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Friday, 29 July 2011

Tinsel Town

No photograph of Los Angeles ever made me really want to go there, I went primarily to visit great friends, I was curious to see the city but didn't expect too much; I had a great time there, there's tons to see. I was lucky to be driven everywhere, though it's a trek and some congestion to get anywhere.  On my list amongst others were Watts Towers and Hollywood Forever....

Next to Paramount Studios and in view of the Hollywood sign is this cemetery with palm trees and mausoleums. Buried here, amongst others are Cecil B. DeMille, Rudolph Valentino, Jayne Mansfield, some Ramones, Tyrone Power both Douglas Fairbanks's etc.  And they show outdoor movies here sometimes!

The Griffith Observatory (in Rebel Without a Cause) is popular at sunset for a view of the Hollywood sign and the city. Here it is obscured by a mega limo!

And here's downtown viewed from the telescope sign.

Built over 34 years by Simon Rodia, an Italian immigrant who settled in Watts.

I'd always wanted to visit this. Built obsessively and single handedly by Simon Rodia, between 1921 and 1955 it has survived threats and became a cultural heritage site. He said "I wanted to do something big and I did". when he'd finished it, he deeded it to neighbour and left never to return.

He built tall and remarkably strong structures, cemented broken tiles, glass and crockery and impressed objects into cement.

Read all about it on the Watts Towers website.
And watch this lovely 1957 film, The Towers which has the voice of Sam Rodia and footage of him working.

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