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Visiting Hollywood, California

I’ve recently returned from an amazing holiday travelling around California, so I’ll be writing several reviews of places I’ve visited. Our first stop off was Hollywood…


Hollywood is a strange place. Due to its association with the film industry, you may expect it to be a glamorous, tidy, well-kept and even quite up-market place. Not so! It’s one of the grottiest places in Los Angeles! To be fair, I suppose it’s not dirt and rubbish that make it so; it’s the copious numbers of homeless / jobless that hang about on Hollywood Boulevard. It being the first day of our holiday, we wanted to begin it with a Macdonald’s breakfast. We had to pass through several dodgy-looking loitering characters, one of whom ( a typical rapper-looking bloke in his mid-twenties, covered in heavy jewellery) said to my daughter, “I bet your hair doesn’t smell as good as my girl’s.”
His girl was a rather scared-looking young teenager. Rather worrying really. And while we were inside the police came round kicking out the homeless people who shouldn’t have been there.
Across the road to Mann’s Chinese theatre and as the day grew, the place filled up with chinesetheatremore tourists and we felt a lot more comfortable. We browsed some of the cooler shops along the main road, and then went up to the more upmarket shopping precinct where we began our spending in Hot Topic (one of the best – loads of clothes). Took photos of the Hollywood sign and then walked back to the motel.
We’re a family who enjoy films a lot, so Hollywood is a must-see place for us and we enjoyed seeing the latest hand prints in the concrete and looking at the names on the stars along the pavement. However, I can see that if you’re not that bothered about those things, then it’s a place you could happily miss out. If you do go, the guide book warns you  of pick pockets and not to use the cash machines at night. Lovely. We’ve been three times and not had or seen any problems, and it is a bit of fun seeing the people dressed up in costumes. The guy as Captain Jack Sparrow is the spitting image! Expect to hand over a dollar if you want them to pose for a photo.

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