Archive for April, 2010

QUIZ – What Lies Beneath (Childhood Home of Julia Child)

Okay, sorry for the delay… we had some technical issues but the answer’s posted now! It’s after the jump. :)

We know we’ve been a bit behind on posting lately… we’ve been trying to focus on planning some events and getting root canals and stuff, so admittedly this quiz is long overdue. But here it is!

As a refresher, here’s how this little game goes… we’ll show you a spot on a google map (see below). We’re thinking of something notable within a block or two of the point on that map. Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as always, we’re going to give you a fair amount of time to guess what we’re referring to first. We encourage you not to cheat by googling the address and if you know the answer right away please try not to announce it too quickly and ruin the game for the people who don’t.

Today we’re headed to the San Gabriel Valley. Ready? OKAY! :)


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IMAGERY – The Old Chinatown Blacksmith, 1899

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW AT A LARGER SIZE ©USC Digital Archive

Photographic portrait of “The Old Chinatown Blacksmith” in Chinatown, ca.1899. The blacksmith is at center and is dressed in traditional Chinese clothes. He is standing to the left of a brick building with several doors and windows in it, as well as a large key painted on it. There are awnings covering the walkway where the man is standing. There is another man walking in the background; he is dressed in Western clothes, including a jacket and hat.

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AY DIOS MIO! – The Lucha Lords

LUCHAAs previously mentioned, many aspects of Mexican culture are very close to my heart… so when Andrew from Lucha Lords invited us to watch underground Mexican Wrestling on Sunday I was all for it. I may be a girly girl in some ways, but I love that stuff.
CLICK ON EACH THUMBNAIL FOR A LARGER VIEW.
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It was an evening of authentic entertainment featuring exactly what I was hoping for… a variety of (often pot-bellied) men in wacky spandex ensembles and masks playing out testosterone-fueled soap operas and combined displays of pain both very real and very faked. My favorite rivalry was between a large man dressed up like Tweety Bird and his archnemesis, a wrestler who looked like a reject from a community theater production of CATS. (Sadly, Tweety lost.) There are no hipster burlesque shows or fanciness to these events (or English, for that matter)… just Lucha Libre at its core, in a room filled with family members cheering on their favorites (sometimes with a bullhorn).
Hosted in a community hall behind a grungy cafe on 7th Street, Lucha Lords feels like the purest form of the spectacle… and it was easy to forget we were still in Los Angeles. It was 100% pure macho cheesy entertainment and one of the most fun things I’ve done in a while. Thanks Andrew! By the way, if you’re up for the adventure the Lucha Lords generally do their thing on Sundays from 7-10pm, but check the web site for full information.
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VIDEO – One Sunday in Los Angeles

Here’s a cool video by HiddenLA fan and devoted LA Kings podcaster Chris Kaliszewski.

Happy Sunday, everybody! :)

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WINNER – The Chosen Stomach Has Been Chosen!

Courtney is hardcore. This is her about to scarf down a tarantula. Don't you dare think she's faking it... Courtney actually WOULD.Well, we found a winner to represent us in the Six Taste Bizarre Food Challenge. It’s a shame we could only pick one person but they might be offering the challenge again in the future if there’s enough interest so if you’d like to purchase tickets check out their site and get on their mailing list.
Trust me, the competition was fierce… and a little stomach churning for me. Deciding between the entries was seriously rough. You people are insane! In the end we had narrowed it down to two entrants, and we finally just picked the person who submitted first between them.
Her name is… Courtney Chai, who despite her girlish exterior is actually a hardcore devourer of everything from cobra blood to ant larvae tacos to snake skin to tarantulas… and trust me, she showed us plenty of proof.

Mmmm! Ant larvae tacos!

“My dad is Chinese from Hong Kong, and my mom is a southern belle from Georgia. I grew up eating frogs legs, chicken feet, and thousand year old egg, as well as scrapple and grits.  My backgrounds definitely gave me a taste for adventure. I have traveled around the world eating bizarre foods, including, among others (1) tarantula in Cambodia, (2) grasshopper tacos in Mexico and Washington D.C., (3) ant larvae in Mexico City, (3) veal brains at the French Laundry in Napa, (4) jellyfish in Hong Kong, and (5) snails in Portugal, Spain, and France. 

“A few years ago I took a trip to Vietnam where I ate an entire snake in a small village outside of Hanoi. When I arrived at the restaurant, I was directed to a large cage of live snakes where I was asked to pick out my dinner.  Then they took the live snake inside, drained its blood into a carafe of wine, and pulled out the snake’s still-beating heart to be swallowed whole along with a glass of snake blood wine. Following this aperitif, I was fed an eight course meal of snake soup, snake stir fried with vegetables, fried snake skin, snake fried rice, snake bone congee, snake eggrolls, etc. 

“Although I am slight (a mere 5 feet, two inches, and 105 pounds), I can also eat a lot.  I have been known in my group of friends to eat two dinners in a row.  Accordingly, I am confident that I could clean my plate at every station at the Bizarre Food Challenge.” 

Okay kiddo… you’re on! MAKE US PROUD! Meanwhile, if your stomachs are up for it, dear readers, some of our runners up are featured after the jump. :)

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QUIZ – What Lies Beneath (Baldwin Hills Dam Break)

WOW. You guys are on the ball today! The full answer is after the jump. :)

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Well, we were a bit busy last week so we fell a little behind on our quizzes… but we’ll try to make up for it now. :)

You regular readers should know how this game works by now… it all starts when we show you a spot on a google map (see below) and tell you that we’re thinking of a reason this particular area is notable. Then you start to guess what that reason might be. Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as always, you have a nice amount of time to guess what we’re referring to first, we encourage you not to cheat by googling the address and we also ask that if you know the answer right away please try not to announce it too quickly and ruin the game for those who might not.

And with that little refresher course… it’s guessing time! No hints today, either.


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HELP – This Pup Needs A Home!

Food trucks are so trendy in Los Angeles right now… and while we definitely do enjoy the occasional Kogi spicy pork slider, at heart we tend to be more old school and sentimental here at HiddenLA. So a big thanks to our friends over at Mapping Los Angeles for cluing us in to today’s LA Times article about the ongoing struggle of iconic food stand Tail O The Pup, which has apparently been gathering dust, covered up and sitting on wheels in a Torrance warehouse for four years now, waiting for someone to give the registered Los Angeles landmark a home.
CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW Tail O The Pup - Photo by Max Yavno, 1946 (more…)

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CONTEST – Are you THE CHOSEN STOMACH???

YouTube Preview ImageMmmm!!!!! Frog ovary dessert soup!Do you have a hearty appetite for the obscure? Have you a hankering to devour delicacies that would send most people running? When you see bugs in the yard, do you wonder how they would taste with a little salt and pepper? Well then, you actually just sound kinda weird… but hey, if you’re ready to clean your plate no matter what odd ethnic delicacies are piled upon it, WE NEED YOU! (Scroll down for full details.) Please send a video link, photo or well-written narrative to contest@hiddenLA.com with “BIZARRE” in the subject header and convince us that you are THE CHOSEN STOMACH!!! Contest submissions will be accepted until midnight on Tuesday, April 13th.

HiddenLA is looking for someone with a strong constitution to represent us in Six Taste Tours’ upcoming Bizarre Food Tour Challenge!!! The event begins on April 17th at 10:30am in San Gabriel Square and tickets are normally $40. The challenge is sold out, but they’ve saved ONE SEAT for a HiddenLA fan (YOU?) and we gotta pick someone who will make us proud. No lightweights need apply! The culinary delights you’ll be introduced to aren’t for the faint of tummy!!!

Eat outside the box and join Six Taste on a Bizarre Food Tour Challenge. Taking place in San Gabriel Valley: The New Chinatown, participants will get to try several ‘bizarre’ dishes made by some of the best Chinese cooks in Greater Los Angeles County. Sample jellyfish, frog ovaries, crocodile, stinky tofu and more – this is an opportunity to expand your palate and challenge preconceived notions of what belongs on your plate. Participants will be challenged to clean their plate at every stop. Those that finish will get a Six Taste certificate of achievement and a place on our website hall of fame.

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OUR FIRST 3-D POST!!! – Jack Laxer at the Getty

CLICK ON THE THREE THUMBNAILS BELOW TO VIEW ANIMATED GIFS. IF YOU’D RATHER VIEW THE IMAGES SIDE BY SIDE, WE’VE POSTED THEM AFTER THE JUMP.

stereopticon_smWHAT: Photography in 3-D: Capturing the Built Environment, Photography by Jack Laxer
WHEN: Sunday, April 11, 2010, 3:30pm – 5:30pm
WHERE: Getty Center, Museum Lecture Hall
COST: Course fee $15 (includes 3-D glasses and parking); reservations required. Call (310) 440-7300

My grandmother owned a stereopticon, and as a child I was fascinated by it. I still have it, and it looks *just* like the contraption on the right. Basically, during the early days of photography the stereopticon was an invention that helped people of the late 19th century collect the sights of the world without leaving home… a magical machine displaying the most exotic wonders of the world in 3D so people could fantasize about being there in person. 3D may be all the rage when it comes to watching movies right now, but the art of 3D photography is still more amazing to me somehow.
The other day I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jack Laxer who will be showing his master 3D/stereo photography of Modernist architecture at the Getty this Sunday (complete with 3D glasses provided!) . When he was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to feature some of his work on HiddenLA this week, I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it justice but I knew I was up to the challenge. Since I can’t exactly hand out stereopticans to all of you, I decided to try turning them into animated gifs… and it actually kinda works! Obviously the effect will be much better if you go to his Getty event and check out his work in person with 3D glasses on your face, but this’ll give you a taste. One warning though… before you click on the thumbnails below, just please be sure you aren’t epileptic. Oh, and just know if you haven’t had coffee yet, you probably won’t need any after viewing them. ;)

CLICK ON THUMBNAILS BELOW FOR ANIMATED GIFSThe Huddle in Palm Springs, a long-gone coffee shop Denny's in Colton The Holiday Bowl
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VIDEO – Beneath Los Angeles

melblancHere’s a little tribute to the truly permanent residents of Los Angeles by Steve Goldstein, the man behind LA’s Graveside Companion: Where the V.I.P.s R.I.P. (and regular contributor to Find A Grave). This video features images from a book he’s working on… and for your internet pleasure, he also offers “GraveGrams” that you can send to your friends too.


Unfortunately, the video appears to have some buffering issues so for optimum enjoyment, I’d recommend pausing it to give it a chance to load before playing.

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IMAGERY – Easter Sunrise, 1938

1938 Easter Sunrise Services at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park

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Have a wonderful Sunday…
whether Jesus and bunnies are involved or not! :)

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VIDEO – The Hidden Oil Rigs of L.A.

Anyone who has driven by down La Cienega to the airport or through Long Beach has found the local oil derricks hard to miss. Many people know about the rigs hidden between the kidney shaped buildings at Beverly Center and that the site of the Farmers Market/Grove Shopping Center was where Earl Gilmore once struck oil, but most don’t realize that black gold is actually being pumped from the ground below your feet every day. The video below really shows and explains that process.

Exploration #4 – Oil of L.A. – Twenty billion barrels of oil sit beneath Los Angeles. Hidden in plain sight, thousands of wells pump day and night all over the city covered by hollow office buildings, camouflaged next to high schools, and concealed behind shopping malls. We put on our boots and went exploring.

This great video was filmed as part of VBS.tv “Uneven Terrain,” a series “devoted to urban exploration and uncovering the hidden, underground and forgotten corners of the world’s leading metropolises.” The second episode was about pirate radio in London.

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