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[personal profile] hummingbirdmadgirl
so yesterday we went on the dearly departed tour of hollywood, because what screams birthday more than a morbid tour of your city. truth be told, the tour wasn't morbid at all, it was mostly about the history and the architecture of the city with some crime/scandal scenes thrown in. it was honestly a lot of fun though, especially if you like history & pop culture. it was also enjoyable because it wasn't "and here's so&so's house, and here's that restaurant everyone likes to go to" which a lot of the tours seem to be. being a tour guide seems like a fantastic job too, i mean, i didn't learn anything new since i am kind of morbid and fascinated by celebrity culture, but even still the way it was all described was just great. looking at the yelp reviews for the tour they have 3 guides, each of whom has their own take on the tour, which is pretty cool in that it allows you to do the tour multiple times, but also because you know that you're learning about what the driver finds fascinating (in our case architecture and building preservation) vs just reading a script written by some faceless person in an office somewhere.

the tour guide said that they try to make the tour enjoyable for both tourists and locals but that really at some point if your life you should try to see your city as a tourist, and it made a lot of sense. just in terms of seeing it how other people see it, but also seeing things you'd never know about, really arbitrary stuff like a hummingbird feeder that is considered the LAX of bird feeders, and it was truly just swarmed with hummingbirds and it's totally walkable from the apartment but i never noticed it. i wonder how much cool stuff i missed in other cities i've lived in.

when i lived in NY, I did some touristy stuff, I mean I went up to the top of the world trade center and empire state building and saw a broadway show, but that's about it. i mean, it's a totally different city now and i think i a) take myself less seriously and b) am far enough removed that it would be a lot of fun. I never did -anything- touristy in boston -ever- until my senior project where I had to write a proposal for the freedom trail foundation. even then I just walked the freedom trail with my classmates vs actually taking the real tour.

i remember years ago, standing by the eiffel tower with ethan and sort of griping about how everyone's vacations, no matter how hard they try to be unique, are probably essentially the same. we go to see cool things because we want to see them, whether they be super popular or off the beaten path (but not off the beaten path enough that we hadn't heard of them)...at the time it sort of felt weirdly melancholy, i don't even know if melancholy is the right word, just sort of like "whooo here's my picture of the eiffel tower that looks exactly like every other picture of the eiffel tower" but now i just sort of feel like that was being pretentious. because touristy stuff is fun, it's created to be fun, if it wasn't fun it would fail...

all i know is when we go back to boston this year i totally want to do a duck tour since that seems like the pinnacle of boston tourist. i also still have to sort out what i'm doing in new orleans (other than see neutral milk hotel) because that's coming up soon. going to NOLA is going to kind of suck in terms of being seriously restricted foodwise, but should still be a trip as i mean, it's new orleans and i'm gothy so i mean, come on.

Date: 2014-01-25 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siajara.livejournal.com
When I was in NOLA for a conference in 2004, we did the French Quarter 'ghost' tour - it was somewhat similar to how you describe the LA tour - lots of interesting information about the architecture & buildings and myths & legends of the area. I think those walking tours are all really awesome. :) And the Duck tour in Boston is lots of fun. The San Diego version of the duck tour is also fun if you ever head down that way.

Date: 2014-01-31 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rpkrajewski.livejournal.com
I would totally go see the hummingbird feeder! O and I did something like that in Jamaica – we took a cab up into the hills and visited a woman who tended a hummingbird feeding station out of a her house, and you could feed them yourself.

If you take out Hollywood, what is exactly touristy about LA? For me, it was the Museum of Jurassic Technology :)

Date: 2014-02-02 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lachesis.livejournal.com
I really loved Paris, the architecture, the longevity, and yeah, the touristy stuff. My brother and I went all the way to the very top of the Eiffel Tower, and since it was windy, we could feel the whole thing swaying back and forth. Stuff like that is why you should DO IT - it's something you can't experience from photos or recitations.

Monet's garden/house was amazing too, though I equally loved the villages carved into the limestone cliffs we saw on the way there.

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