Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Cup at Audrey's

There are four reasons I moved into my apartment building that lives smack in the middle of Hollywood's hubbub. The first is that it had a lot of vintage character; the second was that it allowed dogs; the third is that it wasn't ridiculously far from UCLA where I would be going to school; the fourth is that it was the only building that didn't require me to move in right away when I was looking almost two months prior. Once I did move in, however, I wasn't all that impressed. Not only was the building managed by a heroin addict and my apartment was disgustingly filthy on move-in day (thanks to God that I had a Mom willing to help me clean), but the environment surrounding my apartment consisted of stripper clothing stores, nightclubs, and cheesy tourist attractions. If it hadn't been for Audrey's Cafe, my Hollywood neighborhood would have felt unbearable for the last three years.

Two days after moving in and only one block away, Audrey's Cafe sat waiting for me. Iron tables and chairs line the building's wall for an amusing experience of people watching. Inside is a shrine to one of the most stylish stars ever to set foot in Hollywood: Audrey Hepburn. With its striking black and white decor, poster size prints of the slim dark haired beauty, and quotes to show off this admirable woman's wisdom and character, it's impossible to not feel chic while sipping a cup of Joe.

Audrey Hepburn never pursued a career in the movies. She fell into it after her dreams of being a dancer failed. After an Academy Award for her role in Roman Holiday (1953) and 15 years of memorable films under her belt, she stepped back from that glitzy world to devote her life to being a wife, mother, and goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Her humility and ability to honorably prioritize her life in the midst of Hollywood's temptation toward selfishness makes her a celebrity worthy of her own coffee house.

Audrey's Cafe has been a place of study, thought, peace, and contemplation for me. Since Hollywood is such a tourist trap, people are generally not flocking to this hidden cafe, but instead are opting for what they know--Starbucks. This allows for a quiet experience for a local like me. On Friday evenings, when musicians perform, the cafe will stay open later, but otherwise the hours fluctuate. Sometimes they close at 6 or 7pm, and other times they will close up at 1pm. I've even seen them closed for a couple of weeks and thought they went out of business. As frustrating as their inconsistent times of service are (and I can't in all honesty say the coffee and food are all that delectable either), there is a certain charm in the freedom that owning a small business brings. They are not held to any rules, standards or hours. When they are open,however, they are there to serve up an atmosphere that is almost as lovely as Audrey herself.

Audrey's Cafe
6701 Hollywood Blvd. (off of Las Palmas)
Hollywood, CA 90028

A bathroom mirror quote to hold with you.

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