Shopping, parks, road rage and a vintage typewriter.
I did not know what to expect from LA as I had heard mixed reviews from others that had been so I was really keen to see it for myself. We drove from Scottsdale so after hours of driving past desert, trees, mountain and vast open space LA certainly makes an impact and I was instantly filled with the WOW factor.
After an evening of Mexican food and cheeky cocktails in Santa Monica we were up bright and early the next morning ready to explore. With the top down in our Mustang rental making the most of the glorious Californian sunshine we headed to Rodeo Drive. Located in Beverley Hills it is a shopping haven for the rich and famous. Held up in traffic on route we were forced to bear witness to possibly the vilest act of road rage ever. I remember the word ‘Bitch’ being aggressively uttered whilst a guy spat on a woman’s car, nice! Once recovered from this obscene incident we paid a hefty fee for valet parking in a bank (not wanting any mishaps to occur to our brand new rental) and strode out ready to strut our stuff through Rodeo Drive.
My other half assumed there would be some shopping here (I hoped there may be some gifting!) but after a full loop round both sides and lots of window shopping I had no interest in stepping inside, deciding everything would be clearly overpriced due to the location. Rodeo Drive was what I expected, lots of glamorous Hollywood wife types forced to mix with the obvious tourists, plus the swankiest cars you will ever see driving past.
There is a small park a few minutes walk from Rodeo Drive with a beautiful huge tree, a few sculptures, small waterfall feature with a Beverly Hills sign (perfect photo opportunity!) and public toilets if the shopping splurge tires you out and you need to get back to nature for a bit. As expected there is a lot of dream houses surrounding the park for you to imagine how the other half live and plenty streets for you to wander around.
After a break in the park we ventured up to Two Rodeo Drive which is the never more European of the two. Here there is cobbled streets lined with flowers and benches. I found it to be a bit more inviting, less showy and where if the moment had taken me I would be more likely to spend some money.
The defining moment for me from my day at Rodeo Drive was the man who was sitting on a bench with his typewriter. Amidst the shopping splurges and modern day life he was clunking away the tough giant keys on a very vintage looking typewriter, the sort you may expect to see in a window display or at a museum. He had no interest in what was going on around him and I did not want to intrude by leaning over his shoulder to see what he was writing, or to take a photograph. Was he writing a novel on the opulence of the world or was his location not relevant to the cause? I imagined how many others did not even see him or stop to consider the glaringly obvious message he portrayed; but to me it was a very fitting and unexpected way to remember the place.
If you are in LA you must see it all for yourself. What are your thoughts on Rodeo Drive and Beverley Hills?