Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Hollywood Tale: Hollywood Walk of Fame

As she closed this glitz and glamour chapter of her tour, the red shoes briefly considered if she should stay and seek out her fame and fortune or if she should continue her international travels. Heady from contemplating the lives of these famous stars, she pondered the proverb, "One who walks in another's tracks leaves no footprints." She was clear. She was an independent pair of shoes. She was brought into this world to make her own path and leave her own unique footprint. She was, after all, traveling shoes!

She made one last stop along the Hollywood Walk of Fame—a fifteen-block tribute to the entertainment industry. The ruby slippers stopped on the star of Judy Garland who sang, danced, and acted in many films, including the Wizard of Oz. She found her heels clicking together as she heard herself uttering, “There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…” She knew that deeply in her heart and soles.

But for now, she had places to go, people to see, and her life to live. After all, they call her the International Traveling Shoes!

A Hollywood Tale: Graumann's Chinese Theater

As the sun sets in the west, the scarlet boots keeps on walking—yes, because that is what they were made to do. A quick stop at the Graumann’s Chinese Theater allowed for some opportunities to step in the prints of showbiz greats. The Chinese opened in 1927 by Sid Grauman and Cecil B. DeMille was the first to premiere a film there.

Aside from finding Gloria Swanson’s foot and hand prints, el zapato rojo imagined legends Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers whose elegant dance routines revolutionized the Hollywood musical;

Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, who played showgirls and best friends in the musical Gentleman Prefer Blondes; and how the California granola theory might be the absolute truth when she sidled up to none other than the former Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A Hollywood Tale: Hollywood and Vine

The rouge es chaussures rambled past the renowned intersection of Hollywood and Vine, which gained its fame because it included a large concentration of production facilities—the heartbeat of the entertainment machine. Now it is a lively corner with restaurants, clubs, and shops and is teeming with tourists and locals alike.

A Hollywood Tale: The Capitol Building

From her curvaceous vamp through her lucid mesh upper, the blushing kicks noted an unusual building resembling a stack of records on a turntable (nope, this ain’t your kids’ iPod!). The home of Capitol Records, this thirteen-story 1956 building has a blinking light that spells out “Hollywood” in Morse code. Capitol Records has hosted scores of famous recording artists over the decades including the original co-owner, Johnny Mercer, as well as Les Paul, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Judy Garland, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Bonnie Raitt, Snoop Dogg, and Keith Urban.

A Hollywood Tale: The Alto Nido

Continuing, the shoes passed Chateau Alto Nido, a 1920s apartment building that was among the movie locations for the 1950s classic film noir, Sunset Boulevard. In the movie, these were the simple digs of Joe Gillis, the character played by William Holden. Gloria Swanson, who played fading star Norma Desmond, also starred in this film where she uttered her most famous line, "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." The Alto Nido was also where The Black Dahlia Elizabeth Short lived before her brutal murder. The dark underbelly exposed!

A Hollywood Tale: The Hollywood Sign

As the red shoes headed out of the Hollywood Hills, she stopped to pose in front of the landmark Hollywood sign. Originally the sign on Mt. Lee said HOLLYWOODLAND and was erected for $21,000 in 1923 to boast the new upscale real estate development of Los Angeles Times publisher, Harry Chandler. By the early 1940s the sign was a landmark but in disrepair and owned by the City of Los Angeles. Over the decades, the billboard, much like Hollywood itself, had its ups and downs—including a ceremony in 1973 when the sign was given official landmark status. A thick blanket of fog ruined the ceremony hosted by silent film star Gloria Swanson. Two faded icons possibly staring their demise dead in the eyes.

A Hollywood Tale

It was another perfect Southern California day--the kind that much of the world envies as they await the snowmelt and a thawing of the ground, while longing for signs of spring. It was early March and the diffused sun cast long afternoon shadows. The air was hovering just under 80 degrees when the mail truck arrived just as it had on any other day.

But the delivery of an ordinary box on this ordinary day would prove to yield extraordinary contents. The parcel contained a pair of red stiletto shoes. They were shiny and fresh but with those zippers, they had a hint of naughty. They were glamorous. They were starlet-material. Anyone who gazed upon her tall, slim heel knew she had that “special something.” And she had just arrived in Hollywood, California USA. Tinseltown—the place where dreams are made. Or the kind of place that if a young pair of nice lookin’ shoes wasn’t careful, a strap could break or worse yet, a heel could be broken.

Might this stop on the international sojourn lead to stardom, money, fame, and thousands of adoring fans? Or might sudden fame lead the paparazzi and celebrity bloggers to hunt these crimson girls down a path of heartache and destruction?

It was time to hit the town and see what it had to offer. Maybe even paint it red.