Sep 27, 2011

United States of America - Los Angeles

We took off from Auckland (New Zealand) at 2pm the 18th of September and landed in Los Angeles at 10am the same day, after a fifteen hours journey. It feels like we won a day!! :)

Los Angeles is a city-octopus, enlarging upon a lot of districts which names recall us numerous television and movie memories: Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, etc.. Hollywood is maybe the most famous of them as the wonderland of fame and celebrities. The Hollywood sign is a distinctive landmark such as the stars on Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk called The Walk of Fame.

View of the Hollywood sign from Hollywood Boulevard

There we saw a gathering of people waiting behind security fences in front of a restaurant and.. decided to wait with them! ;) After a few minutes we understood that an actor was receiving his star on The Walk Of Fame: Jon Cryer, co-star of the soap opera Two Men and a Half with Ashton Kutcher!

Jon Cryer receiving his star

Two and a Half Men crew:
Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones

Walking on Hollywood Boulevard, a young girl also asked us if we wanted to be part of the audience for ABC live night show, Jimmy Kimme Live Show. Very strange to wander around and be five minutes later in front of a tv set with a man explaining us how to laugh well on television! Dr Phil, shrink on Oprah Winfrey shows, and two ultimate fighting champions were the guests. At the end we also attended a live session of the rock band Switchfoot.

Hollywood Boulevard at night

Well anything seems possible in Los Angeles and shootings take place all over the city. We saw for example the luxurious hotel used as a setting for Pretty Woman or Mulholland Drive famous for the eponymous movie. And if one is craving to meet celebrities, guided tours are organized to admire their expensive residences.

Shooting on Hollywood Boulevard

Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, setting for Pretty Woman

Celebrities Tour

Not only movie and television stars are celebrated. Hollywood forecourt featuring handprints of iconic celebrities in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre has its counterpart for musicians! In Sunset Boulevard, the Guitar Centre (the world's largest chain of musical instrument retailers) hosts Hollywood's RockWalk where artists placed their handprints into cement blocks.

 In front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Guitar Centre

We breathed other characteristics of American folklore in Beverly Hills with the typical boulevards lined with palm trees. Last Sunday a Tea Party was happening there and an activist even asked if we wanted to sign a petition for Sarah Palin!

Beverly Drive

 Intersection between Dayton Way, Via Rodeo and Rodeo Drive

Beverly Hills Tea Party

Facing the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica and Venice offers nice walks. We even learned that the renowned Road 66 ends on Santa Monica Pier.

 Ocean Front Walk of Venice Beach

Santa Monica Beach and Pier on the left

Santa Monica Pier

A completely different aspect of the city is shown at the Getty Centre. Created thanks to the fortune of J. Paul Getty, an oil industrialist, this campus includes a research institute, a conservation institute, a library and a wonderful museum presenting Getty's collection of Western art from the Middle Ages. Designed by the American architect Richard Meier, the campus offers an amazing scenery, not to mention the garden!

West pavillion

Window on the sky

Los Angeles is a huge and very diverse city and different aspects striked us. For example, the Spanish language is everywhere: in bus notice boards, in street advertisements,... And so are tacos restaurants! In the oldest area of downtown a lovely street next to the Mexican consulate, Olvera street, is part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. It is one of the place to be for Latino atmosphere.

Other part of downtown are really less nice. For example, we walked to Greyhound bus station in the middle of the day to get some bus tickets for an overnight bus. The front desk employee was surprised we walked there and looking very seriously told us: "do not come by walk tonight"! That was weird...


  1. Il vous en arrive des aventures aux States! ;) Continuez comme ça, ce blog est génial!

  2. Merci Philippe! Ca fait toujours plaisir! :) Bonne continuation