This one deserves it’s own blog post... it’s a continuation of the day when we arrived in Los Angeles.
I had spent the day with my friend and client, Karen.
We had arrived in Los Angeles via flight from Toronto through LAX., got our car, traded in our car for a new and better one once we discovered the first one didn't have SiriusXM *(Karen decided that was just not acceptable for our week in the City of Angels!) .
We had stopped at her clients where she was staying in the Hollywood Hills - and then we had dropped my bags off where I was staying off of Hollywood Boulevard (the one they call The Boulevard of Broken Dreams...lol.)
And we'd stopped off at my favourite Hollywood Dispensary- the one that had served me so well on my first visit to the year before. (See previous blog posts for all those adventures and pics to match!)
We had stopped for a Mexican dinner.. (Trejo's Cantina)
See the meal and logo as posted on socials that day. (above)
After dinner, my client was heading back to HER clients - an actress who lives in the Hills whose hair she does. This actress has epic dreads and starts in BOSCH among other things.
Karen drops me off just off Hollywood Boulevard where I'm staying. I stick around for a few minutes - do my hair and then headed out to hit the town...after all I wasn’t gonna be wasting any more of my Hollywood time than necessary sleeping - or sitting around !
I walk around the corner to the Hollywood and Vine area to see if anything changed from last year.
It all looks pretty much the same - the pharmacy on the corner where I had bought the hair curler and all - the Capitol records building - the sketchy and the glitzy (like in any city) but here we were - Hollywood style.
And like every other tourist I was walking around enjoying my time, and of course taking selfies and other pictures .... looking for names I recognised on the Hollywood Walk of Fame like Tallulah Bankhead and other interesting names from Hollywood classic years all the way up to today.
I whipped out one of those legal Hollywood joints for a selfie ...now I got to confess I’ve since learned that while cannabis is legal in the great nation state of California - I hear it is not yet legal to smoke in the street the way you can here in Canna-da but the hotel doesn’t allow smoking and they don’t have any vapor lounges yet so what is a tourist who buys that legal Cali cannabis supposed to do?
Whatever. I had to do it for the great shot either way, right!
Smoked my joint. Got the picture. Continued on my way...
Stopped to grab a shirt for my son
I don’t have a lot of time on business travel so I like to squeeze every bit experience I can and I like to experience every single moment. Like I said, I don’t like to waste a lot of time sleeping -- and of course Hollywood was no exception in fact it was the rule!
By this time it's close to 11 o’clock on Hollywood Boulevard but I didn’t want the night to end.
I texted my husband back home in Hamilton , Ontario, Canada to let him know where I was and what I was doing and that I wasn’t planning to go back to the hotel quite yet.
He was a little worried about me being alone around Hollywood Boulevard but I took a picture of it and I told him it’s basically like Yonge and Dundas in Toronto, I feel safe, and it's all good.
He told me to be careful - but then again he always does. I continued on my way.. no real destination, just walking around, taking pictures of interesting Hollywood looking things for my socials (I hadn't thought of this blog yet!)
A few minutes later a brightly coloured sign in a little corner with what looked like a tiny dive bar caught my eye...I’m not sure why. I vaguely remember seeing it last time but I had never gone in. On my previous visit to Hollywood it was literally a whirlwind - two days and I was with my client the whole time - other than that last afternoon where I had the Santa Monica Beach adventure.. .(I'll tell you all about that one in a future blog post!)
But now I have some time to wander around I don’t know what it was that made me Google it but something told me there was something iconic about the place - after all I WAS right in the very center of old Hollywood. So I stop right in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard to google "THE FROLIC ROOM" - and sure enough I was right.
Turns out it is a truly iconic space.
I'll wait right here if you want to google it - but here are the details in a nutshell :
and another blogger reviewing the joint had this to say :
To fans of old Hollywood there is a lot here to fascinate - and to fans of classic film noir or true crime stories - even more so. To me, one of the most fascinating things about this was that it is known as the last place where the iconic 1940s murder victim Elizabeth Short, known as "The Black Dahlia" was seen.
Standing there on Hollywood Blvd googling on my phone, I read that from those days to the present, The Frolic Room is considered to be a place where "serious drinkers congregate" -- and though that definitely does NOT describe me, it also says that it's a place where cool locals and tourists alike meet. I found that kind of funny, because on the day I was there I saw the security guy who stands outside of the bar say goodbye to a group that was leaving in a clearly tourist kind of way and when I walked in he nodded and said, "hey." like he knew me.
Living like a Hollywood local!
So... I went inside and I ordered a drink
Even though I had just read online that it was a tiny little place and it didn't look too big from outside... still it was tiny - far smaller than I would’ve imagined. Divided by a mirror aligned on one side of the bar.
Picturing Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Howard Hughes, Bukowski all hanging out here in the day...
when the Oscars were held next-door
... I stayed for two drinks just to soak up the experience….
…. and for the selfies of course!
(Posted this the next morning about trying to figure out where to hit next...)
Then I decided to head a block or two down Hollywood Boulevard .... to where the big neon W indicated the chic, luxury W hotel - just a few steps from the entrance to the Hollywood Vine subway station ...
.... stop for Selfie!
and just around the corner from where I was staying.
In front of the glittering W marking the W Hotel on Hollywood Blvd for the second year in a row!
I'd been to Hollywood on a different project with a different client the year before (2018) and I’ve been to the W for two Oscar parties. The pre-party populated by film industry folks who weren’t attending the Oscars was held at the W Hotel in a super swanky really fun event that I somehow got invited to but that was last year ...
Now, in April 2019, I thought I would go see if anything interesting was happening there.
Clearly it was another industry thing - people all dressed up some swanky some sort of arty - seemed like mostly a theatre and film crowd - not the kind where you recognise people but the kind of place where all the suit folks and backers and bookers and big money people that the entertainers want to reach are.
Doorman in a tux standing there looking like security and it definitely looked like an invite only event - it wasn’t open to the public. I had no idea what it was, but I thought it looked like something this publicist / networking star might wanna be in… so dressed to the nines... and I gotta say with my thousand dollar bright red hair (thanks to that celebrity stylist of mine!) I looked pretty Hollywood, so with my best I Am Supposed To Be Here, busy and vaguely uninterested look, a give the door guy a quick nod and smile and sail right in.
I knew exactly where I was going - where the bathroom was, where the bar was and what you could get there, what the serving procedure was, where to get the best selfie (part of the reason I was there was to get a pic just hours after I hit LA by the wall painting quoting the Doors song LA Woman ...
Hashtag #LAWoman Hashtag #LuckyLittleLadyInTheCityOfLight
Hilariously it was there at the W Hotel where I first realised the year before that Hollywood and Beverly Hills were cheaper than Toronto!
I mean seriously folks we get ripped off in Toronto!
I knew the city was expensive but man - I fully expected that if I was in a Hollywood industry party in Hollywood I’d be paying a lot of money for food than I would in Toronto. Wouldn't you???
But no. In fact, the year before - I had even looked at the menu right there at the W fully expecting sticker shock .... there’s a 30% increase for the American dollar and plus I expected to see the kind of prices I see at upscale events in Toronto - you know - $25 for a plate of cheese....
...But no the year before when I was there at the pre-Oscars party after several hours of not bothering to look at the menu assuming it would be insane I finally took a glance and was shocked to see fancy plate of hummus and crackers for just $13 US!
..Sure that made it about $18 when you translated to Canadian but not off the charts especially for this kind of up scale super high end environment and this kind of crowd ...
so there I was inside again this time uninvited...
but just like I own the place I walk to the bar and I ordered that plate of white hummus with little fancy pita chips artfully arranged on the plate and took my seat down alongside a group of people.
The tables were arranged with long tables seating 10 or 12 people people just randomly sitting down so I did the same. Everyone talking and laughing and asking each other "So what is it YOU do?" ajd someone came up to me all Hollywood fabulous and said "You look like someone I should know, can I sit here?" LOL!! (I'm going to use that line in the future!)
Being a publicist I absolutely was fitting with the conversation - I always say that PR opens literally every door and it's pretty much true...
We exchanged business cards and I met people the way you do ...
by this time it was after midnight And after another little walk around the lobby taking more pics I thought I should start heading back down Hollywood Boulevard toward my hotel in Carlos after all tomorrow is a workday even though we’re in Hollywood and Karen will be picking me up early in the morning...
Stopped for another joint by the iconic Capital Records building on the way back to my bed...
Good night Hollywood!
Preview : The next day :