The Real La La Land - Day 2
Normally when I come to LA, I spend one day at The Grove in the movie theatre watching all the films that haven't been released in the UK yet. However, I'm only here for 8 days and don't have a great deal of time, so instead, Tuesday morning, I took myself off to the Arclight on Sunset Blvd and watched Michael Keaton in 'The Founder'. This film tells the true story of Ray Kroc who is widely known to be the founder of MacDonalds. But actually he is the man behind the franchise and MacDonalds was started by brothers Richard and Maurice MacDonald.
Keaton plays Kroc and is brilliant - in fact the film is just very good, very classy and actually opens your eyes about where the brand came from to where it is today. Highly recommended!
Coming out of the Arclight I wandered along Sunset Blvd and down Wilcox and found myself outside the Hollywood Police Department and saw something that I've never noticed before. A Hollywood walk of fame for police officers that had lost their lives in the line of duty. A touching and very apt tribute I thought.
I then grabbed a Lyft (think Uber but better and non Trump supporting for my UK friends) and did something I've been meaning to do since I first came to LA. I finally visited the Griffith Observatory. The observatory sits high in it's throne in Griffith Park just above the Los Feliz area, and provides some of the most breathtaking views of LA. The observatory, so I've heard, is best visited at night when the stars are visible, but I trotted along in the daytime and took in one of the many films in their planetarium.
Little known fact about me - I'm fascinated by space, planets, our universe and the galaxy. I am bewildered by the size of our galaxy and that ours is one of billions. How does the human brain comprehend that?! So, for a geek like me, a planetarium is a bit like porn! I watched a film about the size and expansion of space and found it baffling how they actually know how big the different galaxies are as it's not like anyone has been there. It's like when they say that drowning is one of the most painful ways to die. How do they know? Did they take a poll of dead people? Anyway, I digress.
I spent a good couple of hours wandering around the observatory and took in all the information, but what really blew my mind was a piece of moon rock that was on display. It was maybe only 20 cms long but I couldn't take my eyes off it. This little piece of rock was from the moon, from an astronomical body that was 238,900 miles from Earth - that's like driving to Edinburgh and back 239 times!
Getting down from the observatory was not as easy as getting a Lyft up! There was no phone signal, no wifi - I also had a British phone - and there didn't seem to be a shuttle anyway near! So, as I would have had a pretty hefty walk back, I was advised there was a payphone near the massively overpriced giftshop. I found said payphone and realised this was probably the first time I was going to use a payphone in about 20 years...weird. So I was finally in a yellow cab back to Aliethea's where I got my bits and bobs together and took Lyft over to West Hollywood (affectionally known as WeHo in LA) to spend my next couple of nights with the fabulous Tina and her husband, Scientist Mickey as he shall now be known.
Getting back to WeHo was great! It's so vibrant and full of great character. It's also very central to everywhere I hang out - including Whole Foods! So I spent the evening with my two friends, catching up, bringing them their traditional bottle of whisky, eating all their corn bread and crashing in their spare room - all in all, it felt like coming home.