Memories of Living in the (Pre-makeover) Hollywood Area
From 1995 - 2000, I lived in the Hollywood Area (Cahuenga, north of Hollywood Boulevard). I was walking distance from the notorious intersection of Cahuenga and Yucca Street (where Woody Allen had his first LA apartment, and Ed Wood drank himself to death!). Right after I moved, lots of clubs and restaurants went in. Here's what it used to be like.
- •Every guy on the street I passed called me Hoss. "Hey, Hoss, got a cigarette?" "Hey, Hoss, spare change?"
- •My apartment building - the Mikado, which is still there! - was next to a halfway house. One time I was walking by and someone from the halfway house spit a mouthful of coffee at me.
- •I passed a check-cashing place and heard a guy in a wheelchair say to the teller: "And that is POSITIVELY the safest way to eat a bowl of soup."
- •There was a guy who stood on the Walk of Fame and yelled, "I'm Dick Van Dyke! I'm Dick Van Dyke! No, you can't step on my star, motherfucker. You've got to walk AROUND it."
- •A strip club went in called Spice Lady, which always seemed like a non-sequitur to me, until I realized they were trying to cash in on the Spice Girls. Within three years, the name made no sense.
- •Sharky's was the best place to get a burrito - I think it's still there. It was always filled with dancers from Spice Lady on their break. I did, indeed, wonder if it was a safe choice to eat a giant burrito and then go back to dancing at Spice Lady.
- •My friend Joe and I heard a guy on the street explain to a cop, "You see, officer, my man has a thing called... charisma!"
- •I sat at a bus stop in a suit late one night after a party. Across the street, a pimp was arguing with two prostitutes. They turned, noticed me staring, started laughing and called me Forrest Gump. I got uncomfortable and quickly walked away. The pimp yelled after me, "Run, Forrest, run!"I felt good that I had at least unified them in mockery.
- •I had a cookout on the deck of my apartment. A couple across the street went out on their deck, and the woman gave the guy a blowjob in front of all my guests.My friends still talk about it. Little things can make a casual get-together totally memorable!
- •In Pla-Boy Liquor one night, a guy twice my size came up and demanded, "Buy me a beer!" I mumbled no. He demanded more aggressively, right in front of the cashier. I tried to exit. Finally he said, "No, listen - I'm 17! I'll GIVE you the money." I said "Ohhhhh!" and happily complied. Me, the 17-year-old and the cashier all laughed about it.By the way - Pla-Boy is how it's spelled on the sign, so that's how I spell and pronounce it.
- •At the Frolic Room, a tiny woman in a denim vest - whose arms were covered in White Power tattoos - asked me, "Will you go home and have rough sex with me?" I politely declined. She said, "Will you just make out with me, then?" Again, I demurred. She said, "Well, then, will you at least buy me a drink?" I agreed.I always thought that was a great strategy to get a drink out of someone!
- •My rent was $550 per month. When it went up to $750, I got outraged that no human being could make that much money, and I moved to Glendale.I'm still pissed about it!