One of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles is Hollywood. And not because of the beautiful people or the celebrities, but because of its history, its aura, and because it’s a globally known icon that represents the American Dream and so much more. Although my major is in Dornsife, I minor in Cinematic Arts and consider myself to be a novice movie buff. So Hollywood is the perfect place to have close by.
I wanted to do something special this weekend since it was my last one in town before I went home for the summer, so fellow ambassador Chris and I bought Metro day passes and headed over to Hollywood just to explore. After the underground Metro ride was over, we arrived at the top of the escalator, and it was like walking into a combination of movies, concerts, and Disneyland. We ran into Marilyn Monroe, Iron Man, and Captain Jack Sparrow, just for starters. One of my favorite sights was the people who weren’t fazed by characters and would casually chat with them as they walked past.
There’s so much to do in Hollywood, but before we could choose anything we got caught up looking at the Walk of Fame. There’s something so fun and fascinating about looking at each star with its gold name, and wondering who each person was and how they got there. Chris and I decided to have a competition: we would walk the entire way and name every person we knew, keeping score the whole way.
The Walk of Fame includes big names from Jennifer Aniston to Kermit the Frog to Elvis, but my favorite moment was when we almost decided not to turn down a particular street and, when we did, we came across the four Beatles. I have been a Beatles fan my entire life thanks to my dad, so this was pretty exciting. Some other notable stars for me were Michael Jackson and Julie Andrews, both of whom also handprinted and signed the sidewalk in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, a famous movie theater on the Walk of Fame. Engraved in the cement in front of the theater we saw the handprints and signatures of people as current as the Harry Potter stars and dating all the way back to the 1920s.
In the end, I beat Chris in celebrity knowledge with a score of 254-246 names recognized. (He maintains that this was quite a close margin, but he doesn’t mention that I was ahead the entire time.) We walked four miles in beautiful, sunny Hollywood and soaked in its history and all of the pop culture. Now I’m craving more — when I get home I’ll definitely have to watch some movies that are set in Los Angeles.
First up? Pretty Woman, whose opening quote is so fitting: “Welcome to Hollywood. What’s your dream? Everybody comes here — this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t, but keep on dreaming. This is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreaming…”