Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hollywood & Universal city

5/6/2010(Saturday) - Universal & Hollywood

From Anaheim, we took a Metro bus to Metro station at downtown. In the bus we met all type of people, including an old grandmum and her granddaughter going to church function, we have a fruitful conversation with them. There was also a kind old man who was helpful to show us the direction to Universal City. From Metro Station, we tool the Red Line subway train to Universal City station. The Universal City station, a heavy-rail subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located on Lankershim Boulevard, across from the entrance to Universal Studios, in the Los Angeles, California community of Studio City. From the station, walk across the Lankershim Blvd at traffic light junction and cross Universal Hollywood Drive, turn left and walk to the bus station in front of Sheraton Universal Hotel. The free bus shuttle will be waiting there for the visitors to Universal City.

View Larger Map

Universal City/Universal Studio
Hollywood city and Universal Studio were the highlight of my visit to LA. Universal Studios tour have grew into a full-blown theme park. The narrated tram (formerly "Glamortram") tour still runs through the studio's active backlot, but the staged events, stunt demonstrations, and high-tech rides overshadow the motion-picture production that once lured fans to Universal Studios Hollywood. Universal Studio repeated some of the things they have in Disneyland; except you have the chance to see how they take movie. But these two theme parks are really money suckers, especially to the tourists. Moreover you need to spend full day in the city.

Universal Studios Hollywood is a movie studio and theme park in the unincorporated Universal City community of Los Angeles County, California, United States. It is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood movie studios still in use. Its official marketing headline is "The Entertainment Capital of LA", though during the summer it is often advertised as "The Coolest Place in LA." It was initially created to offer tours of the real Universal Studios soundstages and sets. It is the first of many fully-fledged Universal Studios Theme Parks located across the world. Woody Woodpecker is the mascot for Universal Studios Hollywood.

After nearly a day at Universal City, we continue our tour to Hollywood. It is a night tour. From Universal City station, the Red Line subway train connected to Hollywood. But there are few stations with the names of Hollywood, which station exit to Hollywood?. The stations are North Hollywood, Hollywood/Highland, Hollywood/Vine and Hollywood/Western.

North Hollywood is a district in the San Fernando Valley (known locally as "the Valley") region of the city of Los Angeles, California along the Tujunga Wash. It is bounded on the south by Moorpark Street and the Ventura Freeway, on the southwest by Burbank Blvd. and Coldwater Canyon Ave., on the northwest by Tonopah St., on the northeast by Laurel Canyon Blvd./ Webb Ave./ Lankershim Blvd., Sherman Way, and on the west by Clybourn Ave. Universal Studios is also located on the border between Hollywood and North Hollywood. North Hollywood is north of Universal City, so north of Hollywood. For more info on North Hollywood refer to

Hollywood/Western Station is located at Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue, the community of East Hollywood. It encompasses part of Hollywood east of Western Avenue and north of the 101 Hollywood Freeway. The northern border is Hollywood Boulevard, and the eastern boundary is North Hoover Street.This includes the smaller communities of Thai Town, Virgil Village, and Little Armenia, and borders Los Feliz and Silver Lake, about 4 miles from Downtown Los Angeles.

Hollywood/Western Statio exit at East Hollywood, that is east of Hollywood. Please refer to for East Hollywood.

Note: West Hollywood is another city of Los Angeles county. West Hollywood is bordered on the north by the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, on the east by the Hollywood District of Los Angeles, on the west by the city of Beverly Hills, and on the south by the Fairfax District of Los Angeles

We can either get down from Hollywood/Highland Station or Hollywood/Vine Station to Hollywood City. We decided the Hollywood/Vine Station, the 2nd station after Universal City station. When you walk out from the station, the Pantages Theatre is just in front. You can see Capitol Records Tower on the right. When you saw the walk of fame stars, you know you are in Hollywood City - the capital of the entertainment.....

From the Hollywood/Vine Station, we crossed the Hollywood Boulevard to Pantages Theatr, then we walk toward left along Hollywood Boulevard. While searching for location to view Hollywood Sign, we also walk on the pavement with the stars of The Hollywood Walk of Fame. Initially you are excited to discover some names, but the excitement gradually faded, as there are too many stars. Even it is late night, the area around Hollywood & Highland Center is still vibrant with activities. The night just begin.


View Larger Map

Hollywood is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California - situated west-northwest of Downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and movie stars, the word "Hollywood" is often used as a metonymy of American cinema, and is often interchangeably used to refer to the greater Los Angeles area in general. Hollywood has official borders, which can can be loosely described as the area east of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, south of Mulholland Drive, Laurel Canyon, Cahuenga Boulevard, and Barham Boulevard, and the cities of Burbank and Glendale, north of Melrose Avenue and west of the Golden State Freeway and Hyperion Avenue. This includes all of Griffith Park and Los Feliz —two areas that were hitherto generally considered separate from Hollywood. Hollywood is also a shopping heaven.

In June 1999, the Hollywood extension of the Los Angeles County Metro Rail Red Line subway opened, running from Downtown Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley, with stops along Hollywood Boulevard at Western Avenue, Vine Street and Highland Avenue.

Hollywood is not North Hollywood, West Hollywood nor East Hollywood. These places are the neighboring places of Hollywood. Hollywood is the only world actual entertainment capital, not other Hollywoods.

Hollywood is a crowd puller, day or night.,_Los_Angeles,_California

Hollywood and Vine

Hollywood and Vine, the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, became famous in the 1920s for its concentration of radio and movie-related businesses. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is centered on the intersection. The Hollywood/Vine subway station for the Metro Red Line is located directly below the intersection, but the entrance/exit to the station is located one block east at Hollywood and Argyle Avenue.

Hollywood/Vine Station
Hollywood/Vine Station is a heavy-rail subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in the Hollywood District of Los Angeles. This station is served by the Red Line.This station is located directly below the famous intersection, and has an entrance one block east, at Argyle Avenue. At street level, the station entrance sits above a W Hotel, which opened in 2010. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is also upstairs, and the Pantages Theatre is across the street. For a short time before the North Hollywood segment opened, Hollywood/Vine Station was the terminus of the Red Line.
The station has, perhaps, the most detail and decorations of any station in the entire Metro Rail system. This station is among the most pleasant and "fun" stations and tourists may find this station the most enjoyable.

Pantages Theatre

Pantages Theatre, formerly known as RKO Pantages Theatre, is located at Hollywood and Vine (6233 Hollywood Boulevard), between Vine and Argyle Streets, Hollywood, California in the United States of America. Designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca, it was the last theatre built for the impresario Alexander Pantages. The palatial Art Deco theatre opened on June 4, 1930, as part of the Pantages Theatre Circuit. Situated on a prime location, the area's building and a rejuvenation boom has spread to Bob Hope Square with the addition of a new W Hotel and retail, tied closely to the Hollywood/Vine station. The stars of the Hollywood walk of Fames are at the floor in front of the theatre.

Capitol Records Tower

The Capitol Records Building, also known as the Capitol Records Tower, is one of the most distinctive landmarks in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. The 13-story earthquake resistant tower designed by Welton Becket, was the world's first circular office building. The construction of the building was ordered by British company EMI soon after its 1955 acquisition of Capitol Records. It was completed in April 1956, just north of the intersection of Hollywood and Vine as the consolidated West Coast operations of Capitol Records. It is also home to the Capitol Studios well-known recording studios and echo chambers. It is located in the Hollywood Boulevard Commercial and Entertainment District, which is on the List of Registered Historic Places in Los Angeles.

The Hollywood & Highland Center
The Hollywood & Highland Center is an entertainment, retail and hotel complex at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in the Hollywood district in Los Angeles. The 387,000-square-foot (36,000 m2) center also includes the Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Kodak Theatre, home to the Academy Awards. The historic site was once the home of the famed Hollywood Hotel. Located in the heart of Hollywood, along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it is among the most visited tourist destinations in Los Angeles.

The complex sits just opposite of the El Capitan Theatre and offers views of the Hollywood Hills and Hollywood Sign to the north, Santa Monica Mountains to the west and downtown Los Angeles to the east.

Kodak Theatre

The Kodak Theatre, which opened in 2001 on Hollywood Boulevard at Highland Avenue, where the historic Hollywood Hotel once stood, has become the new home of the Oscars.
The 3,332 seat Kodak Theatre, located in the heart of the Hollywood & Highland Center, opened in November 2001 and soon thereafter became known to more than one billion people across the globe as the first permanent home of the glamorous Academy Awards. As a first class live entertainment venue, Kodak Theatre has hosted a wide range of prestigious artists and events including Celine Dion, Prince, Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder, American Ballet Theatre and various touring Broadway productions.

Awards Walk - The red carpeted staircase to Oscar
Awards Walk serves as the entrance to the world-famous Kodak Theatre on the west side of Hollywood & Highland Center. Since opening in November 2001, the Kodak Theatre has been the permanent home of the Academy Awards®.

Guests arrive by limousine on Hollywood Blvd. where a red carpet and velvet rope walkway awaits them. The walk up the red carpet on Oscar®’s night takes celebrities through Awards Walk, an impressive art deco inspired walkway with golden framed crystal plaques commemorating each of the Academy's Best Picture winners since 1929.

When you visit Hollywood & Highland Center, you can imagine the feel of red carpet beneath your feet as you stroll the same path that the stars take on Oscar night. Along the walk you’ll find a great selection of stores and eateries as you make your way to the spectacular red staircase that leads to the Kodak Theatre, a popular spot to snap a photo.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Grauman's Chinese Theatre is a movie theater located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. It is located along the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Chinese Theatre was commissioned following the success of the nearby Grauman's Egyptian Theatre which opened in 1922. Built over 18 months, beginning in January 1926 by a partnership headed by Sid Grauman, the theater opened May 18, 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's film The King of Kings. It has since been home to many premieres, birthday parties, corporate junkets and three Academy Awards ceremonies. Among the theater's most distinctive features are the concrete blocks set in the forecourt, which bear the signatures, footprints, and handprints of popular motion picture personalities from the 1920s to the present day.

There are nearly 200 Hollywood celebrity handprints, footprints, and autographs in the concrete of the theater's forecourt. The Hollywood stars included Clint Eastwood (August 21, 1984), Sidney Poitier (June 23, 1967),Whoopi Goldberg (February 2, 1995), Denzel Washington (January 15, 1998), Robin Williams (December 22, 1998), Sean Connery (April 13, 1999), John Woo (May 21, 2002). John Woo is the only Chinese with the handprints and footprints in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame was created in 1958 as a tribute to artists and other significant contributors within the entertainment industry. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an 18-block series of sidewalks along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA that serves as a permanent public monument to achievement in the entertainment industry. More than 2,400 5-pointed terrazzo and brass stars are embedded at 6-foot intervals over a combined 1.7 miles. The stars bear the names of an eclectic mix of actors, musicians, directors, producers, musical and theatrical groups, fictional characters, and others recognized by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for their entertainment contributions. The Walk is maintained by the self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust. The Walk of Fame runs 1.3 miles (2.1 km) east to west on Hollywood Boulevard from North Gower Street to North La Brea Avenue, plus a short segment of Marshfield Way that slices diagonally between Hollywood and La Brea; and 0.4 miles (0.7 km) north to south on Vine Street between Yucca Street and Sunset Boulevard.Each monument consists of a coral-pink terrazzo five-point star rimmed with brass (not bronze, an oft-repeated inaccuracy) inlaid into a charcoal-colored terrazzo background. In the upper portion of the pink star field, the name of the honoree is inlaid in brass block letters. Below the inscription, in the lower half of the star field, a round inlaid brass emblem indicates the category of the honoree's contributions. We found the names of Bruce Lee, Michael Jackson, Billy Graham, and even Micky Mouse. George Eastman is the only honoree with two stars in the same category for the same achievement. His original star (for the invention of roll film) is on Vine Street; when the Kodak Theatre was built in 2002, a second, identical star was installed at its entrance at Hollywood and Highland. Ronald Reagan is the only President of the United States to have a star, and one of two Governors of California. (The other is Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

The Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign, now recognized around the globe for its ties to the movie business, originally read "HOLLYWOODLAND" and was created in 1923 to advertise a new housing development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. It was never intended to be a permanent fixture on these hills, but after the rise of the American cinema in Los Angeles the sign became an internationally recognized symbol and landmark, and continues to make frequent appearances in popular culture.

The Hollywood Sign is a famous landmark in the Hollywood Hills area of Mount Lee, Santa Monica Mountains, in Los Angeles, California, spelling out the name of the area in 45-foot (13.7 m)tall and 350 ft (106.7 m) long white letters. It was created as an advertisement in 1923, but garnered increasing recognition after the sign was left up.

The thrill in the Hollywood city is not to find the star or actor/actress; but to find the place to sight the Hollywood Sign, and the right place to take photo to show that you are in Hollywood city. In this way, you may have walk and know the Hollywood better. The bridge on the 3rd and 4th levels of the Hollywood & Highland center offer visitors the city’s best view of the Hollywood Sign and a great photo opportunity.

Hollywood, Los Angles County- Norwalk, Los Angles County to Disneyland, Orange County

We went to Hollywood twice, once on 4/6/2010 after visit to University studio, the 2nd time was when we come back from Las Vegas on 14/6/2010 by guided tour. During the first time visit to Hollywood, we are on our own, we come back from Universal City, took Metro subway Red Line from Univeersal city to Hollywood Vine station. But for return trip to LA we used Hollywood Highland station, taking Red Line subway train to Metro Centre or 7th Street to connect to Blue Line. The moment we arrive at Wilmington, we changed the subway to Green Line to reach Norwalk. Norwalk is a suburban city in Los Angeles County, it is located 17 miles (27 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles. Norwalk station is a Los Angeles County Metro Rail station on the Green Line. Located in Norwalk, California, it is the eastern terminus of the Green Line. From Norwalk subway station, we changed to Metro bus back to Anaheim, stop just in front of Disneyland.(note: The name of Anaheim stop in the Blue Line is not at Disneyland, it is refer to the intersection of Anaheim Street in the city of Long Beach, not Anaheim of Disneyland. Please avoid the confusion). In our journey back to Disneyland we met two Thai exchange students. During our subway ride we also experienced life outside the tourist area. Many Latino passengers and there were vendors in the subway train(one even bought along his kid), workers coming back from working late. I suddenly realized that there are many jobless, homeless and illegal immigrants at LA. Each one in the subway train is working hard to make a living in LA. There are also mentally disturbed person. The journey indeed open our eyes to the actual life of the local people.

6/6/2010(Sunday) Anaheim - Fullerton - San Diego

Fullerton, Orange County

From Anaheim we go by bus to Fullerton, where Santa Fe station. Santa Fe station is an old railway station built in late 1800s, a typical Spanish architecture. This station reflected the old Mexican influence on California. Orange county is at South California, the Mexican and Spanish influence is strong. A beautiful railway station, with the surrounding residential housing estates. The Fullerton Train Station or Santa Fe station is located downtown at the Fullerton Transportation Center, which also serves as a major bus depot for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).

Fullerton is an inland city in Orange County in Southern California. Fullerton was founded in 1887 as a railroad town on the Santa Fe route. The town quickly changed to an agricultural community before oil was discovered in the area in the early 1900s. After the oil boom, Fullerton turned to manufacturing, which is still active in the south-eastern and western portions of the city. The historic downtown area has been revitalized into a shopping and entertainment district. It is not a tourist area.

Amtrak has a station in Fullerton at 120 E. Santa Fe Avenue. It is served by the frequent Pacific Surfliner train between San Diego and Los Angeles and the daily long-distance Southwest Chief which runs between Los Angeles and Chicago through the southwest. The regional Metrolink commuter rail service also serves the station with two different lines: the Orange County Line between Union Station in Downtown L.A. and Oceanside in San Diego County, and the 91 Line which runs between L.A. Union Station and Riverside.

San Diego can be reached via Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner from Fullerton, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine and San Juan Capistrano. A one-way trip lasts approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. We took Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner to San Diego, train travel is expensive and consider up market transport in US. But the train in clean and comfortable. For our trip, the train was not able to arrive at San Diego due to some repair on the railway track, we continue with special bus arranged by Amtrak from Irvine to San Diego Union Station at Downtown San Diego. San Diego is located in another county, San Diego county of South California, some call it Border county.

Relared Articles:
1. Hollywood Celebrates Walk of Fame at 50(2010), Los Angeles Times dated July 25, 2010,

No comments:

Post a Comment