Why Are All These People Hanging Around Hollywood & Highland on a Friday Night?
Paul T. Bradley
It takes an intrepid East Side researcher with a true flair for adventure to go exploring west of Vermont Avenue. There lie the wilds of East Hollywood, with your devil-may-care Jumbo's Clown Room crowd or the feckless faux-divers at Harvard and Stone, partying on the very knife's edge of Angeleno Civilization. Sure, there's the Undying Lands on the far West Side, but what about that region that sits in that uncivilized middle: Tourist Country, where one hears tales of flashing lights and mindless drones staring at star-like ground art?
That strip of land between Vine and Cahuenga on Hollwywood Blvd is little known to educated folks and knowledge of its residents and nomadic travelers has been lost to time. Which is why we went out on a Friday night to see who the hell goes there and why.
Upon crossing the mighty rift at Hollywood and Vine around 10 p.m. on a Friday night, a highly scientific survey was taken. We asked, "So, uh, what are you doing here tonight?"
The graph above represents the range of responses we received. As you can see from the detailed pie-graph, there were no tourists in our sample. None. Instead we found people, "Waitin' for a bus," "Gettin' fucked up" and other similarly goal-oriented behavior.
What good is a pseudo-scientific report without personal stories? We talked to a bunch of folks that night. The following five were the friendliest:
This is what Jesse Camp looks like.
1) Brooklyn, 24
Brooklyn, is "That Dude", the rocker with a heart of bong-resin. Looking like a cross between former MTVJ Jesse Camp and a young Sebastian Bach, Brooklyn was out "looking for change to do laundry." He was ready to "make it happen with about five bucks." Good on him. Doing more with less is our generation's operating principle. Mr. Brooklyn lives in the neighborhood and he made his way out from Indiana. His band? They wail, apparently.
2) Juan, 30
He grew up in Hollywood and went to Hollywood High. He was on his way back into the Power House bar where he planned to get "faced." A nice fellow, but unfortunately a Yankees fan. His reasoning, explained rhetorically, "What about all those people they kicked out of Chavez Ravine? You think they're Dodgers fans?" Excellent point, sir, excellent point.
3) Jenny, 23
A Minnesota transplant wearing an oversized Dodgers' jacket was "out getting fuuuuuuuucked up!" She added, "Woooooooo!" We later spotted her sporting someone else's jacket. At that point, she was well on her way to her stated objective for the evening.
4) Logan, 22
Logan, also an Indiana native (oddly enough), was also out to just get amped and wasted to the point of non-comprehension. He told us that he was a model, "but not one of those gay ones." He made sure that we understood how many women he could pick up at once, relaying a story where he had absconded "to the Valley with, like, six chicks in a [sic] Escalade." He added, "a lot of dudes don't get to do that." He then polished-off the dregs of a King Cobra 40oz malt liquor and began to taunt passers-by with his lace-less shoes -- pictured below.
M. Keith Plocek
5) George, 40-ish
"George" did not want to be identified because, well, he's scamming the shit out of people. His grift? Well, George has mocked up some fake charity ID and asks tourists for donations -- showing them a clipboard and a hand-laminated prospectus. When we approached him, he told us he was done with his evening -- we assume because tourists were in short supply and most of the regulars seemed to be keen on his fraud. "Get away from me, man," he explained.
While this was just a short, Friday evening adventure, we learned that there are quite a few known knowns -- in that we now know that there are things to know about for that particular region But there are a lot of unknown knowns that need more understanding and introspection -- for example, What happens there on a Saturday night? Sunday day? Most importantly, where do all of the tourists go at night? Next time, we'll bring a real scientist.
Get the Theater
Your weekly guide to local culture with calendar listings and theater, dance, and comedy reviews.