Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ICON: The Hollywood Sign

I absolutely love the Hollywood sign. It's so iconic, it's like a celebrity unto itself. It satisfies all the yearning for glamour and excitement you expect to feel when you go to Hollywood.

Although I'd seen it from afar, I hadn't actually visited the Hollywood sign until about two years ago. Our close friends had moved to L.A., and it was my son Zach's turn to join me for a visit. For weeks he told all his friend's he was "Going to Hollywood!!!!!!!" like they say in American Idol. The trouble was, when we got to Hollywood, there weren't celebrities lining the streets, no one was offering us a record contract, and there weren't any movies being shot within public view. So I decided on a dime that the best way to feel like we were in Hollywood was to go to the Hollywood sign. While there are some official viewing points, I wanted to get as close to it as possible. So I ignored many posts saying "public traffic is forbidden beyond this point," illegally parked my car, and scrambled up over a hill until we arrived at a clear unobstructed view. It was so spectacular that I couldn't figure out why we had so few fellow trespassers. We took our requisite photos and went on home, thoroughly satisfied.

The next time I came to LA, I returned to the Hollywood sign with my daughter Coco. Within the first few minutes of scrambling up the path, again accessed from our illegal parking spot, multiple police lights started flashing from the top of the hill, accompanied by a stern voice booming over a loudspeaker alerting us that we were trespassing and ordering us to vacate the premises at once. We froze, wide eyed, looked at each other and ran down the hill. Coco cried when we got in the car. It was by far the most "official" trouble she had ever gotten in. I couldn't stop laughing, which made her even more furious at me. I guess we won't be going to the Hollywood sign again anytime soon, but it certainly made for a memorable visit.

Debbie Harry, chic as ever.

Love the pattern mix

The original, pre-1978 version of the sign, at night.

Fleetwood Mac borrowing some California cool (not that they needed any).

My son Zach, on our first and only successful up close visit.

My VERY VERY most favorite artist, Ed Ruscha. I plotzed when I found this photo.

A funny 80's moment. Remember Howard Jones? "No-oh one, no-oh one, no one everrrrrr, is to blame!"


  1. Great bands and a cool photo of your son I'm sure he'll cherish when he's grown. Also, I did go to see Howard Jones in concert right after his first album came out! Haven't thought of him in ages.

  2. Hilarious! Love that story! x

  3. great story & photos! i would have cried, too!