During my recent Hollywoodland trip, there was one place I was determined to finally visit: the Musso & Frank Grill on Hollywood Boulevard.
Haven’t heard of it? Well, my friends, if you love classic films then you need to know this heavenly place exists. It’s something exceedingly rare in today’s L.A.: a venerable and perfectly-preserved restaurant that’s served generations (and generations!) of stars. Having first opened in 1919, it’s been a Hollywood institution for almost a full century–and its commitment to tradition is refreshingly strong.
Here’s the first in a few posts recapping the highlights of my recent week in Hollywood. Hope you enjoy!
As you may remember, after attending the San Francisco Silent Film Festival earlier this month I also went on a good long trip to Hollywood. This time, not only did I revisit some beloved locations like Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Chaplin studio (I finally achieved my goal of having Breakfast at Charlie’s), the Cahuenga alley and Echo Park (which to me is actually Keystone Comedy Park), but I sought out some new places too (like finally making it to the Griffith Observatory, 10/10 would recommend). And after being asked by about 50,000 people handing out fliers on Hollywood Boulevard if I wanted to go on a tour, I decided that yes, actually I would like to try out a tour.
Ah, but little did the 50,000 flier-touting people know that I already had a tour booked. And not just any tour–the TCM Movie Locations bus tour!
There really aren’t a ton of movies I’ll see in the theater. Big blockbuster extravaganzas like The Force Awakens or Dr. Strange? Of course! The usual marvelous offering by Pixar? I’m there! An occasional indie might peak my interest, and naturally I’m attracted to any silent or classic film showing like a bee to the can of pop you’re holding. (If only those showings weren’t so few and far between.)
But when I caught wind of a brand-new musical drama set in modern-day L.A. that included–could it be?–subtle homages to Hollywood’s Golden Age, I thought: “Yes, please!”
Not too long ago I saw a discussion in a Facebook group about a silent era actor who, it was revealed, had strongly supported keeping his wealthy neighborhood “White People Only.” Naturally this was disheartening news, and more than one person declared that they would never look at him the same way again.
I could hardly blame them, but it got me thinking: What do we do if we love a star’s work onscreen, but discover that they were less-than-charming off screen? Is it reasonable to judge a star by their personal life?
In my last post I told y’all about the wonderful experience of going to the SFSFF. Today we’re covering the second leg of the trip to the fun, historic, crazy place called Hollywood. Since I had visited there for the very first time last year, let’s just call this year’s trip “Pilgrimage II to the Holy Land.”
So! The morning of June 6 I said goodbye to San Francisco and took a plane to LAX. Here’s one detail you should know: while at the film festival my body had decided, despite having been bizarrely lucky and only getting sick once the entire previous year, that now, verily, ’twas the time for me to catch a cold. And not just any cold–oh, no! This would be a mighty beast of a cold that would make me lose my voice almost completely while being emerged in a sea of fellow silent film fanatics to talk to. Thanks, BODY.
But, this managed not to spoil my enjoyment of the festival (after all, you get to just sit all day!) and while I was left with a yucky-sounding cough, the journey to Hollywood was happily uneventful. After taking the FlyAway bus to the famous Union Station and riding the very convenient Metro, I was back on Hollywood Boulevard, eager to pick up where I’d left off last year. Continue reading →
Hola! Being still fresh from my first Keystone Kops Land trip, I thought it would be fun to share a few suggestions for how to plan a trip of your own. Because if you love silent movies (which you do) and haven’t been to Hollywood yet (aw, why not?) you simply have to go (asap!).
These tips are by no means comprehensive, since there’s a bunch of places I didn’t get to see. They’re also from my budget-travelling, see-everything-in-a-few-days, just-walk-everywhere-as-much-as-possible-for-Pete’s-sake-it’s-not-going-to-kill-ya perspective. But I’m hoping they might come in handy! Continue reading →
So about two weeks ago I was on my post-San Francisco, solitary trip to a magical realm I’d always been dying to visit: Hollywood! After years of dreaming of going and wondering when that would happen, I decided: hey, it was only a short flight from Frisco, why the heck not?!
In my globetrotting experience (remind me to tell you about Liechtenstein), that’s really all it takes–deciding “yes, I will go.” Because the second you say “ooohhh, I don’t think I can,” well…you won’t. But enough soapboxing–here’s what I did and what I saw during my very first Hollywoodland experience! (Oh how those excited stomach flutters are starting up again!!) Continue reading →
So I’ve been busy as Eric von Stroheim editing Greed lately, and here’s why (and, funnily enough, Greed is a tiny bit related!). I’m getting ready for a trip this weekend, a trip that happens to be checking off some very important items on my bucket list. And I am excited. Very excited. In fact, I’m this excited: