I'm poor. My lifestyle constantly reminds me of this all the time. I didn't need to go to Beverly Hills to have this reiterated, so instead I went to The Guitar Center. It has its own Hollywood Boulevard-esque walk of fame out the front, but more importantly, has a whole bunch of great guitars inside. Some were cheap. Real cheap. But then there was a wall out the back, the Beverly Hills of walls, and again, I felt poor. Sure I've seen some expensive guitars before, but none were $90,000 (plus tax and tip I assume).
Being a pleb, I walked to In & Out Burger, continuing my fast food odyssey. Despite it's business, the food was pretty crap and only redeemed by the medium (massive) Dr Pepper.
Already sick of all the tourists, my self loathing landed me on a subway train to downtown. It was brilliant to get away from Hollywood, which is far less glamorous than you'd think. I decided to walk around on my own and check out some of the local architecture.
There's a quote by Charles Bukowski that says "There are worse things than being alone" and I think it applies to travelling. Sure it's nice to meet new people all the time at the hostel and on the street, but I personally have a requisite amount of time where I need to be on my own. It's why I walk to uni, and it's why I do most of my day trips by myself. But then again Bukowski also said "Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink", which also has some semblance to travelling.
Anyway, my walk just took me around some buildings and parks in the city. There were no other tourists, the streets were clean and some buildings looked they were taken from a Raymond Chandler book. I even found a little square where people were smoking cigarettes that smelt like my old sharehouse.
I went to the Los Angeles public library as well as the Disney Theatre. It was designed by Gehry and it would be fascinating to understand what is going on between his ears. His buildings look like someone ran over an aluminium can with a lawn-mower.
I'm heading to San Francisco today, but it has been some adventure getting my shit together. Firstly, there is sweet-fuck-all accommodation there at the moment, and I guess that is the only real problem. I've managed a bed for 2 nights in seperate hostels, but the weekend is up in the air. I've applied for some couches down in Monterey.
What made things worse was that this computer that I'm typing on decided to stop working for about 2 hours and caused some massive panic. I had to resort to help from the world's biggest nerd from yesterday's post and he helped resolve things.
Despite his help, the world's biggest nerd greatly unimpressed me later on. In a circle with some Germans and George - who shared a room with me for my total stay - he began a bit of a tirade about Australia's aborigines. It got to the point that one-by-one everyone left the table, being the polite way to get him to shut up.
Anyway, the cute German girls, George (who despite his name, could not fix our broken toilet), young Stephen and myself started playing some drinking games. We were joined by Tom, a British soldier whose job is being a photographer and vegetarian. He presented his interesting ethical conundrum, combining the army's best interest as well as his responsibility to portray the truth in photos. I tried to prise some more details from him, but my inebriation really hurt my articulation and he was a bit guarded about it. Later, his mate came along and gave another drunken speech about he loves being English, and how much he hates the other nationalities of the British Home Nations. There's a great quote by Eric Hoffer who says; “The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.” It's a reason I try not to be patriotic over here, but more importantly, it makes you look like a dickhead.
The rest of the night turned into a bit of a blur. I'm assuming I had fun, and have a beer based headache right now to prove it. It's a shame to leave L.A. right now, as there were a lot of things I still wanted to see. I didn't make it to the beach, the tar pits or the Getty Center. Fortunately, I know I'll be back here in a year when I fly back and can make the most of it then. I've only been here 3 nights, and despite my protestations about Australians and other tourists, I have met a lot of great people so far. Now I have an 8 hour bus ride to look forward to. See you in San Francisco, where I'll be doing some Kerouac stalking.
It didn't take long, but I finally have some Ryan Adams to play. It seems appropriate, given I'm already pretty over Hollywood. Regardless, it's a pretty great song.