I don’t have the energy to write a super long post about our Hollywood trip (the pics probably tell it better), but I will say that we were both a little surprised at the level of skankiness. I haven’t been there for a few years and I do recall it being somewhat trashy, but I certainly don’t recall it smelling so bad. There’s plenty of stuff to do and see and eat, and a lot of really cool & funky shops to visit, but they really oughta do something about that everywhere-smells-like-piss problem. Perhaps a giant air freshener on every corner would do the trick, I don’t know…but pheww, it stinks!
Luckily our hotel wasn’t a complete shithole, as we were somewhat fearing. I mistakenly thought we were staying in West Hollywood, which is a bit nicer than the rest of the town, but we got a decent place anyway. It was the Dunes Inn on Sunset, and despite some brief, random water temperature changes during showers (just little jumps and dips, no scalding or freezing), everything was fine — the place was quiet, the rooms were clean, and the desk staff was nice enough. And best of all, it’s only a 10-minute walk from Amoeba Music! We’ll probably stay there again next time if we don’t want to spring for something on the west side.
The most touristy thing we did was spend a day at Universal Studios, which I hadn’t done since I was a kid. We went on all the rides, which was fun…we did the Mummy one twice because it’s kinda freaky, even though it only lasts about a minute. It was interesting to see — on one hand it’s a jaunt through the history of the studio and it’s a fun way to see some famous movie sets and other things, but on the other hand there’s a Vegas-esque carnival atmosphere aimed squarely at tourists with lots of kids. It got a bit too “plastic” at times and we just had to keep hittin’ those rides to block it out. There’s also a lot of self-congratulatory smugness voiced by celebrities — during the studio tour they actually showed Whoopi Goldberg on a video screen saying, “We create the films that make you laugh, make you cry, and keep you on the edge of your seat!” They may as well just say “Universal Studios: thank you for loving us because we love us too!” Yeah, it’s just a theme park and I’m probably reading way too much into it, but that’s what I do. 🙂
The True Colors concert was the last in the tour, and it was interesting to compare it to the Vegas show, which was the first in the tour. It was fantastic, everyone was enjoying the hell out of it. People were dancing like crazy, taking pictures, laughing, singing, goofing off…they seemed far more pumped-up than the Vegas crowd. They even seemed to enjoy Debbie Harry, who was pretty much a bore the last time we saw her. Two lesbians in particular were going absolutely apeshit during one of her songs, some of which I got on video…I’ll be posting that soon. 🙂 The other acts were brilliant and so full of wit and energy, as if they hadn’t been doing this for a month straight. The Greek Theatre was the perfect venue, being outdoors and surrounded by trees which were lit up during the show. Every now and then a cool breeze would swoosh through the crowd, and it felt soooo good after being so friggin’ hot and sweaty all day.
Anyway, you can browse pics of us farting around (with captions) or pics of the True Colors show, which are somewhat better than my Vegas pics from early June. I’m working on getting a video montage from the concert online, but it’s tough getting it down to 100MB to satisfy Google Video and YouTube.