2011 Jul 20 | double decker bus tour

I saw some of the stars on Hollywood Boulevard while walking to the bus.

There were a lot of blank ones for future stars.

They usually went about every other square.

There were a few places they were doubled up, although most were single file.

This one is a little weird.

This area had a lot of new stars.

I was there for the first bus of the day and there were only a few other people on it.

The map of the bus routes. I got three routes for $35: Hollywood, Santa Monica, and downtown. You have 24 hours to transfer between them.

The bus departed from Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

A crazy guy running around, doing exercises, and generally freaking people out.

There were a few busckers dressed up.

The Pollo Loco where Brad Pitt dressed up as a chicken and was noticed.

Handprints at Hollywood's Rock Walk.

An old auction house.

The house up on the hill was used in Iron Man and is owned by Steven Spielberg.

The Standard Hotel, which was in Oceans 11.

There were lots of guitars along the sidewalk as part of an art project.

Dean Martin's old nightclub.

Sunset Blvd has lots of stores stars visit. Some even come in to Millions of Milkshakes and make milkshakes. It also has a GPS locator for some of them.

Santa Monica Blvd.

There are only a few of these signs and they're actually copyrighted.

Each street in Beverly Hills has a different species of tree.

Beverly Hills city hall was used in movies as Hearst Castle.

Bijan is the most expensive store in world and is by appointment only.

The hotel in Pretty Woman.

There are lots of good restaurants around here.

We stopped to transfer buses. I put on some sunscreen but didn't have any water to wash it off my hands. Ah ha! Dew on the grass in some shade; perfect. Who needs a sink when you have mother nature?

Everyone waiting for the bus.

Rodeo Drive.

The first electric fountain.

Fox studios.

An exclusive country club. It was Jewish only when it opened.

Santa Monica.

Santa Monica college.

A cemetery with lots of stars buried there.

A visitor's center in Santa Monica.

We went down by the boardwalk.

I remember going here for brunch a few years ago; they have an amazing French toast souffle.

The Third Street promenade.

Lots of tall palm trees.

Montana Ave is another street with a lot of shopping.

The Aero theater was open 24 hours so workers from different shifts could watch movies.

Uh oh, we had to take a detour here.

There were some very pretty houses and lawns here.

Low branch!

Everyone ducking, haha.

Traffic was a bit backed up here.

A line of cars behind us.

Famous coral trees.

Brentwood golf course.

The VA campus.

A woman's car broke down and this guy had walked over from a bus stop and was trying to help her. However, they needed a cell phone to make a call, and our bus driver stopped and let them use his. How nice. :)

Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Lots of buses.

Another double decker bus tour.

This was one of the bus transfer stops. This guy worked for the company and basically just sat there all day.

They just stuck a post in the ground and put their flyers in it. How can that be legal?

We were waiting an awful long time for the next bus, so I went and grabbed some lunch.

The owner of Bijan's died a few months ago, but his Bugatti Veyron is still out front.

It has a custom paint job.

Back to the bus stop and waiting with another group.

That's a great use for a Smart Car; they have to park in little places a lot.

The Four Seasons.

Some sort of promotion for 97.1.

I love their happy hour sign.

This area has lots of expensive restaurants like Lawry's.

Neat sculpture.

Flynt Publications.

A statue of John Wayne.

Wilshire Blvd was designed for cars. It had the first traffic lights in the US.

Also, every store must provide parking for customers.

The La Brea tar pits.

In addition to all of the regular taco trucks, there are some upscale food trucks in various areas, including here.

LACMA: Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

A trolley at Farmer's Market and The Grove shopping center.

Watch out for the signal.

The clock tower at the Farmer's Market.

The Fairfax district is called the kosher district by locals.

Melrose is a hipster shopping area.

I love how they made these look like bushes.

Hollywood cemetery.

A house with a bunch of weird stuff in the yard.

Every once in a while you can see the Hollywood sign in the distance.

A line of people at the TV station.

KTLA was the first TV station in the western US.

This building is often used as the White House in movies.

The Pantages theater.

More stars on the sidewalk.

It was pretty warm out. This lady used her map as a hat.

Jane's House.

Frederick's of Hollywood. In Hollywood.

More buskers.

The third bus tour to downtown was in this smaller truck.

Poor Catwoman wasn't getting many pictures.

Lots of people.

This bus was a bit emptier.

The Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, the oldest surviving structure in Hollywood designed for TV.

Some nice places here.

St. Brenan parish.

Yep, definitely in an Asian neighborhood.

St. Basil, which had by far the prettiest stained glass windows of all the churches in the area.

A new school at Robert Kennedy Inspiration Park.

La Fonda restaurant, which has live mariachi performances.

Onto downtown.

The Jonathan Club, which is invitation-only membership.

These tunnels were used in Terminator 2 and many other movies.

This parking lot has tons of solar panels.

The Walt Disney concert hall.

It's really neat looking.

City Hall.

Really cool buildings along the highway.

Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial.

Some legs sticking out of some bushes. I dunno. Maybe a guy who lost something? Or a bush trimmer? Or a bum trying to sleep out of the sun? Or hopefully not a dead guy.

I just think this turtle is cute.


Pacific Alliance, one of first hospitals in LA.

Two houses built in the 1880s.

A bakery that's been there quite a while.

A lot of shopping centers.

The Hall of Justice.

The Pico House was built in 1870.

The Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles, built in 1639.

Our bus driver stopped here for a few minutes and let everyone get off and grab a snack.

All black clothes and black shopping bags: that has to be hot.

A little Hispanic market.

The top of the Caltrans building hangs over to give feeling of incompleteness, just like the never-ending road repairs.


The Bradbury has a five-story atrium and was in Blade Runner.

The Jewelry district.

The US Bank Tower is the tallest building west of the Mississippi River and was designed by IM Pei. There is also a stair climb sponsored by the YMCA once a year where you can try to walk up all 1500 stairs.

Those look like really expensive purses. Going to have to avoid this area with female friends.

You can see the Griffith Observatory in the distance.

And back onto Hollywood Blvd with all the buskers.

The sidewalk in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater.

And a few more stars.

The writing on this one looks way different from all the others. Hmm, I wonder if it's a fake. I'm actually surprised there aren't more fake ones that people have tried to make on their own.

There are lots of souvenir shops along Hollwood Blvd.

Along with smokeshops and tattoo parlors.

And lots of risque clothing shops.

Those are, uh, interesting swimsuits.

Ooh, shiny.

That's pretty cheap, although I bet the quality is pretty bad.

$100 cheaper.