DAY 45: Hollywood Hills, California
Miles traveled: 6,893
States visited: 20
Weather: 72, sunny
Let me tell you about my wildly unsuccessful efforts to see celebrities over the past two days.
In recent years, I’ve been growing more interested in celebrity culture. I think it’s because I’ve traveled so much now. When I see the sections in People or Us magazine where they show pictures of celebrities out and about, I can usually say, “I’ve been to that place!” So now I’m obsessed with bumping into famous people. But it never happens.
Yesterday I made a concerted effort to find celebrities in L.A. I did my research and discovered that the best time to see them is mid-morning on weekdays. So I went to a handful of places that celebrities frequent. First up was Runyon Canyon, a park that runs from West Hollywood up to the Hollywood Hills. This is a park where you can take your dog off the leash. It is absolutely overrun with celebrities. Or at least that’s what I hear. That wasn’t the case yesterday. But I did get a nice hour-long workout walking through the park. The view from up there was cool. Smog alert!
After that, I walked through the Hollywood Hills. I did some cyberstalking to locate the addresses of a handful of celebrities who live near the park. The site virtualglobetrotting.com is great for this. They don’t give you the actual address, but they show you an aerial view of the house. From there, a bit of work is required: Choose one of the maps that appears. Copy the latitude & longitude coordinates. Open maps.google.com. Enter those coordinates. Zoom way in as far as you can. You should then be able to see the street name & possibly the street address you are seeking.
If not, you can always try Google searches, the California property management site, or the Real Estalker (http://realestalker.blogspot.com/).
From Runyon Canyon, I walked down towards the area where Kathy Griffin and Pete Wentz reside. The road was narrow and windy, and clearly not meant for pedestrians, so my presence was quite conspicuous, but I soldiered on. At one point a car pulled alongside and one of the passengers said to me, “Are you lost?” I thought they were residents who were mad that I was trespassing in their precious neighborhood, so I began formulating an angry response in my head, along the lines of, “No, I’m not lost. This is a public street and I have a right to be here!” But then they repeated themselves. It turns out they were lost and they thought I was a resident. They were asking me for directions. So then I had to pretend I lived there. “Uh, yeah, Nichols Canyon Road is over that way. Take care!”
As I turned down Kathy Griffin’s street, a woman in a black SUV raced past me. I looked over and I think it may have been Kathy herself. It was a lady with sunglasses and her hair pulled back. I took down the license plate and decided I’d check it out later. But to do a license plate lookup in the state of California, the fee is $29. So I suppose I’ll never know if it was her. (Unless someone happens to recognize California license # CBDX963.)
I made my way to Kathy’s house and took a snapshot. (No sign of the SUV.)
Then it was on to Jack Nicholson’s house. Jack’s house is too far back from the street, so I can only impress you with this shot of his mailbox and recycling bin.
Next I proceeded to the West Hollywood Whole Foods and then the Target and Best Buy, three major celeb hotspots. Nada.
I went to the Baja Fresh on Fairfax and Sunset. Nada. (Except a delicious veggie burrito for $5.95.)
My efforts to see celebrities are largely hampered by one major fact: I don’t watch that many movies. Therefore, I’m probably seeing celebs all over the place and not realizing it. In fact, our first day in L.A., we were in the car and I saw another driver and thought, ‘Hmmm, she looks famous.’ Not 2 minutes later, at a red light, someone from neighboring vehicle got out and knocked on her window and said hi. So she was famous after all. But I couldn’t tell you her name.
The only celeb hotspot I haven’t checked out is Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which is only a couple of blocks from where I’m staying. The thought of sitting around in the emergency room for a couple hours pretending to wait for someone while surreptitiously scouring the room for recognizable faces kind of turns me off. But if that’s what it takes to see someone famous before I leave this city, I’ll do it!
At this point I’d settle for a cast member from The Real World. Is Puck still around?