Celeste Barber has made a name for herself on Instagram by impersonating (or, more to the point: parodying, often unflatteringly) Instagram “celebrities”, so much so that the Australian comedian has become something of an Instagram Celebrity herself, amassing no less than 4.3 million followers on the platform. This popularity has led to a live show, #CelesteChallengeAccepted, which in May took her to the U.S. for a short string of shows. Celeste has returned from her time in the States with this guide to one area she spent a lot of time in while over there: Hollywood.
My mini U.S. tour went so well. It was 2 weeks, 11 shows, five of which were in California, and I loved it. The Angeleno people were super warm and loud. My kind of people. We seem a bit more laid back in Australia, but if Americans like something they will bloody well tell you one hundred times, until you start believing your own hype. It can be dangerous.
Where to stay:
We stayed at the new Dream Hollywood Hotel, in Hollywood, which only opened last year – and it was great. I hadn’t stayed in the Hollywood area before, but it seems to be undergoing a transformation of sorts and there are really cool little pockets opening up. I’m really into the area around Selma Avenue, near the Dream, where there are great restaurants and cafes. We went to Groundwork Coffee Co EVERY MORNING for our breakfast and coffee hit. If you’re there, be sure to ask for Travis and tell him Celeste says hi.
The Dream Hollywood Hotel was true to its name. It’s right next to the fancy nightclub, Avenue LA. As my clubbing days were over about a decade ago, I wasn’t into the partying. Instead I sat in the foyer watching all the pretty people do all the pretty people things – it was awesome. I could pretty people watch all day long.
Where to play:
I have a real obsession with walking through Urban Outfitters and pretending I live there and the people that work there are my roommates – it’s weird and I love it. There was an Urban Outfitters concept store in Hollywood called Space 15Twenty, around the corner from the Dream Hollywood Hotel, where we were staying, so I would go there and be weird. This store has not only women’s and men’s clothes, but it also has all of the homeware stuff! I have only ever seen their homeware online and as DJ Sweaty Fresh and I are OBSESSED with homewares, we were in our element.
Where to eat:
Umami Burger Hollywood changed our lives. There are several stores across L.A, but there was one right across the road from our hotel in Hollywood., and its right next to Urban Outfitters. Man, we TOTALLY made the most of it.
At select outlets they do a burger called The Impossible Burger, which is a veggie patty, but you would never know. I still dream about it. I may have had two for lunch on the final day in L.A. because I was trying to prolong my separation anxiety.
America does a burger like no-one else in the world. Every time I go back to L.A. I think ‘I’m going to eat well and drink all the green juice in the city’, but the burgers call me. And now The Impossible Burger has my heart, it’s going to be impossible to beat it. (See what I did there?).
Where to drink:
There is an awesome rooftop bar called The Highlight Room at Dream Hollywood Hotel that has 360-degree views of L.A, as well as the iconic Hollywood sign. You can also see the Scientology building from up there, which gives the right amount of ‘heebee-jeebies’ that a rooftop margarita can fix. #Hothusband was also quite partial to several Dos Equis every afternoon.
Where to get that perfect Instagram shot; the one that screams “I’m so in L.A. right now!”:
You can never go wrong with The Hollywood Sign.
The go-to neighbourhood outside of Hollywood:
We went to Malibu for #hothusbands birthday, which was great. We stayed at an awesome hotel called The Surf Rider, which is inspired by the Californian surf culture, and just did a whole lot of nothing which was very exciting for us.
Common misconceptions Aussies have about Los Angeles:
That it’s all matcha lattes and yoga classes. But it’s actually home to a really diverse culture, something we don’t get much of here in Australia. Unknown to many is that L.A. has a really great mix of markets. Every weekend there was a new and different farmers or thrift market on in the city. I love markets and L.A. do them really well. My favourite are the Fairfax High School markets.
There are all walks of life in L.A. I love this about the city, there are so many different cultures and languages throughout the diverse neighbourhoods, we miss out on a lot of this living in Australia and being so far away from the rest of the world.
My experience spotting a celebrity:
I saw Caitlyn Jenner’s son, when I was at SoHo House in Little Beach House Malibu with my Aussie mates. I think it was Brandon, but Brody is much more famous, so let’s say Brody… It was kind of fun and boring all at once. I was hoping to see Miley Cyrus skipping around with daisies in her hair, but no such luck.
I did meet with a few fancy peeps this time round, but they are all top secret. Watch this space! I’m heading to New York in September to hang with some fancy model types. But, that’s all I can really say right now.