Palm Avenue in West Hollywood is a relatively short street that runs north and south between Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard. It is all apartment buildings, except for one house on the block, (I recently met the owner). It is right in the center of the action, with the Sunset Strip at the top of the street, and “Boy’s Town” of West Hollywood at the south end.
Within walking distance are several famous nightclubs, including The Whiskey, the Roxy, the Rainbow Room, and the Viper Room, the Troubadour, among others. It is also close to many production company offices, agencies, casting directors, and acting classes. There are also many restaurants, coffee shops, and gyms in the area where residents hang out and socialize. West Hollywood is a good location for actors and musicians moving to Los Angles, who want to be in the center of the action.
I think I knew an actress, years ago, who had an apartment on Palm Avenue, and that is why I decided to use the street as a location for Ashley’s first apartment in the novel. There is just a whole lot of Hollywood history in the area. Crosby, Stills, and Nash shot an album cover on the street in 1969. Various ghosts of Hollywood are all over the place, including Sal Mineo, who was stabbed to death in his carport, not far away on Holloway drive.
Palm Avenue in West Hollywood is considered a safe street, and most residents would not be afraid to walk the street at night, but two recent incidents have brought notoriety to the area. In 2014, a stabbing incident, where a man stabbed and killed his boyfriend at an apartment complex in the 900 block of Palm Avenue, was followed a week later at the same complex by another knife fight between residents and a tragic officer involved shooting.
The officer involved shooting turned out to be a quite tragic story. The man that deputies shot was actually a victim of an assault and was attempting to flee the building, when officers shot and killed him, thinking he was the assailant. The shooting victim was a 30 year old recent transplant to LA, who was working in the entertainment business. He probably didn’t think when he woke up that morning that he would be killed by police that same night. His parents are suing.
There are many Palm Avenues throughout the country, including Palm Avenue in San Diego, Palm Avenue in Burbank, Palm Avenue in San Mateo, and Palm Avenue in Sarasota, Florida, among others. In the book, Palm Avenue, the street represents the beginning of Ashley’s Hollywood journey. That “innocent” first year before a person becomes jaded, and the dream is stronger than it ever will be again.