All the tourists who (1) watch too much television; (2) don’t know much about Southern California; and (3) are decorated all over with piercings and tattoos usually end up on Hollywood Boulevard. Labor Day Weekend is particularly crowded, as crowds stop and take pictures of “tweakers” dressed up as Darth Vader, Spider Man, Wonder Woman and other superheroes and superheroines. Or they take pictures of the thousands of star-shaped plaques embedded into the sidewalks honoring key entertainment figures. Or they just take pictures of each other. (The star commemorating Marilyn Monroe in front of Ripley’s “Believe-It-Or-Not” museum is always a mob scene.)
Yesterday evening, Martine and I found a short cut to get us around the crowd pressing around what was once Grauman’s Chinese Theater (and now called the TCL Chinese Theater). Out of the Loew’s Hollywood Hotel (formerly called the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel), we walked past the entrance to the Dolby Theater (formerly the Eastman Kodak Theater) to a tour bus station on Orange Avenue. That saved us at least 15 minutes on the way to Roubo’s Russian and Armenian Restaurant. Of course, all the re-branding made my head spin.
Especially on holiday weekends such as this, it is impossible to go more than a hundred feet without being solicited by tour bus operators. I always tell them that, as a long-time resident, I am better qualified to offer them a tour.
In fact, at any given time around Labor Day, about 30-40% of all vehicles on the boulevard are tour buses.
The movies at Cinecon made it all worthwhile, though it is something of a gauntlet going between the Egyptian Theater, where the films are screened, to the Loew’s Hollywood Hotel, where the dealers’s booths are set up, or to any restaurant serving halfway decent food.