I have always been fascinated by celebrity culture. For whatever reason, I like to stay up to date on which star is dating who and what movie is at the top of the box office. So, when I learned that I was going to take a trip to Los Angeles recently, I was very excited. I wanted to do it all: the studio tours, see the star homes, and hit up all of the biggest celebrity hot spots. In my head, I imagined running into a Kardashian as I walked along Melrose Avenue. Obviously, that didn’t happen! My trip to LA was a bit of a letdown, to be honest. Why? All the glitz and the glamour didn’t seem to hold up in real life.
This wasn’t my first trip to LA. My family and I had actually passed through the city when I was young. At that time, we only spent an afternoon there, though. So, when I returned this time, I didn’t have much to go on. We ended up staying for four days – and we had an awful lot planned. Like I said, I wanted to do it all. If it had to do with celebrities, I was all over it. Which is why we ended up at the Hollywood Museum. It was a fun, yet slightly tacky, start to the trip. After that, we headed to Mel’s Diner, where I closely examined all of the pictures on the wall. (They show all of the celebrities who had eaten there in the past.) All in all, it was an exciting start to the trip.
So, what went wrong? It wasn’t until later that I started to feel disappointed with Los Angeles. On paper, everything was going exactly as planned. I went on the studio tours for Paramount and WB, both of which were quite enjoyable. I learned a lot and even got to see a TV celebrity…from afar, of course. I bought merchandise in the gift shops. I took novelty photos galore. Yet, something wasn’t quite meshing…and I couldn’t figure out why.
It wasn’t until I attended a taping of one of my favourite shows, 2 Broke Girls, that it hit me: everything looks better on TV. The reality of LA wasn’t exciting and glamorous. It was actually a little bit dirty – and very full of graffiti. Now, that isn’t to say that I had a bad time on my trip. I didn’t at all! I was able to experience a lot of really great things while I was there. (Plus, I went shopping at some of the greatest stores in the world. Bonus!) No, my trip to LA certainly wasn’t bad. It was, however, disappointing. Somehow, all of my illusions about the city had vanished. Instead of looking at it as exciting, or as a place where all of the biggest and brightest came to live, it just felt kind of…normal.
Even though my trip was largely a positive experience, I am in no rush to return to LA in the future…. I’d rather watch it from my TV screen.