Wednesday August 11 2010:

Emily and I left the hostel quite early to avoid the disgusting derro’s we shared a room with, many of whom were passed out on the floor and one had this green shit all over his feet (I only noticed this because he was right by the exit)!

We headed down Hollywood Blvd to a bus stop, headed for the Getty Centre in the Los Angeles’ hills. The bus arrived after what seemed like forever, so we got on and asked about the cost of a ticket, it was $1. At this point, a man towards the back of the bus became highly frustrated, jumped up, started swearing at us and calling us “dumb fucking tourists who waste everyone’s time” and jumped off the bus… It was an interesting start to the morning, for sure.

On the bus we drove past Whiskey-A-Go-Go, which both Emily and I were excited about, and we momentarily reminised about Neil Morgan’s amazing stories about the good old days at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go from Criminal Law. We then swapped buses at UCLA and headed up to the Getty Centre.

The hills of LA are so beautiful, they make you forget just how ugly Hollywood is and I think I will remember LA fondly because I saw a more attractive side of it. The Getty Centre is a real work of art, the gardens are full of the most amazing plants and the architecture itself is totally worth the trek from the tourist trap that is Hollywood. However, it’s a good thing that entry to the Getty Centre is free, as most of the art is pretty mediocre and very generic in nature – biblical, early modern, but nothing was particularly stand out fabulous… Alot of it seemed like cheap knock-offs of the beautiful artwork in European galleries, plus the gallery guards aren’t much fun and told Emily off for “standing too close” when she clearly wasn’t that close… All in all, the insides were very blah. It is the outside that makes the Getty Centre so great.

After we finally tore ourselves away from the Getty Centre (seriously, wandering the gardens there is something I’d happily do forever), we headed back on the bus and alighted at UCLA, where we spent a little time exploring the campus, before heading over towards Rodeo Drive.

We wandered through the suburban part of Rodeo Drive, which is another totally worthwhile part of LA, because the houses are so grand and the front gardens were stunning, we were the only people around as well, which made it that much better. I can totally see why people would want to live in LA if they could live in one of these houses.

Eventually Emily and I found ourselves on one of the most glamourous shopping strips in the world, it was nothing like I expected. Immaculate in every way: pristine white stores, filled with designer duds I can only dream of owning and sales assistants that stand so still we actually thought one was a particularly well-designed store mannequin. It was only when he came to life that we realised our minds were still playing tricks on us from the day before at the Wax Museum and we made a quick escape from his judging eyes… He knew we couldn’t afford the amazing $400 Tod’s loafers. 😦

From Rodeo Drive we wandered down the block to what was supposed to be the “more affordable” shopping in LA, but found nothing that particularly grabbed us – so we decided to head over to an op-shop I’d heard about called It’s a Wrap, where film studios send over all their old costumes for resale to the public. We got lost several times, and ended up miles away from where we wanted to be, but when we finally arrived the trek was more than worth it: a huge warehouse full of REAL designer clothing, worn once or twice by various television and film stars, and then sold to us! It was absolute HEAVEN! At the front of the store was alot of crap, and we were upset by some of the very small actress-sized outfits that were drool-worthy, but a bit of digging and we uncovered racks of real Armani, Diane Von Furstenberg, Gucci and in the corner I spotted Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks in almost perfect condition, mind for a bit of scuffing of the soles – it devastated me that the sizes were not right. The same went for the mountains of clothing sent in from the set of Ugly Betty – none of the sizes were right!

However, I did score a Valentino jacket from the Fox 8 Studios and a neat little Michael Kors jacket worn by London in the Suite Life of Zack & Cody from the Disney Channel, as well as a skirt that was worn by someone on As the World Turns. Emily got a great black jacket (show unknown) and a pair of pink trackpants worn by Hannah Montana. It was all-round one of the coolest shopping experiences ever and I am glad I’m not studying in LA or I would have already spent ALL my money at that store. (I think Emily’s wallet is also pleased she is up in Michigan.)

From there Emily and I decided we would go out to dinner, as we wanted to avoid the disgusting derros as long as possible. UrbanSpoon suggested a little restaurant called Cheebo’s which did amazing pizza and even better desserts. Crayons on the table kept us entertained, and we left a remarkable piece of artwork behind, they should put it in the Getty Centre – it would improve the collection significantly.

We arrived back at the hostel well after 11pm, pleased with ourselves for having avoided the gross derros, only to find they had checked-out and we had new roomies. They were pretty friendly, but a little bit weird and kept us up talking far later than we should have allowed considering the big day we had ahead of us…