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Lake Hollywood Memories ~ Hollywood Hills

Ten years ago I got my first job in Hollywood, running around town delivering second-rate TV scripts to D-list celebrities. It was a great job for a young dude with an ever-growing love for his native city—I got to drive all around town, from Hollywood out to Malibu and into the deepest recesses of the Valley. I hauled the length and breadth of the Streets That Go on Forever and spelunked the countless Drives, Trails, Circles and Ways that curlicue in between, and along the way I met some of the footnotes, sidebars and marginalia that pepper the unabridged encyclopedia of this company town. It didn't take too long to make an early and important observation: Ascendent mediocrities never had time for you, while the holding-pattern-to-descent names from the past would always invite you in for a beer and shoot the shit, eager to tell you about what they'd done and ask you about what you hoped to do. Maybe they were just hedging their bets against your someday becoming a hotshot check-signer, but it sure as hell beat the smug myopia of the “just slip it under the door” set. Enjoy it while you got it, sweetheart, Id catch myself thinking, cause I just sat down with your future in a ranch house in Reseda and it wouldnt shut up about the time Conway Twitty grabbed its ass on the set of “Hee Haw.”

At any rate, one actress on the route, the self-proclaimed “Queen of the D-Listers” and the my-proclaimed “Empress of the Just Slip it Under the Door’ crowd,” lived pretty deep into a Hollywood canyon I'd never explored before. After a couple visits to this enchanted little dell curiosity got the best of me and, scrapping my delivery schedule, I set off to find where that road went. Sometimes those sparks of curiosity pay off in the sorts of treasures that make even a loveless life of sweat and toil impossibly rich, and this was one of those times. After a mile or so of increasingly tortuous, rustic and broken road I popped out of the canyon, ascended a ridge, parked on a rutted shoulder and was faced with the unimaginable....


That's right, a pine-rimmed, Art-Deco-dammed, great-blue-heron-infested freakin Alpine lake, nestled in the hills virtually directly below the Hollywood sign. Look! A flock of mallards! Over there! A mule deer doe and her fawn! ¡Mira! The Capitol Building!




Now, undoubtedly some of you are well aware of this little civic gem hiding out in the hills, but I can't imagine many—in a town were every day is beautiful, nobody works and everyone is compulsively searching for something to jog around, I think Ive ever seen one soul up there, and I believe he was a hobo.


Now to allow you some measure of self-reward I wont tell you exactly were this place is, but there's enough here for you to find it on your own, so grab a map, do some Googling and get out there! And to recount, the Taco lifestyle isn't about snubbing the hired help, its about asking yourself where does this road go, and sniffing out the hidden treasures of this beautiful city.


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