Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Hollywood doesn't exist.

Really it doesn't (and no this isn't a new media post). There is no incorporated town or city of Hollywood. Post offices recognize the zip codes of the area as being in Los Angeles. It has a mayor, but no city hall. It's not on official census maps.

Hollywood doesn't exist.

Yet millions of tourists visit here every year. They find it. They just know its location. You say "Hollywood" to anyone in the world and they know where you're talking about.

Yet Hollywood doesn't exist.

Anything can happen in Hollywood (and often does, especially at night). Legends lurk in the shadows behind the concrete and neon. Tales spring up of feats of derring-do. Perception is reality. The circus is always in town. For some, as powerful as the dream is, it comes laced with pain and heartache and terror. It's not just a dream, but a nightmare.

Thousands move here every year in pursuit of their dreams - or is it they pursue the same dream? An unknown unconscious signal to move to a city that doesn't exist. A city where anything can happen - the rules don't apply.

Is it to keep the dream alive?

Imagine the power of not being real - of being a myth, a legend.

Hollywood has that kind of power.

And God help me, I live here.


Anonymous said...

I love Hollywood. There's a bakery across the street from my apartment so it always smells like baking bread
(although technically I live south of Hollywood). And the sun's always shining. And there's always something to do. And despite what haters may say, the people are nice if you meet the right ones. So fake or not, I like it here.

Cunningham said...


But it's still not real...

DecoderRing said...


That's just this side of poetry, baby.

Wait... actually, put on some solo sax and read that back out loud in a hard-boiled clip. It's the opening of a long-lost Chandler novel. Except it needs to end with "Me? I'm Cunningham. "Boots" Cunningham. I'm a cop."


Cunningham said...

Wear's my trenchcoat?

Grubber said...

but do you actually exist or are you an extension of some mad pulp conspiracy? :)

Anonymous said...

Very interesting idea. Hollywood may not officially exist, yet it's a lot warmer right now than the rest of North America. That's the dream I'd buy into - sun and warm.

Roger Alford said...

I love Hollywood, too, though I only make it out there every few years. Hoping to get out there again in the next year or so. The weather is great, I love the studio tours, and I love The Silent Movie Theater. Oh, and the Arclight rocks, too.

My biggest love is Hollywood history, so the one thing I really dislike about "that crazy town" is how poorly they preserve it. Schwab's, the Derbys, Garden of Allah -- all those great landmarks torn down. Gone forever. And when they finally tore down the Ambassador this year it made my heart sick. Luckily, I managed to sneak into the place on my first trip out there. What a hotel! She will be sorely missed.

Roger Alford said...

Wired has a great article on Lonelygirl15:

The world is changing people. Very impressive. My hat's off to these guys.