Sunset- Junction Festival ** (is an event on life support, has not fully been operated since a 2011 cancellation but may make a comeback with funding and/or if economy improves. Cross your fingers and read my lowdown anyway :-)
Though it is a temporary traffic nightmare for those who frequent down the famed boulevard, the Sunset-Junction festival is a city dweller delight during the height of summertime. This street party draws those who are especially of the alternative or hipster crowd and is very gay-friendly (as many locals are of the homosexual persuasion). However, typical families make up the festival goers too. I dare say, this is not quite a makeshift-for-a-weekend Disneyland- don't let the carnival ride set-ups fool ya! D-land wholesome is completely void here! As a more non-descript but curious individual, I have come to join this ever so eclectic celebration in 2006.
Sunset-Junction covers about 4 blocks of fun and eclectic entertainment featuring official performance acts-mainly bands and DJs covering a diverse range of music- think alternative/modern rock, reggae, R&B, folk, Latin and various ethnic world sounds. The best entertainment may just actually be people-watching. It is the flock of hipsters creating spontaneity who raises eyebrows and gives some laughs. Funky dancing (and similar body gyrations) make this festival particularly spirited.
Besides music, there is plenty of good grub to devour and alcohol to chug on down. Choose from typical Mexican and Asian offerings, the very Salvadorean favorite, pupusa (pastry filled with meat/cheese),Greek, pizza and more. There is an official Beer Garden for getting your afternoon or evening lush on, but all of the good stuff pours throughout the festival route at different stalls. Bars also stay open for those who want to get wasted and love to been seen doing so.
Admission price is $20 on the day of attending festival, $15 pre-sale.
Roughly the last week end in August there is a street fair in Silverlake at around 4000 Sunset Blvd. From street vendors, food to bands playing through the day and night. Music represents a good sample of the LA Club scene. Tiks for the bands run $10 this year.
Sunset Blvd is one of LA's main entertainment districts. It's got lots of good restaurants, clubs including the House of Blues, a major comedy club, and so much more. Like lots of LA, it reminds me a little of Times Square-all thest great things to do, and the gaudy billboards too.
Just who is that guy in the billboard anyway?!!!
The stretch of Sunset Boulevard from Highway 405 going east is a lovely stretch of winding road that goes by fabulous mansions, the UCLA campus and the delicious confection of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Unfortunately I was driving and the winding road really requires you to pay attention so I only got a few peeks at some of the mansions.
After leaving the stretch of Sunset Boulevard that is littered with fabulous mansions, you will come upon what used to be the hip strip in LA although I understand it isn't quite as hip as it used to be. But you can still see some of the landmarks such as the Viper Room, formerly owned by Johnny Depp and where River Phoenix met his untimely end, Whisky a Go-Go, the Comedy Store, the Roxy and Chateau Marmont, the hotel where John Belushi died from an overdose.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame stretches for eighteen blocks along Hollywood Boulevard from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue and for three blocks along Vine Street from Sunset Boulevard to Yucca Street. When we went we didn’t actually know where they were I just knew it was near sunset so it took us a while to find them. The area is pretty seedy though, which was quite disappointing.
The Sunset Strip is a L.A. landmark, populated by nightclubs, hotels and chic clothing stores & restaurants. The area is bordered by Crescent Heights on the east and Doheny on the west.
The clubs in this area aren't as hot as they used to be (the young & hip have departed for the Cahuenga area in Hollywood), but it's still very crowded on weekends. If you're staying in the area, you're going to experience a lot of noise and traffic. Recently, a "no cruising" law was instituted here and police patrol the area constantly. Still, it's very hard to drive in this area on Friday and Sat. nights. Parking will cost you $20.
If you're visiting the Sunset Strip, you can either park and walk along the street or just drive by. Here are the highlights:
- The Chateau Marmont (see my page on this for more info). A gorgeous, historical hotel with quite a past. John Belushi died here and it's a favorite hangout of visiting celebrities.
-House of Blues. The L.A. version of the popular concert hall/bar. You might want to check and see who is playing here while you're in town. Great concerts!
- Sunset Plaza. This area at the intersection of Sunset Plaza Dr. and Sunset is home to lots of restaurants. This is a good place to grab a bite and people watch. Try Cafe Med or Chin Chin.
- The Viper Room. The nightclub is famous for being co-owned by Johnny Depp and the site of River Phoenix's untimely death.
- The Clubs... there are tons of nightclubs on the Strip. They all have a different vibe and attract a different crowd. On the eastern edge of the Strip you'll find Dublin's, Miyagi's and Saddle Ranch. Further west is Key Club, Viper Room, Whisky Bar and The Roxy. Many of these clubs were the starting place for great local bands.
- The Hotels... there are some great hotels in this area, most notably The Mondarin (featuring the ever-popular SkyBar), The Standard, The Argyle (they have a great bar called Fenix) and of course, Chateau Marmont.
Sunset Boulevard is also famous, but more especially the mile and a half stretch between Hollywood and Beverley Hills that is known as 'The Sunset Strip'. There are boutiques, restaurants and clubs here. At night flashy neons transform and give a different look to the strip.
Hair band watching at the Rainbow Room bar.
It is a veritable wax museum of has-been hair rockers. If you fancy a sighting of Kevin DuBrow, Vince Neil or Brett Michaels, there's no other place to be. Amusing to see the older, fatter, balder incarnations of the rockers fans remember in barely recognizable condition.
Located in West Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard is the place where billboards can be extraordinarily entertaining.
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