Paris has those stone gargoyles on the edge of the roof of Notre Dame and all that. They're real famous and everyone photographs them. But out here in Hollywood we have real gargoyles, or living ones, or something. You decide. (Cat Woman got caught in the first shot.)
This was in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater, of course. That's where these characters hang out. And Wednesday, July 26, was even stranger as they were setting up for the red carpet premier of a big summer movie, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. This is this summer's redneck anti-French comedy. Will Ferrell plays Ricky Bobby.
Summary - "NASCAR stock car racing sensation Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is a national hero because of his "win at all costs" approach. He and his loyal racing partner, childhood friend Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly), are a fearless duo - "Shake" and "Bake" to their fans for their ability to finish so many races in the #1 and #2 positions, with Cal always in second place. When flamboyant French Formula One driver Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen) challenges "Shake" and "Bake" for the supremacy of NASCAR, Ricky Bobby must face his own demons and fight Girard for the right to be known as racing's top driver." The movie's tagline: "The story of a man who could only count to #1"
Think of it as George Bush does NASCAR. Detail - "When they were at an actual racetrack to get audio clips, director Adam McKay apparently didn't need to prompt the audience for one scene. When Sacha Baron Cohen's character Jean Girard was introduced as a driver from France driving the Perrier car, the entire crowd started booing on their own."
Whatever. Hollywood Boulevard empty at noon as the began setting up -
The last installment sank into cable television oblivion, but this guy from Star Wars was out there for some reason -
The Old Days
Topic: Color Studies
Los Angeles used to be a far different place. Three color studies from the Travel Town Museum, an outdoor transportation museum on the other side of Griffith Park, beside Forest Lawn, and across the bone-dry Los Angeles River from Warner Brothers and Disney studios - the Burbank side of the park. The focus here is the history of railroad transportation in the western United States from 1880 to the 1930s, with fourteen steam locomotives and twenty-six other pieces of rolling stock. But they have a hall of old Los Angeles vehicles, like these three. It's hard to imagine those days. Everything was in black and white, wasn't it?
The Travel Town website is here, with history of the museum here. The photos are from May 29, 2006.
Topic: South of Hollywood
The Situation, Monday, July 24, 2006 -
The heat wave weakened only slightly today but temperatures and humidity levels remained above average. Today, the high in Santa Clarita was 107; it was 100 in Burbank and 98 in downtown Los Angeles.
… By midmorning, Cal-ISO had already declared a Stage 1 emergency, asking consumers to voluntarily conserve power usage. The Stage 2 emergency, ordering businesses under special contracts to curtail power, was issued about 1 p.m.
If the power demand had sapped the energy supply, a Stage 3 emergency, setting off rolling blackouts, would have been called, said Cal-ISO Chief Executive Officer Yakout Mansour at a morning briefing at the state Capitol.
The heat wave gripping the state, the worst since 1998, has been so intense it's driven up demand for electricity by 40% since the state's energy crisis of 2001, Mansour said.
… Heat is at levels expected only once every 50 years in some parts of the state and once every 100 years in others, said Joseph Desmond, deputy secretary for energy at the California Resources Agency.
… Sunday was the 18th consecutive day that temperatures reached triple digits in parts of the Los Angeles Basin.
The solution might be tidal pools (Malaga Cove, a few miles south of Los Angeles International Airport) -
Palm tree at rock beach at the end of Barbara Avenue, San Pedro, down in the harbor area -
One could just go fishing -
Topic: Color Studies
Boats, Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, California (information and live web cam). The boats are at the Cabrillo Beach Youth Waterfront Sports Center, Friday July 21, at noon.
To the immediate right - no color -
Topic: Nature and Botanicals
"He said the pleasantest manner of spending a hot July day was lying from morning till evening on a bank of heath in the middle of the moors, with the bees humming dreamily about among the bloom, and the larks singing high up overhead, and the blue sky and bright sun shining steadily and cloudlessly." - Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
Saturday morning, July 22, a side street in Hollywood -