Drifting and striding, in Hollywood and elsewhere, with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.

Monday, May 21, 2018

SOME WAY FROM THE BEACH

I was walking up Beachwood Drive, which leads to Beachwood Canyon, and used to give pedestrian access to the Hollywood sign, although currently it doesn’t: the neighbors complained - they had a point.  Not that this deters people from driving up there for a “good look” at the sign.

This is, in many ways, absurd. The sign is visible from miles around, and was in fact designed so that it could be seen from Wilshire Boulevard, which at its nearest point is six and a half miles away.


And, of course, tourists always think that Los Angeles is a kind of theme park and so they stand in the middle of the street and take pictures of their friends or themselves with the Hollywood sign looming behind them.


And the most annoying thing of all, nobody ever runs them down, much as I will them to.

Still there are sights to be seen on Beachwood. Obama still rules up there:


And there are Simpsons-esque amusements:


And best of all this house, which admittedly does reinforce the theme park idea, not quite a ruined castle, but close, and I guess it’s being refurbished.  


And I do wonder if they’re going to keep that hell’s mouth arch (or possibly porte-cochere) - though I suspect that may make the place harder to sell.  It reminds me of the l’Enfer Cabaret (the Surrealist met there occasionally) on Boulevard Clichy, a street I have certainly walked down a few times over the years, though I gather l’Enfer has been a Monoprix supermarket since 1950 or so, which would explain why I never saw it.


And it also reminds me of this mouth at Bomarzo (the Park of Monsters) where I still have hopes of walking one of these years.


And now, and obviously this is the actual inspiration, Mr. Matthew Licht send me this image of the facade of the Biblioteca Herziana, the German Academy, on Via Gregoriana in Rome.


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