Lake Hollywood by motorcycle from Los Feliz

The worst kind of loneliness is the kind you feel when you are not alone.
Sometimes it hits you when you are surrounded by friends, only to realize you have nothing left in common.
Other times it’s with family, when they now have a family of their own.
The worst is when you look over to the person lying next to you, and you feel no love.
Whatever the reason, the best solution is always a ride. So I decided to visit an old happy place.

The Ride: Silver Lake through Los Feliz, up Franklin, up Beachwood, Up Ledgewood until I hit Lake Hollywood. Los Angeles, CA.

map

The Ride

From my part of Silver Lake, the Hollywood sign is always looking down on us. I moved out here because of that industry called Hollywood. I wanted to go back to my roots. I needed to see where I came from.

 

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The Hollywood Sign from the Junction of Silver Lake

I took back roads through Franklin hills and Los Feliz. I drove by the original Disney Studios, then past the house where Walt Disney lived when he created Mickey Mouse.

 

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Mickey Mouse was created in the garage by Disney as he lost all the rights to his original characters.

 

Disney’s mother died down the street, in one of those tragic stories that is so awful, we pretend it never happened. Some things we just don’t want to think about.

I rode over the colloquially named Shakespeare Bridge.

 

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Shakespeare did write Hamlet 8 the Revenge in Hollywood.

 

Then took Franklin down to one of Los Angeles’s most famous streets. Beachwood.

 

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Beachwood is the gateway to the original Hollywood Land, and there are artifacts of the initial housing development everywhere.

 

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Most tourists think this road provides the best view of the Hollywood Sign. They couldn’t be more wrong. However, be careful, people run into the middle of the street to pose and take pictures.

 

If they only knew about the path a mile ahead!

If they only knew about the path a mile ahead!

 

Ride past the small market – or stop and get a sandwich and maybe run into a couple celebrities.

 

It's a great shopping spot for locals. Tourists rarely enter this little store.

It’s a great shopping spot for locals. Tourists rarely enter this little store.

 

Then take a left on Ledgewood.

 

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The entire trick to this ride, is to always stay on Ledgewood, look for the signs, you will never take the right way by “feel.” These are “The Hills,” you could get lost up here for days!

 

The streets make no sense, just read the signs.

The streets make no sense, just read the signs.

 

Soon you will see pieces of the sign peering through the trees and houses. Is it calling you like it called millions before?

 

getting closer.

getting closer.

 

Almost there. Los Angeles has its way… A city where a bodybuilder believed he could become Governor, and an actor believed he would be president.

 

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This is the most dangerous part of the ride. This is a two way street, but many people coming and going, think it is one way. Be careful and don’t be stupid.

 

Anywhere else this would be a one way street.

Anywhere else this would be a one way street.

 

Turn the corner, and park on the side of the hill. You have made it to one of LA’s great secrets.

 

This is the closest a car can get to the sign. It used to be a local secret, but tourists are learning quick.

This is the closest a car can get to the sign. It used to be a local secret, but tourists are learning quick.

 

To the right is Castillo Del Lago – up the white driveway. Bugsy Siegel owned this house in the early thirties and turned it into an illegal casino. It became famous again when Madonna bought it in the 90’s and painted it in stripes, it is currently owned by the director of Space Jam.

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To the left is Lake Hollywood. One of the most important reservoirs in Los Angeles. It’s history, is both a testament to modern engineering and still a controversial subject.

 

Then

Then

 

And now

And now

 

When I first moved to Los Angeles, this was one of my favorite places to come at night. It had all the mystery of Old Hollywood, and all the fantasy of New Hollywood. the ride was like travelling in time to some bygone era that probably never really existed, an era I always wanted to recreate.

 

not much bike porn toda

not much bike porn today

 

 

I think the thing I always liked most about it, was seeing families and friends, lovers and kids, walking up to this spot and taking pictures.

People come from all over the world, just to say they were in my back yard. Through the good and the bad, Lake Hollywood was always a reminder, that I live in one of the greatest cities on this planet.  No matter how bad I felt, I knew I was lucky.

I still do, even when I feel like I am all alone.

 

I get to live here!

I live here.

 

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Author: John-Michael Thomas

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1 Comment

  1. there is something so very precious during that time of lonliness, that feeling of being completely alone.
    Then one day when you allow yourself to really seek the truth, you will find that you were never alone, that there was a reason for the single footprints in the sand.

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