Saturday, June 6, 2015

Southern California Trip 2014 Day 6 Thursday October 30 Los Angeles (with Century City and Hollywood), Culver City, Beverly Hills, Pasadena

This is the 6th of a series of posts dealing with my fourth trip to South California. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of a ¾ year later or to add further clarification.  These are indicated by “NOW”. After I booked the trip I unexpectedly had to move and during that had an Eastern Canada trip that didn’t go that great, so I was already pretty tired before the trip began.

I woke up before 4:30 so about 4:45 got up to get an early start for the day as a lot of my activities  this morning was just looking at building exteriors. I jogged to the nearest bus stop and misread the schedule that the buses didn't run that early so jogged a stop or two further and then noticed someone waiting at a stop so I stopped. Good thing too because the 56 bus (Orange County Transportation Authority/OCTA) arrived soon after. I took it to Orange Metrolink Station and then after a wait took the Orange County Line Metrolink train to LA Union Station.

[NOW: My starting point was Orange Mango Hostel in Santa Ana. The bus stop I initially got to was in Orange but the bus stop I actually got on the bus at was in Santa Ana. Orange Metrolink Station is in Orange.]

I correctly guessed that an upcoming train was above ground so I had breakfast at the Subway there to kill a little time and let the sun rise (note: all transportation I took before heading back to Orange was LA Metro). I then took the Red Line subway to 7th St/Metro Center Station and then the above ground Blue Line train to Culver City Station. I then took a 33 bus most of the way to Sony Pictures Studios and got some photos. I miscalculated where a Culver Transit bus drove along and felt like a hike anyway and gradually made my way to 20th Century Fox Studios (wisely the exterior doesn't refer to the past decade, just Fox). Need to look up which city I was now in.  I walked along another side of the studio, entering Century City. I passed by Fox Plaza, which is colloquially known as the Die Hard building (for those of you not up on your 1980s action movies, the first Die Hard movie involved a hostage situation in a skyscraper. Fox Plaza served as that skyscraper).

[NOW: It was actually the Expo Line, not the Blue Line I took. Culver City Station is in Culver City, where I got off the bus in Los Angeles, and Sony in Culver City. I returned to Los Angeles soon after Sony. Fox is entirelu in the Century City area of Los Angeles so I entered it sooner than I originally believed. I’ve since learned that the “20th Century” in 20th Century-Fox refers to the fact that 20th Century Studios and Fox Studios merged long ago, which is why they haven’t updated their name.]

I walked some more to Beverly Hills where I looked at the exterior of a house made to look like a witch's house (there's even a sign reading "Please Don't Pick the Berries --The Witch).  I also got a soft drink and a couple movie sets at a Rite Aid; since Beverly Hills is a bit upscale it amused me to shop at a Rite Aid there. I wandered along Rodeo Drive, the most upscale area of Beverly Hills and visited Taschen Books which was not yet open.

[NOW: The formal name for the Witch’s House is Spadena House.]

I walked most of the way to The Grove and Farmer's Market in Los Angeles (I took a bus -- another 33 I think -- near the end).  I visited a Barnes & Noble in the Grove and learned that the two are separate, though they are very close to one another and the visual cues of which is which are a bit subtle.  I walked to CBS Television City. When a 217 bus was about to arrive, a helpful stranger pointed out that that bus didn't actually stop at the stop I was at but rather across the street. So I managed to take this 217 through West Hollywood (a different municipality apparently) to the Hollywood District of LA, actually on Hollywood Blvd. I took a few photos at the west end of the Hollywood Walk of Fame and walked south to the former Chaplin Studio, now the Jim Henson Company. On the roof is a statue of Kermit the Frog wearing Chaplin Gear. I headed back north and ate lunch at a Burger King before returning to Hollywood Blvd. I walked east. I won't list all the squares I saw on the Walk of this stage but the most interesting of this set was Woody Woodpecker.

[NOW: The bus to the Farmer’s Market/Grove was a 16.]

 I visited the courtyard of Grauman's Chinese Theater, which has its own celebrity squares. The difference is, the Walk of Fame is a series of stars in squares. Grauman has blocks of concrete with whatever the celebrity wanted to put on it: signature, hand print, footprint, etc. Seeing Robin Williams's space there hit a bit home. Here and at the nearly Hollywood & Highland Center panhandlers dress up as superheroes and other pop culture icons. Near Grauman I found Godzilla's Walk of Fame star.  I visited Hollywood & Highland Center, a largely outdoor multi-story mall, though some halls are indoors. The 5th floor is closed to the public though the elevator doesn't indicate this and does take you there.  I got some zoomed-in shots of the Hollywood sign there and found the indoor entrance to the Dolby Theater, where the Oscars are held. I walked north to the Hollywood Heritage Museum, which as Lasky-De Mille Barn was the first movie studio. I had a lot I wanted to see this day and didn't feel like paying the small $7 admission.

[NOW: I’ve since learned that Grauman’s changed their name to TCL Chinese Theatre. Overlooked but noted in a later report: Just as I started up Highland to Lasky-De Mille Barn, I saw someone on a bicycle nearly run over Zorro.]

I returned to Hollywood Blvd and visited Larry Edmonds Bookshop (cinema books) and then went south to Amoeba Records, where I bought a large amount of B-movies. In fact there were so many there I finally cut myself off there not wanted to spend more than i already was or wasting much more of the day there.  I bought so many they gave me a free cloth bag.  I walked further southeast and bought some recent blu-rays at a video store I happened upon called Video Box.  3 for $20 and I think all three I bought were from 2014; two for sure. I walked further south and saw Paramount Studios.

[NOW: Raleigh Studios was also there. For some reason I found out later, for a brief time my camera stopped taking photos.]

Heading west then north I saw a bus coming.  I just missed it but I lucked out and caught it (a 210) 2-3 blocks later. I took it to Hollywood and Vine and wandered back west, continuing to ignore people trying to sell me tours. More people dressed in costumes, more Walk of Fame photos (including Bugs Bunny), more zoomed-in shots of the Hollywood sign at Hollywood & Highland Center, another visit to Grauman. I went a little further west and got a pop at a CVS Pharmacy, so I have a receipt with Hollywood on it. Heading east again with more Grauman; this time or the time right before that with Roy Rogers' block, aside from his footprints there were also two of Trigger's hoof prints. 

I was still ahead of the game due to the early start etc. A bit weighed down from my purchases and a bit pop cultured out I decided I wanted to visit some place already on my itinerary to keep things simple but not movie/TV related. so I got on the Red Line at Hollywood/Highland Station. l took it to LA Union Station, and then took an above ground Gold Line train to Memorial Park Station in Pasdadena. I visited Old Pasdadena (old Spanish architecture. Apparently in the old days people ate at Subway) then continued on to Vromn's Bookstore and then to Canterbury Records where I got a blu-ray.

[NOW: I later realized that the despite the packaging it was actually a DVD of a Rob Zombie concert.]

I walked to Lake Station, the stop after Memorial Park and took the Gold Line train back to LA Union Station. I bought dinner at the same Subway I got breakfast at and then accidently got on the wrong Metrolink train. I figured out my error in time and took the Orange County Line Metrolink train back to Orange Station (I realized that my Anaheim plan wouldn't work).

[NOW: The wrong train was to San Berandino. The plan at first was to get off at Anaheim Station and take a bus back from there]

I had a bit of time so I walked to a nearby liquor store and got a beer. I was taken ahead of someone else. It may be because that person ahead of me was a but scruffy and was buying a fair bit, or it could be that I noticed the sign that everyone gets IDed and had my ID out; I don't think the other guy did.  I walked back to the station and took the 56 bus back to near the hostel. When I got back Smokey greeted me at the door.

[NOW: The stop near the hostel was also in Orange, though I passed through Santa Ana on the way. Smokey is a dog.]

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