How is it even possible for Kim Kardashian’s make up not to melt in this weather? It was 30 degrees, I was drenched in sweat and it was only 10 in the morning. As I stepped out of the airport’s arrival hall, I was greeted by an excessive amount of palm trees lining the pavement. My over eager driver shouted, “Welcome to Los Angeles!”.
Perhaps it is why the city is so alive, everyone came with a dream in their pockets and threw it into the air, the City of Angels is made of dreams.
If there is one place in the world where everyone believes in absolutely everything, it is California. The phrase ‘California Dreaming’ is invented for a reason. Aspiring artists would perform their songs in the Hollywood Boulevard hoping that a music producer will spot their talent, and tourists would stick their necks out of the open air tour bus to catch a glimpse of Miley Cyrus in her Beverly Hills home. Perhaps it is why the city is so alive, everyone came with a dream in their pockets and threw it into the air, the City of Angels is made of dreams.
Hollywood was a small community in 1870s before it officially merged with the city of Los Angeles in 1910. Soon a film industry began to emerge, eventually becoming the most prominent in the world. The weather was deemed ideal by filmmakers, and indeed the city is blessed with sunshine all year long. I can see why smoothies has been dubbed South California’s official drink, a blend of yogurt and exotic fruits is perfect to sip in under the heat. Even the drink itself embodies the fun, trendy and energetic vibe of the city.
5 Senses – Taste
It is easy to spot a tourist in the Hollywood Boulevard, they will look down at the pavement and stop every five minutes to snap a picture of Michael Jackson or Greta Garbo’s stars. In February 1960, the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame was opened as a tribute to artists and other significant contributors to the entertainment industry. The 15-blocks long star-paved Hollywood Boulevard had since been a favourite amongst tourists and aspiring musicians forcefully shoving their music CDs to passerby.
The Chinese Theatre is probably one of the most photographed spot in Hollywood Boulevard. Until 1946 it has been hosting the Academy Awards before it is moved to the adjacent Dolby Theatre up until now. If you fancy an Academy Award experience for yourself, a nearby gift shop sells overpriced sweets and plastic Oscar statues. You might never understand how Leo feels when he finally held one of these earlier this year, but giving one with ‘Hollywood’s Best Mother’ engraving to your mother might make her cry. She might be touched, but most likely because the statue is so tacky.
While the Hollywood sign is visible from Hollywood Boulevard, the fine weather might tempt you to take a hike to the sign. From Griffith Park, you can ascend behind the sign’s 45-foot-tall aluminium letters and look out over the ‘DOOWYLLOH’ sign with downtown Los Angeles’s skyscrapers to your left and the Pacific Ocean disappearing in the horizon to your right. If the hike is too much and the beach is more like your thing, anytime between January and December is a perfect time to soak some sun in Los Angeles’ miles of sunlit coastline. From Venice and Santa Monica to Manhattan Beach and Playa Vista, sandals and daisy dukes are the staples here. Enjoy the festive air in Santa Monica Beach with fairground games and Ferris wheel in its pier, or rent a bike and trace Venice Beach’s winding boardwalk.
Not only blessed with impeccable weather, the city’s food scene is a work of angels in heaven. Los Angeles is a magnet for people from around the world, and with them came along culinary riches that coloured the city’s food scene. There is something for every budget, whether it is a Korean barbecue or mouthwatering taco in Los Angeles’ shady corner, but the food trucks are a must. From Indonesian fusion dishes, Brazilian gourmet pasteles or the eyebrow-raising sushi burrito, hunting these trucks down is a thing to enjoy in itself.
It was the first week of September. Summer was about to end and the throngs of tourists began to disappear, but with or without the tourists the city never skips a beat as long as the sun rises tomorrow morning. The new riches in Beverly Hills, aspiring artists in Hollywood Boulevard and Santa Monica’s tanned girls in bikinis, all looking like reality TV stars in a film set. Playing Paris Hilton with Chihuahuas in their handbags or flexing their shiny abs in Muscle Beach, whatever they are doing breathes the American Dream: glamorous, fun and so aware that their lifestyles are coveted by many. Maybe it’s Los Angeles’ year-round sunshine that puts everyone in a perpetual dream world where time freezes in mid-summer. Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Californication played in the radio as my car treaded the busy streets of Los Angeles.
‘It’s the edge of the world and all of Western civilization.
The sun may rise in the East, at least it settles in the final location.
It’s understood that Hollywood sells Californication’.