I recently spent nine glorious days in Hollywood, California. Four were filled with business, and the rest were for rest.
Why would one go to one of the busiest places on the planet for rest? It’s sunny, for one. I wanted to go on business anyway. I had good accommodation at a reasonable cost, and there was a heated pool.
So, after you are swept up in the glitz and glitter, after you’ve seen a world premiere audience come out of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, after you’ve walked the Walk of Fame and read every name on it, which means you are looking down most of the time, you might start looking up at things. That’s what I did. Wow!
I’m sure thousands of others have done the same thing, and at least half of them wrote about it — scholars and architects who really knew what styles and periods they were seeing. But I, humble writer from Victoria Canada, where every building is a landmark of some kind, just found it quite charming to find the same types of building designs on Hollywood Boulevard.
There are more souvenir shops than you can count. All of them are glittering with flashing lights, sparkly flags and neon “come hither” signage. You are constantly running into fake celebrities, like Spider Man, Elvis, the frightening Freddie, and all of them demand their moment of attention from passers by. To see the amazing buildings in which these attractions and businesses are housed is quite a dichotomy.
I would love to hear comments from anyone who actually knows about these styles and is willing to share their knowledge. To me, it was like finding an art gallery in the middle of a midway – a strange, wonderful surprise.
All photos © Peg Ainsley
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