This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Loop-De-Loop: Temescal Canyon Travels

I walk. Every day. One hour. No questions asked. Many answers found. I consider it my "Me" time. Generally, I stick to the same route. This can sometimes get boring. And that, calls for adventure.

Ever since I went to Yosemite National Park in September, I've been motivated to seek out more of the 'wild' of Los Angeles. Even in the most urban of areas, there are plenty of local hikes where I can play make-believe adventure. I just have to be willing to seek them out.

Temescal Canyon Gateway Park is one of those places. It's been on my list for awhile. Nestled in Pacific Palisades, Temescal Canyon is a popular hiking area. From the map, I could see that the park was right off Sunset Boulevard, just west of the fringes of Will Rogers State Park. Parking inside the park is $7.00. As suggested from other online hiking sites, however, I easily [and surprisingly] found street parking just outside the park. [I'm a person that hates to spend money on the idiocy of parking my car.]

The main Temescal Ridge Trail rises steadily above Sunset. Suddenly you'll find yourself high above the Pacific Ocean. It's a dramatic view, especially on a clear sunny day. I didn't find the hike to be tremendously strenuous, but it does require more effort than a leisurely stride so you should be in decently good shape before attempting it.

There is an elevation gain of about 1,000 feet. ( In comparison, my hike to Upper Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park had an elevation gain of nearly 3,000 feet... enough to make me both nauseous, dehydrated, and crabby. Yet, I was never so proud as when I completed that hike in its entirety!)

In addition to the view, which gets better with every step you take, there are also plenty of wildflowers and little critters to see along the way-- including grey squirrels, birds, and lizards.

On my descent, just past the waterfall, I happened to see a rattlesnake stretched along the path. I find reptiles fascinating and all, but I don't mess around with rattlesnakes. I stopped and gave him space. Within moments, I saw a female jogger bounding down the trail, full speed ahead. I raised my hand high and yelled a warning to alert her. She was extremely grateful. We both paused and stared at the rattler in awe. Eventually, he slithered away-- evidently bored with our company.

I'd highly recommend a daytrip to Temescal Canyon. If you take the main trail and stick with it, eventually it'll loop around, resulting in a pretty awesome roundtrip hike. After the hike, you can get back in your car and zip down to the beach, if you're so inclined or take a cruise down Pacific Coast Highway. It's also not to far from Brentwood and Westwood.

Here are some other tips:
- Bring sufficient water and snacks, especially on warm days.
-Apply sunscreen and wear a hat, whenever possible.
-Be aware of your surroundings. Rattlesnakes do live in this area (According to forest rangers in the area, rattlesnake numbers could be high this season, so be on the lookout!)
-Take pictures!

For more information about local hikes in your area, check out: Local Hikes

©2011 by KLiedle

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A grand legacy of classic film: Sidney Lumet

You were at the helm of some of my all-time favorite films:
Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead
Thank you for sharing your film legacy!



Posted by KLiedle

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. : How It Came To Be

Thinking It. Wanting It. Seeing It. Touching It. Liking It. Doing It. Loving It. Wanting More... [chapters in Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.]

Much has been written of Audrey Hepburn and the iconic film, Breakfast At Tiffany's. In most, we're stylishly whisked away into the world of Holly Golightly. Living alone in a brownstone in Manhattan. Cha-cha-cha, isn't she just marvelous? Oh, Darling, don't you wish you could be her? Romance. Cat. Oh, poor Cat! We do belong to each other...

We're hooked and we've sunk in one smooth move. In love with Holly and all she represents, we're doomed. But Holly is a riddle. She is, by definition, impossible to define. And that is, above all, her greatest charm. Truman Capote made it so.

Sam Wasson's newest book, Fifth Avenue 5 A.M. [Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast At Tiffany's and The Dawn Of The Modern Woman] digs deeper than any other book on the subject I've read. And I've read many. Most books focus on the film and its iconic status, but Wasson takes us through more: the beginnings, the struggles, the fears, the conflicts, the contradictions and the ultimate success of the Breakfast At Tiffany's we've come to know.

As with any creative endeavor, Breakfast At Tiffany's didn't just come together. It was gestating for a long time before it was words on a page [and images on a screen in the Hollywood adaptation.] And at any given point, it could've easily fallen apart.

Would audiences coming right out of the '50s embrace a main character who, in the very simplest terms, is a high-society call girl? Played by Audrey Hepburn? Paramount Pictures was uneasy. According to Wasson's book, film producers Marty Jurow and Richard Shepherd, optioned Capote's novella, without "the faintest idea how the hell they were going to take a novel with no second act, a nameless gay protagonist, a motiveless drama, and an unhappy ending, and turn it into a Hollywood movie."

They don't end up together in the end, you know. The boy and the girl. Holly and Cat. It's not the romantic chiffon of an ending that you might have been expecting. Not in Capote's world. Holly goes on being Holly. In the novel, Cat is last seen, "flanked by potted plants and framed by clean lace curtains...seated in the window of a warm-looking room." His new owner's room. A place where, finally, he "may have arrived somewhere he belonged." And gotten himself a name. Holly leaves the brownstone behind and jets to Brazil, giving no forwarding address. She may still be there. Or in Africa. No one knows, least of all, Holly.

In the early 60s, Holly Golightly changed the game and no one even knew it was happening. She made it not only glamorous, but acceptable for a woman to be independently-minded, stylish, and God forbid-- unmarried. Holly did what she wanted. Fifth Avenue chronicles how she pulled it off and how numerous Hollywood personalities allowed her to exist well beyond the pages of Capote's novella.

Through countless interviews and research, Fifth Avenue touches on the personal details, the conflicts, and the controversies [Yunioshi anyone?] that otherwise would be nearly forgotten in the light of Breakfast At Tiffany's success since. It's that rare book where even the sources and notes in the back are fascinating subject material (and motivation for further reading.)

Loving It. Wanting More.

More Mancini Music From Breakfast At Tiffany's

Post ©2011 by KLiedle