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Hollywood Walk of Fame Cleanup Crew

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You learn a lot talking to random people on the street.

 

I was on Hollywood Boulevard – that’s the avenue with all the stars on the sidewalk with the names of famous people – when I saw a couple of men polishing one of the stars.

 

They said they worked for the company contracted to maintain the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They do everything from repairing broken stars (the ones on the sidewalks, not the human kind) to simply cleaning them and buffing them to a nice bright shine.

 

It was during my conversation with one of the cleanup crew members that I learned that some stars can suddenly come into infamy and require extra attention from the crew.

A celebrity falls from grace and suddenly their star are a target of anybody who wants to vent their displeasure.

 

These days, President Donald Trump’s star has been needing some extra loving care as it has in recent months and days become the target of vandals – Trump supporters refer to them of “libtards” “‘losers” “haters” and worse – still angry over Hillary Clinton’s loss to The Donald.

I decided to take a stroll to see how bad the damage to the Trumpster’s star was this time, having been plastered with “RESIST!” and other political stickers the previous day during a Gay Pride Resist March, an otherwise peaceful and uneventful event that drew more than 100,000 people.

 

Until I got there, the star was pretty much being overlooked by the throngs of tourists because The Donald’s name was barely visible under the glue gunk left after the stickers had been pealed off.

 

Here’s a photo of Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – earned for his celebrity hosting The Apprentice – a day after the vandals struck.

 

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Actors Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) and Irwin “The Fonz” Winkler have stars closest to The Donald’s but their stars were untouched by the vandals. All other nearby stars were also left alone. Only Trump’s star was hit.

 

Of course, President Trump is a highly controversial figure who draws passionate opinions from all sides of the political scale. As I live streamed the damaged star with commentary on Periscope, crowds of tourists that gathered either condemned the vandalism or laughed heartily about it. One woman even said she would “desecrate” it herself if she thought she could get away with it.

 

By the way, the Los Angeles Police Department is reportedly reviewing security camera footage to hopefully find the perpetrators.

 

It’s not the first time The Donald’s star has been vandalized. It was hit back in October 2016 when he was running for president.

There have been other minor cases of vandalism, according to Hollywood Boulevard regulars, such as people sticking chewing gum on the star, or intentionally dropping gobs of whatever food or sticky, sugary drinks onto it. At this rate, The Donald may have to fork over some of his millions for 24-hour (probably armed) security. He is, after all, a darling of the National Rifle Association.

 

By the way, I got my own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As far as I know, nobody has tried to get their dog to crap on it. 🙂

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HERE’S MY VIDEO OF THE DAMAGED DONALD TRUMP STAR. THERE’S A SURPRISE ENDING 🙂

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Los Angeles: The 100-year-old Grand Central Market

I love places where people come together to eat, drink and be merry.

For exactly 100 years – established in 1917 – Grand Central Market in Los Angeles, California, United States, has been operating continuously.

Today, it is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.,

and it’s almost always teeming with people, and long

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Options: The ubiquitous food trucks

lines at certain establishments (the lines move fast – it is sort of fast food, most of it, but largely delicious!).

Grand Central, located downtown L.A., is a must-see if you are visiting the city. There is indoor and outdoor seating, lots of different kinds of foods to choose from under one roof, in a fun atmosphere. Once you’re done loading up on the carbs – there are vegan options – many other points of interest are within walking distance, including the Los Angeles Music Center, the U.S. Bank Tower – the tallest building west of the Mississippi – and museums.

The long-neglected Downtown Los Angeles still has a grittiness, but it’s changing fast with high-end residential buildings and shopping centers cropping up everywhere.

But for a taste of Grand Central Market, watch my video which I shot LIVE on Periscope and carried on Twitter (@mtendstotravel). Click on the link below and share your thoughts in the comments section.

100 Years And Counting: The Grand Central Market in Los Angeles

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A Sign Of The Times?

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The famed Hollywood sign looms large

This battle has been brewing for decades, but it’s finally coming to an end.

The Sunset Ranch Hollywood Stables, backed by residents who live along Beachwood Drive and surrounding neighborhoods, sued the city to put an end to the daily flow of thousands of visitors flocking to the area to access a trail that leads to the world famous HOLLYWOOD sign.

On April 18, 2017, one of the most popular access points to the famed sign will be gated shut and visitors will have to find alternate, more difficult, some say less photo-friendly routes to the sign.

I hiked up Beachwood Drive today and the conflict between people who live in the neighborhood and the tourists was very much in evidence. Residents came out of their homes to scream at the interlopers not to park their vehicles in certain areas of the street. The police was called. Security guards tried to discourage people from using certain streets and trails. Angry words were exchanged. And April 18 can’t come too soon for the residents.FullSizeRender 24

It was my first foray to the Hollywood sign, even though I had been to Los Angeles many times. It’s quite a steep hike to get up there, especially for the not-so-physically fit. Supposedly the Beachwood Drive access to the sign is the easiest. Then, I shudder to think of the level of difficulty of the other treks. The masses will soon find out.

There’s a gate in place that will be locked to cut off access to the area. Which led me to openly wonder as I broadcast the sign live on Periscope, what is up with the world suddenly wanting to build walls, put up fences, keep people out? Whatever happened to the world that was about building bridges? Maybe it’s just a sign of the times we live in.

And yet, during my trek up to the Hollywood sign, I met and saw people who were quick to want to connect with strangers, who showed themselves friendly, who with immediate ease exchanged social media contact. It is a sign of the times we live in, a world in which some are about peace and love and some are about hate, especially hating people they know little or nothing about.

Speaking of love. Right there in the shadow of the sign, I stumbled upon a beautiful moment. Andrew of U.S.A. was on one knee proposing to his girlfriend Manon of FullSizeRender 25France.

In this world where there is so much hate, we have to remind ourselves that there’s far more love than hate. The haters often get the ink. Nobody is going to write in tomorrow’s newspaper that Andrew proposed to Manon on that hilltop. And yet, had that conflict between the neighbors and the visitors escalated, it would have been all over the news.

So be it. As Earth, Wind and Fire said in song, “that’s the way of the world…”

So then, once that gate locks out the rest of the world, expect some very disappointed folks who will hike up that hill only to be turned away. In Los Angeles’ heat, that’s no fun. It’s one way to ruin part of all of your holiday. 7E5C26DD-7F4B-4A96-9902-A21516D14181So remember people, if you are reading this on or after April 18, 2017, and intend to go see the Hollywood sign via Beachwood Drive, DON’T! Try instead the Canyon Lake Drive access, while city officials ponder how to provide better access to the sign without adversely affecting wildlife (watch out for those mountain lions and rattlesnakes) and neighborhood residents.

For more, check out MIKETENDSTOTRAVEL on Facebook, where I post daily quick hits…and to get much more, LIKE the page. I’m also on  Twitter @mtendstotravel and Instagram @miketendstotravel.

 

WATCH MY TRIP TO THE SIGN AS BROADCAST LIVE ON PERISCOPE

 

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