Growing up in Hollywood

One of my fondest memories is growing up in Northern Hollywood with my father. We would take the 210 bus from South Central Los Angeles and explore the famous area. I remember riding on my dad’s shoulder as we passed Ripley’s Believe It or Not. I would hide under my hat from the massive dinosaur whom I thought was eating the building (what an imagination I had!). You can even see special murals dedicated to celebrities and important figures in entertainment.



210 Metro Bus. Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 
Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 
Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 

Hollywood was originally named Cahuenga Valley named after the Santa Monica mountains in the North. H.J. Whitley is known as the father of Hollywood. He started over 100 towns across the Western United States. Legend has it that Whitley stood on top of the same hill looking over the valley on his honeymoon in 1886. Then a Chinese man came along carrying wood and bowed to Whitley. Whitley asked him what he was doing and the man responded, “I holly-wood” to mean I am hauling wood. Whitley decided to name the town Hollywood. “Holly” represented England and “Wood” represented his Scottish heritage.

Hills of Hollywood. Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 

One my favorite things about Hollywood is the fact that it has subway and train transportation. Growing up, I loved to use the subways. Public transportation was my main form of transportation growing up. Metro has developed and added more lines since my childhood. Hollywood was the midpoint between my little brother and I. I have so much history in Hollywood that I get nostalgic when thinking about it.  My brother and I would explore all over Hollywood Boulevard.

Hollywood Boulevard has so many murals and street art for you to explore. Murals are an important part of Hollywood Culture. I dragged my brother across blocks and blocks capturing some amazing art!


Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 
Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 
Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 
Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 

The area of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine is a must see for tourists! You can check out the Walk of Fame, the Egyptian Theatre Hollywood, the Chinese Mann Theatre, or the Dolby Theatre. Hollywood has some great nightlife but be warned that it does get strange at night time.

Walk of Fame. Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 
The Egyptian Theatre. Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 

While exploring Hollywood, we discovered the El Cortez Theatre Deco Building. It was one of the filming locations for LA Confidential. The building is now an abandoned bank which preserves Hollywood’s history. The building looks very amazing and is a hidden gem in Hollywood.

El Cortez Theater Deco Building. Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco. 

I am happy that I had the opportunity to grow up in Hollywood, California. It helped shape my adventurous attitude. I spent a lot of time with my father and little brother in Hollywood as a kid with the travel bug!

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23 thoughts on “Growing up in Hollywood

  1. I would love to go back to California next summer! It’s cool you grew up out there. There are a lot of places we still need to take the kids out there, so we hope to come back soon. What would you say is the best, safest, and cleanest beach? By the way, Merry Christmas to you and your fam!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Such a welcoming description about the history, mystery, art, and fame of such an intriguing city! I visited once, several years ago. I never saw that empty bank, not quite sure how I missed it. It was an amazing experience, something everyone should do.
    Is Mr Whitley from England? That part of your post is my favorite;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The bank is very hidden. None of my friends still living there knew of it neither. H.J. Whitley is from Canada but his family has English and Scottish roots. It’s crazy how diverse the people of California truly are.


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