4 Oct 2011

Is this really happening? (Los Angeles, California)

The 14 hour flight to Los Angeles seemed to take no time at all. I think it helps that last year I travelled over 30 hours on three flights from Paris, and had a 12 hour stopover in Hong Kong Airport on the way to Vietnam earlier this year. I did feel like a bit of a zombie going through customs, then finding my way to Venice Beach to the hostel and trying to push through so I could get on California sleep patterns, but it was worth it. I ended up having 3 hours sleep in 38 hours, so crashed pretty hard on Friday night.

As a serious cinephile it was a truly surreal experience being in LA over the weekend. It's hard not to have a million scenes from film & television, as well as countless songs, running through your head as you walk around. Considering the cultural capital that LA wields and the creative influence that has emerged from this huge and diverse city, it's also hard not to be impressed.

People in Melbourne complain about urban sprawl, but it's nothing compared to Southern California. I went out to Mulholland Drive one afternoon and looked down into the San Fernando Valley; it's basically another entire city down there. It's understandable why everyone drives there as it is such a large area, but if they had more public transport options that may change things slightly. I'm sure most people wouldn't be caught dead on buses or trains there though.

Having just got off the plane, being fairly restricted financially and staying down in Venice Beach meant I didn't do heaps of stuff. It also didn't help that I lost/had stolen my new camera I got as a leaving gift, hence why there are so few photos. I did have some good cheap Mexican food, some Belgian waffles for breakfast, walked Rodeo and Hollywood Boulevard, had a photo taken under the Hollywood Sign (above), and felt like the Entourage Boys cruising down the Sunset Strip (admittedly in the middle of the day).

It is a very cool city to cruise around in, and the people seemed very chilled out. There were some colourful characters along Venice Beach and Hollywood Boulevard, particularly those trying to sell you something. Hip-Hop wannabees pushing their burnt CDs, medical marijuana doctors, Hollywood tours and big-slice pizza. They're not too pushy which is nice having been to Vietnam and Shenzen. The weather was amazing, and I actually had a good time at the hostel, my first stay in one. Hopefully they are all as good.

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