I moved into a new apartment in the heart of Hollywood, less than two miles from our home of seventeen years in the Hollywood Hills. My new hood is populated by tons of young, good looking girls (and guys if you must know), bars and clubs up the kazoo, enough lingerie shops to make Victoria’s Secret scared of the competition, and tourists who actually stop to look at the stars on the Walk of Fame.
Here’s what’s not here: old people like me (who aren’t living on the street that is), parking of any kind after 3:00PM, anyone walking about at 7:00AM, and places to eat that don’t have a cover charge.
I use to tell people that I lived in Hollywood, but I was wrong. Really wrong. This is Hollywood — a land of dreams (in process, or documented or broken), starlets (in the making), guys on the make, kids lost in the street life, Tattoo parlors bigger than most restaurants, clubs with rope lines, tour buses rolling down Sunset, walking tours of the Walk of Fame (which celeb has five different kinds of stars?), families taking pictures of each other at Sunset & Vine, guys writing screen plays at the local Starbucks (next to old guys pounding the keys on their blog) and on and on. Ohh, by the way, did you see that Heidi Fleiss (the Hollywood Madame for those of you living under a rock) has opened a new place on Hollywood Boulevard — a cigar shop?
Wow, how the hell did I get here? Much like a Hollywood B movie in which the protagonist tries an experiment that mutates into something very different than expected, I’ve become a Stranger in a Strange Land.
In preparation for the Next Phase –whatever the f___ that might be –KR and I sold our house in the Hills, bought a place in Puerto Vallarta, and began living the dual life of me in LA most of the time and KR in Puerto Vallarta most of the time. We’d go back and forth a much as possible while awaiting our next grand adventure. The moment that I get tired of pulling on the oars of commerce, I’m on the first Greyhound south to PV full time.
Enter 1930 Whitley Avenue, #101. Things would be different here at Whitley. I should have known it wasn’t going to be a fast road to happiness when Ben, the guy we sublet from, said something to the affect, “Parking? No problem! I’ve never had a problem. Look right out there, that’s my car!” He must of taken the last spot as I’ve gotten seven tickets in two weeks. Robert, the building manager, has explicitly told me that he doesn’t handle tenant problems as he gets stressed out dealing with conflicts. I’m suppose to call the owner but they have an unlisted number. This is Hollywood, after all.
All of us at Whitley live according to the parking slot. Got a good one, then you never move until forced out by hunger or lack of supplies. No, we who live at Whitley WALK everywhere for fear of taking our car and having to park up the Mount Kilimanjaro that Whitely Avenue turns into shortly past our building. Which is why I can tell you that Tiquila’s bar on Hollywood makes a good Screwdriver for Happy Hour, or you should skip Devil Burger’s burger unless you can handle the hot stuff, or that there really are some really, really cheap hotels in Hollywood that are always full, that the Guiness World Record Museum doesn’t appear to be doing as well as the Hollywood Wax Museum.
Those of you on your game today would have wondered if #101 was a good thing, as in the lower apartment in the front of the building right next to the front door kind of good thing. I’m sure I wasn’t this way when I was twenty-something, but just how late can you party during a weekday? Whitley residents have a well-trod answer: 2,3, 4 AM is about right. And it’s always good to do a recap of the evening’s event’s (Did you see what he was wearing! ) on the street with the gang before stomping in on the wood hallway floors.
It’s not all bad at Whitley. Bob, the can’t-handle-conflict building manager, asked me whether I was in The Business as I was just renting for a couple of months. “Ya, I’ve been called in to fix a couple of scenes on a movie. It’s the sequel to Dumb Ass, the Movie…” Now I make sure that everyone can see me pounding the keyboards sitting in my window. I’m making great progress on Act 3, Scene 24.