Sigh. I apologize, I know I rant about this often. I know I write about it almost every single Writober at some point, if not multiple times. But honestly it’s only because of the amount of bullshit that gets slung at my city. Look I get it. LA/Hollywood is an industry town and that industry involves obscene amounts of money. Money makes people weird. The potential for money makes people weird. Fame makes people weird. The potential for fame makes people weird. But I get really tired of the relentless claims that “Hollywood is SO shallow”, “You know everyone there is SO Hollywood”, “He’s a great guy, not Hollywood at all”, “You can’t even have a conversation with her she’s just WAY too Hollywood”…and on and on. Hollywood is where my friend Sienna grew up. Living in a sweet neighborhood on a street above Franklin Blvd. just a little west of Western. Hollywood is where my friend Stacy grew up. Living on Franklin Blvd. a bit west of Vermont. She went to high school at Immaculate Heart on Los Feliz Blvd. Hollywood is where my friend Alix lives in a sweet two bedroom apartment in what used to be a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. She’s lived there for almost two decades now. She shops at the local supermarket. She has dinner at the restaurants a couple of blocks from her street. She has a great Halloween party every year that we always try to attend. Hollywood is where I lived in my early 20’s and I lovedlovedlovedloved it. I played pool at one of the oldest pool halls in Los Angeles which was just one block down and one block over from my apartment. I walked to the Baskin and Robbins ice cream shop on the corner of my street. On nights at the beginning of spring I would walk along Franklin Blvd. following the scent of pink jasmine floating through the air until I met up with my friend at Birds, a bar that had decent coffee along with the usual bar drinks. Hollywood is a place where people live and work and love and play and fuck up and hate. But it’s just a city, a city that some people grow up in, they go to elementary school there, they are in the PTA, they open their shops in the morning and hope they do enough business to pay their rent, they go to jobs working for the MTA and Ralph’s and law firms and hospitals and Veterinary offices. Yeah some of them work in the entertainment industry, even a lot of them do…but for those of us who have lived in Los Angeles our whole lives it’s such a slap in the face to dismiss all the other people who live and work and make this city such a wonder to live in. Hollywood is so much more than one industry and so much less than most people’s dreams.