December 25, 2013 – MERRY CHRISTMAS

Like our grandchildren, we awoke early, possibly because our bodies have not adjusted to Pacific Standard Time.  However, it was immediately clear that Santa had, in fact, been watching us these past three weeks and that he had decided that we’d been “good” this past year since presents had appeared under our tree.

Christmas Morning on Motorhome (d), Esat Shore RV Park, San Dimas, CA - 2013-12-25

We had decided to take a drive and figured that the traffic in the greater LA area would be lighter on Christmas Day than later this week. 

 Although we will be in Pasadena with our RV Rally group beginning Saturday, the Rose Bowl is not on our agenda.  As Debbie had never been there (I’d been to a LA Galaxy pro-soccer game there many years ago while on one of many business trips to Pasadena) we drove by.

Rose BowlAfter grabbing lunch at a Subway (one of the few restaurants open on Christmas), we drove through Old Pasadena, stopping at the City Hall

 City Hall (facade), Pasadena, CA - 2013-12-25 City Hall (entrance toopen-air foyer), Pasadena, CA - 2013-12-25

Ceiling of the open-air City Hall foyer

Ceiling of the open-air City Hall foyer

 Fountain in City Hall courtyard

Fountain in City Hall courtyard

 Two 7 foot bronze statues grace the south side of the City Hall Plaza.

Brothers honoring Jackie and Mark Robinson

Brothers honoring Jackie and Mark Robinson

 While Jackie Robinson history is well known … lettering in four sports at John Muir High School, Pasadena Junior College and UCLA before going on to break the color barrier in major league baseball in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers … although we were unaware he was also among the founders of the first African-American owned bank in New York City.

 However, we never knew anything about his brother, Mark, who won the Silver Medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics

 From there we decided to “play tourists” with our first destination being the iconic …

Hollywood Sign, Hollywood, CA - 2013-12-25The Hollywood Sign (formerly known as the Hollywoodland Sign) is situated on Mont Lee in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains.  “HOLLYWOOD” is spelled out in 45-foot-tall white capital letters, and is 350 feet long.  It was originally created in 1923 as an advertisement for a local real estate development, but it garnered increasing recognition after the sign was left up.  From the ground, the contours of the hills give the sign its “wavy” appearance.  

The road leading up to the sign is one of the most winding (literally scores of blind “s” and “U turns) and narrow roads

Road to Hollywood Sign - b Road to Hollywood Sign - c Road to Hollywood Sign - a Road g lined with homes and garages jammed together, most sitting on slopes seeming impossible to build on.

Road f Road to Hollywood Sign - d

It’s a good thing we were in our Jeep as it would have been impossible to negotiate in an RV!

Unfortunately, the road was closed to non-resident traffic beyond a certain point, so we had to settle for some still distant views of the sign. 

The 2 mile descent took nearly 20 minutes enroute to

Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard

lined with tourists and a number of “uniquely” colorful bar exteriors

Good Old Home Cooking, Hollywood Boulevard Cabo Cantina, Hollywood BoulevardAnd the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame … which runs for blocks on the sidewalks on both sides of the Boulevard.  Seven types of stars can be found on the Walk of Fame.

The most common, by far, has been awarded for work in the field of motion pictures. Performers are also recognized for work in the fields of television, radio, live performance and recording.

In addition, about 500 stars on the walk are currently blank, essentially acting as placeholders for future honorees.

As of July 2013, The Times found more than 2,400 stars on the walk, representing 2,200 individuals or organizations.

 chart

Nominees must have at least five years of history in their field before being considered, which means some of the hottest young stars may not yet be eligible.  Stars also may simply decline to participate.

That said, a number of the biggest names in Hollywood do not have stars on the Walk of Fame.  There are numerous reasons for this; a celebrity must be nominated, selected and agree to the ceremony in addition to having someone pick up the tab.

Among other big names missing from the walk: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Robert Redford, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, Sean Connery, David Lean, Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet, Leonard Dicaprio, Diane Keaton, Denzel Washington and Woody Allen.

Gene Autry is the only person to be awarded stars in the five fields recognized on the Walk of Fame: film, TV, radio, live performance and music.  During his lifetime, Autry emerged as both a top money-making entertainer and a powerful businessman.  The late Bob Hope and the late romantic crooner Tony Martin are next with four stars each.  Thirty-three people, including Frank Sinatra, Danny Kaye and Jack Benny have been awarded stars in three fields.   Only two women have three stars, Dinah Shore and Gale Storm, a radio and television star best known for the program “My Little Margie.”

In addition, there are four special markers at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street to commemorate the Apollo Landing in 1969.

Randomly, we stopped to photograph just three of the some 2,700 start (as of June 2013, 500 were still blank, reserved for future nominees).

Hollywood Walk of Fame (W C Fields), Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles,CA - 2103-12-25 Hollywood Walk of Fame (Vincent Price), Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles,CA - 2103-12-25 Hollywood Walk of Fame (Alex Trebek), Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles,CA - 2103-12-25Enroute back to our campground, we passed a cell tower cleverly disguised as a palm tree.

Cell Tower and Palm TreesBack at our campground, I spent the rest of Christmas afternoon washing both our motorhome and Jeep.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

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