Sep 2006

Henk Goes to Hollywood

Henk and I arrived safe and sound in West Hollywood last week after a final night on the road in Carmel, a pretty little coastal California city that reminds me of a Stepford wife - meticulously groomed, impeccably put together, overly made-up - and utterly uninteresting.

The ride, though, the last day through Big Sur and down Highway 1 into Malibu was stunning - sunny, warm and twisty, with eagle-eye views of the Pacific and its ragged coastline.

I managed to squeeze in a short visit with my friends at
VegNews. Co-founders Joe and Colleen have channelled their collaborative activist energies for six years, beginning from their home in 2000 publishing an informative newsletter. VegNews is today the most substantial vegetarian lifestyle magazine on the planet, artfully created in a busy San Francisco office staffed with a small army of vegan goddesses.

The best Californians are a lot like the best Canadians: liberal-minded, fun-loving, health-conscious and self-expressed. Washington and Oregon felt a bit redneck to me - even on the left coast - but the instant I was in California I felt at home.

I turned left off the 1 at Sunset, following the winding boulevard into the hills, past the gated communities of suburban Pacific Pallisades and through the wide, tree-lined thoroughfare of impossibly wealthy Beverly Hills.
I knew I was in Hollywood when the sprawling estates gave way to coffeeshops, bookstores, movie theatres, night clubs, and restaurants, all overshadowed by enormous billboards advertising upcoming blockbusters or new hit TV series.

I am not in the Yukon anymore - in fact I couldn't be further away. But I am 'home' in West Hollywood, where Henk and I will briefly lay our rubber and leathers, rest and repair, plan our next adventure, and dream big Hollywood dreams (with a newly affirmed grasp on reality).