Jan 28, 2018

LA Story #5: Spin Class. Stalling About Hollywood.

 By LA standards, it's been cold and dreary today.

I planned my outfit accordingly this morning before proceeding to colour co-ordinate my T2 teabag of the day.

I've been using these sample sized mascaras I  brought with me from Australia.  Ironically, Too Faced and Benefit are both American brands and unfortunately for my wallet, I love them both.  Benefit's They're Real has one of those short and spiky latex wands and it really lengthens to a lash extension level.  Better Than Sex (blushing as I type) has this super fuzzy brush and gives you 11/10 volume.  Might have to source both at the duty free at LAX tomorrow.

Becuase it is tomorrow that I'll be leaving.  I can't quite believe how fast my time here has gone by.  It's practically evaporated.  It's been another amazing trip and I always attempt to promise myself that the next one will be somewhere beyond the US but I just can't keep away...

But that's all by the by.

Here's the latest in my adopted corner of the world...

I might not be great at keeping potplants alive but that bottle of milk is still going strong as it maintains close to optimal levels of refrigeration in the ice bucket I've been filling twice daily with ice from the  machine on our floor.  Despite being able to demonstrate this kind of Bear Grylls style survival thinking when I'm pushed, I still don't see myself going camping properly anytime soon.

I did something today that challenged me on many levels.  I took part in a spin class that took place at ... 6am at the convention centre where my conference is being held.  I'm not a natural cyclist and I'm also not a natural at taking fitness classess so it was a leap of faith that saw me turn up and bravely take a bike in the front half of the room.

I also got talking to the owner of the spin school that was conducting the class.  It turns out that she lived in Sydney for a bit, not far from where I live.  She's also planning to expand her business to our neck of the woods soon.

To any of you who are spin regulars, I salute you. I assumed that I was fairly fit on account of all the running I've been doing and the gym sessions I do sporadically but cycling on a stationary bike is next level.  I'm officially renaming that red resistance knob 'the red button of pain' because spin is not as gentle and low sweat as I thought it would be.  I was fine with the sprints but the standing cycling nearly broke me.  I kept slipping out of my pedal straps and panicking.  And just when I thought I was cruising along, our instructor dared us all to dial things up again with the red button...

But I survived it and I enjoyed it.  Our instructor was perfect in her role.  The music was well chosen and she knew just the right thing to say to keep us all going.  It was also quite a spiritual, soul searching experience in moments as well.  I do hope my new friend gets her studio up and running in Sydney soon.

I had Smash Burger for lunch today.  I've been trying hard to find In'N'Out Burger restaurants and all the other places on my hit list as suggested by friends backs home but they have proven suprisingly elusive downtown.  It was a good choice - those sweet potato fries are very addictive and the whole meal was surprisingly un salty while my thick shake was all the taste of chocolate Oreos without being overwhelmed by sugar.  I was also patting myself the back for my excellent timing for lunch.  That's a line literally out the door for Smash Burger that started pretty much the moment I sat down with my meal.

I'm stalling and I apologize.  Today's day trip photos are from the Hollywood Boulevard and The Walk of Fame leg of the tour and it wasn't my favourite part of the day to be honest.  My ambivalence has nothing to do with the standard of our tour but it's just me.  I love the mystique, glamour and highly edited image of these areas that I see on TV.  The reality is rather more pedestrian.  It's busy, noisy and really 'commercial'.  Okay, make that touristy.

What I enjoyed most about the Hollywood bit of the tour was the drive by sightings of the major studios.  This is where James Corden tapes The Late Late show and presumably where Harry Styles stayed that one time he took over the studio and lived in it because he didn't have anywhere else to stay.  The things I remember from the vidoes in my Facebook feed.

We drove and then walked by many of the historic theatres along Hollywood Boulevard.

The El Capitan Theatre where the majority of movies from the Walt Disney Studios premiere.

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is a piece of Hollywood history.  It's the oldest hotel in the city (openingin1927) and the location of the first Oscars ceremony.  Shirley Temple learned tap dance routines on its stairs.  Brangelina were guests back in the day.  Ownership has changed a few times over the decades and it has been refurbished several times too.

The Chinese Theatre which was originally Graumann's Chinese Theatre but is now the TCL Chinese Theatre and is home to one of the largest IMAX screens in North America.

The Egyptian is another theatre up the road that I believe was also built by Sid Graumann.

I walked the Walk of Fame and I gazed up at the Dolby Theatre, venue of the Acadamy Awards.

As with many things Hollywood, it looks different without the special lights, the red carpets and the collective auras of celebrity, fashion and the media.

I didn't know that the columns inside the theatre bear the names of the winners of Best Picture by year.  Wikipedia tells me that there is enough space on the columns to fit all winners until the year 2071.

I finally found Britney's star!  

And then it was time to head for home via the horrendous peak hour(s) of traffic that is the commute on LA's major arterial roads.  My last photo of the day was another one from the Rasta Bus.  Wahlburger on Sunset Boulevard is part owned by none other than Mark Wahlberg, a man crush of mine.  He's apparently often out and about in the evenings but unforunately, like James Corden earlier in the day, I must have just missed him.

Have you visited Hollywood?  Did it leave you feeling a little numb or did you just love the energy that's there on an average non special event day?

Sorry if there was obvious underwhelm in today's post.  The joy will be back for episode six.  Promise.

1 comment:

  1. Oh it's a shame that seeing the sites in real life wasn't as exciting as you hoped! At least you had a great start to the day with your better than expected spin class.


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