Thursday, December 2, 2010

The hills have eyes

Tuesday was all about the Hollywood hills. In the morning we had breakfast at the Laurel Canyon Country Store, a small grocery store that's been around since the hippies were hanging around the neighborhood (apparently the Doors sang about it: "there's a store where the creatures meet"). And let me tell you, they have the best coffee stand out front, with some really delicious pastries. I'm still thinking about their chocolate cherry scones.

After eating we accidentally started driving the wrong way up Laurel Canyon Blvd and never really found a place to turn around. And then before we knew it we were pretty far into the hills and figured we'd keep going. Eventually we turned onto Mulholland Drive, and came to a lookout point, where we admired the view for a few minutes.

Our next stop was at the Getty Center, which is also at the top of a hill (although you get to take a tram ride up).

The collections at the Getty mostly consist of ancient art and 18th century European paintings--not really my cup of tea. But I was mostly interested in the architecture and design of the center itself (and I was not let down).

The exterior design and landscaping is pretty great, with ivy-covered walls, gardens, sculptures, and the like.

I loved these little mini gardens in cement planters scattered throughout the steps.

Although I think my favorite area was the cactus garden. Note the view of downtown in the background.

After that we made an excursion to Freakbeat Records in Sherman Oaks and an amazing lunch at Auntie Em's in Eagle Rock (if you have a chance to order the chocolate pomegranate torte, do it), we rounded out the day by attempting to drive up to the Hollywood sign. Of course, we didn't think about the fact that we were out of gas until we got near the top. Winding our way through the insanely narrow, winding, and steep streets, we started to panic and after hurriedly snapping the above shot, rushed back down to the first gas station we saw. I'm pretty sure we couldn't have gone much farther anyway.

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