Los Angeles River

 

You know Los Angeles has a river, right?  But did you know it’s more than concrete and graffiti? 

On Sunday, April 18th,   grab your camera, load up the kids and the dog (or a few friends), and car-caravan around the city checking out fab vistas of the L.A. River like Sepulveda Basin and the new parks in the Glendale Narrows (across from Griffith Park).  

Jenny Price of Friends of the L.A. River (FoLAR) and author of “Flight Maps: Adventures in Nature in Modern America” and “13 Ways of Seeing Nature in L.A” will fill you in on the River’s revitalization in between photo ops/river views.  You’ll go to a great taqueria  for lunch as well as what is touted as the world’s best cream puff shop in Little Tokyo.”  (The food is optional…but not in Ms. Go Go’s book.) 

NOTE: Advance sign-up required!   This tour fills up quickly so don’t delay, Go-Go’ers! 

Bring water, shoes that can get wet (optional, but so much less fun), and snacks (save room for the taqueria and Little Tokyo, though!) 

‘Cause really, how often can you get wet and wild with cream puffs…? 

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go…. 

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Author John Buntin brings his book to life in his guest-hosted tour from Esotouric.

 

The weather forecast may call for sunshine and blue skies this weekend but it’s always shady in the land of Noir.  This weekend, check out gangsters and gun molls plus real-life cops and robbers.  Snap-brimmed fedoras optional….  

The second* weekend of American Cinematheque’s Film Noir Festival at the Egyptian Theater features some interesting curiosities. The script for  Bodyguard, the second film in Friday night’s double feature (playing with The Locket) was written by a young Robert Altman.  Sunday night’s Drive a Crooked Road features the double delight of cast-against-type Mickey Rooney as a car mechanic whose penchant for pretty dames has him on the skids in a script by Blake Edwards.  (Walk a Crooked Mile follows.)  Saturday night’s fare has no stunt casting/screenplays but offers a double dose of Broderick Crawford in New York Confidential and Human Desire.  

Go Go’ers in the know dine on dry martinis and other Rat Pack staples across the street at Musso & Frank Grill, Hollywood’s oldest restaurant (opened 1919) and a favorite haunt of Hollywood royalty and writers on a budget  or a binge; John Fante and Charles Bukowski both ate/drank here as did F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway when they wrote for “the studios”.  (NOTE: The bar at Musso & Frank Grill is now open until 2:00AM; a limited but beyond-bar-food menu, such as  steak filet, is also available.)  

Check out L.A.’s real back alleys, brazen gangsters, and beat-cops-with-a-mission in Esotouric’s L.A. Noir Crime Tour.   Author John Buntin brings to life his  highly praised book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City about the decades-long power struggle between cold-blooded-killer/Hollywood scenester Mickey Cohen and controversial Police Chief William Parker.   Buntin guest-hosts the tour  with Esotouric’s Crime Tour creator Kim Cooper.  The tour leaves from the classic Clifton’s Cafeteria; get there early to jolt yourself into consciousness with a cup of joe and a sugary dessert.  

Bad boys and b-girls, this one’s for you.  

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….  

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If you’re  obsessed with all things Raymond Chandler (And really, if you’re reading a blog about offbeat L.A., how could you NOT be…?) and you’re born in March, then you are in double luck, my Go Go friend.

Esotouric, the always-edifying, ever-fascinating bus tour company of all things  eclectic  is offering their occasional tour of  Westside Los Angeles about which Chandler’s iconic private detective Phillip Marlowe noted that “the bright gardens had a haunted look…as though the sunshine itself had a mysterious something in its light” and stripper Dolores noted that “The streets are paved with forgotten husbands!”

 See if you agree with  Marlowe and Dolores, especially if you have a March birthday  or take the tour with someone who does; your ticket (or your March-born pal’s) will be $3.33 if one of you pays full price.

C’mon, what else are you going to do?  Go home and play with your fingerprint collection…?  (Whadya think?  Of  course Chandler wrote that!)

Esotouric’s Raymond Chandler’s Bay City Tour

Saturday, March 27

Check in at 11:30AM/Departure at 12:00PM sharp/Return at 4:00PM

Tour starts and ends at

The Museum of Jurassic Technology

9341 Venice Boulevard

Culver City 90232

Tickets: $58 or $3.33 for those with March birthdays

To purchase tickets or for more information:

http://esotouric.com/chandlerbaycity

Clarification: The March 8th, U Want 2 Go Go post  “Esotouric’s Crawling Down Cahuenga”  suggested  that tour leaders Kim Cooper and David Smay collaborated on a book about Tom Waits.   In fact, Cooper and Smay have collaborated on two anthologies and Cooper has  also written a solo book for 33 1/3 but David Smay is the sole author of Swordfishtrombones about Tom Waits and published by 33 1/3. 

Sign up for the April 3rd, “Crawling Down Cahuenga” tour before it sells out!

Ready?   U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Tom Waits fans, get out your cash and mark your calendars.   Esoutouric, L.A.’s most eclectic, intelligent and informative  tour company, is offering its once-a-year ramble ’round the sites of the gravel-voiced troubadour’s early sins in the City of Angels.

Highlights on the scrupulously researched, four-hour bus tour include: legendary music venue The Troubadour (one of the singer’s early performance/brawling venues); Zoetrope Studios (where Watts fell fast and hard for his wife/collaborator Kathleen Brennan); and the Tropicana Motel (the de facto musicians’ barracks of the Eighties, where Waits lived and evidently made some interesting decorating choices).

Esotouric‘s food stops are always fun; Crawling down Cahuenga starts at The King Edward Saloon (the last, remaining Skid Row bar) and ends at the fabulously faux-forested Clifton’s Cafeteria nearby.

Crawling down Cahuenga will be led by the  Esoutouric host Kim Cooper (who will tell how she convinced Waits to do a private concert while a teenage intern at Zoetrope Studios) and music writer David Smay; the tour leaders have collaborated on a book about Waits.

ESOTOURIC’S CRAWLING DOWN CAHUENGA: Tom Waits’ Los Angeles

Saturday, April 3rd – noon-4:00PM

Bus tour departs from The King Edward Saloon

131 East 5th Street

Los Angeles 90013

$62 per person

INFO: www.esotouric.com or call 323.223.2767

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Stay tuned for upcoming links to The Big GoGo: food, fun, trials and tribulations from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, including where to stay if you get stuck in the Narita airport….