What do you think of when you hear someone talk of Hollywood? Or when you see images of the famous Hollywood sign, with the ‘D’ slightly lower than the others, stacked tall on Mt. Lee? The words glitz, glamour, movies, stars and celebrities pop into my head. I think about the Academy awards that are held there annually to honor the movie stars, artists, producers and entertainers who make millions year in and year out. I see images of these movie stars, artists, producers, and entertainers crouched on Hollywood boulevard imprinting their hands and feet into wet concrete next to a star with their names on it. You probably see and think of these same things…?
What you don’t think of is hordes of homeless people taking refuge on the street. On that very same Hollywood boulevard covered with tiles of stars with names on them, begging for money to buy a meal or a drink or something to smoke. Or whatever they use the money for. What you don’t imagine are homeless people with puppies to keep them company (and warm?) where they sit or lay down next to a bag or suitcase filled with all of their belongings in it and small bowls of dogfood and water for their companions. What you don’t think of, is the REAL Hollywood.
For many just being in Los Angeles and walking down the streets of Hollywood is a dream come true. Never once did it cross my mind that the streets of Los Angeles will be filled with people sleeping on the streets, who would sit and count pennies next to Marilyn Monroe’s star without a bother. This was a real eye-opener and it made me realise how privileged I am to travel as often and far as I have, but also that things are definitely not always how you see things on TV.
Have you ever seen or experienced something like this?