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Monday, May 22, 2006

On Hollywood 

As I previously mentioned somewhere or another, I went to Hollywood on Saturday. When I get around to it, I'll talk more about the trip itself (including possible multimedia experiential stuff), but first I want to talk about my relationship with Hollywood over the last 23 years.

For most of that time I hardly ever went to Hollywood. I live over 40 miles away from Hollywood, and it wasn't really in my list of things to do. In fact, I can only think of two times that I visited the Hollywood areain the twentieth century.
  • The first occurred when an old college roommate came to town. He works in the music industry and had to be in the area on business. I can't remember what we did, but I do remember that I ended up valet parking on Rodeo Drive to see him. (And yes, I know that Rodeo Drive is not in Hollywood, but from an Inland Empire perspective the two neighborhoods might as well be one.)

  • The second time was when a European journalist was visiting the Los Angeles area. This journalist was a freelancer, and therefore did not have access to corporate budgets like my roommate did, so while she was staying in Hollywood, it wasn't necessarily the nicest area of town. In the end, she ended up staying with us in the Inland Empire, and we'd drive her into town when she needed to be there.

This intermittent relationship with Hollywood changed when we started hosting foreign exchange students, since it is a goal of every student from Europe or Japan or wherever to see Hollywood (and to hang out at the beach, and to go to the local Disneyland, etc.). Before my frequent trips to Hollywood, I knew that it wasn't the glamour capital of the world - I "knew" that Hollywood was a sleazy dump. Turns out that has changed, at least in some areas. Normally we go to Hollywood and Highland, which has undergone a transformation similar to the transformation at Times Square, New York.

Well, mostly:

A man dressed as horror movie villain Freddy Krueger — all the way down to the knives on his gloved fingers — was arrested for allegedly stabbing a man on Hollywood Boulevard....

Police said the stabbing occurred about 7 p.m. Saturday, just down the street from the fabled Grauman's Chinese Theatre, where Hollywood stars have left their footprints in cement for decades....

People in the area are often dressed as characters from films, and officers said they arrived to find Zachary decked out as the villain from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies....

Approximately three hours before this incident occurred, we were right in the area of this theatre (which, technically, is now called Mann's Chinese Theatre) hanging out with Elmo and Spongebob Squarepants (neither of whom was armed, as far as I could tell). I suspect that somebody didn't tip Freddy, and the altercation began.

Our trip was much less violent. More later.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

This reminds me of all the people who live on top of caves and never go in them. What’s up with that?!

Anyway…personally, I’d be more afraid Elmo than Freddy. Something about red furry things with maniacal laughs just creeps me out.
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