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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Exploring Hollywood Boulevard and Dinner at Miceli's

Last month, my wife, kids and I were in Southern California for a week long vacation. After stopping off to see some Disney memorabilia at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, and then driving in along Ventura Boulevard and the Cahuenga Pass, we drove into Hollywood for our first night. 

Above, the multi-story Motel Six Hollywood.

Our towels shaped like swans - or was it a heart? At any rate, the Motel Six Hollywood is a clean, simple hotel. The huge draw is (relatively) reasonable price and it's location on Whitley Avenue, a quiet street right off of Hollywood Boulevard.

View while waiting for the elevator from the fifth floor, looking south on Whitley towards Hollywood Boulevard. 

A historic apartment building, located across the street. 

There is an on-site parking garage ($15 a night). If you're staying the night, you'll want to make a reservation for a room AND for a parking space. 

Stacked parking down in the garage, but the parking lot staff was super helpful getting us out quickly. 

Historic Hollywood Boulevard at Whitley Avenue, a one minute walk down the street from where we were staying. 

If any of these buildings look familiar, perhaps you've seen replicas at either the Disney Studios at Walt Disney World, or Universal Studios, Orlando. These are the real deal. 

To the left is the 1928 J.J. Newberry Building, 6600 Hollywood Boulevard, now home to Hollywood Toy and Costume. 

To the right of it is the 1935 Kress Building: which originally housed a S.H. Kress & Co. Department Store. From 1949 to 2005 it was home to Frederick’s of Hollywood, and then a nightclub and restaurant, appropriately called Kress. Currently the building is vacant and for lease

Immediately to the east was the historic 1927 Hollywood Studio Building, now home of the Second City comedy club. The second story floral motifs and scrollwork is known as Churrigueresque ornamentation. 

Hollywood Boulevard, looking west. The Kress Building is on the left. There's a nice combination of palm streets, and flowering jacaranda trees. 

One of the most popular things to see in Hollywood is the Hollywood Walk of Fame, consisting of over 2600 embedded celebrity stars in the sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard. Originally the brainchild of Chamber of Commerce President E.M. Stuart, the first stars were unveiled on March 28,1960. It currently attracts over 10 millions visitors every year. 

Above, the star of Kitty Carlisle (1910-2007). While I'm not familiar with any movies that Kitty Carlisle was in, I vaguely remember her (along with other regulars like Richard Dawkins, Nipsey Russell, and Charles Nelson Riley, ) on 1970's era game shows.

Art Carney (1918-2003) was best known for playing sewer worker Ed Norton opposite Jackie Gleason's Ralph Kramden in the 1950's sitcom The Honeymooners

And singer and songwriter Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) - arguably the greatest guitarist ever.

Want to find a particular star? Here's a handy online guide

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I'm reminded that what each of these individuals have in common is "the dash." That is, the tiny, little line between the year of their birth and year of their death. The " - " representing their time, our time, on planet earth. 

I mentioned this idea of "the dash" in a previous post while visiting my grandparents grave at Mission San Fernando Cemetery. It's what every single person on planet earth has to face. 

"What we do in life ... echoes in eternity." Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiator, 2000).

Each of our lives on earth is brief indeed.
 Not to throw cold water on our walk to dinner, but to live in reality. To remember that each of us will eventually stand before our Creator. To live with an eternal perspective. 

Is it possible to live with an eternal perspective, even when walking to dinner? I believe so. 

My wife, kids and I were in Hollywood for a few days back in 2013, and had dinner at the Pig 'n Whistle. That was fine, but - especially with kids - I'd recommend Miceli's.

Our family ate at  Miceli's on Cahuenga Boulevard in Studio City back in 2002. This was our first time at the original Hollywood location.

Old School Italian restaurant, Miceli's has been a Hollywood fixture since 1949.

The food was good, but for us was the singing waiters. We walked into as one of the waiters belting out incredible Italian songs. A few minutes later, he was singing again. 

Here's a short clip. My apologies - I don't know the name of the song (despite the fact that's a very familiar tune). 

The folks listening, I believe a tour group, seemed to really enjoy it! Good experience at Miceli's. Definitely recommend. 

Back out on Hollywood Boulevard. Our family wanted to head up to the Griffith Observatory. 

My wife and kids walked back to the hotel. I decided to take a few minutes to explore Hollywood Boulevard, at least a couple of blocks. Much more on that next time. 

© 2017

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