If you're looking for old Hollywood glamour, my advice would be to stay the hell out of Hollywood. The Hollywood Boulevard of today is a garish nightmare, riddled with overpriced clubs and stripper accessory stores and gift shops that still, I shit you not, sell Charlie Sheen "#WINNING" shirts. It is, to thousands, a perfectly perverse place to drunkenly celebrate the passing of another year.
Tourists wander around, dazed children in tow, as women's asses pop out of bandage dresses like dough from a tube. If you bring your child to Hollywood on vacation, the state should legally have the right to remove that child from your care.
A man dressed as Christ, thorns and all, plays "Low Rider" outside the Hard Rock Cafe as the clock strikes midnight. "If you take a picture or video," his sign says, "Don't forget to tip." Everyone takes a picture or video. No one tips. Fireworks pop in the distance.
The pungent stench of weed emanates through the halls of the mall at Hollywood and Highland, in spite of the fact that there are cops at every corner; a man flagrantly chugs from a bottle of Ciroc within eyesight of law enforcement. Someone driving an Infiniti almost plows into a crosswalk of people. Once he realizes his mistake he slams on the breaks, ruefully putting his head in his hands. "Hit me," a kid crossing the street says. "I have to pay the rest of this tuition."
L. Ron Hubbard's Winter Wonderland—which, if you didn't already guess, is Scientology's "holiday village" featuring a clown handing out balloons that have not been turned into animals, just cylindrical tubes of plastic—beckons. A WC Fields-level lush posing as Santa pushes literature on you after an obligatory photo. "It's actually written by L. Ron Hubbard," he'll tell you. "It's simple, but really profound."
A man in his 20s, splayed out over one of the boulevard's stars, stares catatonically into the distance. "Just give me your hand," his female companion implores him. He'll refuse, muttering, "Just just go on with the rest of your life without me." It is 12:16 AM.
"You get me in that picture?" a woman will ask you. Terrified, you meekly reply that you may have. She'll ask to see the picture in question because she wants to know if her "ass is hanging out." Now, you've never been in a situation wherein you were unsure whether or not your ass was hanging out, but you are not her. You are an observer, not a participant. Upon examination of the picture, you'll both determine that her ass is, indeed, hanging out. "I ain't a prostitute," she'll tell you. "Even though I look like one."
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