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Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009
Touching down in the city of dreams

By Andy Brownstone
Newsbeat reporter in Hollywood

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It's a bit of a crazy journey to get to Los Angeles. The 11-hour flight goes against the eight hour time difference, so it's light outside the plane all the way.

Two in-flight movies after take-off, and I look out of the window to see a sea of ice as we fly over Greenland.

The woman next to me comments that it's a real shame it's melting due to global warming.

I feel I have to point out we are on a long haul flight, and are therefore guilty of contributing to the problem ourselves.

We get fingerprinted and photographed at US immigration, which I think is a little excessive.

And once I get to my hotel I'm stung with a horrific room service charge of almost 40 for a sarnie and chips.

I sleep well with a huge photo of a red-haired David Bowie looking down on me.

Hollywood is all about image and the small hotel gym is packed by 7:30am.

I feel like one of the locals as I eat my breakfast of bagels and cappuccino, but then remember that's exactly what I always have at the cafe back home.
Brad Pitt
Brad's latest film has something in common with youth-obsessed LA

Watching scores of beautiful people walk by, it strikes me that two of the biggest films of the year have a lot in common with LA.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which has the most nominations, is about a man who is born old and gets younger each year.

And of course Slumdog Millionaire features the quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Round here it seems people are obsessed with looking as young as possible, whatever their age.

And they're all longing to be millionaires too. Almost every waitress and bartender is a wannabe actor or producer.

And in terms of glamour, even the concierge at the hotel is wearing a mini-skirt and four inch heels.

California is so big that while it's dumping snow at one end, it's a balmy 20C (68F) down here.

If I'm going to fit in with the Hollywood crowd I'll need to start topping up on that tan...



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