Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hollywood Boulevard - January 24

Coccinelle and I made a visit to the heart of Hollywood…well, at least where people like to think it is.  Hollywood is actually a district within the city of Los Angeles, and as for the movie-making part of Hollywood...well, the vast majority is elsewhere in the county.

But still, the area labeled Hollywood on a map really is where film-making began in southern California, and much of the public face of both historic and contemporary Hollywood lies within stretch of Hollywood Boulevard between Vine Street and La Brea Boulevard.

Don’t know if its reputation still holds, but “Hollywood and Vine” which is really just a relatively normal intersection, at least nowadays was once world famous:

Hollywood and Vine, from the northeast corner to the southwest
Half a block north on Vine is the Capitol Records building, the world’s first circular office building.  The story goes that when it was built in 1956 it was designed to look like a stack of records albums; however, according to someone on the design team that was not the case as the architecture firm didn’t tell the team who the client was.  Either way, on purpose or by coincidence, it works for a building where musicians from Frank Sinatra right up to the present have recorded music listened to the world over:

All along this part of Hollywood Boulevard (and a few blocks of Vine) is the Walk of Fame – stars embedded in the sidewalk which bear names mostly from the entertainment industry actors, musicians, directors, producers, writers, etc.  Here are a few:


Lionel Barryore - Drew Barrymore's Grandfather

The forecourt of the Chinese Theatre is where celebrities have had their hand and footprints immortalized in the cement for many decades.  Unfortunately, the theatre must have been preparing for a movie premiere as it was completely blocked off beyond the sidewalk and there was a lot of hustle and bustle going on behind the barrier.

The newest landmark on the Boulevard is the shopping-and-theatre complex known at Hollywood and Highland.  The Academy Awards ceremonies (the Oscars) are held here at the Dolby Theatre, where you might also see a touring musical or other live stage show.  In addition to a wing that houses several movie theatres, there’s also a shopping and restaurant area which surrounds an open courtyard:

As we were getting ready to head back to the Boulevard we spotted a Beard Papa’s cream puff store.  I’d first read about them before they even started opening stores outside of Japan and didn't know there was one so close by!  There were so many delicious looking pastries from which to choose, I asked the counter man for a suggestion and his immediate response was the green tea, which was, indeed, an excellent choice:

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