The LA Experience

Los Angeles Travel Blog

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The famous "Hollywood" sign.

On Sunday we left the desert and head for the coast, to the city of palm trees, low-rise buildings, movie stars and illegal Mexican immigrants – Los Angeles! Even though LA – like Las Vegas – was not a city we felt a strong affection for, we enjoyed being in a “regular” city again (after the fantasy land of Vegas!) and we found that it would be a great place to live if you liked the heat or wanted to make movies.

 

We did the essentials of Hollywood – saw the handprints at the Chinese Theatre, looked at the stars on the Walk of Fame, went to Universal Studios and used the toilets at the Beverly Wilshire hotel (of “Pretty Woman” fame).

Brent and Arnie.
We learnt some interesting facts: did you know that the “Hollywood” sign was originally an advertisement for real estate? And did you know that in order for a star to get, well, a star, on the Walk of Fame, they have to pay for it? The rate has recently gone up to a whopping $25,000. Which I suppose isn’t that much for celebrities who spend the same amount on a handbag to put their dog in. But it kind of takes away some of the prestige doesn’t it?

 

We had another Hollywood experience too – we were part of the studio audience for “The Late Late Show” with Craig Ferguson. The show is like a mini-me of Letterman, and Craig Ferguson is like an older version of Rove with a Scottish accent. If you’ve ever watched an American live show you’ll know how much the yanks love to cheer and clap at just about anything. So by the end of the show our hands were red raw and we didn’t want to say “woo!” again, ever.

LA.

 

During the show we sat next to a 70 year old lady who described herself as a “Psychic Catholic”. She assured us we’d have a long and happy life together (and I guess she must know – she’s a psychic Catholic after all). She interviewed us on her video camera for an amateur documentary she was making about LA. She was very spritely and well into the who audience experience, dancing in her seat and throwing her hands up in the air yelling “spunky monkeys!”. I would say “only in Hollywood” but I suppose you can probably find exuberant psychic Catholics anywhere if you looked hard enough.

 

Our audience warm-up guy was a character. He insisted on not calling us the “audience” but instead referring to us as “show enhancers”. You can just see it as a sitcom in the vein of BBC’s “The Extras” called “The Show Enhancers”, about a low-paid audience warm-up guy who insists on being called “Director of Show Enhancement” or similar. But hey – who are we to try and come up with sitcoms? It’s like we’ve “gone all Hollywood”. I guess being in LA can do that to you!

 

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The famous Hollywood sign.
The famous "Hollywood" sign.
Brent and Arnie.
Brent and Arnie.
LA.
LA.
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
Brent and Spiderman at Universal S…
Brent and Spiderman at Universal …
Toilets at the Beverly Wilshire - …
Toilets at the Beverly Wilshire -…