Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Los Angeles Trifecta (L.A. Part 2)

There are a few things that come to mind when you think about Los Angeles. Yes, the Hollywood sign, but I already talked that one to death. There are more. In my short time there I experienced all of them. In fact, I experienced the following L.A. Trifecta:

1. Celebrity Sighting
2. A Movie Being Filmed
3. Earthquake

Now my sister knows all the cool clubs around town that celebrities are drawn to like flies to sticky sweet candy. So we avoided those, because they are lame. Who wouldn't see a celeb at the Spider Club?

We did spend time at some of the coolest restaurants in L.A. After a meal at the relaxed Birds restaurant (they have more than chicken), we headed to Alcove, a little restaurant in the Los Feliz area that has some of the greatest desserts, and the biggest portions.

As we were in line, my sister turned to me and said, "There you go", in a hushed voice that I knew meant "FAMOUS PERSON HERE". I looked at the guy and didn't recognize him at all. Singer Matthew Sweet? I had no idea.

It was the woman with him that was mentionable - the one and only Juliette Lewis (of Natural Born Killers, The Other Sister and From Dusk 'Til Dawn fame).

Her voice, and you know if you've ever heard her speak, is unmistakable. She looked stick thin. Here's a picture of her. Oh wait, that's from Universal Studios - I didn't get any shots of Juliette.

Apparently, she was complaining about not getting parts because she no longer lives in L.A. In case you were wondering, she is featured in five movies coming out in the next year.

Also, look for my celebrity sighting on Defamer within the next week!

Driving back from Alcove, we passed by Hollywood Boulevard. It was closed off, trucks and police blocked any entrance, and a huge crane held up pipes above the street. The street was full of cars from the 1940's. A movie set!

During the day, a bunch of workers had attacked the Pantages Theatre, which is currently the home of the musical "Wicked." All the Wicked signs came down, along with any nearby modern signs.

Up went signs for the 1946 film noir "Black Angel" with June Vincent and Peter Lorre. During the day, we thought that maybe the Pantages was showing an old movie, little did we know it was all Hollywood deceit.

They were filming the upcoming Hillary Swank film The Black Dahlia. There was director Brian de Palma (who has done a lot of films, but I knew best for directing the scare-flick Carrie.)

There was the star, chatting with the director. He was dressed in 1940's clothes! He was tall and distinguished! He wouldn't turn around! (bastard.) So, he was either Josh Hartnett or Aaron Eckhart.

I thought it was Josh because I know his movies. My sister thought it was Aaron because she knows his. (Let the record show, I still think I was right. Maybe.)

The repetition surprised me. de Palma would scream "Action!" ("The guy who says "Action!" is the director." Thanks, Karen.) The cars moved forward about 20 feet and the crane camera swooped in for a shot. CUT! The cars drove backwards 20 feet and they set the shot up again. And again. And again. No wonder these movies cost so much.

The photos didn't come out very well because I couldn't use a flash - and the police were walking the line, looking for people with cameras. The cop kept staring at me, but I think he was just hitting on me. Karen thought otherwise. I have to admit, there's something to be said for a built guy in jackboots.

On Sunday morning, my sister woke me up by kicking the Aerobed that I was sleeping on. Before I opened my eyes, I wondered, "Why would she do this?" When I opened my eyes, she wasn't there, but I could tell that she was coming out of her bedroom because her door was rattling in its frame. I sat up. No sister. Then I looked at the light that hung over the kitchen table. It was swinging, oh so slightly, back and forth.


Here's the view out the window - yes, that's the Capitol Records building. At first I didn't think anything had happened. I walked to the window and saw people still walking, driving and watering their lawns. Didn't these people know the EARTH HAD SHAKEN?!

The local news confirmed it. An earthquake had hit south-east of Los Angeles. I wasn't crazy! I hadn't dreamed it! My sister had slept through it!

Amazing. I couldn't think of anything else that I would have wanted to experience during the week that I didn't do (or have done to me). It was the full L.A. experience in five short days.

Tomorrow: Myths debunked, and some not so debunked.


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