Los Angeles Journals

My Los Angeles Times

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A travel journal to Los Angeles by aboutthatplace

Oklahoma City National Memorial Photo, United States, North America More Photos
Quote: When I review my years in Los Angeles, I see them as a journey, sometimes more inner than outer. Going from a young writer in awe, to a working stiff becoming disillusioned with the "Hollywood" scene and finally, missing the small town atmosphere. This journal will chronicle those changes.

L.A. History 101

Los Angeles Skyline Photo, Los Angeles, California
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Los Angeles is 72 suburbs in search of a city -- Dorothy ParkerOlvera Street AreaIn 1781, eleven families settled the area that is now known as Los Angeles. They based their settlement (El Pueblo de Nuesta Senora Reina de Los Angeles) close to the river, southeast of Olvera Street. Due to flooding this settlement moved to higher ground around 1800, when a plaza was established, surrounded by adobe buildings and, beyond that, agricultural fields and cattle ranches. This new village remained under Spanish control until 1821 when Mexico declared its independence. In 1877 the long street by the plaza became known as Olvera Street, after a prominent early judge. In t...Read More
Echo Park Lake Photo, Los Angeles, California
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Echo ParkIn a hilly area, then untouched, and known as Edendale, Thomas Kelly -- a former carriage maker -- developed the ‘Montana Tract’, complete with a lake in the center. The grassy hills proved the perfect location to shoot very early Westerns, starring Tom Mix, so the studios began settling into the area -- long before Hollywood was developed and ‘talkies’ were filmed. Tom Mix, and another early screen actress, Gloria Swanson, and many other performers began buying homes in the developing area. This marked the birth of L.A.’s first Bohemian quarter. Prior to WWI, it earned the nickname "Red Hill," due to the large number of political radicals living here, intermixed wi...Read More
Malibu Shoreline Photo, Los Angeles, California
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MalibuBefore this pristine, 21-mile stretch of shoreline became the ‘Land of Ferraris’, it was home to the Chumash tribe, which called the area "Hu-maliwo’ (which transformed into Malibu). Then, Spanish explorer, Juan Cabrillo, discovered the area, and the land was forever changed. The Spanish returned to build the famous Californian mission system, up and down the coast. In the meantime, the Rindge family settled in the central area of Malibu, where current day Topanga Canyon connects with Malibu. The Rindge family was a reclusive clan that wanted to keep the public out. Southern Pacific challenged the family in court to allow railroad access, in an early example of eminent...Read More

Activities, Events, Tips and More

Plastic Changed The World

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Story/Tip

Finding Marilyn... Photo, Los Angeles, California
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It's part of the mythology, which is: The place didn't exist before I got here. Back home, you were Norma Jean. In California, it's Marilyn Monroe. -- Tim HodsonCertainly, Los Angeles has its flaws. One time, the smoke from the fires kept us inside for three days. Then, there was the permanent Rush Hour - you really do have to see it to believe it. People are flaky and showing up 20 minutes late is the norm -- if people show up at all. And, once, my car was used as a shield, by the police, during a shoot out. But, Los Angeles is remarkable in ways too. No one cares if you show up in a supermarket in PJs to buy cereal at 9:30 at night. It’s a live and let live attitude. ...Read More

Where Dreams Come True, and with Popcorn

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Story/Tip

Disney's El Capitan Theatre Photo, Anaheim, California
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Disneyland is such a big thing to Californians, I discovered that when you cross the border you have to raise your right hand and take an oath that you believe in Walt Disney -- Jack PaarIn my years of living in L.A. I managed to only be forced to Disneyland twice. (I have the firm belief that Disney is out for my soul, and for the money in my wallet). And, I was amazed at what that little rodent has accomplished. Since his 1928 debut in ‘Steamboat Willie’ (which was actually the third MM cartoon) that little mouse has amassed a fortune. Did you know that Disney was the first studio to make $1 billion in one year. (In 1994, with some help from ‘The Lion King’.)If you want ...Read More

Location, Location, Location

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Story/Tip

Paramount Movie Ranch Photo, Los Angeles, California
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You’re just trying to return a library book, but the street is blocked off - without warning - by uniformed police officers (who are strangely off-duty). You’re simply carrying groceries to your car when someone runs up, clipboard in hand, and tells you to "Get out of the shot". Or, suddenly, the bar you’re trying to enter, breaks out in a large fistfight -- all captured on film. Welcome to "Location Filming" in L.A.There are a few ways to find out where films have been shot, and where they are currently filming. 1) You can pester the people at the L.A. film permit office for a "daily shoot sheet". Film L.A. Inc. Physical address: Los Angeles Center Studios, 450 S. Bixel St.,...Read More

What I Miss Most About L.A.

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Story/Tip

The Apple Pan Photo, Los Angeles, California
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It’s the food. Los Angeles offers over 25,000 restaurants, and 26 ethnic groups cook up dinner. The choices are limitless. Even in a town where you have to get financing for dinner at one of those trendy restaurants, there are options for those who are broker than the ten commandments.Or, you can go to the trendy places to see stars. But, here’s some advice. 1) Stars don’t want to be bothered so they will dine at out-of-the-way, hole-in-the-wall places. Somewhere that a celebrity wouldn’t be caught dead in. 2) If the star wants to be seen (oh, say, they have a movie coming out soon) they will go to some place like The Ivy (113 Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills). The rest...Read More

Riding To End It

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Story/Tip

Rider 1249 Photo, Los Angeles, California
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One of the best memories that I have of Los Angeles, is not necessarily Los Angeles, but an activity which took me from San Francisco to L.A. It wasn’t for myself, it was to help another human being, someone that I didn’t even know. I rode a bicycle 563 miles to raise money -- and awareness -- for AIDS and HIV research and education.Certainly I had known those with AIDS, but I buried the last in 1998. Collectively, we have buried more than 25 million family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers since 1981. And, 2.7 million new cases are reported every year. I couldn’t sit on my butt, er, actually I could, as I pedaled those miles, each mile representing 1 pill for som...Read More

What A Wild, Wild Ride, Dude

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Story/Tip

Malibu Shoreline Photo, Los Angeles, California
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Ah, come on. It’s Southern California. You have to try it at least once, man. Surfing. You just have to surf. So, I will tell you what not to do the first time out on your board. I didn’t take any classes. I read no books. Watched no videos. Instead, I went to a surf shop and purchased the cheapest used board they had ($100 and full of dings). Then, I went to where I knew the surfers would be, Huntington Beach, allegedly the first town built by surf.I watched the waves roll in, and how the surfers rode them. Probably for an hour or so. Then I practiced getting on the board while still on the sandy shore. I did a couple of pop-ups and tossed my board into the waves -- donning s...Read More

Surf Dawg!

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Story/Tip

Our Little Sandmonster Photo, Los Angeles, California
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It was very early on a Saturday morning when I got the phone call, and, frankly, Dad didn’t care about the three hour time difference. It was the dog. The puppy was driving him crazy. I had to come get the little Westie. We had planned to visit Ohio soon. And, my better half and I were discussing getting a second dog anyway.Our first dog, Bambi, was, well, divalicious. She hated men, children and life. She was afraid of the wind, neighbors, other dogs and tulips. All she did was lounge in bed, or spend the day basking in the sun that came through the living room sliding door. We thought a second dog would bring her out of her shell.The little Westie had a sweet face, s...Read More

Gardens in the Los Angeles Area

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Story/Tip

South Coast Botanic Garden Photo, Los Angeles, California
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As I started towards retirement, I decided to upgrade my little point-n-shoot Kodak. After reading loads of reviews I settled on a Nikon D700. It arrived in the mail last November, and I instantly set off to learn to photograph. I quickly discovered a passion for flowers -- and, as a bonus, they don’t move. This lead us on a quest to find great gardens.Here our my top garden picks:Descanso Gardenswww.descansogardens.org1418 Descanso DriveLa Canada FlintridgeIntersection of the 210 and 2 freeways$8 admission. Gift shop and cafe available. A tram runs daily around the gardens.The property originally belong to E. Manchester Boddy, ow...Read More

The Big Move

Hollywood's Calling: Part I

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Story/Tip

Oklahoma City National Memorial Photo, United States, North America
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By day I was working in a call center answering phone calls from the general public. We "supported" medical supplies by addressing concerns and questions from consumers. I was assigned to the incontinence products. My most used line was that our product couldn’t hold the "full human void of 600 cc." I didn’t know what a cc was, and I wondered why I had to explain that we were referring only to human voids.By night I was working on a local television show called ‘The Travel Junkie’. It was my love and passion, and I would stay up all night researching and writing scripts. The next day I often slept between cc’s.A lovely career before me, and a relationship heading towards ...Read More

Hollywood's Calling: Part II

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Story/Tip

Mojave Desert Photo, United States, North America
Quote:
Oatman, ArizonaIt was one-thirty, the sun was high in the sky, and it was hot enough to cook an egg on the sidewalk. An aged cowboy sat in a rocker on a wooden sidewalk, fanning himself with a hat. A woman wearing an apron came to the doorway of a worn clapboard building, to look outside, wiping her hands on the apron, and shielding her eyes from the sun. Then, from nowhere, BAM BAM, two scoundrels fell, dead. The sheriff was back in Oatman. It could have been a scene from How The West Was Won (filmed here).Located 28 miles from Kingman, Arizona, this old west town curls around the craggy rocks of Black Mountains. Good luck making it up those hairpin turns and butterflies...Read More