I’ve never spent time in Hollywood, until now. It’s funny to visit a place you’ve seen countless times in TV and in movies: the Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theater, and the sign posted clearly in the hills just in case you forget the name of the joint.
I have to admit, it’s dirtier than I imagined, and just as crowded as I thought it’d be. But I found a little oasis in The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. It was built in the 20s, eventually went into disrepair by the 50s, and brought back to life in the 80s.
The entire building is filled with tiny little bars around each corner. There’s one that feels like your brooding grandpa’s library, one with a bowling alley, a movie theater bar, a night club off the lobby, and a Old Hollywood-style dining room. However, the Tropicana Pool may be its biggest attraction. During the day it’s a peaceful spot to grab a ridiculously priced drink. At night the pool turns into a club. There’s a DJ and people are dressed in the most fabulous anything-goes attire.
Ever been to Hollywood? I’m curious to know your experience.
Many times a year because I sometimes work in the if round building that looks like a stack of records. Hollywood is a company town, that really is as dirty and grimy as you say. If you go again, ask me about restaurants. I know some that are a little off the beaten path, but are legendary. And, read http://www.allisonmartino.com. She is the daughter of the late singer Al Martino. (Think the movie Godfather) She knows everything there is to know about Hollywood.
Hey, Ray! oh that sounds awesome! Thank you so much for the advice. I’d love to check out some of those restaurants!
A lot of people are disappointed in Hollywood. I love the place, but I’m prejudiced, having lived here for twenty-plus years, and having spent a good part of my youth hanging out here. It’s a great place to wallow in the squalor and soak up the history at the same time. Hollywood Blvd. is intense, with the tourists, the homeless, the evangelists and the hustlers all crowded onto the sidewalk together. But you can also find cool record stores, dive bars, dark coffee houses, and beautiful historic buildings woven into the raggedy urban fabric. The Roosevelt is great. Haven’t been there for a while, but I have good memories of the place. Hope you enjoy your stay. It can be intimidating, but it’s worth taking the time to look beneath the surface.
Next time I’m in the area I’ll have to hit you up for recommendations! I wish I’d had more time to go out to eat, take in the sights, etc… The history does seem fascinating–as well as the odd mixture of people wandering the streets. Thanks for sharing! Hopefully I can use some of your guidance the next time I visit.
Happy to send some recommendations next time you’re in the area. Lots to see and do. You just have to know where to look.
I’m surprised by how lush and how many trees are around there. Nice shot of Hollywood and the sign.
I live here… and I love Hollywood, which is why I am SO sad to see the dirt and scams and homeless and violence and filth every single day. It breaks my heart to see people who have brought their kids here. I started an instagram @hollywoodwalk to document it and bring some attention from the mayor and the city. But every day it seems to get worse. And every day I wait for a response… but get nothing but silence.
Oh wow. It’s interesting to hear an insider’s perspective. I had no idea that’s what it’s like there.