The Almost Accidental Tourist

What I see 500 times a day

What I see 500 times a day

Ask any Beverly Hills Starline tour guide and he’ll tell you Marilyn Monroe lived here. So did Will Rogers and Tom Cruise and Madonna.  On my thrill-o-meter? Any member of the ‘Justified’ cast.  Seeing Timothy Olyphant at camp pick-up and Jere Burns eating pasta at our local Il Fornaio makes me swoon. With celebrities in my midst and an embarrassment of Palm trees, how could I not want to share Beverly Hills with tourists?

Jere Burns as Wynn Duffy on 'Justified'

Jere Burns as Wynn Duffy on ‘Justified’











Not all 35,000 Beverly Hills residents agree.  At times, mashing us together with tourists creates more excitement than a Kim Kardashian sighting. How many times have I found myself in my sensible hybrid, rushing to make carpool pick up and I’m stuck behind a lumbering double-decker tour bus?

BH residents living North of Sunset have it worse. The tour Vans stop-and-go pointing out stars’ homes while residents impatient to just get home pull questionable moves like the Wrap-Around pass. The close-call head-ons are common as crows.

I’ve been on bus tours. Sometimes you need to cover a lot of ground quickly. Beverly Hills is only 5-square miles so buses feel like overkill. I wish that more tourists would consider other ways to see our city.

This morning I saw this healthy, attractive group riding around North of Sunset. They were part of the Bikes and Hikes LA 323-796-8555. Ride past 30+ celebrity homes, walk a famous mansion, see Rodeo Drive, 9/11 Memorial and more…I think they are on to something, don’t you?

Way to Go for optimal health and photo ops

Way to Go for optimal health and photo ops

Thank you Beverly Hills City Council for putting in pilot bike lanes. I think this is going to please the tourists and the residents. Whatever means tourists use to explore BH, I hope that patience will prevail and drivers, walkers and cyclists can all learn to get along.



Author Description

Cynthia Baseman

Cynthia Baseman is the author of 'Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope.' She writes about motherhood, the environment and education.

There are 8 comments. Add yours

  1. 18th June 2013 | Louloudi says: Reply
    The "culture of celebrity" leaves in its wake the collateral damage of increased traffic and dumbfounded locals. What fascinates me is that riding around in a bus looking at random homes actually qualifies as vacation???? We lived on Alpine and rumor had it, one of many Tarzans lived in our home previous to us.... does anyone really remember Lex Barker? With amazing beaches, a rejuvenated downtown and remarkable, ...well everything, people intentionally choose to board a bus and tour residential neighborhoods? I always shudder the indignity of the supermarket check out line and the sirens call of celebrity gossip rags, but home tours have to take the cake.
    • 18th June 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Celebrity has become the staple of the water cooler conversation. I agree that there is SO much more to LA than BH, but try convincing the tourists of that.
      • 1st September 2013 | Mamacita says: Reply
        Lex Barker alias Tarzan was the handsome companion to actress Lana Turner. I used to seem them shopping at a well known market in Beverly Hills. Fred Astaire the famous dancer and actor of the 40's would walk the streets on Beverly Drive. That was long ago. I guess celebs gave that reputation to our lovely city
  2. 17th June 2013 | Mamacita says: Reply
    Love your wonderful articles about Beverly Hills and its history.
  3. 16th June 2013 | Gavin says: Reply
    The buses are a real hazard and should be monitored better. I live north of sunset and frequently see them stopped in the middle of the street. Impatient drivers try to pass and risk a dangerous accident. I really hope BH is taxing these companies. They certainly use our resources.
  4. 16th June 2013 | Elaine says: Reply
    Great idea and another great post!

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