Tuesday, August 26, 2014

If You Ever Go To Hollywood

David Klein’s brightly colored illustrated travel posters - the New York poster was considered so iconic that it became a part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection in 1957.

If you're ever in Hollywood, walk down the boulevard. Think of all the once famous, once living, once bright and shining hopeful people, whose names are immortalized in the pavement in front of the Russian dry cleaners, the hot dog place with the dirty name, the strip club. 
Think about how James Dean is next to Woody Carmichael which is next to Jim Belushi which is next to Estelle Blatt. Realize that former fame is a great equalizer. 
Walk past the Scientology museum as big as a mansion.
Try hard not to think much about that. 
Turn left and stop in at Miceli's. Listen to the aging show girl play old songs on a huge piano. Sit in awe, a little drunk on wine and full from the 8 pound bread rolls, as your waiter who just brought you salad, gets up and sings an opera number that shakes the rafters. Split the lasagna with someone and leave a good tip. Wish there were more places like that. Think about how Frank Sinatra might have ate there, how Marilyn and Joe might've kissed in that very corner booth. 
Think about me.
Think about how this was one of the most romantic places I'd ever been to, and every time we came here I'd steal a book of matches, and wish I could just live there, with the smell of garlic and the wine bottles hanging from the ceiling, forever.
After you leave, walk back up the hill to Hollywood boulevard and go right. At the next corner make another right and walk down to Boardner's. Joke with the person you're with about the sign advertising the fetish club they run in the courtyard out back on Saturday nights. Go in anyway-relax, its Sunday. 
Sit in the black velvet booth and drink a Crooked Cop which is really just an old fashioned. Think about the black dahlia and how this was rumored to be the last bar she went to. Think about how flimsy life is, but then quickly think about something else. Kiss the girl you're with and feel strangely voyeuristic as you realize you can see everyone around you, but they'd have to struggle to see you. 
Go out back. If they have a comedy show that night, stay a while. Sit down on one of the long black leather couches amid so many white pillar candles there are actual mountains and valleys of melted wax all around the yard. Giggle about how everyone there looks like a vampire.
If they have live music instead, just leave.
At the end of the night walk down to Mel's Drive In. Take a booth and have some coffee. Think about how everything you love about Hollywood happened more than 60 years ago.
All the old studios are gone. A city that used to worship the silver screen either tore down all of it's classic old theaters, or rented them out to night club owners, strip clubs, and burger places.
The west coast never holds onto anything.
Think about the street vendors, the cigarette smoke, the bustling energy of every single inch of this place. The noise, and way that there's always something happening. Even on Monday night, there will be plenty of people to drink with at Tequila or St. Germain's.
Just don't order the corn tamale appetizer. It's actually just corn bread with salsa on it.
Go have one last drink in the lobby bar of The Roosevelt, for old time's sake.
Think about sitting on the couch in the furthest corner of the room together, whispering and laughing and making up code-meanings for the words Patron and Mojito.
Think about how we accidentally forgot to pay our bill before we left because the bartender was ignoring us, and we were just so done with being there.
Think about me.

Then come home.

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