Gold’s Gym has become synonymous with the Hollywood Dream.
Set just a few hundred yards from the ocean in sun-kissed Venice Beach, Los Angeles, Gold’s was the backdrop for Pumping Iron, the 1977 documentary which followed a young, unknown Austrian bodybuilder called Arnold Schwarzenegger as he prepared for the Mr Universe contest. …
Yet today Gold’s sits amid post-apocalyptic scenes which have consumed much of LA, turning the City of Dreams into an urban nightmare from which people are fleeing in droves.
Makeshift tents along Venice Beach
A makeshift tent city made up of flapping tarpaulins and cardboard boxes surrounds the gym on all sides.
Junkies and the homeless, many of whom are clearly mentally ill, walk the palm-lined streets like zombies — all just three blocks from multi-million-dollar homes overlooking the Pacific.
Stolen bicycles are piled high on pavements littered with broken syringes.
TV bulletins are filled with horror stories from across the city; of women being attacked during their morning jog or residents returning home to find strangers defecating in their front gardens.
Today, Los Angeles is a city on the brink. ‘For Sale’ signs are seemingly dotted on every suburban street as the middle classes, particularly those with families, flee for the safer suburbs, with many choosing to leave LA altogether.
British-born Danny O’Brien runs Watford Moving & Storage. ‘There is a mass exodus from Hollywood,’ he says. …
O’Brien, 58, who moved to LA from London 34 years ago, is also planning to move to Tennessee.
‘Liberal politics has destroyed this city,’ he says. ‘The homeless encampments are legal and there’s nothing the police can do. White, affluent middle-class folk are getting out. People don’t feel safe any more.’ …
Lou Ferrigno became friends with Schwarzenegger when both worked out at Gold’s. [His wife Carla] says: ‘One morning around 7am I opened the curtains in our beautiful Santa Monica home and looking up at me from our driveway were three gang members with tattoos on their faces sitting on our retaining wall. They were cat-calling me and being vulgar. I motioned I was going to call the police and they just laughed, flicking their tongues at me and showing me their guns.’ …
The homeless druggies comes to Hollywood:
The virus only made matters worse. There are homeless encampments in some of the most instantly recognisable tourist traps.
Stretches of Hollywood Boulevard — embedded with glittering stars representing those who achieved their dream of fame and fortune — resemble a Third World shanty town rather than the heart of America’s second-largest city.
When too much leftism is never enough. So unlucky that uberleft cities San Fran and Hollywood should become so unlivable that their celebrity left are leaving.