When we think of Los Angeles, most of the time we think of the urban sprawl that seems to stretch forever, only to be stopped by either the ocean or the desert. One of the best places to observe the vastness of the city is to visit Griffith Observatory, which sits at the south facing slope of the Mount Hollywood.
The view that you can capture from the balconies of the observatory is stunning. But you should remember that what you can possibly see from the viewpoint is an accurate yet distant representation of the city. You need to look closer to get a feeling of the famous “LA”. In this post, we’ll cover some of the most iconic landmarks of the city, starting with ever famous Hollywood.
Hollywood is one of the most well-known places on the planet. I guess every movie buff would love to pay a pilgrimage to this holy land. It is composed of few famous boulevards crossing East to West (Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Blvd and Melrose Ave to name a few) and connecting streets. While walking the streets of this iconic neighbourhood, I have realised that the feel of the area is not out of touch as you would anticipate given the high life of the movie stars & celebrities.
It was just a coincidence that we were visiting Walk of Fame only few days after the passing of Robin Williams, my favourite actor. The human side of the connection between a movie star and the public felt especially stronger and real when we saw the flowers, notes and candles left at his star on the pavement. Robin Williams was a special person, no doubt about it. In the words of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, “He learned for 63 years of his life how to be ‘the fire handler.’ That is where I would praise him, for what he has managed to do for six+ decades; handle fire, while being made of parchment.” 1
Most landmarks, such as Walk of Fame or Chinese Theatre or Paramount Studios are easily accessible and you can park in a lonely street just two blocks up or down of such landmarks.
You can also have great juicy chicken wings in the cool and cosy atmosphere of Buffalo Wild Wings, just at the corner of N Sycamore Ave and Hollywood Blvd.
In contrast to the Hollywood area, Beverly Hills looks and feels “out of this place” even for upper-middle class American standards. Its tranquility and beauty in the middle of the urban heat of LA is shouting exclusive and ultra-rich. It is a pity that no body invited us to their backyard for a cold lemonade on such a hot day. I expected more from you Beverly Hills, I certainly did.
To read more on our California trip, please visit: California Road Trip of 2014