Posts Tagged ‘Hollywoodland’
Time and Money Together for Our
Hollywoodland today is an adorable village setting just inside the giant stone portals that were erected back in 1923 to welcome residents to a new real estate development – HOLLYWOODLAND. You couldn’t miss the road up Beachwood Canyon to this location. All you needed to do was look up at the giant illuminated sign comprised of 30′ tall letters. The original real estate company office remains just inside the portals along with a tiny commercial district to serve the hillside community just above Hollywood. One business, there since 1996, is Hollywoodland Antiques. Jeff Meyer and his wonderful staff present a wild assortment of high quality items and memorabilia representative of Los Angeles and Hollywood since the first movie star arrived. The store also specializes in time… exotic and vintage watches and timepieces adorn the shop where they each have stories to be told to our private Los Angeles tour guests with whom we venture in for some fun exploring. Food, shopping and a touch of Hollywood history are part of what we experience on our way up to take pictures of the Hollywood Sign.
We Stop on Our Private Tour in Hollywoodland to Pet Figaro
Entering Hollywoodland through the giant stone portals of this historic land development area arising from the growing movie industry in the early 1920s there is a tiny village with a grocery, restaurant, antiques store and other small businesses. A plaza is situated around the widened intersection which just invites us to stop and take pictures of Hollywoodland Realty and spend a little time with Figaro (above), a Sharon Loper artwork. The calm beast attracts the cat lovers among our private Los Angeles tour guests who want to be photographed with the bronze sculpture. The neighborhood is home to bobcats, polecats and even mountain lions (possibly) in addition to the expected Hollywood cats that help control the rodent population along with the indigenous rattlesnakes. Just above us on the mountainside is the great Hollywood Sign.
Flowers in Her Hair, Flowers Everywhere – Perfect
for Our Private Tour
Hollywoodland – that part of Hollywood just above the old Hollywoodland arches – has marvelous businesses in a tiny retail area and one of those business for several years has been My Fair Lady’s Flowers. Colorful and aromatic, we now like to stop our custom luxury van here to walk around and explore for a short while. There is a lot of history at this location where empty lots were being sold to the new residents of Hollywood back in the early silent film years of the nascent entertainment industry. Besides the large stone arches that mark the entrance to the Hollywoodland community, there are buildings and homes dating back to that period. But there are also businesses worth visiting on a private Los Angeles tour like the flower shop. Driving up the tiny roads above the village our guests will finally get to see what they were waiting for – the Hollywood Sign.
Our Private Tour Guests Learn a Lot of Hollywood History on the Way to the Hollywood Sign
There is so much to tell our guests about the Hollywood Sign and its origin with the land development called Hollywoodland that we have to have historic photos such as this one aboard our custom luxury vans to show them when they want to know more. We talk about the 1923 development area at the foot of Mt. Lee, up along Beachwood Canyon, and the bus and picnic parties that brought prospective home builders up above Hollywood to consider land purchases. The sign, HOLLYWOODLAND, was just a giant billboard. The present sign was more of a derelict reminder of those heady days early in Hollywood’s history long before it became the storied icon of movie glitz and glamor that it is today. In fact, it took a grand party organized by Hugh Hefner at the Playboy mansion to fund the first major restoration of the famed sign. That was in 1987. The most recent renovation was just more than a year ago.
Los Angeles Tour Guests Treated to Sight of Alien Invasion
Armed only with a high quality SLR digital camera our quick reflex guide managed to shoot this photograph of what might very well be an alien spacecraft just past the stone portals of Hollywoodland. The stone portals were erected in 1923 and the neighborhood has flourished ever since. However…. in 1956 several scenes from Invasion of the Body Snatchers were filmed right around this intersection. Might the driver of this strange vehicle be an alien – or a pod person? Our private Los Angeles tour guests were impressed with the scooter and unafraid of what it might mean. Their guide, on the other hand, has concerns.
Our Private Tour Guests Have No Idea
Driving up to the Hollywood Sign through Beachwood Canyon gives our private Los Angeles tour guests much to see and many stories to listen to from our educated and entertaining guides. Sometimes a guest will call out at the tile work quickly espied at a Hollywoodland home we pass on the way up. At that point we can stop for a quick peek of the Garden of Oz or just tell the story of Gail Cottman who in 1991 began to create with various artists and friends a magical garden of thrones dedicated to fancy, imagination and world peace. Made from tile and found objects the Garden of Oz is a joyful patch of land in a city dedicated to imagination. Word is that keys to the gated garden were distributed to local children. Also, the Dalai Lama sent priests to bless the tiny landmark. Stories? Maybe, but we like stories.
Private Hollywood Tour Guide Shot by Guests
If it wasn’t so much fun we would not encourage it. This visit to the stone gates marking the entrance to the old real estate development called Hollywoodland (famous today for its lasting marketing device – the Hollywood Sign) turned into a real shoot-’em-up when our guests all turned their cameras on their devoted guide who was photographing them at the same time. The Beachwood Canyon turnout where the pillars stand also has a coffee shop and grocery store where we have been known to take refuge in fresh baked pie or just to restock our custom van‘s cooler for our guests on hot days. At least we no longer have to stop for film for our camera or our guests’ cameras. We know all the best places to stop for photographs, ones we take of our guests and best shots for their own cameras. We are also happy to discuss photography from ISO settings to best angles and lighting. Camera buffs of all levels are welcome on our private Los Angeles tours and adventures.
If you have not heard of the website Pinterest yet, you will. This website focuses on photography and images. Naturally we enjoy posting our blog photographs there since we consider it so important to capture fine images of our private Los Angeles tour guests on their tours with us.
This is our 2nd most popular pin on our Los Angeles Seen with Elite Adventure Tours board on Pinterest. The staircase runs between two hillside streets in Hollywoodland, just beyond the stone gates marking the entrance on Beachwood Drive. Los Angeles has many such staircases, some made quite famous in movies and television shows, but we drive by this particular spot on our way to see the Hollywood Sign on almost all of our private Hollywood tours. If we are in the midst of a fitness tour or even have energetic guests, and if the exercise crowd isn’t hogging the steps, we like to stop and “take a lap” just for fun and photos.
We will post our Number 1 Pinterest pin soon. If you visit our Pinterest board you will be able to find out before then.