(Extra)ordinary World

One thing I know about LA is that the rents can be absolutely crazy! Yes, I think I struck lucky with my rented apartment to be honest, and thats just dear old Hollywood. If you talk about some of the more exclusive areas of the city, like the Benedict Canyon area above Beverly Hills, then the rents become positively eye watering! One friend from the area sent me the details for this place, which might be perfect if I was a movie star, with a family, who can drive, but fine, I can dream!

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/9971-Westwanda-Dr-Beverly-Hills-CA-90210/20532806_zpid/

Yes, fine, if anyone has $54,000 they wish to spend on a place for me in the Hills, and provide a chauffeur on top, I’d love it. I think I’ll pass on the family of children, but for a place like that, I guess I could be convinced? I assume she realized its about half a mile from the (in)famous Harlow/Bern mansion on Easton Drive when she pointed it out to me too.

Yes, it looks gorgeous, but what would I do in a house that size? Especially one that is about 2 miles from the nearest bus route! But yes, is it perfect for a movie star, absolutely? Sadly, at present, I’m not a movie star, but if anyone is offering the chance? 😉 Fine, I’d need to employ a driver, for sure, but…!

Yes, I need a real Jean Harlow full makeover to live there lol! Oh, I wish!

But yes, fine, its nice to see how the other half live, for sure.

Oh, what, my holiday home. Really? Fine, oh fine…

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/15821595

Will suit me perfectly, but its not Benedict Canyon lol!

The video. Well, as so often, there is a big hint in the blog title, though Benedict Canyon definitely isnt an Ordinary World to me at the moment, but, I can dream!

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Gimme, gimme, gimme, a different apartment to stay in

So yes, firstly to confirm, I do have somewhere to stay in Hollywood, its just not where I expected it to be! Landlord greed, which backfired on him badly. What would you rather have, £747 for a booking 4 months in advance, or nothing because seeing someone wanted to book your place, you hike up your rates 15%!

For those who dont know, when you try to book somewhere on Airbnb, you end up having to request the apartment, and it gives the landlord 24 hours to accept, or reject, or whatever. So yes, given I’d been told which place to book, and that he’d love to have me stay, I thought this would be a formality, but wrong. He just ignored it for the 24 hours, much to my surprise. Until…

Before I went looking elsewhere, under the circumstances, I sent a line to check why he hadnt taken the booking. Back came a reply saying that seeing he was starting to get interest, he wanted to raise the prices slightly. Fine, it was near the top of the range where the apartment option was only slightly cheaper than the budget hotel, but fair enough. A couple of days later, I checked again, to find out the price had gone up by 15%! Despite a request to let me know when he’d done it, I’d heard nothing! So funnily enough, I’ve gone elsewhere! I know, in town, he’ll probably get others who will pay the new rate, but seriously…!

In a matter of irony, I went and looked again. Now, whether this was down before because of a request, or whether he’d taken it down while he did something with his ad, or whether I had just been blonde, but who knows? OK, it doesnt look quite as nice as the other one, but it looks fine, its in an area I know (Just slightly further down towards town in Hollywood Hills area, and quite a bit cheaper! So yes, I applied, got accepted, and am now sorted! The other guy, well fine, serve him right if no one books it, but I doubt that will happen!

Now all I need to sort out, nearer the time, is my ESTA clearance, my travel insurance, and my shuttle. And then, California, here I come!

The video, some live Abba, for which the clue is in the blog title! Mind, if Mike Pence wants to arrange me some ECT as gay conversion therapy, purely for past book research, then maybe I might need a man after midnight too lol! I know, I’m bi, but I’m flexible, if he’s fussy…removes tongue from cheek!

Coming home soon, to make me a star?

Right, firstly, word of warning, its back to normal for the foreseeable future with blogs from now on, so back to twice a week, and all that. At least it gives me a bit more opportunity to use up material at a sane rate, I guess?

Well, I think I’ve resolved my first issue of 2017, my present to myself. Yes, the Hollywood trip is booked, I think. Flight is definitely booked, accommodation, I’ve made my choice, and requested it, but still waiting for confirmation on that. Yes, I’m waiting because I’ve gone for the apartment option, so waiting for that approval email at present. Given I sent a question to the guy, and he answered it, I’m assuming I’m not going to have any issues getting it, but until I get that confirmation, well…?

About one long block from Hollywood Boulevard (near Highland), and it looks fine, and I’m told there is somewhere nearby for provisions, so gone for it. So yes, for 10 days at least, a Hollywood resident again!

Make me a star? No, somehow I have my doubts, but who knows? I will go there with an open mind, and should the chance occur, then yes, I’ll take it. I’ll certainly plan to visit that agency this time around, arrange that appointment a lot further in advance than last time. But no, I wont rush to apply for the working visa just yet lol! Mind, if someone wants to tell me that I should? 😉

Probably only coincidence, but I was watching a documentary of the life of an actress, who won a competition, and became a famous actress because of it, Clara Bow. No, I’m not winning any competition, but if I could start with a small part, then…? Fine, I’m not 16, and its not that Hollywood Era, so… pretty sure I’ll be coming back!

The video, a clue in the title I guess?

Stay for good this time, I wish!

Well fine, I still cant tell you what I got for Christmas, as I’m still the only one here at present. Having seen someone briefly on Facebook a couple of hours ago, I know they are about somewhere, but that could be anywhere between here, and London! I will actually have to go out for some supplies tomorrow now, as the milk is pretty much gone, and the 2nd loaf of bread purchased hasnt survived perfectly, but… Good job I’m not over concerned about what I am getting I guess, lol?

Anyway, what I started doing today, was to start looking at the final details of what I’m jokingly calling my present to myself, my 10 days in Hollywood next May! Given obvious budget limitations, then no, I’m not going to be staying at any of the swish hotels, unless someone else wants to pay! In truth, somewhere like here is probably more my end of the scale.

https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/travelodge/hollywood-california/travelodge-hollywood-vermont-sunset/overview

Or if I brave basic economy, mainly a leg issue, the money I could save would allow me something like this

https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/days-inn/hollywood-california/days-inn-hollywood-near-universal-studios/overview

which looks far nicer, is closer where I want to be, but yes, how hellish is that flight going to be?

The other option I’m considering, is what I did last time I visited Hollywood, and rent an apartment via Airbnb. To my surprise, I found a couple pretty close to Hollywood Boulevard that look decent, and are a reasonable price. For example

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/3281853? or https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/3292367?

Which both look nice, and I could then at least save on food, as I could cook for myself, of sorts, some nights. So which route do I choose?

The advantage of hotels is that when I arrive, everything is there waiting for me. No need to go out dashing for provisions, everything is provided, well in a coffee making sense, at least! And the bed gets made, and in these cases, breakfast is provided, so… The disadvantage, you’re eating out each night, or even if you get food delivered, you’re paying for the privilege. Not that I mind doing so, but if you’re trying to budget…

The advantage of a rented apartment, the fact that you can save (for a few nights at least) by cooking for yourself, by buying cheap meals in a store, which is what I did last time. Main snag, the fact that when I arrive wonderfully jet lagged, I have to go out and buy basic provisions, almost before I do anything, if I want a drink, and the like, and I suspect I will! The other advantage is, if one day I get inspired to write (ha ha) instead of hitting the town, I can. Hotel, the staff want to do your room, you have to get out, and so…

I know, no one is going to give me an answer, or advice on this on here, but I can ask. So which would you do?

1. Fly in comfort (prem economy), stay in a pretty basic budget hotel.
2. Fly in economy (coach), stay in a nicer hotel
3. Fly in comfort (as per 1), and stay in an apartment.

At this moment, I’m tempted by 3, but I know I will not want to go shopping soon after I arrive, even if it should be late afternoon/early evening, not late at night.

So…?

The video. As so often, the clue is in the blog title!

New World In The Morning?

Alright, I’ll try not to get too politically controversial, but given feelings in the US over Columbus Day, which happens tomorrow, its a chance to do so, I guess? No, I’m not going to comment on Trump’s comments in the last few days, I dont think its hard to work out how I feel about him, given my known political leanings lol!

Yes, tomorrow is a public holiday in the US, to celebrate Columbus’s first visit to the New World, as America was then termed, but as many see it, is it something we really want to celebrate? Because, lets face it, he was after the glory, and any booty he could fine, with no care whatsoever for the Native Americans living there. So yes, there are a number of people who think this 2nd Monday in October could be better served as Native Americans Day, and I’d be inclined to agree.

I know, we cant imagine what life was like back then for everyone, even explorers, let alone the more humble sailors on his ships, but even so, their treatment of the locals, not good!

Funnily enough, it seems to be an ‘in between’ holiday in the US, as I remember from last year, when I was trying to find out what bus service we would be getting on the Monday, the normal service, or a ‘Bank Holiday’ one, which would have meant no service on the route up to where I was staying, as it relates to a Sunday service, and there wasnt one! Yes, it was a normal Monday service, much to my delight, and relief. No, I cant remember what I did though lol!

As to next May, its funny, I was assuming that for 10 days, I’d take the hotel option, and probably still will. But I did take a look at AirBnB, just to see what I could find, and found a couple of decent looking ones, that could work, at a fair bit less, price wise. At the same time, the thought of arriving on the Wednesday, and having to go out, and buy provisions straight way, doesnt thrill me. But fine, I’m thinking about it. No, not looking at a room, only really at an apartment/studio type stay, as I’m really not the sociable kind, if anyone has any ideas. If anyone knows anything nice, under $1000 (including taxes, cleaning etc) for the 10 days, near to Hollywood, or Beachwood Canyon, let me know.

My needs, internet supplied, and ideally cable TV (please, its baseball season lol), a small kitchen, and a bed, and well, thats all I really need! I know, no replies, but if I dont ask…?

OK, video time. Getting back to Columbus, and the New World for this one, so…

Verbena Drive, thanks for the memories

Anyone who has been following this for 10 months or more, will know where I’m talking about, but for the sake of more recent visitors, and those with less than lengthy memories…

Last August, about a year or so ago to the day, I had decided that before I exploded over my frustrations with finding a new job, I needed to let off steam, and just get away from it all for a while. Having visited Hollywood for 10 days in April (trip planned before redundancy, for 7 days at least), and fallen in love with the place, and not having done half what I wanted to, there seemed one obvious place to go for a 4 week getaway. Yes, back to Hollywood! However, given the length of my planned stay, and everything, I considered another option, renting an apartment for my stay.

So, having looked at AirBnb, I’d tried to book a couple of places that took my eye, with no joy. Finally, at about the 4th, or 5th option, I managed to get somewhere booked. I’ll admit it, the place had caught my eye earlier in the search, but given it was up in the hills, just under the Hollywood sign, it wasnt quite as central as I ideally desired. But in the end, maybe it was fate, or something, that was the place I finally booked into, for a glorious 4 week stay.

In truth, the place was as adorable as it looked in the photos, and I loved my time there. Yes, it meant I needed a slightly more expensive travel pass, but very quickly, I didnt care! I fell quickly in love with the place, the owners were a delight to deal with, all in all, a heavenly stay. My only sad moment was when it came to being time to leave, I must say. My pledge at the time, as Arnie said, was ‘I’ll be back!”, but sadly, I wont.

Earlier this week, I thought I’d see what they were charging for a months rent this year, not that I’d be going, but I thought it would give me a guide to the price for next year, maybe. It wasnt there! Now, as I hadnt put in any specific dates, even if taken at present, it should have shown, but no.

So, as they say, Google is your best friend, so I went on there, hoping to find more, but found something I didnt want to hear, as to why its no longer advertised. Yes, sadly, the owners have sold up, and moved on, happened in May, seemingly.

I know, these things happen, and all that, and why would they think of telling anyone who stayed there, that it was going to happen, but yes, it was a sad moment for me. My fondest memory is going to be that bed, and climbing into it, though the whole place was a delight, in all honesty. But now I know, I wont be keeping my promise to return, and thats a shame. Hopefully, if I do the same next year, I can find somewhere equally delightful. But no, I probably wont visit Verbena Drive again, all the same

The video, you could say there’s a bit of a clue in the title

Dream a little dream, of a Hollywood home

Firstly, let me thank Elaine, for being the only person to give me a suggestion for this blog, very much appreciated. Well, someone did say they’d go with the flow, but…

I would love to read more about your dream to live in Hollywood

Being honest, unless I win a very large amount in the lottery, or I find the right man, or woman, this is likely, sadly, to only ever remain a dream. Well, I suppose Bernie Sanders could become President, change the Immigration rules dramatically, but…No, the latter at least isnt likely to happen. I still need to be convinced the US people would make Bernie President, but I’d love it to happen. But fine, this isnt about politics tonight, its about a home in Hollywood.

Yes, I would love to live in Hollywood, but why? In a sense, LA is the sort of place that shouldnt appeal to me, especially Hollywood, as that is even more glitzy, but there is something I love about the place. Fine, that adorable little apartment I spent most of October in, probably plays a part, but even before then, I’d fallen in love with the town.

I’m pretty sure that being a lover of Silent, and Golden Era movies helps with my love of the place, and with good reason. But yes, that definitely makes me feel at home there, knowing the history of the place, even if it is far more modern now. And all those tours, they go to the homes of the modern stars, not the ones I love, but anyway…

The irony is, I think my lifestyle, if I lived there, would be more Clara Johnson, than Jean Harlow! Yes, it might be fun living in style like that, but in truth, I’d be far more comfortable living my quiet life around town, working as a bit part actress (like Clara), or just in an office, or a shop, I’d fit in more with the girl who worked hard, without ever really being noticed, by those who matter.

Thats right, no big mansion for me. A nice little apartment, with one decent bedroom, and I’d be in heaven. If it was somewhere like Beachwood Canyon, where I could see the famous Hollywood sign, even better. That studio apartment on Verbena was cute, but a studio apartment, as your main home, maybe a little small, even for me! Though fine, my own little place, anywhere in town, wonderful.

Yes, working in, or around the movies would be fun. I’ve written plenty of short stories, but thats it. I havent acted in years either, so all in all…But yes, any little job, working in and around, the bustle of Hollywood, I’d love it. No, I’m pretty sure there are no openings for middle aged Jean Harlow lookalikes! Could do Mae West, I guess? 😉

So yes, unless I find a partner, or money, I fear this will never be anything more than a dream. But I’d love the opportunity to prove myself wrong. But as things stand, I’m not likely to get work over there, so I’ll just have to live the dream, and no more?

The video, all about dreaming, from a California lady who died far too young. No, not Jean, before you ask!

Finally, let me close by wishing all my readers a Happy New Year for 2016, and hope its a good time for you. Me, I’ll be trying to make it that way, I hope!