First day in LA, I was in a car, being driven to Hollywood. This whole, knowing people somewhere and staying with them is really nice. From where I was staying, in the OC with my friend, to get to Hollywood you have to drive clear across LA county and past central Los Angeles. It was about a 40 mile trip, along which I saw more freeways and bigger freeways than I had ever seen before… and this was only one direct route across part of the metro area. There have to be more freeways here than anywhere on earth. Luckily, traffic wasn’t too bad since we avoided rush hour.
Hollywood is not a glamourous neighborhood, contrary to what you may think. Aside from the flashy theatres etc it’s not really attractive, a high content of seedy businesses around there. We walked up and down Hollywood Blvd along the star walk, stopped at the theatre where many celebrities have imprinted their foot/handprints and signatures in the cement and took a few photos.
After satisfying myself that I’d seen enough of Hollywood blvd, we drove up to the historic Griffith Observatory. Beautifully set on top of Griffith park, overlooking the whole LA area, including a great view of the Hollywood hills, and sign.
Good place for a self portrait to add to the collection…
Looking out from the observatory I fully understood for the first time just how big the city is. Los Angeles, or rather, the LA area is huge. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Aside from the typical skyscrapers in the cbd, (and even it is very small considering the population of the city…) there are scarcely any other high rise or even anything more then 2-3 stories high, just a few small clusters of them. Mostly it’s mile after mile of houses or offices, I’ve never seen a city with so few high rise apartments, and this is a city of 13 million people (LA county and the OC, between which is most of the sprawl) That is a similar number of people to Tokyo, but Tokyo is in a much smaller area and it feels like a massive city. Here, until you are close to the cbd to see the skyscrapers you wouldn’t know you are in a mega-city. It’s just suburb after suburb full of ranch style houses, business districts and strip malls, stretching out seemingly forever.
Tags: Travel, USA