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Good Grove/Bad Grove: Celebrity Sightings Edition

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We've all been stuck in this predicament: you have relatives or friends visiting from out of town, and they want to do some sightseeing. You beg and plead with them, "Trust me! Hollywood is skuz central!" and "You've seen the handprints at Mann's Chinese on TV. Isn't that good enough?" and "No, I will not spend five hours with you searching out Don Knotts' star." But they drag you up to Hollywood Boulevard, and you do your best to keep your spirits up. "Yeah, R2-D2's footprints. Hilarious." And they're still not satisfied. Seeing Sean Connery's appendages immortalized in cement only whets their appetite for the real thing. "This is Hollywood," they say. "I want to see some celebrities!"

In the past, these words would launch you and your guests on an exhausting trek around LA's pricier neighborhoods and restaurants, scooping up overpriced maps to stars' homes, whose most interesting piece of property is a condo Morgan Fairchild owned in 1982. But nowadays, a guaranteed starfuck is just a very short trolley ride away, at LA's one-stop shopping center for the rich and famous, the Grove.

One of the best things about the Grove is that it's almost impossible to go there and not see a celebrity. It might be Brad and Jennifer catching a movie, or Tom Cruise and his agent chatting about Scientology over dinner, or Winona hurrying out of a store with her purse clutched tightly to her side. More likely it'll be one of the guys from "Yes, Dear" or someone from the fourth season of "Survivor" or something like that. But odds are it'll be someone. And usually, that's all it takes to please your out-of-town friends. Besides, out-of-town guests tend to be so blown away by the Grove's Disneyesque sheen and the "Wow, you can shop outdoors in LA!" feel of it all that even a cast member of "Road Rules" standing next to them at Anthropologie will feel like a brush with royalty. And while your friends are gawking at the famous faces around them, you can at least browse Barnes & Noble or the Apple Store to keep yourself busy. For entertaining our friends and helping us avoid one more trip to every other tourist trap in the city, celebrity sightings are definitely part of the Good Grove.