This week I have been missing LA immensely. (Maybe it is the Dani California obsession…?)
When I first went to LA I hated it. I couldn’t wait to leave. I had no money. I was bored. I was waiting out for my flight home and that is where I wanted to be. Not in some place where the pollution burnt my skin (well that is what the over-tanned girl at the Clinique counter @ the Beverly Center told me). The only thing I looked forward to was going to the free tapings of Hollywood Squares and, to break it up.. a taping of Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. TV tapings had air conditioning and passed the time quickly. I would run up to the Chinese Theatre at 10am to keep an eye out for someone with a big black texta and a clipboard. That translates to “We need an audience!”
I survived by living on a large McDonalds quarter pounder meal at about 3pm everyday. I would sit at the Maccas on Hollywood and Highland and watch the homeless people eat fries straight from the bin. I know I could’ve gone down to the Farmers Market and got some grub but I was 21 and still enthralled by the size of the Maccas meals. Breakfast at the hostel was unlimited free waffles. I think I’ve only eaten waffles once since that long stint in LA. The only memorable thing? Sleeping through the earthquake.
The second time there wasn’t much better. But I discovered the ‘7th Heaven’ church in Studio City so that made the stay worthwhile. Again, I had no money (LA is always the last stop on the way home) but I discovered the a LA branch library just near Hollywood and Vine. Again, more airconditioning. I ventured out on the buses – just sitting on them for the very cheap sightseeing. Travelling through neighbourhoods. This is what I do way too much when I travel. I get on a public bus, make sure I get a window seat and take it all in. It is the cheapest and best form of sightseeing yet.
The third time was awesome. Great accommodation. Money. Santa Monica. UCLA. Fun times at Ross Dress for Less. Barney’s Beanery. Just having fun.
The 4th and last stay, last month was way too short. When we landed and after I had caught up on some sleep, Friday night wandering the Sunset Strip was awesome. The Rainbow Bar and Grill felt like I was getting a teeny tiny little taste of just how fabulous this place must have been in the late 60s and 70s. It was the LA I had a fascination with. I wanted to be there 30 years earlier. Sitting at Dukes. Eating French Toast at 11am after just waking up. This was the LA I’ve read too much about. This was the LA I wanted to experience.
Next time it will be catching Z’s at the Chateau.
Next time I will see someone perform at the Hollywood Bowl.
Next time I will be brave and drive.
Next time I will discover Laurel Canyon.
Next time I will go and pay homage to the old site of the Galleria Mall in the Valley.
Next time… my stay will be longer.
Professional Widow – Tori Amos