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Tag Archives: Red Line

The Artists’ Wall

There is a wall on a building on Highland Ave and someone or somebodies put up art. It changes all the time as the owners of the building tear it down, paint over it and otherwise destroy it. I like to photograph it while there’s time. Here are a couple of examples. I hope you love them as much as I do. If you know where the PowerHouse bar is, then you know what I’m talking about. There’s a terrible Chinese restaurant there too. MSG WARNING! See? Lots of little useful tidbits here on the Hollyblog! See!

© Russell Smith, 2011

© Russell Smith



Hooray, hooray, hooray

Who needs hallucinogens when you live in a ‘hood like Hollywood?

© Russell Smith, 2011

There’s always a friendly face to greet you when you de-subway at the Hollywood & Highland stop on the demonic Red Line. It cracks me up that the guy doesn’t even mention MSNBC. This picture would thrill the pants off of Rupert Murdoch, who is busy putting out a big fire in England. Let me tell you. This guy was proud of his sign. Please forgive my unfortunate use of the word crack!

© Russell Smith, 2011

I hate Madame Tussaud’s! Their figures are not wax. They are plastic. Check out the guy getting his jollies looking at the Asian woman’s body, while she is obliviously taking a picture. (You have to click on the images to get a larger view). Busted! I love candid photography.

© Russell Smith, 2011

Hollywood is larger than life. Life is larger than life, so Hollywood is larger than itself. Sometimes I get sick of all the tourists and crackheads but it really is an amazing place to live. Where else can I buy ashtrays with the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the bottom? There’s been a multi-billion dollar renovation of the town. Hundreds of new overpriced apartment units have gone up. It seems as though the character of the place really is changing. I heard a man once say that “In ten years, Hollywood will look just like Manhattan.” The last time I was in Manhattan I saw a lot of Starbucks, GAPs, and all the rest of the homogenizing chains. But I get what he’s saying. Hollywood will be expensive, flashy with restaurants and nightclubs, goody-goody with its overpriced organic food distributors. Über-gentrification might be a good name for the process.

Subway cars are stinkin’, but Hollywood stars are blinkin’

This is why I will always love my neighborhood. Last Monday I was coming home from work, feeling down, as low as down can get. When the train came into Union Station, it was easy for me to get a disabled seat on the Dred Line. I also like to be in the first car, as close to the driver as possible. I don’t feel very safe on the subways, so if I scream “HELP!,” it may be addressed as a serious situation. A woman sat near me in one of the few seats facing me in that part of the car. As we waited for the train to depart, we were all assaulted with a terrible odor. I asked if she smelled it, but she was already covering her face with her hands. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me on the subway. Whatever they’re doing, it can’t be good. It smells worse than sewage, so one is apt to blame a homeless person. But it smells worse than most homeless people I’ve encountered- not all, but most. What’s going on Mr. Metro Man?

Anyway, the odor dissappated after a few minutes, leaving everybody shocked, but relieved. I said, to no one in particular, “I live in Hollywood, so don’t try to talk to me about smells.”

The women sitting near me said, “Now wait a minute! I’ve lived in Hollywood many years and I love it.” She was a medium completed black woman, about my age, with a totally Southern California accent. (Yes, there is one- not the Valley Girl one either).

I apologized immediately and replied, “I love Hollywood too! I’ve lived there 10 years and I never want to move.”

She smiled and said, “Thirty years.”

I said I must be a newbie,” but she just smiled and shook her head, “Ten years is a long time.”

We chatted away until Pershing Square because of the crowding. She got off at Vine and I got off at Highland.

Please enjoy this brief YouTubery of an amazing child prodigy. He loves making music. What a gift!