Thu, 8/10/2015
Our itinerary for August looked something like this: East Hampton - Los Angeles - New York. 
It was stupid of me to visit Los Angeles only for five days, three of which we spent on photo shootings and business meetings, and the last two days we had were as interesting as watching a movie on rewind. So I will try to tell you how to visit the most interesting places in LA in the shortest possible time. I think there are hundreds of other articles and guides where you can find much more useful information before your trip, so don’t treat this article as an ideal instruction guide.

We saw spectacular views when flying closer to Los Angeles. We flew over the Grand Canyon too, but I couldn’t take decent pictures because of reduced visibility.

This was our first trip to Los Angeles, which is why my conception of the city was quite simple: it is a big city on the ocean shore with medium height buildings and very tall palm trees standing along all roads. The legendary sign HOLLYWOOD is seen in the distance from the central street, and you can run into Kim Kardashian or Justin Bieber just round every corner. The majority of the cars you see are Ferraris and Lamborghinis of various bright colors, girls in bikinis are walking everywhere. And I wasn’t that mistaken after all. Let’s start!

We chose to stay at the heart of Beverly Hills and booked a room in a famous “The Peninsula” hotel. As it turned out we made the right choice, because there was a Starbucks café just across the street. Kidding. It’s just that we liked everything; moreover it was just 20 minutes away from the international airport.

“The Peninsula” Hotel is magnificent in all senses of this word, I don’t think anyone could be disappointed in it. Good hotels have their own specific aroma, and this one smells perfect! Sometimes it seemed to me like we had sheikhs, princesses Noori, Karl Lagerfeld and Nicole Richie living next door.
Our bathroom was the size of a room of some European hotels.

Sounds of a grand piano and a harp playing downstairs, the fireplace burning and diamonds shining everywhere. In the lobby everyone is wearing bow-ties and evening gowns regardless of the time of the day. When I was coming back from Starbucks with a coffee wearing shorts, I thought they would either not let me in the hotel or would punish me for being such a deadbeat. But no one cares really, because this is America! And everyone in America likes coffee in big paper cups just like we do!

On the rooftop there’s a swimming pool, a SPA and a restaurant where our  breakfasts for some reason were never less than $100, but Yana likes eggs Benedict, and I was too lazy and shy to go to Starbucks alone. That awkward moment, when the hotel is so good that with a plastic bag you feel yourself as if lying in dirty shoes on silk linen.

I started our first day traditionally. I woke up with the first signs of sunrise and went out to discover the city.

Beverly Hills is considered to be the most expensive town in California, but that’s a little exaggerated, because there are other LA districts with a high level of average revenue per head. Beverly Hills acquired popularity due to its mild climate and water surroundings; besides the soil here is rather fertile.
But most of its popularity Beverly Hills got in 1920, when many Hollywood stars moved in here.

Streets are totally deserted in the mornings. I wanted to create sort of a map in my head and see how people live here, but the main objective was very simple – to find streets with tall palm trees and take pictures. If you already follow me on Instagram, then you are probably aware of my love for these magical trees.

30 minutes later I found a residential neighborhood with plenty of palm trees.

This is the way most private houses look like here, at least the ones I reached walking. I can’t say I was impressed by something more than by the palm trees.

Except for the squirrel on the palm tree, that’s what impressed me! But I am a lazy photographer and I don’t carry a camera with me when I walk, so enjoy the pictures made with an Iphone.

I also liked this “Oasis” or how should I call it. It looks like a piece of desert right in the middle of Beverly Hills. 

A stub for bad people.

I made hundreds of pictures of palm trees and I got bored in the private housing area. Wide streets, tall palm trees, low houses and only one squirrel. Boring. Let’s say I ticked the box and headed towards the central streets.

If you want to feel like a rich man from Los Angeles, there are many ways of renting a sport car to cruise around Rodeo Drive to please the tourists with cameras.

We chose Beverly Hills and the “Peninsula” hotel for a reason, since it is located between Santa Monica and Hollywood and the famous road Rodeo Drive is just a walking distance away.
Actually for me this place isn’t that interesting: streets, palm trees, expensive cars and almost all designer brand boutiques. In other words this is a shopaholic’s’ paradise. As usual Yana bought heaps of clothes and found the Chanel boots of her size, which she couldn’t find in Moscow. Taking into account the currency rate I can’t say they wear cheaper than in Moscow. As for me I was looking for good sunglasses, but I failed.  
Pictures can tell about Rodeo Drive better than words.  

Girls are such girls (sequins all over the wheels!). After I posted this picture in Instagram and tagged its owner, she closed her account. Such a shy girl! I’ll post it anyway!

When I was wandering in the morning, these guys scared me a couple of times with their reticence.

A yellow cab.
Practically the same we have, only here it’s a Rolls Royce. Of course Chinese paparazzi are close around. When they come back home, they will definitely start making their own “Phantoms”. Actually it’s an ordinary thing to see a lot of tourists with cameras around an expensive car, they literally line up. It’s a little bit strange, because there are lots of pictures of same cars in the Internet, but in better quality.

But the most popular taxi here is the blue one, called Beverly Hills Cab.

We practically didn’t eat anything sweet this time, so no advice on that for now.

If you walk a couple of blocks away, palm trees are suddenly replaced with this kind of trees and streets become very quiet and deserted.

Evgeny Fist for RunwayDay.com 

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