Trip Start Feb 07, 2007
69Trip End Ongoing
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We're up early on our first day, keen to get out onto the streets to explore. We cruise along Sunset Boulevard, Rodeo Drive and up into the hills along Mulholland drive (dotted with plush mansions). It's so dry up in the hills, you can see how easily fire could spread. We've seen the La Brea Tar Pits on documentaries before, and they really are fascinating
It's Halloween today and we're slightly hungover. However, we struggle out of bed for another action packed day in LA. Our day starts with a visit to muscle car outfitters. I stand around trying to look interested as Tim and the mechanic get excited about what's under the bonnet. We head to Venice Beach where we hire bikes to ride along the huge beach to Santa Monica Pier, then back along Ocean Front Walk to the famous Muscle Beach. There's freak shows going on along the front, but who needs them here? There's enough freak action on the walk! Amongst the kiosks, souvenir shops and tattoo parlours are tarot readers, buskers and lots of weirdos - the robed sheik on roller skates singing along to his ghetto blaster, a wino telling jokes to get drunk, a screaming black lace-clad fortune teller (she's taken a dislike to the sheik), muscle Mary's flexing their muscles, a guy being interviewed for TV in his leopard print underwear... Tim's soon spotted another car joint and my eyes glaze over as he closely inspects every car. Our next stop is out of town - to the infamous suburbs of Watts and Compton. We don't get too close to Compton and do a quick drive by of the Watts Towers, which are built entirely from refuse. Back in town we're pulled up at the lights and the woman in the car next to us asks for directions
I have great fun in the West Hollywood thrift shops in the afternoon and manage to find a mask for tonight's Halloween celebration. We start off at a 'kegger' party at the hostel, then head off to Santa Monica a few blocks up for the street party. The party is in full swing by the time we arrive and the costumes are INCREDIBLE. There's hardly anyone not dressed up and most people have put in a lot of effort. There's music and food, but the main activity is walking up and down and finding the best costumes in their crowd. There is so much to see - Mr Hanky, Darth Vader, the Tin Man, drag queens galore, ghouls, bearded bunnies, Austin Powers, angels, devils, storm troopers, politicians, a guy covered with sticks of dynamite (you wouldn't get away with that in London!), Superman (with super flies eyes!), Borat in his sexy trunks (my personal favourite), pirates, armed bunnies, Homer, a trench-coated flasher, Carmen Miranda... One of our favourite sources of entertainment are some fire and brimstone preaching types (real, not in costume) telling the party goers that Jesus is angry with them for sinning. These guys got seriously heckled, most amusingly by Jesus himself. Cartman and a near-naked gay party boy also got in on the act. Madness! I have to sneak into the beer tent as I don't have any ID (they won't even sell me a can of beer in the grocery store here, telling me you have to look over 50 if you don't have ID!!). We finally make it home along streets clogged with the weird and the wonderful...