Not your typical Hollywood
experience by Solo Max, 22, on the road somewhereFeb 6, 2000
December 29, 1997Hollywood, California, USA
Contrary to my previous perception, Hollywood is actually in the City of Los Angeles. I found Tinsel Town not to be the stuff that stars are made of, but just another hunk of steel and glass that forms the concrete jungle that is LA. I think most people have great expectations for Hollywood. And why shouldnâ€™t they? They have spent a good portion of their life focused on images and icons which have originated from the area. I would not be far off in saying that Hollywoodâ€™s fabrications are one of the most, if not the most influential force on earth. Much of North American pop culture - almost everything we consider "cool", came from the mind of a Hollywood costume and props designer.
I found no magic in the streets. Hollywood Boulevard is nothing more than a few cheesy sidewalk attractions and t-shirts shops, with the exception of a strip club or two, and the store with a large neon sign out front stating "We sell guns and knives!".
I felt no pleasure in treading over the stars on the Walk of Fame. Robin Williams is one of my favorite actors, but seeing his name embedded in the sidewalk meant little to me.
I called Riley from a pay phone. "Hey, Itâ€™s MAX. Iâ€™m on Hollywood Boulevard. Yeah, a half hour would be fine. Iâ€™ll meet you in front of the Chinese Theater. Bring your hiking boots. I want to climb the HOLLYWOOD sign."
Riley is a Cardiovascular nurse that I met him in Yosemite National Park. There, he was just another person. One of the thousands I have met throughout my travels. This afternoon in Hollywood, I connected with him and formed a friendship as strong as any Iâ€™ve ever had.
While driving down Hollywood Boulevard, Riley turned to me. "Have you seen that new Apple commercial; the one with all those well known people, like... Churchill, Gandhi, Earhart, and Hitchcock?" "Yeah... itâ€™s great." I replied. "Well, the first time I saw it... it almost brought tears to my eyes." Riley continued. "It totally reinforced my desire to become a somebody. I want to make a contribution. I want to be a writer. Iâ€™ve already started a book." I like Riley. We think alike. Heâ€™s not a cardiovascular nurse. He just does that to make money.