Help Rufus The Fish find a forever home!

A big giant thank you to everyone who has been following along on our efforts to re-home L.A.’s big, lovable aquatic buddy Rufus the Fish!

This has been a very crazy week, we’ve barely had time to take a breath in between trying to field the press and actually try to accomplish our goals for Rufus. We are in the process of setting up a website at to field the press and public and answer the FAQ, but it’s not ready yet. Please bookmark the page for future reference, though!

In the meantime, here are our requests:

  1. PLEASE do not contact the current or past owners of Bahooka or Damon’s to discuss Rufus. They are trying to run businesses, and we don’t want the attention to hurt our efforts. It can be overwhelming!
  2. To follow the story, please join our Facebook community. That is where the real activity of HiddenLA happens, and we are updating the page whenever we have news.
  3. Please go to Rufus’ fundraiser page for basic information and to find out how you can help by donating to cover the costs of this crazy undertaking.
  4. Our current need is a custom fish tank for Rufus… if you can help, please call 310 801 0955.
  5. Please address all press inquiries to:

Thanks again for all of your support! :)

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AWESOMENESS! The Caine’s Arcade film is online!!!

When I’m old and gray and thinking back upon the beginnings of HiddenLA, this will always be one of the first things to bring a smile to my face. You guys did good. :) A GIANT bag o’ props to Nirvan Mullick for making such an adorable short film about the whole story. Watch it below!

If you’d like to help with Caine’s college scholarship fund, please go to the right side of his web page ( and click on “donate.”

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RIP – Film Aficionado Eddie Brandt, 90

Full L.A. Times obituary here.

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Eddie Brandt’s Saturday Matinee 5006 Vineland Avenue, North Hollywood

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NICE STUFF – Be Milly Del Rubio’s Valentine!

To shower the sole surviving Del Rubio Triplet, Milly Del Rubio, with as many Valentine’s Day cards as humanly possible. Just because it’s a nice thing to do and it will really lift her spirits to let her know the Del Rubio Triplets are remembered! Here’s the address:

Milly Del Rubio
c/o Allee Willis
11684 Ventura Blvd., Suite 430
Studio City, CA 91604



Over Christmas, I posted an iconic Del Rubio Triplets video on our Facebook page, and was happy to see how many Angelenos shared their warm memories of our beloved local sisters (if you don’t know who they are, click here before reading further). That was when I was hit with this simple, but wonderful idea. (more…)

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HOT ANGELENO – Happy Biddy Mason Day!

Biddy MasonIn 1989, November 16th was declared Biddy Mason Day in Los Angeles. A memorial to the African American nurse, real estate entrepreneur and philanthropist still exists at the Broadway Spring Center parking garage on Spring Street, which is the site of her former home. Her unmarked grave was finally marked with a tombstone on March 27, 1988, almost a century after her death, in a ceremony attended by Mayor Tom Bradley and nearly 3,000 members of  First American Methodist Episcopal (First A.M.E.), the church she co-founded in her living room. 


Bridget “Biddy” Mason was born in the Deep South on August 15, 1818. She was allegedly given to Mississippi slaver Robert Smith as a wedding present, and eventually bore three daughters by him (some wedding present, eh?). Upon converting to Mormonism, Smith was encouraged by the church to free his slaves but repeatedly declined, even when asked by Brigham Young himself. He moved his entire household (around 90 people, including all slaves and children) to the Utah Territory in 1847, and then in 1851 they all joined the wagon train to San Bernardino to help Young build a new Mormon community there. YouTube Preview Image
Biddy walked the entire way to California, driving oxen behind a wagon train, but the long journey ended up changing her life one thousand percent for the better. See, her owner didn’t initially realize that the California state constitution forbade slavers. Whoops. (more…)

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QUIZ – What Lies Beneath (Philo T. Farnsworth Apartment)

Okay… since nobody guessed, the answer’s after the jump!

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 that once happened or existed 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.

Ready? OKAY! :)

(Special thanks to John C. for this tip!!!)

View Larger Map

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VIDEO – Kitsch in Los Angeles

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Famed songwriter and multimedia artist Allee Willis sure loves our local kitsch!
And if anyone is an expert on kitsch, it’s gonna be Allee… she owns a museum full of it! :)

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MUST SEE TV – Things That Aren’t Here Anymore

This week, take the time to learn a LOT more about our local history by watching the fabulous KCET series Things That Aren’t Here Anymore. The latest episode, the third, will be airing on Thursday, June 10th at 8pm… but it looks like the previous episodes will be airing multiple times this week as well.

CHECK KCET’S PROGRAM SCHEDULE HERE and record these programs accordingly!
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The series gives Angelenos a whole new sense of nostalgia and insight about this city we live in and the lives of the amazing people who have called Los Angeles home. Whether you’re remembering your own past or learning about the things you missed out on, it’s still great watching. Personally, besides reminding me of how many great things have happened here, Things That Aren’t Here Anymore also drives the point home of exactly why HiddenLA exists. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… while it may seem awesome to you that there are only two people in your favorite bar, it’s not great for the bar owner, especially during this economy. So if you don’t want to see your favorite places featured on Things That Aren’t Here Anymore #4… make a point to go outside today and spend every possible moment appreciating and discovering the great things this city offers.

Don’t keep the treasures of Los Angeles hidden… spread the word and support our current local businesses so they live a long time!

Image via“Thursday, June 10 at 8:00 p.m. KCET is broadcasting “Things That Aren’t Anymore 3.” Produced by Saul Gonzalez and co-producer Isaac Mizrahi, and narrated by Patt Morrison, it’s a pledge special celebrating L.A.’s treasured, but lost, places of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Stops include Pandora’s Box and Rodney’s English Disco on the Sunset Strip, Tail ‘o the Pup and Chasen’s restaurants, the Leimert Theater and that spawning ground of 80s Valley Girls, version 1.0 of the Sherman Oaks Galleria. The guests, who all share their memories and connections to these places, include Cherie Currie of The Runaways, KROQ’s Rodney Bingenheimer, L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti, and Ed Pearl, the owner and founder of The Ash Grove.”

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INVITE – PLEASE Come to Our First Birthday Party!!!

SADLY, due to an illness in my family and strangely low ticket sales and an apparent fear of puppets, the birthday party was cancelled. Hopefully we’ll reschedule it again for a future date. :) Thanks to everyone!!!


This is going to be SUCH a fun event, I can’t wait for you all to join us! For what you would normally pay for two martinis at Musso & Franks, you’ll get a night of BORDER GRILL TRUCK FOOD, DRINKS, CAKE, AND A PIECE OF LA HISTORY! Also, think of it this way… besides having fun, your birthday gift to us will helping us to support the Bob Baker Marionette Theater which is really struggling right now.

What better way to spend an evening than marionettes, alcohol, tacos and birthday cake!?

All tickets include:

  • Pre-show mixer sponsored by Karlsson’s Vodka
  • Admission to Bob Baker’s “It’s A Musical World” Marionette Show
  • Ice Cream and Birthday Cake from Hansen’s Cakes
  • Full post-show catering and sangria provided by The Border Grill Truck
  • Gourmet soft drinks from Gus’ Grown Up Soda
  • Plus… who knows what else! :)

PLEASE come to our birthday party! Pretty please!???

Note: If you use the discount “BROKEPEOPLE” you’ll get the tickets at cost. $30!!! Woo hoo!!!



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MATINEE – Confessions of a Superhero

Today, Los Angeles Magazine posted a feature on local “outsiders.” I recognized Harry Perry immediately of course, but when I saw the man in the tuxedo it took me a moment to register it as Dennis Woodruff… the lone cowboy-hatted, crazy car-owning man who once clamored for attention by yelling “Put me in your movie!” in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater long before the arrival of the smelly superheroes of Hollywood & Highland.

In the 1980s, Dennis Woodruff and Angelyne were the two most visible eccentrics on the streets of Hollywood… each determined to seize their 15 minutes of fame without offering any talent in return. My friends and I always got a good laugh out of sighting these strange local icons all over town, to us they were harmless eccentrics whose obsession with fame made us uncomfortable but caught our attention like a bad car accident. We just couldn’t look away… but we didn’t expect the “famous for nothing” path to become a goal for so many people in the future. We didn’t foresee that Angelyne would lead to Heidi Montag.

But I digress. Besides the Los Angeles Magazine article mentioned above, the topic of outsiders is prevalent today since it appears that there’s currently a serious crackdown on the previously mentioned smelly costumed characters of Hollywood Boulevard (or as KTLA painfully called it, a “Zorro Tolerance Policy” – click here for obligatory rimshot). Yes, it looks like there may be quite a few former Spidermen and Captain Jack Sparrows applying for barista jobs in the near future. So while I can’t say I’ll miss them much personally, in honor of these unique individuals we’re going to relive their former glory days by embedding the preview of Matt Ogen’s critically acclaimed documentary Confessions of a Superhero for your viewing pleasure today (a link is provided above to watch the whole film). Enjoy. :)

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CONTEST – Be Fred Rated!!!

Submission deadline: NOON ON FRIDAY, JUNE 11TH, 2010

Some of you may recall our article on Fred Rated commercials a while back. Well kids, on June 15th Fred Rated himself (Shadoe Stevens) along with the entire production team of those crazy ad spots will be hanging out with us and Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater! AND WE’VE GOT TWO PAIRS OF TICKETS TO THE 11PM SHOW TO GIVE AWAY!

Are you creative with video? Are you a giant ham with a penchant for electronic appliances? Well, just send us a file or youtube link of your best attempt to create YOUR VERY OWN version of a Fred Rated commercial! We will pick the two best. Not only will the winners get free tickets to the show, but we might just air your spot at the show and on our Facebook page! You’ll be a STAR, baby!!!! (more…)

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FOCUS – Self Help Graphics

By Mark Miller (Mark and Evonne, please scroll down to the bottom of the page for a special message.)

self help graphics tshirt designMany of you may not be aware of this embattled and historic local center for arts activism, but Self Help Graphics in East L.A. was the brain child of several artists including the late Sister Karen Boccalero, an Italian American, chain smoking Franciscan nun who had studied art in Rome. Sister Karen was apparently a force to be reckoned with. According to some who knew her she was loved, feared, reviled and adored, but never dismissed. Sister Karen had the moxy and the vision to tap into the emerging post 1960′s Chicano movement to bring about positive social change and empowerment through print making. The idea that she co-hatched in 1971 in an East LA garage endures as an important safe haven for artists, art students, and community groups. It’s a prestigous training ground for new and emerging print makers, and many artists who started there have gone on to national prominence. (more…)

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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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RIP – Jaime Escalante

©LA Times/UCLA LibraryUPDATE: Jaime Escalante passed away from cancer on March 30, 2010.
This article is a repost from July 2009.

HiddenLA’s HOT Angeleno of the Day: JAIME ESCALANTE!!!

Our HOT Angeleno feature was created to prove a point and counter the perception that we’re all shallow dimwits here. Knowing this, normally this is about the time I’d make silly jokes about whether or not the accomplished person being profiled has rock-hard abs – just to be a smart ass. Today I’ll refrain from the silliness out of respect for the subject, though. Jaime Escalante was born in Chochabamba, Bolivia, where he began teaching physics and mathematics. In 1964 he decided to find a new life for himself in America, although he spoke no english and had no valid American teaching credentials. He began to go to night school at Pasadena City and CSULA, and in 1974 was hired to teach basic math at Garfield High in East LA. His students were disrespectful, unprepared and uninterested. He considered giving up teaching, but over time his incredible educational and motivational skills as a teacher ended up turning around a low-priority public high school as he single-handedly built a calculus program rivaled by only a few well-funded private academies. His teaching style and students’ accomplishments were the focus of the 1988 movie Stand And Deliver.

So THAT’S why he’s our Hot Angeleno today. But unfortunately, the story of Jaime Escalante didn’t play out as happily as the movie, which is why I won’t joke about his abs. It just doesn’t feel respectful, and he deserves to be honored. Bureaucracy and office politics aside, for our own sakes we need to embrace our passionate and caring educators and leaders instead of underpay them, knock them down and drive them away.

*To see a great video of Jaime discussing his love for teaching, scroll down after the jump.* (more…)

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IMAGERY – Passover Seder, March 1928

Photo of a Seder service at the Hebrew Sheltering
Home for the Aged
in Los Angeles, ca.1928

“Jewry to celebrate festival! — A typical Seder service at the Hebrew Sheltering Home for the Aged in this city. This Jewish festival will be held at the home next Thursday night, with many prominent Hebrew residents of the city in attendance. This symbolic dinner is one of the features of the Passover holiday” — Examiner clipping attached to verso, dated, “Mar 31, 1928″ Image ©USC Digital Archive

According to an April 2003 LA Times article:

“Today, as Jews prepare to observe Passover… Southern California has the nation’s second-largest Jewish population (currently over 650,000). By contrast, the overwhelmingly Catholic pueblo of Los Angeles of 1854 had fewer than 200 Jewish residents and no kosher bakery or butcher shop. A lay rabbi slaughtered animals, carefully observing rabbinic laws, so that Jews might have kosher meat. The aroma of matzo — unleavened bread — wafted from a bakery owned and run by a Catholic. In the hinterlands — the Gold Country of Northern California or the outlying reaches of Southern California — men were often the ones who prepared the Passover seder because there were no women around.

“Despite such accommodations to necessity, historians say a common thread of faith and tradition is woven through the fabric of Jewish history in the West.”

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NICE PEOPLE RULE! And so does a good fish taco.

I’m someone who firmly believes that kind behavior should be rewarded and mean people should be kicked to the curb. There’s a misconception about Los Angeles that people here are all self-absorbed jerks who are only out to get each other… and while there were times in my life where I bought that script, I’ve learned over the decades that I was wrong. There are bad people everywhere in the world, and when all is said and done I’ve found the majority of Angelenos to be solid, hard-working, good people who are often far warmer to strangers than you’ll find in many other cities large and small.
I’ve explained many times that the “hidden” in HiddenLA isn’t about being elitist, but rather it’s referring to the heart of this place that many people are oblivious to. In my mind, the good people of Los Angeles are a very large part of that heart.

besttacoSooo, let me tell you a little story. Tonight I was driving through Los Feliz and realized my blood sugar was a little low and I needed something quick. I passed Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, thinking to myself that I’d seen it mentioned many times on HiddenLA’s Foodie page on Facebook. Thanks to too much quality time in San Diego I’m a Baja Mexican food snob, but I decided to put my fish taco elitism aside and give it a try because you guys have yet to steer me wrong. I may have a Team Rubio’s t-shirt in a drawer somewhere, but I wanted to finally taste for myself if these tacos lived up to the hype.

I parked across the street and walked inside. It wasn’t until the customer in front of me stepped away from paying that I noticed the sign saying “CASH ONLY” and realized I had none, just my well-worn check card. I apologized and began to walk away, but then I heard a voice say, “Hey!” a few times. I turned around and the man behind the register motioned me forward. He was owner Joseph Cordova.


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QUIZ – What Lies Beneath (Walt Disney’s Garage Studio)

Okay, time’s up. The answer is after the jump!!!

It’s that time of the week again! :)

Just to refresh your memory, here’s how this little game goes… first we’ll show you a spot on a google map (see below). We’re thinking of a notable location that’s within walking distance of that exact point, less than a block or two away. Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as before, we’re going to give you a little time to guess what we’re referring to first. We encourage you not to cheat by googling the address (but we know how impatient some of you are). 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.
And no hints this time! BWAHHAHAHAHAAAHHHH!!! < ---(That's our evil laugh.)

Ready? GO!

View Larger Map (more…)

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HOT ANGELENO – Guy Orlando Rose

5 O Clock, 1910Never heard of Guy Orlando Rose? Well, if you had been born 100 years ago you would’ve been in the minority. Not only does the town of Rosemead bear his family name, but Mr. Rose (1867-1925), a California impressionist painter born in San Gabriel, is said to have been the very first native Southern Californian to receive international fame. His incredible artistic vision and skill even earned him high standing as a protégé and friend of Monet. No kidding! Click on the thumbnails throughout this post to see larger views of some of his incredibly beautiful paintings of Southern California in the early 20th Century.


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IMAGERY – Olvera Street Market Salesman, 1938


“In the midst of the Great Depression of the 1930s, Paseo de Los Angeles – later referred to as Olvera Street – was created through the efforts of Christine Sterling and the City Boosters in the oldest section of the city. Olvera Street was an imagined Mexican Landscape not unlike the renowned tourist districts of Mexican border cities (Arreola and Curtis 1993). The theme was “Old Mexico,” pitting a timeless, romantic, homogenous Spanish-Mexican culture against industrialization, immigration, urban decay and modernity itself. The street featured rows of curio shops, house museums, and Mexican eateries staffed by costumed Mexican merchants. As a constructed place, Olvera Street was the product of a social and economic agenda established by civic elites to transform downtown Los Angeles through the removal of undesirable residents. The opening of Olvera Street and the preservation of the old Plaza also popularized an emerging creation mythology for Anglo Los Angeles stemming from the defeat of Mexican forces in 1847, a heroic birth legend in which Sterling emerged as a symbolic mother figure and guardian of the city’s birthplace.”

Excerpted from Los Angeles’ Old Plaza and Olvera Street: Imagined and Contested Space, by William D. Estrada © 1999

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IMAGERY – Poor Mrs. Pauline Paulson


On the glorious evening of March 10th, 1952, after watching her beloved film favorites depart the Hollywood Pantages Theater (where the 1952 Oscar ceremonies were held), 80-year-old grandmother Pauline Paulsen fell in between the rows of bleachers and was rushed to Hollywood Receiving Hospital. Ouch!!! Sure looks like Pauline is the star of the show in this shot! (more…)

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SERIES – Dr. George Shows Us The Newsroom, 1990

dr+george Curious to see what some of our long-standing local news anchors were really like twenty years ago? Well, here ya go. Looks like Dallas Raines was only *half* as orange!

I have to say in all seriousness that I miss Dr. George, though…

This is Part 1 of a 5 part Mini-Doc series done by Dr. George Fischbeck, entitled “How We Do The News”. It shows all the behind-the-scenes work it takes to put a newscast on the air. The year was 1990, and you can see all the archaic equipment we all had to work with — which was “Top of the line” for that day. Enjoy the telecast from Eyewitness News on KABC Channel 7 here in Los Angeles.”

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FLASHBACK – The Chicano Moratorium of 1970

chicanoOn August 29, 1970, the Chicano Moratorium against the war in Vietnam was held in East L.A.

Loyola-Marymount film student Tom Myrdahl shot this documentary, capturing the events that unfolded as law enforcement and protesters clashed in and around Laguna Park. This film has not been seen in nearly 40 years. Tom, who is still a working cameraman in Los Angeles, is putting this historic film on the web as a tribute to the brave citizens of East L.A. who came together 40 years ago to voice their dissent against the Vietnam War.

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RIP – Bill Binder, Philippe’s Patriarch


William “Bill” Binder (seen above left, with sons Richard and John circa 1982), who for years ran Philippe’s, the Los Angeles eating institution famous for its sawdust-covered floors and trademark French dip sandwiches, has died. He was 94.

Binder, who retired in 1985, died Jan. 28 of natural causes at a care facility in Pasadena, said his son John, who runs Philippe’s with his brother, Richard.

“He had a real mild temperament; he always tried to treat everybody with respect,” John Binder said. “He had a very, very deep religious belief. He felt we were just so blessed to have the business.” (more…)

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HISTORY – Sister Aimee & Her Castle

angelusAs some of you may know, as a teenager during the early 20th century my grandmother preached in tent revivals alongside (and also babysat for) local evangelist Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, who was once – without question – the most powerful, influential, and controversial woman in all of America. Founder of the Foursquare Church, Sister Aimee opened her Angelus Temple on New Year’s Day in 1923… a giant round building facing Echo Park which no doubt many of you pass daily without thinking twice about. The building’s cost was an unheard-of 1.2 million dollars at the time (paid for through average donations of TWO CENTS!!)… leading one critic to declare that Aimee “put the cost in Pentecost.”

At the very bottom of this post is a rare video tour of Aimee’s castle home in Lake Elsinore. Directly below are a few short samples of the show-womanship of Sister Aimee in all of her sin-battling glory… so REPENT, SINNERS!
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