Thursday, November 3, 2011

Miss Hollywood Tour Guide

Before my brother and sister-in-law left Hollywood for their home sweet home in Tennessee, I took on the role of tour guide. We drove up Mullholland Drive to get a close-up view of the Hollywood sign, visited the historical Grauman's Chinese Theatre to fit our shoes into the cemented footprints of the stars, strolled the streets of Beverly Hills so Megan could see the Beverly Wilshire Regent Hotel where Pretty Woman was filmed and so Clayton could be bored to tears as we window shopped Tiffany's, Gucci, Prada and Chanel's Rodeo Drive locations, did a drive by of UCLA so Clayton could see my alma mater's beautiful campus, trotted over to the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica where we enjoyed a much needed Italian meal, laughed on queue as audience members of Jimmy Kimmel Live with guests Tyra Banks and Brett Ratner (he told the most entertaining story of Michael Jackson waking him up by intercom in the middle of the night to put on masks, get in his limo and throw water baloons at passerbys.)

I loved giving them the L.A. experience--behind the scenes entertainment, celebrity sightings, and historical landmarks. It was this quality time I had with them that gave me a clearer understanding of who they were. My tour wouldn't have been nearly as satisfying, however, if it weren't for the interesting conversations and Clayton's brotherly ribbing filling our car time as we maneuvered through the incessant traffic between each destination. Now that the sights have been conquered, we can just relax and enjoy each other's company...during the next visit.

The Hollywood sign (45' high and 350' long) was originally built as a housing development advertisement for the area between Highland and Vine in 1923, and was only meant to stay up for 18 months.

With the rise of the entertainment industry the sign received notoriety for being a symbol of the film industry and it was decided that it should be left up.

In 1949 "land" was removed to reflect the district and not the housing development.

Rodeo Drive was given its name in 1906 by property investor Burton E.Green as an homage to the Tongva people (first Europeans to arrive in the area) who had named it El Rodeo de las Aguas (The Gathering of the waters.)

Rodeo Dr. wasn't the exclusive shopping district it is today until the 1970's.

Beverly Wilshire Regent Hotel was built in 1928 as an apartment hotel and when renovated in the 1940's with a ballroom built, an olympic sized swimming pool put in, and championship tennis courts added.

The lobby of the hotel. Warren Beatty lived in the penthouse of this hotel for 7 years, Elvis Presley lived here for 3 years, and John Lennon stayed for several months when he and Yoko Ono were separated.

Megan in the elevator where Julia Roberts in the 1990 Gary Marshall film Pretty Woman said to a prude couple as she hoisted her leg up onto the elevator couch, "There's a run in my panty hose. Oh, I'm not wearing any panty hose." I made Megan put her leg up on the elevator couch like Julia.

We were all starving and Clayton and I had head aches from not getting food into our systems. Beware: On my tour there apparently is no eating.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre was built by Sid Grauman and opened in 1927 premiering Cecil B. DeMille's KIng of Kings. Since then there have been numerous films that have premiered here.

Megan in front of Grauman's.

Foot and handprints of Megan's favorite starlet Marilyn Monroe.

Foot and handprints of Clayton's favorite star John Wayne. He has seen every single John Wayne film and is always talking about how much he wishes he could have met him. Apparently the two of them would have been close friends according to Clay.

Jimmy Kimmel Live began in 2003, but the El Capitan Theatre where it's taped actually opened in 1926 for dramatic stage productions.

Tyra Banks on Jimmy Kimmel.

Director Brett Ratner on Jimmy Kimmel.

After the show.

Megan and Gus--Gus likes to show off for Megan.

Clayton and Gus--Gus loves Clayton so much. So hard to say goodbye.

1 comment: