Hollywood, Los Angeles
Hollywood has gone from ghetto to high rent in a remarkably short period of time. As one realtor friend said to me recently: "In five years, it will be unrecognizable".
This is my unrecognizable home.
I've survived the bad old days and I'm desperately fighting to survive the good times, as well. The renaissance has brought a flood of scenesters and tourists, and the streets buzz at night in a way no other Los Angeles area does. That's a plus. But, when you come to Hollywood at night, be sure you stick to the main drags and avoid dark side streets. Old habits die hard, and the pretty-fied Hollywood might just get you when you're not looking.
Hollywood Boulevard you expect as a tourist place to be ok .....
MacDonalds as a coporate place you assume to be clean and tidy ........
Add these things together you expect to have a lovely clean enviroment.
Alas this WAS NOT THE CASE,
I had cause to rush to the toilets while the family ate in there ... but it was disgusting.
The floors were filty, wet and covered in urine, the toilet bowl was full of other peoples feaces. Sorry guys have to warn you.
And one or two of the "patrons" were a little strung out on something that wasn't special sauce or in the milkshakes if you get my drift.
Maybe this was an isolated occasion but I won't be eating in there again.
Don't let the hollywood glamour fool you! LA is actually quite unsafe. The warm climate serves as a breeding ground for homless people. Crime is on the rise as well. Most of So. Cal, especially LA is completely taken over by gangs, which results in frequent murders. Also, refrain from wearing bandanas, certain color clothing, and other sings which promote gang affiliation, because even if you're innocent, you'll still be in trouble. I mean, yeah, you're not gonna be shot and killed on Roedo Drive or Sunset BLVD, but if you venture off a block or two outside the main streets, trouble awaits. It is also very dangerous for you to drive if you do not know the area well. One second you might be on a busy street, then the next thing you know, you take a wrong turn and end up in a ghetto, where drive-by shootings and caf-jackings are common. Stay away from LA and the surrounding areas... you're much better off in some of the safe beaches such as Venice or Newport.
Many people are lulled into a sense that Hollywood is glamourous. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of this once-lovely area has gang members, drug dealers, pimps, and prostitutes.
Do not stay here. That said, cruising Sunset Blvd. at night should be fine...but do NOT go past about 4800 block, as that will lead you deep into the ghetto. You'll still get miles and miles from Pacific Palisades to West Hollywood to Hollywood.
Hollywood Blvd. is another story. Don't go much past the Chinese Theatre at night.
During the day, you should be okay, but always be cautious, and do NOT give money to the homeless. Many are watching to see where you keep your cash.
One thing that most tourists will be shocked to notice is that Hollywood is not the magical, rich, celebrity hang-out that it is often thought of to be. It is surprisingly pretty run-down and not a safe place to be at night. Sorry to say that everybody... So take care with your bags, and get off the streets when it seems late.
If you are in L.A. I strongly recommend never ever to go out all by yourself at night, especially if you are a woman! This city is one of the most dangerous and violent in the world, so watch out!
Watch out at the clubs - you never know who's going to come and try to make a move on you. If he or she is wearing a hospital bracelet, you should probably be concerned.