Through the woods, the dark woods: Oakwood, Elmwood, Rosewood, Maplewood, Ridgewood, Lockwood, Lanewood, and of course, the infamous Hollywood, I search of something I may never find. Something akin to the Fountain of youth. Vine is what holds the city together. It’s more like the El Centro of things. That seems Normal. Sadly, some only see the Sunset. It must have something to do with the Western hemisphere. All throughout the canyons: Laurel, Beachwood and Runyon, I search for a meaning, a meaning for myself, a meaning which I may never understand. I know any vagabond can always find comfort at Afton Place, or you can always catch me like a Mariposa in flaneur mode on Sycamore. They call it the land of make believe. I call it the land of wonders, something like a concrete jungle, but equipped with real plants like Las Palmas, Lemon Grove, Romaine, Poinsettia; or an exotic Primrose, Yucca, or Heliotrope, and beautiful vistas of Alta and Sierra to go with them.
Oh the life of a Gardner!
Trying to make it here and survive is like a Marathon, but once you make it, it’s your own personal Gramercy, it’s your Highland, or rather Crescent Height. This place is one of the few places where it’s OK to not be yourself, a place where the opportunity of reinvention is something all the civilians yearn for; it’s passed out like free meals and everyone wants to be a part of the Commonwealth. It’s the place where dreams can become reality, and sadly, it’s also the place where dreams become nightmares.
I don’t call the shots, I’m not a Cherokee. I let the Cosmo do its thing. A place full of weirdos? Sure! I’ll take it. Hell, I’ll even vouch for it. If you can’t beat them, join them! But how do we not know the normals aren’t freaks themselves? I’ll tell you this, Hollywoodland is where everyone goes when they decide to try something new, or even more so, something old. They say old habits die hard, and let’s just say this place is full of old, and bad, habits; anything goes. Look at the industry and spawns it has created. If only we knew what really happens after hours in those Studio Executive Suites, or even more so, at the top of the infamous Roosevelt Hotel.
Secrets and scandal: this place is full of them, and in order to make it, you must have a few dark ones of your own, regardless of whom you are and where you came from. In this place, the darkness is the light, and you better go get your designer sunglasses because everything matters on the outside here. You could be black as Cole on the inside, but on the outside you better shine Fuller than anyone else, because here, once you blink, instead of wink, you lose your place, and you may never get noticed again. You’re rolling with the big dawgs now, “We’re not in Kansas anymore” so “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!” I don’t know what is worse? The underrating of the city, or the overrating of the city. I get the business politics, I don’t entirely understand the night life politics, especially at the whack ass, played out, ghetto places off Selma. Glamour hung over and reigned across the land, once upon a time. And now, the replacements are foreigners, groupies, and smog; always coming and going, like fashion, like the Argyle pattern. The only thing familiar to the land is the unfamiliar. Be in Waring mode. Trust no one. People are so quick to lose themselves here, and only the strong survive. Fuck your Sun block, you better have thick skin. Leave your virtue and conscience at the Cahuenga pass. Here one day and not the next… That long time motto sounds about right.
But when you learn to love this land, this small community is yours to keep, love, and cherish, and question whether you will ever leave or not. This land is what I have learned to love and call home. Frolicking my way through everything, I never want to leave. I’ll create my own star. I’ll go down in the books and out with a bang.
I do always think about what was going through the mind of the Wilcox family when they founded this city. I’m sure the only thing was Prospect. But did they have any idea of what they were creating? The beast, the gem, the place I have fallen head over Hills for? “Hollywood” is synonymous for soooo many things, and not necessarily in a good connotation either, but like most things you have to take the good with the bad and ride it out, as if you were June, stuck right in the middle, black and white.
Hollywoodland, Hollywood for short.