Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Veggie Tales: Tinseltown goes to the dogs

This past weekend my girlfriend and I went to the Hollywood Farmers Market. It’s held Sunday mornings on the streets of Selma (between Cahuenga and Vine) and Ivar (between Sunset and Hollywood). We sought ingredients for guacamole.

It might sound incongruous to put "Hollywood" together with "farmers market," but it’s a very busy area while it’s going on. Being Hollywood, there’s the predictable mix of hipsters along with the hippies.

However, it is worth bearing in mind the streets of Hollywood proper are populated by celebrity impersonators but not by actual celebrities. I’m plenty jaded anyway, but in my experience the only time actual Hollywood lives up to the reputation of "Hollywood" is during the Academy Awards—and only during the lead-up to the telecast.

At the entrances to the market are posted signs stating in very clear terms that no dogs are allowed. Not only should it be clear why that is to anyone who would actually buy fresh food from an open-air market, but the signs cite a city ordinance forbidding canine companions (except the seeing-eye kind).

Nonetheless, when we passed a booth where a woman was holding a small white dog up on her shoulder as she looked at fruit, I couldn’t be entirely surprised. I didn’t even look that closely at the woman (or at the dog) out of general disgust. As we continued down past other booths on our search for limes, my girlfriend looked at me incredulously and I nodded, thinking she was amazed at how blithely some ignore the rules. However, she stopped and asked if I saw who the woman was. I had not; when I glanced her face was partially obscured by the dog, but what I remembered noticing was very pale hair and too much makeup; I figured it was an older woman.

My girlfriend looked me square in the eye and said, "It was Gwen Stefani."

She explained that she wasn’t sure at first, but then she spotted husband Gavin Rosdale right next to the dog-carrying woman, and knew it was her. The woman was ready-to-pop pregnant, my girlfriend had noticed, as Stefani would be. Apparently I’d mistaken the No Doubt singer’s platinum locks for the faded coif of a woman in her golden years. Perhaps that was how they blended in so well and didn’t get mobbed. Granted, the hipsters and hippies wouldn’t be interested in her autograph anyway; the tourists who would don’t frequent the market.

I just took my girlfriend’s word for it. By that point we were too far away for me to see whether she was right, and I had no interest in going back. I may be neither hipster nor hippie, but I similarly had no interest in being close to a celebrity.

The worst part was confirmation that the O.C. girl had "gone Hollywood" (as evidenced by the arrogant breaking of law and defying of common sense). Apparently no one told Gwen that no one does that in actual Hollywood. Perhaps down the road in Beverly Hills, but not in the gritty, trash-strewed, homeless-filled, wannabe-Mecca that is identified as the portion of Los Angeles known as Hollywood.

But if Gwen hasn't realized she should keep "Hollywood" out of Hollywood, perhaps there’s hope for her still. So if anyone happens to know her, please ask her to leave the pooch at home next time.

Oh, and we did find limes. The guacamole turned out okay. I'm sure you were hanging on that detail.

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