Walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Starting at the corner of Hollywood and La Brea, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Los Angeles area. Being an atypical LA resident, I decided it was about time for me to be a tourist and go, because I’ve never been there before.

But before I left, I wanted to do a little bit of research. As a result, I learned a few things. For example:

Hollywood Walk of Fame

History of the Star’s Design

Each star consists of a pink terrazzo five-pointed star rimmed with bronze and inlaid into a charcoal square. Inside the pink star is the name of the honoree inlaid in bronze, below which is a round bronze emblem indicating the category for which the honoree received the star.

The different emblems include:

  • Motion picture camera for contribution to the film industry
  • Television set for contribution to the broadcast television industry
  • Phonograph record for contribution to the recording industry
  • Radio microphone for contribution to the broadcast radio industry
  • Twin comedy/tragedy masks for contribution to live theater (Source: Wikipedia)

The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of about 3.5 miles of stars.

I strolled, watched, and was at times amazed, other times astounded by the sheer number of stars and the who’s who on the famous walk. Not to mention the great time I had watching everybody’s varying reactions to the stars.

“Oh, look, here’s The Simpsons.” “Hey, I found Kiss!” “Look Mom, here’s Mickey Mouse!”

Almost everyone can find someone they know on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Hollywood Walk of Fame Early History

Twin sided Walk of Fame

Just as with the rehabilitation of the Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame started as a way of promoting redevelopment in Hollywood. Although its history started in 1960, by the end of the decade, the Walk of Fame had deteriorated, becoming the home of drug dealers and addicts, runaways, the homeless and petty criminals.

The Walk’s Comeback

For over 10 years no new stars were added. But one man changed all that. Along came Johnny Grant, the Honorary Mayor of Hollywood. He led the efforts to revive the Walk of Fame by adding two new rules:

1. Honorees would be required to show up for a Walk of Fame dedication ceremony

2. Honorees would have to pay a $2500 fee to help pay for the Walk of Fame’s upkeep.

It worked. Today, the Hollywood Walk of Fame has more than 2000 stars filled in and more waiting in the wings. (Source: Wikipedia)

Oh look, it's Ryan Seacrest!!

That same afternoon, the heartbreaking death of Michael Jackson was just being announced on the news and from person to person.

Walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame with an Interactive Map

I’ve included a map featuring the entire walk (click to see more pictures), which also includes the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater (an upcoming story), the Hollywood & Highland Center, and the Hollywood and Vine famous street corner.

View Hollywood Walk of Fame in a larger map

Included in the map are two Metro stops. One is at the Hollywood and Vine intersection, and the other at the Hollywood and Highland crossing. Both are located literally on Hollywood Boulevard.

Of course, being a forward thinking city, Los Angeles has recently installed a few new bike racks on Hollywood Boulevard– so bike parking is easier than ever. (Check out the round marker on the map at Hollywood and McCadden Place for the picture.)

The Passing of the Stars

Sadly—indeed tragically– I happened to be at the Hollywood Walk of Fame the day that two of our biggest and most iconic entertainment figures of our era passed away—Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, RIP.

Farrah Fawcett’s dedicated fans decorated her star in a tribute to her life, and in her memory.

Farrah Fawcett's Star

As I stood at the corner waiting to cross the street, someone in a stopped car asked if we had heard the news of his death. “No” was my initial reply, because I thought it was a hoax. However that notion was dispelled within a few minutes, after literally everybody on the streets were talking about it. As I continued my walk, the only conversations remaining on Hollywood Boulevard that day was of the tragic death of the “King of Pop.”

It’s amazing that even in times of sadness Travelin’ Local can bring a sense of community to an otherwise group of total strangers.

Some people are as large in life as they are in death—and for that, I’m sure that the angels look down upon them from heaven.

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A Quick Tour of the Hollywood & Highland Center

Do you like to shop?

That’s a rhetorical question to Angelinos, and others, of course. Yesterday, I went, I came, and I conquered in my search of the total Hollywood Walk of Fame experience, and I found more than I thought I would.

What did I find, curious minds are asking?

Truth be told, in the upcoming weeks I’ll be featuring all of the goodies I found during my foray; but for today I’d like to converse a bit about one of Los Angeles’ leading entertainment, shopping, and eating destinations:

The Hollywood & Highland Center

Home to the Kodak Theater, the Hollywood & Highland Center is a favorite shopping and eateries destination. With five stories of shops and food, including Planet Punk, American Eagle Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret, Baja California, Green Earth Café, and so many others, the Hollywood & Highland Center is uniquely Southern California, with its creamy pastel colors and hip aesthetic.

With that and the great art deco and modern architecture, how could you go wrong?

Upon entering, you’re greeted with

The Road to Hollywood

Following your own personal red carpet and walking up the stairs, your path leads you here.

Ok, let the shopping begin

Of course what good is shopping without eating Al fresco?

Let's Eat

Let’s see, so far, you’ve done a little shopping and had some lunch, now what?

How about a little time to stop and smell the roses?

Just go to the top of the stairs to embrace the stunning view of the Hollywood Hills with the Hollywood sign as a backdrop.

Hollywood Hills

Or maybe you’d like to walk around The Road to Hollywood?

Road to Hollywood

And read a few of the funny “quotes” on the walkway

Cute Quotes

So far you’ve had a grand day, walking, shopping, and enjoying the gorgeous surroundings. Upon your departure, as you step onto the sidewalk toward the cross walk, suddenly, you stop and do a double take:

Apes on Hollywood Blvd.

When Travelin’ Local in Hollywood, some of the locals may look like extras in a film, but we know that the Apes here don’t bite. And friendly too!

Here’s to a grand time and kudos to the developer and people that built the magnificent Hollywood & Highland Center—I could spend a whole lot of time and money there, but just being able to enjoy its sights, sounds, and some get-a-way time–truly seemed like a great vacation day in the middle of the day and city.

But for some serious eating and shopping, it can’t be beat!

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