Tabloids and blogs used to follow scandals instead of stories about celebrities unfollowing each other on Instagram. In the good old days, stars got arrested, relaxed in the Malibu rehab of their choice, and sat beside Diane Sawyer, begging for forgiveness for whichever one of their drunken indiscretions had made the cover of Star or US Weekly. Today, tales of Hollywood scandal are distant memories, mere dreamlike memes of Lauren Conrad saying, "I want to forgive you, and I want to forget you." Popular stories unfold on Twitter, a site that skyrocketed to popularity in 2009, the year that pop culture died.
I have maintained a blog called Pop Culture Died in 2009 for a few years now. I have learned that many people feel nostalgic for the days of cops arresting Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan. During my recent trip to Los Angeles, I set out to visit the places where glossy headlines were made, and legends were born, to discover what had happened to Les Deux, to find the intersection where Halle Berry committed a hit and run, and to spot other 2000s-era celebrity landmarks.
Nicole Richieʼs 2006 DUI
Where: 134 Freeway in Burbank
History: Drivers dialed 911 on December 11, 2006 after they spotted a car going the wrong way down the 134 Freeway in Burbank. When cops approached the vehicle, they found Simple Life star Nicole Richie sitting in the driverʼs seat. She quickly explained that she had taken Vicodin and smoked pot before getting behind the wheel. Her excuse: "I have really bad menstrual cramps."
Today: Itʼs still a freeway, and Richie has better dealt with her cramps since then.
Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerrʼs Old House
Where: 2645 Outpost Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068
History: The so-called Bling Ring targeted Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerrʼs home in the Hollywood Hills on July 13, 2009. The burglars cut through a security fence. Inside, they snatched nearly half a million dollars worth of clothing, jewelry, and artwork—some of which ringleader Rachel Lee planned on using to decorate her home in Las Vegas. Pretty Wild star Alexis Neiers made a cameo during the robbery. She later claimed that she puked and urinated in the bushes outside.
Today: Bloom sold the home shortly after his split with Kerr in 2014 for $3.9 million.
Brian Austin Green and Megan Foxʼs Old House
Where: 8110 Woodrow Wilson Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90046
History: The Bling Ring also robbed Megan Fox and 90210 Brian Austin Green. In 2009, the teenagers stole clothing and a handgun. Fox and Green didnʼt even realize they were robbed until cops returned the stolen goods later that year.
Today: Green listed the home in 2009 for $2.395 million.
Audrina Patridge's Old House
Where: 6393 Bryn Mawr Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068
History: On the evening of the 2009 Academy Awards, the Bling Ring entered Audrina Patridge's home in the Hollywood Hills. They stole jewelry, clothing, and even her passport! When Patridge came home and realized she had been robbed, she threw on a robe, got in the car, and waited at a gas station until police came.
Today: Last year, Patridge listed home last year for $1.5 million.
Rachel Bilson's Old House
Where: 4527 Gainsborough Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
History: The Bling Ring robbed The O.C. star Rachel Bilson five times in May 2009. Bilson later admitted that she hadn't set her alarm before leaving town because she lived a "trusting lifestyle."
Today: Bilson sold the Los Felix home in 2012 for $2.106 million.
Lindsay Lohan's Old House
Where: 2267 El Contento Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068
History: When she wasn't crying outside the gates of Sam Ronson's house, Lindsay Lohan had a home of her own that was also a Bling Ring conquest The burglar bunch descended on Lohan's Hollywood Hills pad for one last heist. (Ringleader Rachel Lee considered Lohan her "ultimate fashion icon.")
Today: After returning to find her home ransacked, Lohan ditched the house and never returned.
Where: 1638 N Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028
History: As far as 2000s Hollywood hotspots go, Les Deux was one of the most popular. Paps photographed everyone from Hilary Duff to Rihanna at the club. One night, Lauren Conrad famously screamed at a confused Heidi Montag: "You know what you did!"
Today: The club turned into Sadie Kitchen and Lounge, but the restaurant closed its doors in May.
Where: 1714 N Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028
History: Photographers captured Mischa Barton and Nicole Richie exiting this club co-owned by the late DJ AM. It had one celebrity hater, though. In December 2005, Paris Hilton labeled Club LAX as the "worst club in the world" and complained, "It's full of D-list celebrities." Way harsh.
Today: The club closed and reopened as the short-lived Whiskey Blu bar.
Esther's Haircutting Studio
Where: 18360 Ventura Boulevard, Tarzana, CA 91356
History: In a moment for the pop culture history books, a troubled Britney Spears walked into Esther Tognozzi's Tarzana salon on the night of February 16, 2007. She asked Tognozzi to shave her head. Tognozzi refused and told her, "You might regret it in the morning." According to the Los Angeles Times, Spears then picked up a sideburn trimmer and shaved her head as paparazzi captured the moment. Tognozzi listed Britney's locks for $1 million on eBay, but later cancelled the auction.
Today: Esther's is still open for business, so if you feel like shaving your head, feel free to go there. It's difficult to find, so look carefully. Tognozzi's husband J.T. said it best: "We still don't know why Britney chose our shop. We'll probably never know."
Body and Soul Tattoo
Where: 14522 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
History: After shaving her head, Spears continued to take paparazzi on a wild ride as she stopped at Body and Soul in Sherman Oaks. As cameramen camped outside the window, she got a pair of red and pink lips on her wrist.
Today: The tattoo parlor is now JR's Diamonds and Jewelry.
Hollywood Police Station
Where: 1358 Wilcox Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90028
History: Authorities held Paris Hilton at the Hollywood Police Station following her September 2006 DUI arrest, as Nicky Hilton and then-boyfriend Kevin Connolly waited for her. Other stars who have been held at the station include Hugh Grant and Kiefer Sutherland.
Today: The station is open and still busy.
West Hollywood Sheriff's Station
Where: 780 N San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
History: The West Hollywood station has also welcomed its fair share of celebrities. Mischa Barton was locked up here following a DUI arrest in December 2007, and Amanda Bynes was booked for the same charge in April 2012.
Today: Bynes has since returned to the station, but only to complain about the paparazzi.
Where: 8555 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
History: On September 18th, 2012, the West Hollywood boutique Kin's employees grew concerned after Amanda Bynes locked herself in one of their dressing rooms for nearly two hours. The clerks claimed they heard a banging sound coming from the dressing room every ten minutes. They asked Bynes to exit the dressing room. She told them, "I need more time."
Today: The boutique is still open, but I wouldn't advise staying in the dressing room for too long.
Anna Nicole Smith's House
Where: 3646 Avenida Del Sol, Studio City, CA 91604
History: Any Anna Nicole Smith fan will remember her home from the E! classic The Anna Nicole Show. Even standing on the driveway, I could hear faint echoes of Bobby Trendy uttering, "Luxurious!"
Today: It was sold for $1.3 million in 2013, and in other recent news, Sugar Pie has passed away. R.I.P.
Where: 11755 W Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90064
History: The Hills fans will remember Don Antonio's as Spencer Pratt's favorite restaurant. MTV cameras filmed many of his dates with Heidi Montag there.
Today: It's still open. If you go there make sure to tweet Spencer a picture!
Where: 6525 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
History: Social was another Hollywood hotspot of the late aughts, but its greatest legacy is being the setting for Britney Spears's "Piece of Me" music video.
Today: The club closed in 2010. The space is available for lease.
Michael Jackson's House
Where: 100 N Carolwood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90077
History: At the time of his death, Michael Jackson had been renting Ed Hardy head Hubert Guez's Holmby Hills estate. Michael had lived there since the start of 2009.
Today: The house sold for $18.1 million in 2012. Since then a variety of Hollywood Tours have set up stands down the street.
Lindsay Lohan's May 2007 DUI
Where: Intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Foothill Road in Beverly Hills
History: Shortly after partying at Les Deux, a tipsy Lindsay Lohan allegedly lost control of her 2005 Mercedes SL-65 convertible, striking a curb on Sunset Boulevard. She quickly fled the scene, but cops arrested her while she received treatment at Century City Hospital.
Today: The tree she hit is still intact, but I can't say the same about her career.
Lindsay Lohan's July 2007 DUI
Where: 1855 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
History: At 1:34 AM on July 24, 2007, officers responded to a 911 call from the driver of an SUV. Lohan was chasing after the driver, the mother of her ex-assistant, in an allegedly drug-fueled car chase through the streets of Santa Monica. The chase ended in the parking lot of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. When cops found cocaine in Lohan's pocket, she claimed, "I am wearing a pair of borrowed jeans from a friend/assistant." She had left rehab earlier in the month.
Today: The parking lot still exists, and it's right next to the Santa Monica Police Department. If you look close enough, you can still see a sprinkle of spray tan on the concrete.
Where: 20356 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
History: In the wee hours of July 28, 2006, a wasted Mel Gibson stumbled past a valet attendant at Moonshadows in Malibu. He said, "I'm fucked up!" Gibson then crossed the street to his car, pulled out, made a u-turn, and stepped on the gas. A deputy spotted the actor speeding down PCH at 87 mph shortly afterwards, and we all know what happened next. Gibson's explanation for the arrest: "Fucking Jews."
Today: The restaurant is still open. Gibson has since revisited his old stomping grounds several times.
Paris Hilton's 2006 DUI
Where: Corner of Wilcox and Selma Avenue in Hollywood
History: Shortly before 12:30 AM on September 6, 2006, police stopped Paris Hilton shortly after she left her "Nothing In This World" music video shoot with pal Kimberly Stewart. She took a breathalyzer test and scored a BAC of .08 - the minimum required for a DUI arrest in California. "I was just really hungry and I wanted to have an In-N-Out burger," Hilton explained.
Today: She continues to go to In-N-Out, but only when she's sober, of course.
Paris Hilton's Old House
Where: 1467 N Kings Road, Los Angeles, CA 90069
History: Celeb gossip junkies will know the former pad of Paris Hilton like the back of their hand. Many wild nights with Stavros Niarchos and Nicole Richie ended on these grounds, and the house later became the center of a media circus when a judge ordered cops to cuff a crying Hilton and haul her back to jail only a day after she had been released.
Today: In 2008 Hilton moved into a gated community, where she became the Bling Ring's first target.
Saks Fifth Avenue
Where: 9600 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
History: On the evening of December 12, 2001, security guards caught Winona Ryder trying to steal over $5,560 worth of designer goods, including a Marc Jacobs sweater, from a Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. As store officials contemplated referring the case to the police, Ryder stood up, took the manager's hand, and told him: "I'm sorry for what I did. My director directed me to shoplift for a role I was preparing."
Today: The Saks is still open, but it no longer sells Marc Jacobs.
Halle Berry's Hit and Run
Where: Intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Doheny Drive in West Hollywood
History: Shortly after 2:30 AM on February 3, 2000, a white Chevy Blazer ran a red light before plowing into another car. The driver of the other car suffered injuries that required rescuers to help her out of her car. The woman driving the Chevy, Halle Berry, fled the scene. After authorities filed charges against her, Berry claimed her memory of the incident was fuzzy due to a head injury she sustained during the crash. A judge later sentenced her to a $13,500 fine and three years' probation.
Today: It's still a busy area, but thankfully Berry wasn't driving anywhere near me while I took a picture.
Lauren Conrad, Lo Bosworth, and Audrina Patridge's House
Where: 1627 N Orange Grove Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046
History: Any fans of The Hills will remember the pad that Lauren Conrad, Lo Bosworth, and Audrina Patridge shared together. Mascara tears were shed, and legendary phrases such as, "It's crazy that all this is happening while Lauren's gone!" were uttered on these sacred grounds.
Today: Lauren sold the home for $2 million in 2012.
Where: 8713 Beverly Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90048
History: In what the New York Post famously referred to as "Bimbo Summit," on November 27, 2006, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton arrived at Hollywood hotspot Guy's together, setting every supermarket tabloid and X17Online into overdrive. History was made, and underwear was about to be left at home.
Today: The bar closed several years later and reopened as Hooray Henrys (now just Henry's) in 2013.
Kamofie and Company
Where: 1350 Abbot Kinney Boulevard #102, Venice, CA 90291
History: On January 22, 2011, security cameras captured Lindsay Lohan walking out of a Venice jewelry store with a $2,500 necklace that she didn't buy. While she denied intentionally stealing the necklace, the judge thought she lied and sentenced her to 120 days in jail, which she served inside the walls of her Venice home.
Today: The store is now Sofia Kaman Fine Jewels.
Where: 9071 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
History: After a two-year public feud, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie mended old wounds in October 2006 in front of paparazzi cameras while chowing down on food at this Italian restaurant. Also, on a darker note, Phil Spector went out for drinks there on the night he met Lana Clarkson.
Today: The restaurant is still as busy as ever, and the food's pretty great, too.
Where: 8539 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
History: Fans of short-lived and obscure reality TV shows might remember E!'s Sunset Tan, which lasted from 2007 to 2008. The show followed employees working at the West Hollywood salon of the same name, and even featured a cameo from Britney Spears!
Today: No more Britney Spears sightings, unfortunately, and they no longer sell a "Lindsay Lohan" special.
Millennium Dance Complex
Where: 5113 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601
History: Longtime Britney Spears fans will have vivid memories of this North Hollywood dance studio. Throughout 2007 and 2008, photographers would shoot Spears in its parking lot.
Today: The studio is still open, so grab a pink wig, a cigarette, and Starbucks, and you can feel like Spears for a day.
Where: 442 N Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036
History: Anybody remember Stacie the Bartender from The Hills? This is where she worked. The bar is also where Spencer Pratt attacked his sister Stephanie's ex-boyfriend Cameron on national television and where Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Simpson allegedly battled it out over Brett Ratner. (Yeah, that allegedly happened.)
Today: It's still open, but Stacie doesn't work there anymore. She lives in Switzerland now.
Where: 8029 W Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046
History: Like Les Deux, a fair share of drama went down inside this former Hollywood hotspot. The club opened in 2006 and bore witness to an alleged Nicole Richie collapse, a brawl between Paris Hilton and Shanna Moakler, and a downtrodden Tara Reid getting turned away at the door as a bouncer let her ex-pal Hilton and her new BFF Kim Kardashian go inside.
Today: The club closed and reopened briefly in 2012, but now it's gone for good. The new Hyde Sunset is a block away.
Where: 402 N La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048
History: Each fall, paparazzi shoot pictures of Paris Hilton shopping for her annual Halloween costume at the lingerie store. It's one of the heiress's longtime favorites.
Today: The shop is still open for business, and Hilton continues to peruse its aisles, so be on the lookout!