Wednesday, June 29, 2005

La La Land 

California Road Trip With Dad: Day 3

Universal Studios today. No rides, of course -- two bad backs do not a thrillseeking couple make -- but the studio tour was pretty cool, the on-site shows entertaining, and the cycle of brand reinforcement throughout the park even tighter than the Disney experience. The crowds were relatively light, given the midweek timeframe, and we managed to see everything we wanted to just in time to hit rush hour traffic on our way back to our West Hollywood digs.

I'm continually interested by the lack of walls between "the industry" and the rest of the universe out here. LA bursts at the seams with street names and townships intimately familiar to even the most casual member of mass culture; everyone's neighbor works in the industry in one way or another.

Today's studio tour, for example, crept several times past a day's filming of Crossing Jordan, hit houses recognizable from sitcoms and film, and ended with a drive through the disaster set for the Cruise/Robbins vehicle War of the Worlds which was released today (which means I've seen part of that movie before you, even if you hit it on opening day).

Those of us not used to the phenom laugh when we hear about Hollywood wannabes passing screenplays through actor's hairdesser's cousins, but the truth is, I guess, that the rich and famous are just everyday people here, likely to pop up anywhere -- they really do have hairdressers who chat with them, and so I suppose passing your life's work to them that way is just another normality here. Just like in the movies.

Tonight over huge (and hugely expensive) dinner steaks at the Palm Dad pointed out that most of the people around us were famous, but I couldn't really identify anyone obvious, and I think we both knew it wasn't enough of a big deal to rubberneck. We've come a long way from our first-day jokes about shopping at the supermarket of the stars. Guess we've been in LA just long enough. Tomorrow we head North towards Hearst Castle and the great beaches of the Pacific coast, with redwood hugging to follow.

Disclaimer for friends of my father who are following our exploits via this blog: all blogfodder and subsequent blogging here are the product of my own impressions and, as such, any extrapolation of my father's impressions, activities, or other behavior during this road trip should be taken with a fairly substantive block of sodium chloride. But you knew that already, eh? Oh, and by the way, though we found this phenomenon of temporary second-tier observership -- call it companion-blogging, or second-hand companion observation -- a bit creepy at first, overall, it's pretty neat from a social networking geek perspective.

posted by boyhowdy | 11:23 PM |

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