L.A. is looking hauntingly empty these days.
The sprawling city that attracted a record-breaking 50 million tourists in 2019 has become an unrecognizable ghost town. Landmarks across the city that are usually abuzz with tourists and locals look desolate thanks to the pandemic. With L.A.’s usual influx of tourists halted and the surge in cases sending the city into a new lockdown tier, it’s a bit like walking around a giant set with no actors. So, if you’ve ever wanted actually to see Hollywood Boulevard’s paving, now is the time.
Here are 7 iconic attractions that will probably never be this quiet again (we sincerely hope, at least).
1. Hollywood Bowl
This iconic music venue is normally alive with shows, bringing in hordes of people all-year-round. This year, instead of arms waving around in the air to top musicians, there were arms holding phones and taking selfies with “I Voted” stickers. It was turned into a voting center with all live concerns on hold along with other iconic venues across the city for the first time.
2. Universal CityWalk Hollywood
It’s been a rough year for theme parks, and while the rides at Universal Studios haven’t been touched since the initial lockdown went into place, CityWalk has reopened for shopping and takeout. Thankfully the festive season perked things up a bit, but it’s still a far cry from its usual hum.
3. Buena Vista Street
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that absolutely nothing will deter Disney die-hards from getting a fix of the franchise in whatever capacity possible. With Disneyland out of the picture, fans flocked to Buena Visita Street upon reopening regardless of cases. However, during the most recent rise in cases, it’s made the quaint streets feel more like a set with no actors than a tourist attraction.
4. Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame
There are over 2,500 brass stars dedicated to Hollywood icons along this 18-block stretch. Normally you’d need to have a few people trip over you before getting the perfect shot with your favorite star; now, you can have a full-blown photo shoot with almost no interruptions.
5. TCL Chinese Theatre
TCL Chinese Theatre is one of the most classic Hollywood experiences and is one of the world’s greatest theatres. But it currently looks more like an ancient ruin than an L.A. landmark. While you won’t be able to see how your hand measures up to Robert De Niro, you can still get the perfect, masked selfie in front of it.
6. Santa Monica Pier
This famous pier in this popular part of town still has people around, just not nearly as many as Angelenos are used to. The now-empty amusement park looks completely abandoned at the moment.
7. Third Street Promenade
During the holiday and sales period, you’d normally just see a sea of bodies constantly moving from store to store at this popular outdoor shopping street.
8. Hollywood Sign
It’s officially time to get that classic shot next to this neighborhood landmark. Hiking areas around the Hollywood sign are quieter than ever before, which means you won’t have to wait for hordes of tourists to get the perfect snap.
9. Griffith Observatory
The Griffith Observatory remains closed, but the surrounding parts are open to roam. However, it’s still strikingly tranquil compared to pre-covid times. Who knows, you might even be able to snag a prime parking spot?
10. ‘Urban Light’ at LACMA
The iconic ‘Urban Light’ installation is currently closed to the public from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily, but it still draws in influencers from across the city the rest of the time. Despite its popularity, it is still far easier to get a clean shot nowadays.
Featured Image: Carl Nenzen Loven via Unsplash