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RESOURCE – The Los Angeles Heritage Portal

As someone whose family arrived here over a century ago, I’m all about showing the world that Los Angeles is indeed a place filled with history and culture. And now I’m thrilled to see that ExperienceLA.com and the Los Angeles Heritage Alliance (LAHA) have just joined forces to created a fantastic resource that will make that task a lot easier!!!  

I hereby introduce you to: The Los Angeles Heritage Portal!

“…it’s sometimes easy to take for granted the deep history and heritage of L.A. – history that is still alive today. This is why ExperienceLA.com, along with our partners at the Los Angeles Heritage Alliance (LAHA), are excited to announce the new L.A. Heritage Portal. At this portal, you’ll be able to find in one location all the events taking place year-round throughout L.A. County (as well as other parts of the SoCal region) that celebrate over 250 years of history and culture. You can find everything from re-enactments, to exhibitions, to walking tours, to historic food tastings, architecture and lots more. It is our hope that through this portal, history fanatics, visitors, and all residents of L.A. County can discover (or re-discover) and come to appreciate our past, and the many groups dedicated to preserving it for future generations.” (SOURCE)

AWESOME SAUCE!!!    

LA Heritage Portal

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HELP HLA GROW!

Hey folks, guess what we *finally* got off our butts and made, after a month of requests?

A PAYPAL DONATE BUTTON! Woo hoo!

Wanna try it out and see if it works? That would be fantastic!
Here it is:


If just ten percent of our Facebook fans each gave us just five dollars, we could focus on Hidden Los Angeles full time and hire help while we write articles and plan events… so if over the last month you:

  • Have enjoyed articles on our web site;
  • Have enjoyed our Facebook pages;
  • Would like to read more of our posts in the future;
  • Plan to use our Facebook pages more in the future;
  • Would like us to stay free of icky advertising on both our site and Facebook pages;
  • Would like to see us create new events in the future;
  • Would like to see us create mobile apps in the future;
  • Would like to see our web site and Facebook pages become bigger and better long-term community resources for you in general;
  • or are simply in a friggin’ awesome and generous mood…

… basically, if any of those things apply to you we would be profoundly thankful if you would click on the logo above and help us out. :)

So far our efforts have been completely on top of our day jobs, free to the public and free of all advertising… but it’s awfully tough to pay rent and grow this site by paying with happy thoughts! We’re exhausted and desperately need your help to keep this heartfelt project moving forward now that our plans for it are becoming so much larger.

Stay tuned for updates on some of our future plans very soon!

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RESOURCE – Avoiding Oscar Pileups

oscarOkay, so some people are into the Oscars, some aren’t. What *I’m* really into is not getting stuck in Oscar traffic. Fortunately, I can now thank the Academy for making a handy PDF to help folks like me achieve this goal.

The road closure alerts for today and tomorrow are linked as images after the jump. To get a bigger view, just click on the image.

BTW, the image of Rob Lowe & Snow White really has nothing to do with tonight’s Oscars in particular. It’s just something I honestly can’t believe I ever witnessed on live television…

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RESOURCE – Walking in LA

YouTube Preview Image First off, will people ever stop quoting this song? Yeah, it was catchy. But Dear World, please take a second to LOOK AT THE PEOPLE IN THIS VIDEO. They wore clothing made out of tinfoil, for Chrissakes! (And while we’re at it… what was with the blackjack dealer visor?) Seriously, Dale Bozzio in the 80′s doesn’t exactly represent today’s average Angeleno and their pedestrian habits.

People DO walk here. There are great walking maps all over the web to prove it. And if you’re a fan of foot traffic, here’s a handy web tool: Walk Score. The site claims “Almost every city has walkable neighborhoods where it’s possible to live a car-lite lifestyle,” and as walking goes we actually have better weather and more to do than most places.

According to Walk Score, only 16% of Angelenos live in totally car-dependent neighborhoods, which are mainly residentially-locked places like Bel Air and Pacific Palisades. Walk Score‘s list of LA’s most walkable neighborhood is here, but you can plug in any address and the site will grade it based upon what’s within walking distance. Categories listed are: Grocery Stores, Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Bars, Movie Theaters, Schools, Parks, Libraries, Bookstores, Fitnes, Drug Stores, Hardware Stores and Clothing and Music. It actually listed things in my neighborhood I was totally oblivious to. Try it out… and from now on, if you are one of those people who “never walks in LA,” don’t blame it on some old song. Just admit that you’re either lazy or have simply forgotten how to relax enough to stop being in a hurry to get everywhere.

Oh, and one more thing… if you’re wearing clothing made out of tinfoil? For all concerned it’s probably best to continue to remain indoors if you don’t mind. Well, unless you’re wearing this… because of course that makes total sense.

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FINALLY! – The FREEEEE Museum Days Calendar!

YouTube Preview ImageA while ago I did a post listing all of the free museum days in Los Angeles. Once I started using google calendars more, I knew the listing would be far more useful if it had a calendar as well… so behold… below is what *should* be the most definitive calendar listing of FREEEEE! museum days in Los Angeles that exists online. So the next time you’re sitting at home in front of the television complaining that you have no money to do anything… this list proves you wrong. These museums are all cheaper entertainment than renting a movie on Netflix! I sincerely hope this resource is one you’ll feel comfortable turning to for inspiration to spend more of your future free time exploring, seeing and learning all sorts of incredible new things and less of it whining on the couch while watching Law & Order repeats. Yep, I’m talking to myself… :)

Please e-mail us with additions, corrections and alterations to the list so we can keep it up to date. Thanks.
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RESOURCE – 99 Essential LA Dining Experiences

terri_staff01Each year, Jonathan Gold (food critic for the LA Weekly) compiles his list of “99 Essential L.A. Restaurants.” This year, classic standbys like Musso & Frank’s and Campanile are still there… but with the fall of the economy and the rise of the “twitter truck,” there’s no need to give up your first born for luxury table reservations to find a good meal nowadays. For some of this city’s top food experiences all you need is internet access, a sense of adventure, and the patience to stand in line on a street corner with other hungry strangers.

“As we’ve said before, an essential restaurant is one that reflects Los Angeles in a startling and unusual way, that uses fresh local ingredients in a fashion that respects the land in which they were grown, that showcases cooking echoing both foreign-trained chefs’ region of origin and the hypercharged mosaic of the L.A. dining scene. An essential restaurant moves people, inspires them to think about food in a different way, inspires them to think about Southern California as a great agricultural region, a great port, a builder of the shiny symbolism that is a large factor in how the rest of the world thinks of itself. And it’s also a damned good place to eat.”

San Franciscans enjoy telling me differently, but there’s a lot of great food in this town. Let’s just keep that little secret to ourselves, shall we? ;)
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FANCY NEW EVENT LISTINGS!

einsteinAll last week I was racking my poor little head brainstorming how to list upcoming Los Angeles events in a way that would be easy to maintain for me and as useful and user-friendly as possible for you.

Speaking for myself, sometimes time flies by too fast… I see so many great events online that I really want to check out and promptly forget about until the day after they’re over. Or there will be a repeat event and I’ll forget whether it’s the third or the fourth Wednesday. Or I’ll have a night free and toy with the idea of doing a google search to find out what’s happening outside of my apartment but out of laziness will just end up just sitting in front of the tv watching reruns of Monk I’ve already seen instead.

So with my own lameness/laziness in mind, I think I’ve come up with a great solution that makes HiddenLA’s Event Listing easy, convenient and more inspiring to use. You’ll have to let me know what you think. I’m pretty happy with it. Check out a full explanation of the cool new interactive features after the jump.

Just one little request… if you appreciate the resource I’ve created for you, it would rock my world if you would please take a moment to throw a coupla bucks into my Ginger Cocktail Fund so I can go out tonight and toast myself for workin’ my butt off trying to create something you’d like. ‘Cuz I really did! :)


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RESOURCE – LA Swap Meet Map and Calendar

Rose Bowl Flea Market The first step is admitting you have a problem, so here goes. Even though I’m broke and just got through taking 25 boxes of useless crap to thrifts stores during my last move, it’s still tough for me to resist the allure of buying more useless junk at L.A.’s weekend swap meets and flea markets. It’s a sickness. I’m not well. Or perhaps… they’re just that fun.

The  thing that saves me is that I always forget which one is on which weekend. I know you can relate. So since I’m my own worst enemy, I’ve decided to fix that little problem. After the jump we’ve got a handy little google map and calendar combo to turn to in the future. You can even sync stuff up to your ical if you like. Look how high tech we are! Woo hoo!


View LA Swap Meets and Flea Markets in a larger map
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EVENTS – Kristin’s List

kristinWhen it comes to online event listings, there is no better guide to cool happenings in Los Angeles than Kristin’s List. Not even us! Kristin has an incredible knack for weeding out the very best there is to do in this booming megalopolis of ours and presents it beautifully on a weekly basis. So bookmark her site if you haven’t already.

“Kristin’s List is a project by Kristin Bedford that explores LA’s cultural landscape. As a psychogeographer, artist and lover of the local, Kristin seeks out authentic ways to engage with the city. Born from her curiosity and affinity for list making, Kristin’s List is a resource for fellow explorers looking to experience a creative and original LA.”

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RESOURCE – Crime Maps

LAPD crime mapFeel like taking a stroll around the block in your finest diamonds but curious about the safety of your neighborhood? While I wouldn’t exactly recommend it as the definitive source, if you plug your address into the LAPD Crime Maps interface, you’ll see an interesting view of some of the stuff that went down in your hood over the last week. Diamond heists generally included.

EveryBlock is another site that’s possibly more thorough, although it seems to work better when you list an intersection instead of an exact address.

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RESOURCE – Specialty Book Stores

book cat It’s an understatement to say that by nature I’m a bit of a book addict. While many people may think it’s fun to joke that the residents of Los Angeles don’t even know *how* to read, you and I both know that there are a gazillion absolutely incredible places for bibliophiles to get their book fix in this town. After the jump is a listing of some of the most unique *specialty* book stores to be found in Los Angeles. Whether you’re looking for the latest in Armenian fiction or a manual on how to meet code when building a home, if these vendors don’t have the topic you’re looking for in stock, they can probably point you towards someone who might.

*If you notice any errors or would like to suggest a beloved shop that we’ve missed, please e-mail us.*

TRAVEL
Geographica – Travel, Toluca Lake (818) 848-1414
Distant Lands – Travel, Pasadena (626) 449-3220
Traveler’s Bookcase
– Travel, 3rd Street (323) 655-0114

HOBBIES
Autobooks-Aerobooks – Aviation and Automobiles, Burbank (818) 845-0707
Janet Jarvits Bookseller – Cooking, Pasadena (626) 296-1638
The Cook’s Library (it’s still open!) – Cooking, West LA (323) 655-3141
Hollywood Magic Inc – Magic, Hollywood (323) 464-5610

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RESOURCE – Movie Locations Galore

YouTube Preview Image After the jump are links to some of the best web resources identifying movie locations.

As I’ve mentioned before, my first inspiration to explore L.A. was an old film. Love it or hate it, the entertainment business is what Los Angeles is famous for worldwide. Residents here are surrounded by familiar, comfortable* images whenever we drive down the street, whether we recognize them or not. You may easily be surprised to find that you’ve been driving past iconic buildings on your way to the grocery store without even realizing it. Funny thing is… there are people who will travel across the world just to see these buildings that we pass by without a thought. Most movie locations are free to discover, so instead of sitting home & watching stuff on tv this weekend why not have an adventure and explore the sights in person?

“It’s only a matter of time before local film and TV buffs experience a sense of déjà vu around Los Angeles. That place looks familiar. Did you see it on the way home from work, or when you checked in with your favorite characters? Could be both. Most productions not filmed on studio lots are shot within the 30-mile zone from Beverly and La Cienega boulevards, with some locations more popular than others. (more…)

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TIP – Museums Are FREEEEE! And Fun!

To the best of my knowledge, the following listing should be the most thorough and recent compilation of free LA museum days that’s currently on the web. Please feel free to e-mail us with additions, corrections or alterations to the list so we can keep it up to date. Thanks.

Finances are tight for everyone right now. The bad news is one in ten Americans is unemployed. The good news is… you live in Los Angeles where, contrary to how it may seem, there are some incredible, world-class resources that can be enjoyed for little to no money. Case in point… did you know that almost every museum in town – large and small – can be visited for free at least once a month? It’s true. Whether you’re interested in anthopology or art history or aeronautics or stuffed bunnies… you can learn more about them at the places listed below without giving up your rent money. So get out there and explore!
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TIP – Best Driving Shortcuts

If you’re traveling to LAX any time soon, the Trip Films video below might be a lifesaver for you, so check it out.

There are also many more great driving tips to be found at MyTrafficShortcuts.com (11/09 UPDATE: WHOOPS. LOOKS LIKE THE SITE IS DOWN)… not just to help you get around Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, but also if you find yourself stuck in that pesky bumper to bumper gridlock from Sharjah to Dubai. Because wow, that’s a bear, ya know what I mean? (Nah, I’ve never been there either.)

Have your own shortcuts? Leave them in the comments… we want to know too!!!

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TIP – The Daily Groupon

YouTube Preview Image Their Deals of the Day have saved millions of dollars for the people of Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C. already. Now it looks like Groupon.com will soon be sharing the love and coming to Los Angeles. According to their website, their aim will be to find “the most interesting stuff to do in Los Angeles, and work with businesses to offer our subscribers the best deals available on things like Art, Theatre, Restaurants & Bars, Concerts, Movie Tickets, Retail, Lessons & Classes Events, Hotels, Spas & Salons, and more.”

“From the guy behind ThePoint.com, Groupon’s a daily e-blast offering the masses one exclusive and heavily discounted deal per 24-hour window, like a giant soup of the day, and everyone gets a spoon. To take advantage, you prepay the stated rate, but you’re only charged if a predetermined amount of other users do the same — basically, enough that the deal makes sense for the business, establishment, or knee-sock wholesaler in question.” SOURCE

Groupon.com — Los Angeles
A big thanks to Kim for the tip! :)

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TIP – *BEST* DMV To Register Your Car

Okay, I had a hell of a time registering my little clown car this year. It’s done now so I won’t go over the sordid details other than to say that apparently 1999 Mazda Miatas and smog checks do not get along like peas and carrots. But looking on the bright side, along the way I did happen upon a hidden gem of a government office in Hollywood. And since few government offices can be considered a “hidden gem,” this was a big shock. Now before I continue, please note that this DMV apparently does *NOT* handle drivers license issues… but if you need anything registration related? It’s awesome. I walked in with no appointment and got through the line in five minutes flat. There were only two people ahead of me! Now that I know about this location I will never go to another office. (more…)

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TIP – New Link Listings!

Happy Thursday, folks!

Well, if you look up above where it says “Pages” and pull down the menu, you’ll find a feature called “Hidden LA Online Resources.” It’s a compilation of links to assist you in your Los Angeles treasure hunting. This listing will be updated regularly, so please let us know if there are any sites you feel should be included, any links that are broken or out of date, or any way that it can be improved along the way so that we can make it a better resource that you’ll want to turn to. Capiche? :)

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TIP – Online SigAlerts

Next time you’re leaving the office and want to figure out the best route to make it home in time for Howie Do It, take a minute to log onto the online SigAlert page and see what’s happening on the roads first. The California Highway Patrol defines a SigAlert as “any traffic incident that will tie up two or more lanes of a freeway for two or more hours, as opposed to a planned event like road construction, which is planned separately.” Contrary to rumor, the name doesn’t come from the word “signal,” but rather is in honor of the system’s inventor Loyd C. Sigmon who passed away in 2004. Apparently the vanity license plate on his car even read SIGALRT.

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