Despite the catchy title, this will be the last and probably least interesting of the blogs devoted to last week’s trip to Los Angeles and the Magic Castle. This blog is a catch-all for pix I took on the way in, while I was there, and on Tuesday when I headed back home. I think there are a couple of pix worth seeing, and I’m not competing with anyone for most interesting blog every time. This site is a kind of photo diary for me, of things that entertained me at the time. So grab a cold one, jump in the imaginary car, and come on a trip to Los Angeles and the subsequent escape from it with me.
Mark Anthony, my magician host, talked me into buying a new memory card for my camera, and we had to test it, so I had him shake hands with my son James St. Andre on Sunday afternoon after we arrived.
James looks uncomfortable as he gets dressed up for our first visit to the Magic Castle on Sunday evening.
Wave to the camera, Ken.
Ken gets a hug and a smile from Mark’s date, Jo.
The front door of the Magic Castle. No cameras allowed to be used beyond this point. Grrrrr!
Mark and Jo in the posing area. Mark likes black and red for his magical colors.
Three amigos: Ken, Mark, and James.
Here we are looking dynamic. I wanted to do the 3 Monkeys pose.
Oops! I got a camera shot of the carpet inside by accident.
Magic Castle seen from the street after dark.
The entrance is guarded by a griffin.
Valet parking, of course. There is a lighted fountain outside the castle across from the door.
Big wall ad in Hollywood a couple of blocks from the Castle.
Distinctive tower in the neighborhood. Looks medieval.
Mark Anthony says hi to all the viewers of Atroll’s Entertainment.
Stuff on the wall surrounding Warner Brothers.
I was trying to find my way on my own to Hollywood on Monday. I got about halfway before I got lost. Warner Brothers has all these huge signs for their hits on the wall around the studios.
Big Bang Theory must be a big hit for Warner Brothers.
A distant view of the Warner Brothers water tower, made famous for me in the Animaniacs cartoon show during the 90s.
Totally lost, of course I wound up in a bar.
This is Dawn and Chris. I chatted with them in the bar and found out where I had gone wrong. But it was late afternoon, too late to try for Hollywood because we needed to get back to Mark’s place for our Monday night trip to the Castle.
A better view of the Water Tower on our way back to Mark’s place.
The Warner Brothers gate. Mark says we can get a tour here, and we might do that on my next visit.
Terrible view of the ABC television studios.
ABC was once my favorite television network.
Magic Castle from afar seen through a hellish red glare.
Tuesday morning, I took a morning walk with Mark around Montrose, California and found this old style Spanish church which Mark told me was only built ten years ago. Heh!
Looking for a place to have breakfast with James, I found a windmill. You don’t see many windmills that turn out to be . . .
Denny’s restaurants. In fact this is the only Denny’s I’ve ever seen that isn’t just an ordinary cafe building.
Heading east on I-10, approaching San Jacinto Peak and the pass between the desert and the San Bernardino area where there is a huge wind farm.
Speaking of windmills . . .
Sometimes it looks like you’re going to drive right under them.
Crossing the desert, approaching Blythe.
Very windy. The car was almost blown off the road. Dust storm visible in the distance.
What a weak dust storm looks like from the inside
Back in Arizona now, the air has cleared up.
Rest stop west of Phoenix. We stopped for a bathroom break, and I went looking for striped stones. Didn’t find any.
James is driving. I got to take some pix I’ve wanted to take for years.
This is the skybridge ramp from I-10 to I-17 going north. You can see midtown Phoenix in the distance.
Last pic. Camelback Mountain seen behind uptown Phoenix from the skyramp. We were about 5 miles from home, and the great L.A. expedition was over.
Alas, I’m back in the real world again, but the summer is young, and many more adventures await.
If you’ve ever posted a lot of really ordinary vacation pix, why not leave a comment? 🙂
Confession time: I tried to visit Hollywood Boulevard during the day, but I got lost, and never found it. So, I had my friend, Mark Anthony, take me to see the place at night. After watching various magic shows and getting some autographs at the Magic Castle earlier in the evening, Mark, James, and I walked down the hill onto Hollywood Boulevard to see the sights. With all the neon and spectacle, it is kind of like Las Vegas on the Strip, but not as big, and the focus here is on movies instead of on gambling. What follows are some pictures from the evening of April 28, 2014, when I went to Hollywood at night.
We started here.
James St. Andre and I pose for pix at the entrance to the Magic Castle. No photography is allowed inside.
As soon as we got to Hollywood, I ran into an old friend.
The street itself is very colorful, and there were many places to explore. By coming late at night (after 11 p.m.) there were no crowds to deal with.
Hollywood is famous for its stars. Sharon Stone was a sex goddess for my generation. I don’t think James had any idea who she was. I collected her star because it was right next to . . .
. . . everyone’s favorite rodent.
We went exploring. The photos that follow are not in the strict sequence in which they were taken.
It was my birthday. I got to decide where we went. I let my instincts guide me. So, of course, this is the first place we entered.
Going up the escalator led to a meeting with an old hero and role model. What is it with me and the color green?
We came out in a fantastic place–an inner courtyard presided over by albino elephants on the roof.
Mark Anthony, Ken St. Andre, and James St. Andre at the entrance to the Dolby Theater in Hollywood where the Academy Awards take place every year.
James and I also posed on the steps. Mark wanted us to go all the way up, but no way was I gonna do that.
I said hello to another famous monster of filmland. Kong! The 8th Wonder of the World!
We had to go to Grauman’s Chinese Theater. It was renamed Mann’s Chinese Theater in 1973, but is still well-known by it’s earlier name. It has been a Hollywood landmark since it was built in 1926, and is very famous for the hand and footprints in concrete on the sidewalk in front of it. We spent about half an hour there, finding our favorite stars, and just being goofy.
I get along well with statues of monsers. The entrance to Grauman’s is guarded by Chinese lions.
When we found John Travolta’s square, I couldn’t keep myself from rocking out. “Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Staying alive! Staying alive!” James joined the dance reluctantly.
This slab is dedicated to Star Trek and has autographs of the crew. There was one for Star Wars too, but my sympathy really lies with the earlier show.
Marilyn Monroe may have been the only actress to leave her breast prints in the concrete at Grauman’s. She is the classic blonde actress of which all other blondes are but Shadows and Precursors.
This is a longshot of Grauman’s from across the street.
There was more to see and do on the Boulevard, but you have seen the best of it. Other pix may appear on my Facebook page. You’re all invited to follow my adventures there as well as here. After more than an hour of wandering around and gawking at the neon sights of Hollywood, we called it a night, returned to the Magic Castle, and said goodbye to all the glamor.
Walking back to the Magic Castle in the dark.
I had to stop and pet the African lion as well.
If you’ve ever been to Hollywood, please leave a comment.