LA Stories - Kick push, kick push, coast

Good Morning America is filming at the Dolby Theatre the morning after the Oscars, and Hollywood is a crowded nightmare.  So we decide to head to Venice Beach and Santa Monica.

oth beach fronts are known as skateboarding meccas.  Check out the 1986 cult classic Thrashin' starring a young Josh Brolin and Lords of Dogtown, with Heath Ledger and Emile Hirsch.  Both are set in and around Venice Beach and give you a take on the skateboarding scene in the 1970s and 80s as well as featuring many well known skateboarders.

Venice Beach was also the start of a young Austrian called Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Check him out in Pumping Iron, which features Muscle Beach on the Venice strip, again, in the 70s.  

Both beaches are quite beautiful.  Santa Monica is aimed at the rich and famous and is investing in some funky coffee cafes and boutique shops that extend to Venice Beach. Although Venice Beach has lost some of its fame and fortune, the suburb of Venice is still a hub for artists of all kinds, whether they arrive on a skateboard or not.

LA Stories - Who are you?

Los Angeles, one of the most filmed cities in the world.  You know what it looks like and you have seen it so often and the big and small screen, but nothing prepares you for this vast, eclectic city.  I arrived in LAX and was immediately greeted by an Immigration officer called Grishom. When he asked to take my fingerprints, I was waiting for the low blue lights and The Who soundtrack.  Fingerprints taken for a vacation?  That is a bit over the top.   Not the welcome I was expecting.  

Redondo Beach, Los Angeles

Redondo Beach, Los Angeles

My first couple of days in LA and we head to the beaches and check out the sites for many a TV show and film.  I nearly put on my red bathers and ran down the beach in slow motion, but it was just too cold.  The iconic California beach life savers huts are impressive, and the long straight beaches are beautiful.  We also did a drive down Santa Monica Boulevard to Rodeo Drive and spotted the history of cinema flash by in a BMW convertible.  That is the way to do it.  

e spent an afternoon driving through Palos Verdes, a group of coastal cities in the Palos Verdes Hills on the Palos Verdes Peninsula within southwestern LA. According to  wikipedia 'the peninsula is an affluent community known for its dramatic ocean and city views from the Hills, extensive horse trails and high home prices.'  It has nature trails, park lands and the Wayfarers Chapel designed by Lloyd Wright in 1951.  It a transparent glass chapel in a redwood forest overlooking the ocean at the western entrance of Portuguese bend. And that is just a couple of the highlights.  It is also the setting for MTV's latest stab into original programming - Awkward.  One side of the Hills is the working class port of Los Angeles and the other side are the beaches and middle income, Trader Joe's shoppers.  This is one beautiful city.