Day Seventeen, Los Angeles

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As I’d been on the lot for Conan I decided to go on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in the morning. I had a really shallow desire to see or meet one of the actors from Pretty Little Liars. You can judge me for that but I still like the show. I’m not sure if it’s very ti climatic to say this but I didn’t see them. I still enjoyed the tour.

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I already knew how film and television productions worked but it was still interesting seeing the facades and that it was basically paper on the outside of the fibreglass buildings. My tour guide was friendly and it didn’t seem scripted as we went round in a big golf cart. We visited the set of The Big Bang Theory which excited alot of the people on the tour. Seriously. They were even shocked to discover that there wasn’t a real staircase and that they just walked round the same little set. There was a little Harry Potter exhibit, Americans love it. We visited a small area of the props house- they have 450,000 items available. After the tour we were dropped off at a museum which helped to explain the movie magic with interactive exhibits. I had a lot of fun doing them myself. As evidenced in the photos below.

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As I was hungry, I decided to just eat at the cafe there. It was called Central Perk and had lots of Friends photos on the walls. The food and coffee was decent and not too overpriced.

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Since I was a teenager I’d always wanted to visit the Figure 8 if I were to go to LA. It’s an Elliott Smith memorial. It was a bit far but it was worth it to really feel as though I was in his presence.

To escape the Sun I went into a very nice coffee shop next door called the Dinosaur Cafe. I ordered a mint lemonade, it was delicious and refreshing. Exactly what I needed. The server was kind and friendly and we talked about LA and Elliott Smith for a while. I had the impression prior going to LA that people weren’t friendly but they really are. They’re happy to talk and not just for tips. She helped me wirk out which train and bus I needed to get to LACMA.

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LACMA was amazing, there were so many interesting exhibits. I didn’t realise quite how big it was. My favourite was the Mapplethorpe photography. It blew my mind. His images were powerful and queer. I loved the intimacy, the defiance and the sex of it all. I also didn’t realise he was behind so many iconic photographs. If any of that sounds appealing then look up his work. I then moved on to the history of men’s fashion, it was comprehensive but maybe I was still so entraced by Mapplethorpe but it didn’t find it that interesting. I wandered round some other exhibits, it was really comprehensive and had something to please everyone.

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I was getting hungry and went to my first proper restaurant alone. It was called The Counter and was fanatic about customised burgers. I ordered a veggie burger with pineapple, fried onions, spinach, black olives and cheese. Basically, my ideal pizza toppings. I also ordered a delicious peach iced tea and sweet potato fries. The servers were very accommodating about me sitting alone and I didn’t feel awkward about it. I was going there for my tea. I ate quickly as I wanted to go further Downtown before it got too dark.

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The bus stop was opposite the restaurant so I was able to get to it easily. I wanted to see some real life locations from 500 Days of Summer. It’s cheesy but I love that movie. Sadly, the park which had Tom’s bench is closed and I was a long walk away from the streets where sweet disposition played. I did see the fountain and the park from the morning after. Although it was dark and mightn’t be immediately recognisable I felt so happy to be there. I could get a train right next to the park so it was easy to get back to my loud hostel.

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