Starry-eyed at Tinseltown

Starry-eyed at Tinseltown

For one whole day we visited Hollywood. I expected a glittering city, but it’s not all that. I guess what makes the city glitter is not the place per se, but the movie stars that abound here. Hollywood is the home of the entertainment industry.   Hollywood is in Los Angeles, the capital of the film industry. It’s also called Tinseltown and represents glamour and extravagant lifestyles. It’s not something that is so obvious, though. I was hoping that considering billionaires abound here, then the whole district would be lifted up. But of course, only the high-end shopping areas and the residential areas of the stars were glamorous. Otherwise, it looked quite ordinary, except for the stars on the sidewalks (Hollywood walk of fame) in Hollywood Boulevad. Many buildings were old and unkept. But at the same time, if the whole place was lifted up to glittering heights, then the not-so-ultrarich residents would be economically evicted. The whole place would be gentrified and the city would be filled with snobs. Anyway, it was really hot when we were here. And our legs were tired. So we decided to take a celebrity tour. We rode a roofless bus and for two hours rode around Hollywood and Beverly Hills, taking a glimpse of celebrity houses.  I am not going to show any picture of their homes. Let’s just say they are huge and walled. So it’s pretty much the facade and walls we saw. Beverly Hills, well it’s not so different from say, the rich walled communities in Metro Manila, such as Forbes Park or Dasmariñas Village. A word of advice: Don’t take a...
Blue Santa Monica

Blue Santa Monica

The color blue is what I think of when I remember the beachfront city Santa Monica in California. The skies and sea were blue, the façade of Four Sisters Inn, a top bed and breakfast, where we stayed was a blueberry color, and our matching clothes were light blue stripes. Santa Monica ended our monthlong roadtrip in the USA in July 2012, making us feel also rather blue. The memories of Santa Monica were warm and nice. The long walk in the beach, the kids’ laughter at the funfair in the pier, the pastel colored buildings by the pier. Santa Monica is near the more popular beach city Malibu, but I like Santa Monica better. Santa Monica is home to many Hollywood stars and executives. The beaches in California are actually so-so. Not exactly what you can call paradise. But the nice thing is that a city has a beach. Universal Music has its headquarter here. I am mentioning this because I recently interviewed a Universal-signed artist in Sweden, Jens Hult. Universal Music is the largest music corporation in the world. It is represented in around 70 countries. We did not walk deep into the shopping districts. We simply enjoyed the beach, the pier and the relaxing inn. Besides, for a three-day stay at Four Sisters Inn we paid 7000 crowns, or 1000 dollars. We might as well enjoy some time there. A pity though that the jacuzzi then was...