Monthly Archives: January 2019

The Road to Hollywood Forever is a Lifetime

I walk, drawn to side streets by colors of street art. I have stopped often but as Bill Murray’s character would say “It just doesn’t matter!” I am in Hollywood.  p1480001

Continuing on the color theme (not for long, I promise) there’s a building that just can’t help but catch my attention. It’s pink and garish and pretentious to call itself Hollywood Dream Suites. I suspect that they are not. I later find out that it’s a hotel and from the reviews I read, I may have been right.

I pass Raleigh Studios where I once filmed an episode of Castle.

Across the street is Paramount Studios.

I wasn’t specifically meaning to go to where it all ends for some, but the end of the year was approaching and there was some poetry into visiting a cemetery.  I had visited before but it was at night and my attention was held by a projection of an old movie on one of its mausoleums. A bit heretical perhaps but in Hollywood there is little that seems inappropriate.

I am greeted by a creature that is very much alive and quite interested in the chips I’m chomping down on.

 

p1480004 Near the entrance here is a little section that seems straight out of Southeast Asia. Possibly Thailand. I reminisce and long to be back.

p1480005  The niches of some are still decorated for Christmas. Very much a Latino/Mexican culture tradition.

I walk into some mausoleums. It is peaceful but cold inside. They draw you to whisper rather than hear your voice bounce back to you in an loud echo.

It is in one of them, a smaller one, where Judy Garland rests.

I go outside and enjoy the day and the greenery and flowers which abound.

This cemetery, dare I say, amuses me. There are people with sense of humor recorded forever in the engravings they commission on their tombs.

A graphic artist has his tomb shaped as a rocket. I believed that it was his way to ensure a direct flight to heaven. But engraved is “The atlas, pioneer in space, symbolizes the lifetime activities of Carl Morgan Bigsby, a recognized leader in many phases of the graphic arts, he too was a pioneer.”  The atlas, an exact scale of the original missile The Pioneer Atlas.  His tomb reads Carl Morgan Bigsby 1898 – 1959… RETIRED BY GOD.  Sad that he would not be able to see the smiles generated from that line.

And of course, it’s Hollywood so a film camera portrayed in granite adorns the tomb of a foreign director. p1480016

And what is film without music? Johnny Ramone still plays on his grave next to the film director.

Hatie McDaniels has a surprisingly humble tombstone. She was the “mammy” figure in the film Gone with the Wind.  In 1940 she got an Academy Award for best supporting actress. She was the first African American to receive an Oscar. p1480020

The grave of Irene Guadagno “Mama Irene” caught my attention because she had my middle name -which I never liked so please forget I mentioned it- and because it was pretty cool to me the posture with raised arms with which she was immortalized. Since then I learned that was an Italian entrepreneur mother of Pasquale Rotella (who was married to Holly Madison of Playboy fame). p1480022

Anton Yelchin, an actor, who was killed at 27, in a freak accident when his car crushed him against a security fence is looking on to the cemetery lake. His grave is marked 3-11-89 – Forever. p1480025

And then there’s Toto, who is not buried here but has a granite statue of him in remembrance.

Mickey Rooney is here.

Entering another mausoleum before they close all at 5:00 pm. It almost feels like going into a European museum hall.

More smiles as I exit and encounter another tombstone of an English actor that only has the date of death and not of birth. So like an actor to never reveal his/her age.p1480039

Marzie Harris was a Loving Mother, Sister, Daughter… and occasional wife. I wonder if that engraving was her idea. p1480052

There’s a lake that has a small island with a huge mausoleum. It belongs to William Andrews Clark Jr. a philanthropist and a lawyer who founded the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The lake is tranquil and full of life.

On the peripheral of the cemetery there is more life. There’s a group of cats, all white and black, that consider this their home as well as some peacocks that make any visiting car wait for long minutes until they cross the path.

On the way out an angel makes me sad. p1480059

I leave and roam the streets some more, searching for color. I don’t walk long before encountering it.

Can’t resist the urge to end the day with a sweet treat. A YumYum Donut with fresh icing on it. Life continues. p1480072

 

 

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Categories: Hollywood Forever, Los Angeles, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

On my way to Forever

There are runners and there are walkers. I am a walker. Always thought that runners may be burning more calories but miss out on so much that observant walkers do not. So I walk. A lot.

I’m in Silver Lake and though the neighborhood lures you into just enjoying the camaraderie inherent in a barrio-like environment (not in the bad connotation the word barrio may have for some) p1470955 I put on my walking shoes and out I go. There is so much to see and enjoy along the way.  What seems a community garden populated by a giant spider that once must have been covered in flowers and a Love sign with ball and chain attached (quite appropriate I thought).

An old door sports my 2nd favorite color. 20181230_162153  I truly like these oldies, even the decrepit ones.  Then a church in white and blue bathed in light.

The opening act to an alley that seems to have come alive out of a postcard from the island of Mykonos. p1470959

After a quick glance at a mural, p1470953 a climb up graffiti lined stairs as I huff and puff up. Don’t know to where it leads. Don’t much care. A bit the way I’ve been leading my life lately.

The climb was worth it ’cause it offers a fine view of downtown Los Angeles.

And now for a mural fix. One advertising one of my favorite guilty fixes: donuts.

One from a culture I am connected to. 20181230_163938

Another on the wall of a Floyd’s Barbershop (a chain that has been popping up in all the hipster gentrified areas) painted by Jonas Never a baseball player turned muralist that has gained much notoriety. I liked the snippet of daily life being held in front of it as the one with the older woman in a bright color next to one of the few public telephones left.

At the back of a gas station a very detailed mural which I would think was done by a woman but have not found any information on.

Everywhere you look, be it on the ground or on the side, there is a mural waiting to amuse you, impress you or prompt you to reflect. Seems like in Los Angeles eyes are everywhere, Rolls Royce’s have wings, koi fishes don’t need water or food, alien characters like balloons, we love Annie, clowns are sad, and kitties are happy…

This one impressed me.  p1470972

This one with a quote of: “I am a reflection of my community” in the form of a butterfly, touched me.p1470969  Lest we not believe so, LA welcomes you.

I love buddhas. I am drawn in by the buddhist way of life. I left a huge part of my heart in the region of Southeast Asia where it is practiced so this wall of a meditation studio, Insight LA, attracts me. Its mission a laudable one and I here quote it:

“Here is our commitment: In this world, with its great beauty and many difficulties, we will train our hearts in peace and kindness and courageously take a stand against all forms of greed, hatred, delusion, and cruelty.  

We acknowledge the implicit and overt violence that has been done to individuals based on race, gender sexual orientation, immigration status, gender identity, religion, body size, ability, age and class. We recognize the violence that has been done to our planet and to the first nations peoples who have stewardess this land before us.

We pledge to undo the forces of ill-will and isolation in ourselves and in our world. We will offer to all who come practices of mindfulness, compassion and wisdom. And inwardly and in our actions, we pledge to hold all beings in a circle of mutual respect, love and unity. May our resolve and our practice together benefit all.”

You might think that my walk was only about murals but I’m actually headed somewhere but even though I did get there on this day, I will have to take you in the next blog.  Come along, won’t you?

Categories: murals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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