Playing Tourist: The Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jordan and I love living in a new city because it gives us the opportunity to explore new restaurants, museums, historic sites, etc. Sadly, we don't always do enough exploring on our own, which is why we love having visitors - it gives us a chance to play tourist and check out some of the things that are on our "must see/do" list.

When my parents and younger brother visited recently, we decided to take them into the heart of Hollywood. We secretly hoped that we would see a celebrity or two, and we were lucky enough to spot a pseudo celebrity while at breakfast. I'll be honest, I still don't really know who he is - a political pundit, I think - but I talked my parents into letting me take a sneaky picture of them with him in the background.


After breakfast, we headed off to Hollywood Boulevard, where we were greeted by a host of street vendors and performers. I'm still shocked that my brother didn't want to take advantage of the 3 for $10 deal on necklaces.


We then started down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which spans 1.3 miles. There are stars everywhere; the most recent count is just shy of 2,500, so it's hard to stop and admire them all, especially since the foot traffic is pretty crazy. Thankfully we were able to spot a few of our favorite stars, like Joan Collins:


and Julie Andrews:


We soon reached Grauman's Chinese Theatre, which is the famous theater where celebrities leave handprints, footprints, and signatures in the cement. None of us had been to the theater before, and as self-proclaimed movie buffs, we were all excited to check out this piece of celebrity history. The building itself is stunning and kind of takes your breath away.


It was incredibly crowded that day, in part because the most recent addition was from the Twilight cast. Everyone flocked to their section of the pavement, which made it easier for us to check out the classic celebrities we were more interested in.

I found my girl Shirley Temple. Was anyone else obsessed with her movies growing up? I probably watched each one ten times, and I'm not just talking about the well-known ones like The Little Princess and Heidi. I mean the obscure ones, like Susannah of the Mounties and The Littlest Rebel. I also went through a phase where I read everything I could about her life, so I know a lot of random Shirley Temple facts. 


Oh Jack Lemon, how I love thee. You had me at Some Like it Hot. And I fell in love with you all over again in The Apartment. Oh, and my husband also really likes you, just not in that way. 


Surprisingly, a lot of celebrities had noticeably small feet and hands. My dad was particularly shocked by John Wayne. His feet are quite a few sizes bigger than those of the Duke. 


For my dear friend, who adores Hugh Jackman. I've always felt self-conscious about liking Hugh Jackman since I discovered how much Dr. Cox hates him.


Who doesn't love a little RDJ? Jordan is incredibly enthusiastic about his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. If you're one to criticize, you should really talk to my husband first. 


Also, RDJ is Jordan's identical hand twin
 

Ah, Sidney Poitier, another one of my great loves. I never met a Sidney Poitier movie that I didn't like. But my favorite will always be Lilies of the Valley. If you haven't seen it, you should watch it. Right now. 


While we may not have met any actual celebrities on our trip down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, we were still pretty star struck. There's something kind of spectacular about touching the same cement that Marilyn Monroe pressed her hands into almost sixty years ago. Now if only I could sit in the same seat she sat in at the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes premier. Maybe next time I'll splurge on tickets to the theater tour so I explore the inside.

Have any of you been down the Hollywood Walk of Fame or to Grauman's Chinese Theatre? Are there any celebrity hubs where you live?

13 comments:

  1. Love Julie Andrews! My parents were so surprised that I could sit there as a young child and watch all of the Sound of Music.

    That's so awesome that visitors give you the opportunity to get out and explore. When we were there years ago, I remember taking pictures with the classic stars like Shirley Temple.

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    1. Oh man, Julie Andrews is the best! My dad is a huge fan of musicals, so I sat through some surprisingly long ones when I was a kid. :) He likes to reminisce about his days in Oliver! and Guys & Dolls.

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  2. What a fun visit for your family!! I used to work about 2 blocks from the major hollywood hubub, so I was around all of that stuff on a daily basis, which was pretty cool. That's so funny that John Wayne's feet are so small!! I would have never guessed.

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    1. Oh wow, that's so cool! Hollywood is a pretty awesome city, and there's always something fun going on. The day we were there, they were also setting up for a big premiere or something, so the streets were all blocked off and set up for photographers/videographers later that evening. And yes, John Wayne had incredibly petite feet. They were so unbelievably tiny! My dad doesn't even have really big feet, and Wayne's were so much smaller.

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  3. I loved Shirley Temple! I've never been to Hollywood, but I have been to the one at Disney. I took photos with lots of celeb hands and feet there when I was little :)

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    1. Woo, I love meeting other Shirley Temple fans! And I totally forgot about the "Hollywood" at Disney. I've actually never been there myself, but I want to make a trip there sometime soon, especially now that the Harry Potter amusement park is nearby. :)

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  4. Isn't that always the case with living anyplace, if you really want to explore it, invite people to come and visit. I've always wanted to go and see the inside of Grauman's (the cement prints are so much fun). I also really like your shout out to Hand Twins! NBC is just not the same since the hey day of Friends (especially with the hiatus of Community at the moment)

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    1. Yep, so true! It's amazing how much I've seen and done in the cities I've lived in while hosting visitors. I feel like when you live in a place, you sometimes forget to do all the little touristy things. :) Oh, and I'm glad you appreciated the Friends shout out! NBC is a little sad these days - they need to cut the Office (and 30 Rock, IMO) and bring back the good stuff, like Community!

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  5. I love all the classic stars in front of the theatre! Like you, I definitely would have passed up the cast of Twilight to go see Gregory Peck or Gene Kelly.

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    1. I cannot believe that the cast of Twilight has their own cement slab. Is it just me or does Twilight and the the actor's who star in it seem much more of a fad that will fade and seem out of place in front of the Chinese theater in a few years?

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    2. You would have been in good company with us! We love all the classics!

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    3. Lex, I couldn't agree more! I was pretty shocked - yes, Twilight is a huge blockbuster right now, but I kind of think the fad will fade in the coming years. I certainly don't think my children will be excited to see their cement slab in front of Grauman's. :)

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