided to go visit was Griffith Observatory, for the science, for the beautiful art deco building and for the views of the surrounding area. Unfortunately, it seemed half of Los Angeles had descended onto Griffith Park on this day. I'm still not sure what exactly what was going on, but as soon as we entered the park, we were being diverted by road closures and signs saying the parking lot closest to the observatory was full and you had to find parking elsewhere. Which would have meant a long uphill climb on a hot, humid day, which I wanted no part of. So, we headed for Hollywood instead. Which was a huge mistake. We parked one block away from Graumann's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard and walked over. The mass of humanity around here was overwhelming and claustrophobic. All I wanted to do was a snap a couple of photos of movie stars hand or footprints in the cement, but there was so many people around, either other tourists or hustlers wanting money, that the experience was truly awful. Which sucked, because this was the first time Mariton had been here. It wasn't a complete loss, since I did get to see some of my favorites, like Peter O'Toole (Lawrence of Arabia is my all-time favorite movie), William Powell and fellow Western PA born movie cowboy Tom Mix. I know this will sound like an exaggeration, but you really couldn't go 30 seconds without someone trying to get you on a tour bus of Hollywood and the stars homes or some hip-hop artist giving away a free CD of his music (but he would appreciate a donation, of course). And then there were the people dressed up in famous character's costumes harrassing you, asking if you want your picture taken with them. You know, for a donation, of course. Sorry Harry Potter, if I didn't get my photo taken with Catwoman, I'm sure not getting photographed with you. Just because I was brought up to be polite, I was constantly replying "No thanks" and eventually just "no". TTM was just shaking his head at me. Eventually, I learned to just ignore them, which wasn't easy to do, but the only way to keep your sanity. We got out of there, walking down Hollywood Boulevard, checking out all the famous people with their own stars. And yet it was still every 20 feet, "Hey, how about a bus tour of Hollywood? Would you like to see the Stars homes?" As much as I enjoyed the seeing star of one of my favorite actors and actresses (like Jean Arthur!), the experience was again, awful. We did pass by Roadfood favorite Musso & Frank, but we didn't have appetite to stop in and enjoy a meal. Eventually, we got as far as Hollywood & Vine and got a good view of the famous Capital Records building. Of course, we had to hang out at the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine to see if any of us would get "discovered". Unfortunately, it was not to be. Hard to believe Hollywood could say no to this. Obviously, they don't know talent when they see it! On the way back to the car, I had another first time experience. The nice people in one storefront wanted to know if we wanted to come in to see a doctor to find out if we qualified for medical marijuana. Yeah, under no circumstances will I ever walk down Hollywood Boulevard again. Not ready to eat yet, but wanting to get out of the heat, I suggested a ride along beautiful Mulholland Drive. Yeah, this was another bad idea. Mariton, who doesn't normally get motion sickness, did get car sick from the constant back and forth from all the turns. She was quite happy when we got to the famous overlook at the east end of the road, where you get a great view of the Hollywood Bowl down below, with Los Angeles in the distance. And of course, the obligatory photo of the Hollywood sign. After all of this, we were finally ready to do some eating!
<message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 12/7/12 8:05 PM>