I am not an actress, nor involved in the film industry in any way, but having lived in the heart of Hollywood for over a year now, my life, even a daily walk, is full of occurrences that definitely belong in a script, and a comedy script at that.
For starters, I have seen Spider Man smoking cigarettes, and Elvis drinking Starbucks. Jesus himself once stole one of my tortilla chips -no joke, I’m sure you’ve seen him on TMZ! My chihuahua, Jet, is desperately afraid of the Jimmy Hendrix impersonator near the Hard Rock, and I seriously have to pick him up and carry him every time we walk past. He doesn’t, however, seem to fear the Scientologists, which I worry about! I live walking distance from H&M, Zara, Forever 21, and every other dream store on the hit list of a 25 year old female. Everything is convenient (you can take the metro from Hollywood and Highland all the way to Downtown!) fun, and for the most part it’s pretty safe. The worst part about living in Hollywood is that it’s quite dirty – broken glass, random togo boxes full of left over noodles, you get the point.
I wanted to write this article so that people who are coming to visit Hollywood will know what to expect. You might see a red carpet, which means the street will be blocked off and there will be huge crowds trying to get by, and you probably won’t meet a celebrity. You might take a tour of the stars homes, or you might go to a show at the Chinese Theater, but here’s what you should do if you want to get the local experience:
I almost don’t event want to share my secret- but this is such a beautiful experience that I can’t keep it to myself. Bring your hiking shoes and a $1 bill. You can buy a bottle of water from the small cart at the bottom of the hill located on Fuller just North of Franklin. It’s an honor system, so you just drop your dollar in the box and take one item, bring $2 if you might want a banana! Runyon Canyon is an off-leash dog park so there will be lots of furry friends running around. Head straight in and hike to the top, and you will have a view from Downtown to the ocean on a clear day, not to mention an excellent photo opp with the Hollywood Sign- as a matter of fact, I took this photo below with my Android!
Yamashiro Farmer’s Market:
Every Thursday from 5-9pm during the Summer you can experience a quaint, almost European vibe atop a hill overlooking the entire city. It’s wise to smuggle in a bottle of wine to enjoy while you’re at the top, as the lines for the bar are rather long. They have live music, great food, and I definitely recommend that you try the bundt cakes and the hummus!
This is where I met Jesus. 2 for 1 drinks – great Nachos – local hang out- come here after your Runyon hike!
My FAVORITE. My boyfriend and I eat here at least once a month. They have a long wait most of the time, but the food is always fresh and you can’t beat the flaming margaritas! The entire ambiance is authentic and unique and gives you the feeling of being transported to another time and place.
Hollywood Highland Center:
This is the tourist mecca, but I have to admit, I love it too. Here you will find the shops, the restaurants, the Madame Traussades and such. It’s definitely fun to people watch, and if you have kids, they have a huge fountain where they can play.
Even if you’re not staying here, it’s a beautiful hotel and you should check it out. Head up to the rooftop pool during the day and enjoy a cocktail overlooking the city. If you come at night be sure to dress well, it is LA after all, and you’re not getting in anywhere if you look a mess- well, maybe to Cabo!
All of these places are in the heart of Hollywood, but there are many more in WeHo, so stay tuned for future articles! If you have any questions feel free to give me a shout!