At the Mountains of Mazness

Fun With Hollywood – November, 2011

“This is, like, the third time we’ve seen that overpass. Something is horribly wrong here”, those are the noises I make as we watch the freeway some distance away from the secondary road we have been making circles around.

There is no quicker way to get off course than to let me drive, my friends, and that is what has happened here, north of Los Angeles. Maps mean nothing to me, and I’ll miss a turn any chance I get; the fact that the prototype Mazda CX-5 we’re exploring the terrain in has a navigation module doesn’t seem to have helped at all.

There is little concern displayed from the passenger seat, however. My driving partner, the dread Mexican wrestler known only as El Wimbu, knows the score: if the fit really hits the shan out here in the shadow of the San Gabriels, she’ll starve last.

* * *

The smell of urine permeates the air up and down the Walk of Fame, I’m not the first person to observe that.

Carmen Miranda has a star right outside the ‘W’ hotel on Hollywood Boulevard, and so does Adam Fucking Sandler for some reason, and so do a thousand others of varying levels of fame and accomplishment; and they are all trodden on and spat upon and laid upon by tourists who pose for photos and the homeless who camp just outside the bright lights of the tourist zone.

I spent five days on the boulevard, first for the Los Angeles auto show, then catching the last wave of Mazda’s multinational launch of their CX-5. With a lot of downtime (because its really only the first press day of any auto show that matters) I got to visit a lot of the surrounding area.

Saw a Kings/Sharks game at Staples Center, and for some reason got to take a ride on the ice on a Zamboni before the start. Can’t remember why, I was pretty drunk. Went to the Griffith Observatory the next day, and saw the La Brea Tar Pits (which are actually in LA, not far from Beverly Hills), and attended a Cirque du Soleil performance at the Kodak Theatre.

My favorite memory of the second day of the Los Angeles auto show is of eating Hollywood street-vendor hotdogs with my friend Rotten Robinson, of the Metroland newspaper group, what does that say about me?