After an overnight journey on a cramped bus, I didn’t want to do anything but shower and sleep when I arrived in LA. But seeing as how my hostel has a strict no early check-in policy, I had no options but to explore.
Because there was no luggage storage nearby, I brought a cheap one-way ticket Amtrak ticket in order to use their storage. Then, I set off to experience Hollywood.
As soon as I emerged from the Hollywood & Vine subway exit, I saw it: the pink star catching the sun on the pavement. I was officially on the walk of fame. The names of many of the actors, writers, singers, and musicians I grew up watching etched into the ground, a true testament to their talent. I spent the next half hour or so walking down the street , trying not to be too obvious with the picture taking. It was very early in the morning and I could tell I was the only tourist by the way others walked quickly, sunglasses either glued to their phone or towards the sky.
I eventually wandered into the famous Chinese Theater. The theater has been operating for over 70 years and has been the site of many a blockbuster premiere. Visitors also stop by to see the cemented hand and foot prints of some of Hollywood’s most beloved. I spied the prints of Michael Jackson, the Harry Potter trio, the Twilight Cast, and Johnny Deep.
After a look at the Dolby theater, I wondered into the Highlands Center and was lucky enough to witness the red carpet being set up.
The Last Bookstore
Fatigued , but still several hours from my check-in time, I went to a place I knew would feel like home. A book store.
The Last Bookstore is the most unique of its kind. There is two floors of books, overstuffed armchairs, and vintage and out-of-prints editions are readily available. There’s a whole ware-housed sized room of sale books and a whole wing of art gallaries and studios on the upper floor. Many of the studios have welcome signs, and though none of them were open during my visit, I imagine people can come in and chat with the artists or buy pieces from them directly if they choose.
Oh, yeah…there’s also a labyrinth of books. I repeat: A labyrinth…of books…inside a bookstore! That alone is worth a visit.
After that , it was finally time to hop on the bus and make it to my hostel. Which , if you read my last post, you will know it turned out to be the best hostel ever. I took a long, hot shower and settled into bed just as the sun went down. ( It turns out that it still gets dark around 5pm on the West Coast during the winter months– I was expecting summer weather!) and when I woke near midnight, I ordered Thai take out and planned the next day’s sightseeing.