Hollywood. The name conjures up ideas and dreams of glitz, glamor, excitement and making it big in showbusiness. Reality is that often these things are not so easily apparent here- by a long shot.
Let it be known that Hollywood is more a big mundane urban neighborhood than how it is portrayed in films and on TV. Working and wannabe showbiz stars, industry folk and a mix of blue collar immigrants make up a majority of the population. Notably, there is a great number of Russian, Eastern European, Thai and Hispanic ethnicities of various generations. The Hollywood area is pleasantly scenic and downright grungy looking. Some parts along and off Hollywood Blvd are notorious for drug abuse. But also, there are some great nature areas for walking and exercising, including Runyon Canyon and Lake Hollywood Park.
Think beyond the Walk of Fame and Hollywood Sign viewing when visiting. Do enjoy the affordable shopping, esp along Hollywood Blvd, spotting the many artistic murals around the city and do attend a show (concert and the Bowl or a club, movie at Mann Chinese or broadway performance at the Pantages).
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