Los Angeles is a historical, romantic and tragic unscripted reality show playing out to an audience that has included some of the most iconic people in history – Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood and James Dean. It is home to some of the most infamous hotels – the Biltmore, Roosevelt, Chateau Marmont and Sunset Towers. It has been the site of many infamous deaths – River Phoenix, John Belushi and Michael Jackson. It’s also the site of some of the most notorious murders – the Black Dahlia, Nicole Simpson Brown, Jose and Mary Menendez, Ronni Chasen and Notorious B.I.G.
It is the place where dreams are created and killed, where they fail or blossom. Where along Hollywood Boulevard you can see the dreams of celebrities who have made it immortalised along the walk of fame and their hand and footprints cemented into time. You can walk on their legacy, polish, dirty, admire or ignore it. You can capture it on film and help their dream and their life live on forever.
You can escape the poverty of downtown L.A and the homeless who push their belongings along the road in a trolley and sleep under a cardboard box by heading out to the opulent wealth of Beverley or Holmby Hills. Chanel, Versace, Prada or Tiffany and Co lining the broken dreams of many and wishful thinking of others with a truly American sentiment; there can be wealth and fame lining every dark cloud with determination and good luck.
You can visit the beaches of Santa Monica and drink the non fat, non dairy lattes. Spend the day sun tanning and riding the beach-side ferris wheel in the blistering sun reading trashy magazines promoting the lifestyle everyone in Los Angeles is literally dying to live and then openly despise. You can Rollerblade from Santa Monica to Venice and shop at the bohemian inspired shops and lick cool chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone while watching men bulk up on the beach in little to no clothing and women try to impress them by rollerblading past wearing little to no clothing. Their exercise not being weights but laxatives and deprivation to fit into the lifestyle that surrounds them.
But this is Los Angeles and anything goes. As much as I wish I was around to see the old glory days of Hollywood, to find out if Marilyn and Beth Short really knew each other, I will have to be satisfied with travelling to the City of Angels and sitting in Boardners wondering what it was like and appreciating it for what it has become. Los Angeles to me is not the mecca for dreams to come true. I see it as the place where dreams go to be immortalised – on the screen, on the streets, in the cement, in the cemetery. You cannot turn around in LA without seeing history and feeling that something extraordinary may have happened where you stood.
Have you been to Los Angeles? What do you think of the city? What do you do when you visit?