Our warmshowers host got back to us and as it turned out it was a bit of miscommunication that we didn’t get his address. Ah well. We had decided to stay another night at the Hostel. Though it was pricy, it worked into the schedule that Maureen had for us, so we stay.
At 8 AM sharp Maureen’s sister, Michelle, came to pick us up and I shall just say that they had scheduled their day to the dot to show us a bit of the glitz and glamour of LA. Both of them are extremely busy with their work and it was absolutely sweet of them to take time off to chaperone us around town.
Michelle first took us around some of the beach side neighbourhoods with some old and new houses interspersed. They were obviously extremely pricy properties and the surprise was the little town of Venice. Someone decided to recreate the real venice and since there was not anything similar around, dredged out waterways and built houses around. It was crazy to imagine a spot like that. But there it was. Small houses which opened into small canals and everyone had a canoe in the backyard. Go figure.
We headed into the more colourful end of Venice to get some b’fast. After that, she drove us to the Santa Monica Pier and handed us over to Maureen. Bear with me as I explain some of the neighbourhoods we visited.
First up was the University town of Westwood where UCLA is. The campus was pretty, but with all the construction, we had to move on soon.
We drove on to the more spiffy shopping district of Rodeo Drive, which pretty much reminded me of the high end shopping district in Orchard or may be Marina Bay in Singapore. The thing about the shopping district is that they tend to look pretty similar around the world. It might be charming to walk around and find some hidden cafe’s I suppose.
We meandered out to the high end housing district of Beverly Hills. This is popular for all the uber rich and who’s who of the entertainment industry to make their homes. It was affluent to say the least, and was interesting to see the palatial houses. A good place for the architecture buffs to hang around I reckon. My favourite was the wicked witch house that was decorated for Halloween and looked really cute.
We rode out to some parts of sunset Blvd which was stuffed with posh cafes and restaurants. I can imagine the people working here as wannabe movie actors, singers, talent agents and the clientele being popular actors, movie makers, producers, and the like. I don’t think I’d really fit in there.
West hollywood was a nice bit of town, and a spot we were eyeing to ride around on Halloween. The word is that this part of town throws the craziest Mardi-gras style costume party. The place definitely was gearing up for it, but to be honest, it was too far a ride for me and the streets didn’t particularly look bike friendly.
We ended up looping into Hollywood Blvd, which has the tourist traps and the popular spots that one might see on Movies and tv during Oscar season.
At the end of the day I was pretty spent. I haven’t been in such dense urban setting in a while and can’t imagine visiting bits of it on my own. Maureen was nice to bring us around and gave us some tidbits of interesting info and history along the way.
We eventually got back to Michelle, who drove us back to our hostel. It was absolutely lovely that the two sisters tag teamed and gave us a view of this town. The place is kitschy, glitzy, decadent, crazy and I suppose I can guess why tons of people flock to it to find fame and fortune. I can also see why not many people would find it and end up burning their dreams. Ah well, that’s hollywood and as they say, that’s showbiz. Isn’t it.
It was nice to have a beautiful sunset that arrives without fail and creates a ground for reality.
Route: Hermosa beach (LAX)
Distance: 0 Km
Ascent: 0 ft
Descent: 0 ft
Expenses: $ 45.00
Comment: LA is a bit of this and that, but definitely a crazy place.