After the break of dawn on Thursday, October 12, the sun was slowly rising over Los Angeles as the city slowly began to awaken. Amidst the early morning hustle and bustle, there was one moment that stood out:
At 6:50 a.m., a black limousine pulls up outside the Beverly Hills Hotel with Christian Louboutin and a couple of other cars in tow. The luxurious vehicle is en route to the Setai Beverly Hills, one of the most iconic landmarks in Los Angeles. The 72-room hotel is located at 950 North Sunset Boulevard, and it was built in 1929. The hotel is most famous for housing the writers of the Roaring 20s – those who came up with such timeless gems as jazz, flappers, and champagne. During that time, it served as a home away from home for many prominent individuals.
As the bus pulled up to the hotel entrance, crowds gathered outside to catch a glimpse of the famous guests as they stepped out of the black car. Some people were waving, some were snapping selfies, and others were simply there to watch. It wasn’t every day that a person of that stature – or any stature for that matter – came to be in Los Angeles. After all, this was the city that had given birth to Hollywood, and, at that time, it was considered the center of the movie industry.
Bev Hills is more than a hotel. It is also a place where important moments in Hollywood history were born. In that sense, it holds a nostalgic charm for anyone who has ever called Los Angeles home. As the guests are escorted to their rooms by concierges in bowties, it’s clear that this will not be a regular stop on the actress’ itinerary.
One of the first people Christian met as he stepped out of the car was Elizabeth Taylor. The Queen of England had been a guest at the hotel for several years, and she was coming back to the hotel after a prolonged absence. It’s been nearly 70 years since Taylor had last set foot in Los Angeles, and the excitement of seeing one of the greatest living actresses was clearly visible on Christian’s face.
Taylor greeted Christian with the traditional English greeting: “Good morning, Mr. Pattinson. It’s a pleasure to see you again.” The legendary actress was 94 years old at the time, and she had been in remarkably good health. She may have gone through some ups and downs in her life, but she never stopped being the glamorous, vivacious woman that the world came to know and love. She was a true original, and she will be sorely missed.
While Taylor was undoubtedly the highlight of Christian’s visit, it was not meant to be a series of special events. Elizabeth Taylor was just one of many famous faces that Christian would meet on this trip, and he had other engagements scheduled after the former Taylor cover girl. So it was time for Christian to get back on the road and continue his journey to Tokyo, where he was scheduled to appear at a promotional event for a luxury hotel chain.
The next morning, Christian boarded a flight to Tokyo, Japan. It had been a long time since Christian had been to Japan, and he was looking forward to connecting with the country that he had been missing out on as a child. Christian spent the majority of his time in Japan working, taking quick trips to see the temples and trying to fit in some sightseeing – mostly focused around Tokyo. Although Christian had been to Japan many times before, this visit would be particularly special. He would be representing his wife, Gwen, who was celebrating her 50th birthday.
Christian was born in London, England, in 1968. He moved to Tokyo with his family when he was just six years old. His father worked for an international bank, and the family lived in a large house with a large garden. Christian attended a private school, and he spoke fluent Japanese. As a child, he was always drawing and painting, and he developed an interest in photography by taking his mother’s camera into work and using it to capture things as they occurred. The English accent and the occasional Japanese word came easily to him, and he was often asked questions about both countries. One thing that Christian noticed about Japan is how some people would speak with a thick Japanese accent, but they would still be understood. For some reason, this always made Christian smile.
Christian had no idea that Tokyo would hold such a special place in his heart. He loved the city and considered it his adopted hometown. Christian spent most of his time there exploring the sites associated with manga and anime, reading novels, and taking photographs. Christian also got to experience Japanese culture first hand, going to temple festivals and visiting local museums. He bought some Japanese knives as presents for his father and brother, and he even got to try out some of their traditional cuisine. It was an opportunity that he could have never gotten in England. The city holds a special place in his heart, and he often thinks of it when he is back in England. Tokyo has changed quite a bit in the last fifty years, and it is a completely different city from what Christian remembered and appreciated as a child.
Christian was heading to another country, but this time it was his own. He would be returning to the UK for an appearance at the London premiere of Waterstones – The Art of Living, a film about his art mentor and owner of a famous London bookstore, James Waterstone. The movie is based on James’ life and the many interesting characters that he met along the way. Christian had been approached to be involved with the film, and he looked forward to discussing anime and manga with the director, Gurinder Chadha, and the other cast members. After the film’s premiere, Christian would like to attend the bookshop’s first-ever children’s fashion show. It was going to be a busy couple of days, and it would be a while before Christian would see his family again. For now, he would have to make the most of his time in England and try to fit in as much sightseeing as possible.
On the final leg of his journey home, Christian arrived in Rome. It had been a long time since Christian had been to Italy, and he had not been able to make many trips since his mother passed away. Still, Christian had maintained contact with family members, and they had kept an eye out for his arrival. Christian stepped off the plane and made his way to the hotel, where he was met by his aunt. After checking in and settling down, Christian took a walk to the Colosseum, one of the most recognizable sites in the city. It was a sunny day, and the 70-year-old remembered the good old days – the days before air-conditioning – when the sun actually felt warm.
Christian’s aunt took him around the Colosseum for a tour. The site had been around for centuries before being destroyed in the year A.D. 80. Luckily, parts of the Colosseum had been preserved, and it had become a popular tourist destination. The structures of the Colosseum still stand today, and although much of the site had been turned into a museum, you can still get a taste of what this grand arena looked like back in the day.
Even though Christian had been away for quite some time, it still felt good to be back in the place that he considered home. It was nearly 2,000 miles from London to Tokyo, but it seemed like just a hop, skip, and a jump to Christian.
After six long days of traveling, it was finally time for Christian to go home. It had been a whirlwind trip, and hectic, but it had also been a memorable and enjoyable experience. The main takeaway for Christian was that being away from home for such a long time made him realize how much he loved it there. The cultural differences and the novelty of being in a place so far from England never got old, and Christian was looking forward to being back in London with his family. After returning home, Christian got to spend some time with his wife and children, catching up on their busy schedules and enjoying a much-needed break.