Thanks to the fact that I attended a Catholic high school, I've been somewhat put off the religion I was raised to believe. In its place, I've joined the church of Hollywood. No, not Scientology. I've become a lover of movies, a worshipper of the auteur, one who bows at the many altars of Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros.
Moving out to LA, then, has been a sort of a pilgrimage to the holy land. It's surreal, wonderful, and a bit scary. And the potential for a religious experience, of sorts, is right under your nose at all times. Although my tastes run more towards the iconoclastic directors of the 1970s like Scorsese and Altman, I still appreciate classic Hollywood films, and there's one classic I appreciate more than the rest: Rebel Without a Cause. Accordingly, my first true religious experience came via a visit to Griffith Observatory.
It was quite surreal, not to mention a very fun trip, with some amazing views of the city. And as I stood outside the front of the observatory, staring at a bust of James Dean with the Hollywood sign in the background, taking it all in by myself, I got a little chill. I'm really here. Hooray for Hollywood, indeed.