Welcome to LA LA land.
Made a short 2 day trip to Los Angeles and only manage to visit Hollywood, downtown and Santa Monica. Los Angeles portrays itself through the media especially Hollywood to have all the glitz and glamour where the Oscars are held every year. However this is far from the reality. At points, walking down the Hollywood walk of fame felt like walking the walk of shame. Many parts of Hollywood have become delapidated since the time of the film noir days. There are many beautiful theatres and cinemas buildings of the Art Deco era but due to laws set in place to ensure that film studios did not monopolise the film industry, film studios were no longer allowed to run their own theatres and cinemas anymore. Therefore the buildings were left to rot with time and many are now in disrepair. Furthermore, only Paramount studios is the only studio still in existence within the Hollywood area and the rest have moved out to further a field due to the lack of space. It was nice to have taken a walking tour of Hollywood to find out the history and struggles of the film industry as well as how Hollywood became what it's known for today.
When visiting Los Angeles, take note that it is a decentralised city which meant that, unlike many cities, there is no single centre around which economic and cultural activity clusters. Therefore places of interest can be very spread out and Los Angeles's public transportation is not as efficient as other cities in the USA. In addition driving can be a nightmare during peak hours.
However, Los Angeles does have more to offer than just Hollywood or the theme parks. One such place is the beach. I visited both Santa Monica and Venice beach as they are just walking distance apart but both have a different vibe. Santa Monica comes across as more family orientated and is used by locals. However, if you like to mix It up a bit, you could always walk along the Santa Monica pier and visit Pacific Park. Further on at Venice beach you realise that it is more of a tourist trap due to muscle beach. The stretch of Venice beach is filled with shops selling souvenirs and most shops tend to sell the same things.
The other place to visit is downtown Los Angeles where its streets and buildings are full of Art Deco history. The downtown of Los Angeles is broken down to different districts such as broadway, the art district, the jewellery district and the fashion district. Each district has its own characteristics. For instance the fashion district is made out of traders selling made to measure materials and all sorts of different fashion items that one may require. A really interesting place to visit in downtown is the last book shop. The last bookshop is a fascinating place filled with not only books but also workshops of local artists. So the time you visit Los Angeles why not go off the beaten track, away from the theme parks and try exploring somewhere different.