The Gentrification of Hollywood

I moved to Hollywood about 6 years ago. I’ve lived in LA most of my life and up until recently Hollywood was a kind of a shady part of LA. There were no celebs, no paparazzi, no lines at the bars/clubs, no cover (or at most $5). And valet did not exist. The most expensive parking in the neighborhood was $5. That’s it. Well, things have changed a lot.

Wednesday night, I went out to dinner in the neighborhood with my BFF Laura. We went to the Hollywood location of Katsuya … an uber-fabulous-trendy sushi bar. Great scene for people-watching. Very nice decor, super-cute and really nice employees and the typical LA crowd. I just love watching the boys and girls in the typical LA uniform. Boys especially… with the $200 True Religion jeans, a shirt that screams expensive and some silver chains for accessories. I’m ready for these boys to try something different. And of course, as with most places in Hollywood, there were paparazzi outside the restaurant.

It’s very strange to see paparazzi in Hollywood. I used to occasionally see some celebrities in Hollywood, but they were not the kind that were getting busted for DUIs.  Even just two years ago, greasy pizza places were on every corner.  Five years ago, you couldn’t see any celebrities in the neighborhood… especially not the “US Weekly” crowd. But times have changed.

Here are the good things about my neighborhood… lots of new great restaurants. Magnolia, Hungry Cat** and Katsuya are just some of the great new places. Great bars… including Bar 86, Scorpion, Velvet Margarita. And, of course less hookers/drug dealers/crackheads.

But, I feel like some of the character of Hollywood has disappeared. Gone are the sweet neighborhood drug dealers. They’ve been replaced with coffee shops. Gone are the 24-hr cheap pizza places. They’ve been replaced with great bars and restaurants. But, traffic in my neighborhood has become a nightmare… not to mention parking. Parking lots that used to charge $5 now charge $20. And it all started when Paris Hilton started hanging out in my neighborhood. So I feel completely justified to blame her for the traffic and parking nightmare.

I’ve thought about moving, but I really love where I live. This is one of the few places in LA where you can actually walk to bars, restaurants, Hollywood Bowl and more. I just don’t want paparazzi in my neighborhood.

Here are some photos from the neighborhood: Hollywood

Paparazzi in Hollywood

Paparazzi Boy in front of Katsuya

3 thoughts on “The Gentrification of Hollywood

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