Though I visit Los Angeles two or three times a year, in truth I have little sense of the layout of city.
In my mind Los Angeles is divided into two sections:
...and the Hollywood Part.
The Beach Part and the Hollywood Part are separated by a great terrifying tanglement of asphalt known as The Freeway, a complex looping, stacking, and conjoining of four different arteries which, I'm proud to say, I once drove across years ago, though I'm not sure I could do it ever again.
. The Beach Part consists of everything on one side of the Freeway and The Hollywood Part consists of everything on the other.
The Freeway cuts through a vast field of behemoth skyscrapers known as Downtown which, as far as I know, nobody ever goes to, but just looks out the window at on their way from The Beach Part to The Hollywood Part and back again. Though I could be wrong about this.
Oh, and there's also a part of Los Angeles called The Valley, but I'm not sure where or what that is.
But anyway, during our Los Angeles visits we stay in the Beach Part and seldom traverse The Freeway to The Hollywood Part.
However last Monday Tom, Tommy, and I were in Los Angeles and I suggested that we venture across The Freeway and hike up into the Hollywood Hills to the Hollywood sign, something Tommy had never done and that Tom and I hadn't done in years.
We all agreed that a hike to the Hollywood sign would be the very thing.
But we got a late start. It was close to 10:30 by the time we left, and though Tom drove and negotiated the high-speed bumper-to-bumper Freeway traffic with impressive proficiency, it was about 11:45 before we reached the Hollywood hills.
Now, as I recalled from previous excursions years ago, to reach the hiking trail one was required to drive uphill through a steep but lovely winding neighborhood of beautiful homes, at the top of which was the Sunset Ranch, where one could rent a horse to ride the trail,
....or one could drive on to the parking area from whence began the hiking trail.
I guess we should have taken a clue, though, from the crowds of people who were walking through the uphill neighborhood, the streets of which were now lined with parked cars, and from the fact that we were the only ones driving.
When we arrived at the top of the street we were greeted by a gate closing off the Sunset Ranch and a no-nonsense police officer who told us in no uncertain terms that there was no parking beyond that point.
Which explained why everyone was hiking the long trek through the street up to the trail, having apparently parked in the neighborhood below.
It was later explained to me that there was some dust-up going on around the Hollywood sign. The residents were sick of tourists driving up their street to get to the hiking trail and so the trail was closed to parking. To which I replied that I wondered how well the residents now liked all the parked cars and walking people crowding their street.
But anyway, we subsequently had to make our way back down the hill to look for a parking spot either along this street, or, more likely, some other street farther away.
As it was by now close to noon I suggested that we put our hiking plans on hold and grab some lunch at the cafe at the bottom of the hill street.
So we parked at the bottom of the street,
Now our mission changed from where to park to where to eat.
As we were strangers in a strange residential upscale Hollywood Hills neighborhood, I suggested that we pull out the map and find our way to Hollywood Boulevard, the heart of the tourist trade in these parts, where we'd surely find some nourishment and some parking, and which we proceeded to do.
However, as the Lieutenant Colonel would never agree to paying the exorbitant price of $10 for parking for the brief foray that we figured our lunch operation would be, we drove around until we found a parking meter on a side street from whence we walked back to Hollywood Boulevard.
...and the motif was Hillbilly-chic.
The ambiance was fun and the food was wonderful.
... I opted for the Cobb Wrap, which was humongous, delicious, and came with the most ethereally scrumptious sweet potato fries, which I swear I must seek to replicate someday,
...and Tommy had a sort of stylized Cobb Salad, also very tasty.
But though the food at The Rusty Mullet was great, it took overly-long to arrive, and under normal circumstances I might have said the food was worth waiting for. But it was a little before 1 pm when we arrived at the restaurant and 1:45 pm when we left. Doing the math we figured that by the time we drove back to the Hollywood Hills, found parking, and hiked up the steep hill street it would probably be at least 2:45 pm before we even reached the beginning of the trail to the Hollywood sign. Our drive back home over The Freeway could take 1 1/2 hours or more during rush hour.
And so, seeing as a hike up to the Hollywood sign was not in the cards, we folded and instead joined the crowds hiking up and down Hollywood Boulevard, which was also interesting,
However on our drive back home, as we sat stuck on The Freeway in the famous L. A. traffic, we decided that if in the future if we wanted to go for a hike in Los Angeles we'd stick to the lovely hills of Malibu in the Beach Part.
by Patti Liszkay
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by Patti Liszkay
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"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
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The Book Loft
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I am a traveler just visiting this planet and reporting various and sundry observations,
hopefully of interest to my fellow travelers.