Cool Stuff & Good Times

VIDEO – Bill Field at the Old Town Music Hall

In 1958, Bill Coffman and Bill Field purchased the Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ from the Fox West Coast Theater in Long Beach. In 1968, Old Town Music Hall settled into its present home in the original El Segundo State Theater. Every weekend, they still show classic films… and more often than not, Bill Fields himself plays the Wurlitzer for you. Be prepared to sing along! :)

It’s also a giant bargain. Movie tickets are $8, drinks are $1 and popcorn is $1-2. (Also available? FRESH MACAROONS!)

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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 (www.cainesarcade.com) and click on “donate.”

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HOLIDAY HUNT – Second Day Recap!

Los Angeles Federal Credit Union

Our Halloween Coffin Hunt was such a blast… with the help of the Los Angeles Federal Credit Union and More LA Than, we’re continuing our brand of family friendly local sight-discoverin’ and prize-winnin’ fun into Christmas and Hanukkah!

FOR FULL DETAILS OF THE HOLIDAY HUNT, CLICK HERE.
Each weekend, prizes will get BIGGER!

HUNT #2: Sunday, Dec. 4 – Agoura

$300 in PRIZE VALUES AWARDED! Including: passes to LA Conservancy city tours (We love LAC!); gift certificates for the historic and delicious Apple Pan restaurant; AMC movie passes; handy Cost Plus and Walgreens gift certificates; plus lots more festive stuff!!!

Day 3 - Peter Strauss AviaryFIRST LOCATION:
PETER STRAUSS RANCH

We ventured off the beaten path and spent a day relaxing in nature for this hunt. If you’ve never been to Peter Strauss Ranch, you’re missing out! It’s beautiful!

From the official website: “This enchanting oak woodland has long been a source of dreams, visions, and memories. Inhabited for thousands of years by the Chumash people, this area became part of Rancho Las Virgenes after Spanish colonization. The original coast live oak, used as the marker in the 1881 land grant survey, still stands just west of the swimming pool. The upside-down letter “T” is still evident in the bark. The “vision of enchantment” continues at this site today with hiking, concerts, picnics, and art exhibits. Explore this peaceful refuge and create some memories of your own.”

(more…)

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HOLIDAY HUNT – First Day Recap!

Los Angeles Federal Credit Union

Our Halloween Coffin Hunt was such a blast… with the help of the Los Angeles Federal Credit Union and More LA Than, we’re continuing our brand of family friendly local sight-discoverin’ and prize-winnin’ fun into Christmas and Hanukkah!

FOR FULL DETAILS OF THE HOLIDAY HUNT, CLICK HERE!

Mrs. Claus at ICE Santa MonicaHUNT #1: Sat, Dec. 3 – Santa Monica

$300 in PRIZE VALUES AWARDED! Including: passes to the LA Conservancy‘s screening of Miracle on 34th Street at the Million Dollar Theater (We love LAC!); fantastic gift bags provided by ICE @ Santa Monica (ice skating within walking distance from the beach!!!???? HOW AWESOME IS THAT!); gift certificates for the historic and delicious Apple Pan restaurant; AMC movie passes; handy Cost Plus and Walgreens gift certificates; plus lots more festive stuff!!! Even a Charlie Brown Christmas tree!

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The Holiday Hunt is ON! :D

Los Angeles Federal Credit Union

Our Halloween Coffin Hunt was such a blast… with the help of the Los Angeles Federal Credit Union and More LA Than, we’re continuing our brand of family friendly L.A.-discoverin’ fun into Christmas and Hanukkah!

The Story

Cat Conner, aka Mrs. Claus www.catconner.comMrs. Claus is burned out and goin’ ROGUE! She’s sick and tired of sitting home at the North Pole while Santa has all the fun, so this year she’s decided to come to LA on vacation and see the sights. She’s not really in the mood to give out presents but she’ll go back on the clock for THREE PEOPLE a day (ONLY THREE) *if* they follow instructions and complete some specific simple tasks first. She’s on vacation so she probably won’t  give you the time of day otherwise.

Details

Six days. Three weekends. Twelve different locations. Eighteen festive gift bags… with six of them just a BIT more special than the rest!

Follow HiddenLA on Facebook for hints and clues to find a first location, and then complete the instructions that will lead you to Mrs. Claus. Keep in mind that she’s busy enjoying her vacation and will NOT do any gift giving unless you’ve already been to the first location and can provide her with the proof she requires.

We aren’t going to tell you exactly what your presents will be… because  what’s the fun in that!? We *will* tell you that they might include movie tickets; activity/restaurant/shopping gift certificates, and general fun holiday items… you just won’t know until you open the package. In each hunt one prize package will be a grand prize, but we won’t tell you which one it is. Remember on Let’s Make A Deal where you had to pick between curtain number one, two and three? Yeah, it’s like that.

How To Play

1. Keep watching HiddenLA on Facebook for notices of clue reveals for the weekend.

2. Once a clue comes up… get on the moooove! (Hunt items won’t materialize until a clue is officially posted, so no need to start looking before then, even if a “hint” leaks out)

3. Smart phones are a major advantage, as is having a computer bound “lifeline” as additional clues may pop up on Facebook or Twitter until a location is found.

5. When a giftbag is claimed, the winner needs to take a photo of themselves with it and Mrs. Claus and upload it to Hidden LA’s Facebook page (or email to contact@hiddenLA.com) to verify.

6. No trespassing or breaking of any laws required or recommended. But play at your own risk!

7. We know that some of the same people like to play the game all the time, but we would like as many people as possible to participate and feel like they have a chance at prizes. Mrs. Claus is big on sharing. That said, if you win one day and still want to play along with a chance you can, and if it turns out that people have not shown up to the first clue within an hour or two despite hints, we will open the hunt up to everyone (whether you’ve earned a gift bag previously or not).

Want to donate prizes for our hunt, be involved or cover it? Please direct all press, publicity, or business related questions to contact@hiddenLA.com. Thanks! :)

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TUNE IN!!! This Sunday @Noon on ABC Channel 7!

We’re on the tee veeeee, workin’ together with Eye On LA!!! :D

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A *huge* thank you to Group3 Aviation!

Sometimes we get bogged down with a lot on our plate, and sometimes we have technical issues. Recently we’ve experienced both… and it stood in the way of our being able to thank a group of wonderful people we really needed to thank in a much timelier manner. :(

The submissions for our Papa Cristo photo contest were so amazing, we wanted to hand out more prizes and as we’ve mentioned a few times before we were SO excited when the fabulous people at Group 3 Aviation in Van Nuys agreed to take three random contest participants on an awesome helicopter flight around Los Angeles! So, about three weeks ago Marya Villarin, Jonathan Santos and John Wie (none of whom had ever been in a helicopter before) took off to see a unique sunset view of the City of Angels. Photo gallery below.

Again, sincerest thanks to Group 3 Aviation for making the experience happen for them! :)

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UPDATE – Here’s That Hint You Were Promised!

We’re going to make this crazy hunt much easier now.

Are you ready!???

We’ve been slowly trickling images onto Facebook all week (see thumbnails below). Now watch the (surprisingly awesome!) video after the jump. If you *still* can’t find the location using a few simple key words that are being handed to ya on a silver platter… well, I’m sorry but you just don’t deserve to win a darn thing! We’re not gonna chauffeur ya there!!! :)

(more…)

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CONTEST – Another Photo Scavenger Hunt!!! Wheeee!

***Please don’t submit existing photos. That’s just lazy cheating, people… NOT COOL!***

Since our Papa Cristo scavenger hunt in December was *so* much fun for everyone involved and the response was so incredible… we’ve decided to do another one! Woo hoo! We’ll give you more days to search this time… two whole weeks to complete this task. We are still compiling prizes (and taking donations) but one thing is for sure… the big winner may, just like last time, get a helicopter ride! And as before, we will start out with one photo but no hints… and although the contest isn’t time sensitive, people who find the location with no hints DO earn extra points. We’ll release hints gradually over time, but if you know the answer we request that you please DON’T blab it out. Part of the fun is making people look for it! (Thus the word “hunt.”) :D

Below is an image which references a landmark that is located *somewhere* in Los Angeles County. You need to go to the place it leads you to and take a staged photo (**without being destructive or disruptive in any way**). We will choose the best one… with points for creativity and humor, of course. Oh, and let’s keep ‘em PG rated please.

E-mail a digital jpeg of said image to contest@hiddenLA.com by noon on Sunday March 20th. :)

Okay, quit reading this already and get moving, people!

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GIVEAWAY – Two Descanso Gardens Family Passes!

*PASS MUST BE USED BY MARCH 13*

Spend a day enjoying nature with The Fam! We’ll be taking entries until 5pm tonight… winners can even use their pass tomorrow. :)

Descanso Gardens is an urban retreat of year-round natural beauty, internationally renowned botanical collections and spectacular seasonal horticultural displays. In 1953, Descanso founder E. Manchester Boddy preserved these 150 acres of gardens, woodlands and chaparral for future generations to experience the natural heritage and beauty of Southern California. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Descanso Gardens welcomes thousands of visitors annually, from local members to international travelers.

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GIVEAWAY – Fusion Film Festival Tickets! *OVER*

WIZ TICKET WINNERS: Angel Zobel-Rodriguez, Maiya Winston, Pete Dauer, Sherri L. Shaulis, Maria DAlessandro, Bryan Buss
FIT TICKET WINNERS: Jordan Menashe, Katie Papp, Mikhai Tran, Nate Buck, Michelle Magana
PARIAH TICKET WINNERS: Molly Graham, Jesse Saldana, Jenny Kattlove, Ella Ponomarov, Janette Julio, Carol Dunn, Tugce Tuncay, Danielle Handcox, Moore Rhys, Jacqueline Arevalo, Shari Momeni, Khadija Anderson, Shari Momeni, Christian Bustamante, Gregory Chu, Gabriela Arreola, Vonzy Brown, Priscilla Ocen, Gabriel Illingworth, Rakefet Abergel, Marla (luckycharms), Laura Placencia, Becky Burdashaw, Lawrencia Colding, Michele Gutierrez, Susan Gutierrez, Cristina M Delgado, Alexis Ortega, Calvin Fleming, Chris Santos, Jessica De La Cerda, Tiffany A Sands, Erika Benites, Saba Larimer, Erin Linsin, Helaine Rochelle Levin, perla placencia, Casey Tobik, Angela Heckman, Traci Ann Cellian, Alex Munoz

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This week we’re giving away 70 FREE TICKETS
to Outfest’s Fusion Film Festival!

5 PAIRS: THE WIZ Sing-Along – Friday, March 4@8pm
Dir: Sidney Lumet, Scr: Joel Schumacher, 1978, USA, 134 min. Are you missing Michael? Yes?! Well, you’re in luck because he’s all over the first annual Fusion sing-along! Come and ease on down the road with Queen Diana, frisky Nipsy, and young Michael in the classic Sidney Lumet musical that made the Yellow Brick Road funky, turned the Munchkins into graffiti people and features Lena Horne as Glenda the Good Witch and Richard Pryor as “the ultimate, the common denominator, The Wiz.”

25 PAIRS: Behind the Scenes: PARIAH – Saturday, March 5@3pm
PARIAH – A Conversation with writer/director Dee Rees and producer Nekisa Cooper (Outfest and Fusion 2007) is an award-winning short film that screened at film festivals around the world. After years in development, PARIAH is now a feature-length film that had its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. In this extended discussion with writer/director Dee Rees and producer Nekisa Cooper, learn about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of making PARIAH the feature and see exclusive clips from the film. Whether you’re a filmmaker, a fan of the short or new to it all (don’t worry, we’ll screen the short), you won’t want to miss this special event!

5 PAIRS: FIT – Saturday, March 5@8pm
Dir/Scr: Rikki Beadle-Blair, UK, 2009, 108 min. This charming film from Rikki Beadle-Blair takes an exuberant and funny look at gay and straight love among the new millennials. Everything from secret crushes to homophobic attitudes are revealed by the rambunctious students taking Drama and Dance from Loris. None of the teens are what they seem at first glance, with gay hearts lurking behind exteriors and straight kids expressing themselves in very queer ways.

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GIVEAWAY! – Visit Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village *OVER*

We’re giving away five pairs of tickets to Sunday’s Open House at Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village in Simi Valley! Three pairs will go to the general public and two to beloved hiddenLA Extra members! Just be the first to submit the form and answer the trivia question below! Good luck! :)

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FamilyFinds GIVEAWAY – The Perfect Valentine! (ENDED)

Congrats to the lucky winner Erika Larson!!!

Thanks to all of you who entered so enthusiastically, it was so great to read all of your comments. We received over 800 entries to our contest, the competition was FIERCE! Here’s Erika’s favorite romantic spot in Los Angeles:

“The top of the mountain on the Temescal Canyon hike. You can see for miles, north of malibu and south of the south bay, downtown Los Angeles. The view is breathtaking, and it’s so peaceful and quiet. It by far is the most romantic spot to spend with someone you love in Los Angeles.”

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TO ENTER, JUST SCROLL DOWN AND SUBMIT THE FORM BELOW. WINNER WILL BE SELECTED RANDOMLY BY FAMILYFINDS. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BEFORE 10PM ON 2/8/2011.

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, hLA is collaborating with our buddies over at FamilyFinds this week to bring you the most romantic giveaway we’ve ever offered: the bestest Valentine’s Day date in LA! Okay, so you’ll still have to work on the relationship part of it, but we’re going to be hooking one lucky winner up with a fabulous evening of car service and a full-course menu with wine pairings at Patina Restaurant (you can view the amazing menu by scrolling down after the jump). BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! The lucky winner will *also* get to choose between a complimentary bottle of Veuve Clicquot NV Brut Rose or a voucher for babysitting services so you can leave the munchkins at home without worry.

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NICE STUFF – Be Milly Del Rubio’s Valentine!

THE MISSION OF PROJECT MILLY:
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

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR VALENTINE IS POSTMARKED BY FEBRUARY 7TH OR IT MIGHT NOT GET TO US IN TIME

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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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OPA! We have WINNERS!!!!

THEMEN!!!

  1. Ed and his friend Tugce found the mural before we gave any hints and were the first people to really utilize Papa Cristo… and had he not done that, a number of other contestants probably wouldn’t have found the location. Plus… the chicken stealing is FUNNY!
  2. Joanie had me fooled, she had the mural lady’s outfit so perfectly captured that I actually thought she worked there when I saw the photo. Her expression in the photo was perfect, and then add the Windex joke from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and *poof!* CONTEST MAGIC.

On top of getting dinner for two at Papa Cristo, Joanie and Ed both won the grand prizes: 3-person champagne helicopter rides with Channel Islands Helicopters… they’ll fly you over the Channel Islands National Park and you can even go whale watching from the sky!!! Wheeeee. Congrats you two.

Okay, I’ll announce more about the runner-up prizes that are being donated by Group 3 Aviation soon… promise.
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HERE YA GO! – The Secret Mural Location Was…

12/20 UPDATE: It’s hard to pick a winner so we haven’t announced one yet… but as a holiday surprise we’re adding more prizes to the booty (yeah, I said booty), so stay tuned!!! WOO HOO!

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The back room at PAPA CRISTO’S!!!

The contest has ended… and now my hard work begins! How can I choose between these amazing photos!!!???? I may have to call upon the great and powerful Papa Cristo for some help…

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CONTEST UPDATE – The Photo Scavengers Are On The Move!!!

12/20 UPDATE: WOOO HOOO! The contest was awesome and it’s hard to pick a winner so we haven’t announced one yet… but here’s the answer to where the mural is: PAPA CRISTO!!! Aaaaand, we’re adding more prizes to the booty (yeah, I said booty), so stay tuned!!!

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Yes, we KNOW our contest to win a helicopter ride over the Channel Islands is a tough one… that’s the point! And although we’re giving y’all more clues every day, the challenge sure didn’t stop some of our more industrious fans from figuring it out and gettin’ ‘er done!

Okay, so here’s what we’ve established so far about where this fantabulous mural is located:

  1. It’s indoors.
  2. It’s inside a restaurant.
  3. Hmmm… what are those culinary quintuplets making? Is it Armenian food? Is it Lebanese food? Or wait a minnit… could it be something else???
  4. The location is visible on today’s even smaller map.
  5. Quit readin’ this and go take yer photo! :D

(more…)

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MEMBER GIVEAWAY – Race Thru Santa Monica! It’s Amazing! (a $160 Value)

Okay folks, so today’s hLA EXTRA giveaway is pretty darn fun: two tickets to the Amazing Santa Monica Race scavenger hunt event (a $160 value)!

We want to make sure we give these tickets away to someone who *really* wants them and would use them, though. If you’ve got a competitive nature and love running around town with your friends on crazy adventures, this is for you!!! So, the first confirmed hiddenLA EXTRA member who e-mails us at contest@hiddenLA.com (JUST CLICK HERE!) with “Amazing!” in the subject header will win! Woo hoo!

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If you aren’t a member yet, it’s easy and cheap (less than one cup of Denny’s coffee a month). Just follow steps one all the way through four (if you stop at two or three, you will get on a mailing list but won’t be registered).

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CUTE OVERDOSE* – Ollie The Otter

*Yep, not just an overload… this is an overdose! :)

On Thursday I decided to take some time away from the internet to drive down to Long Beach. The Aquarium of The Pacific was nice enough to invite me to meet their new resident, a 3 month old rescued otter named Ollie and I figured there was no way that could possibly be a bad way to spend a morning. When you say “Wanna meet a cute baby animal?” I tend to say, “Yes, please.”

Ollie weighed only about five pounds when she was rescued off of the coast of Santa Cruz. She was up to ten pounds when first brought to Long Beach, and is now a chubby 18 pounds. The girl clearly has clearly gained an appetite. You’ll note that in the photos she stays very close to the handler’s boots… this is because she thinks the boots are her mother. When she’s too far from them for too long she tends to cry a bit (apparently she has a lot in common with my dog). Separation anxiety didn’t keep Ollie from hurrying over to inspect any camera she saw, though… she was very curious to figure out what they were (see the last photo). Awwwww.

Ollie won’t be on public display until Fall of 2011, but the Aquarium is currently offering Behind The Scenes Tours where you might get a chance to hang out with her for yourself.

Ollie the otter (more…)

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TIP – Original Tommy’s Tuesdays

Got busy with the holidays so I haven’t posted this in a while, but here’s this week’s Original Tommy’s Tuesdays location. For those who aren’t aware, the local chiliburger chain turns 65 next year and has been selecting a different location to celebrate the anniversary every Tuesday. If you go to the chosen Tommy’s on that day, anytime between 10am and 10pm, and say a secret password? Your Tommyburger is only 65¢. Your indigestion will be free. Hah!

Again, please be aware that the location and password changes every week. This deal will be good for one day only.

DEC. 28 LOCATION: 7606 Foothill Blvd., Tujunga
PASSWORD: “HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

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COOL STUFF – Hangin’ Out With Blue Whales!

whalesize
PHOTO GALLERY BELOW – CLICK ON IMAGES FOR LARGER VIEWS
That animal is HUGE!!! Yesterday, thanks to Aquarium of the Pacific & Harbor Breeze Cruises we got a chance to see the largest animal in the world, right off the coast of Palos Verdes… so of COURSE we jumped at the chance! They are debuting a new whale-listening device on their daily boat excursions and invited HiddenLA to tag along. Having never been whale watching in my life, I invited one of our beloved Facebook fans (Cindy and her totally awesome little six year old daughter) to join me on the maiden voyage.

Dolphins playing Moments after we ran into a school of playful dolphin, we found ourselves sharing water with a blue whale as promised – one of only 2,000 in existence. It was amazing to realize that the creature I was looking at is larger than any dinosaur that ever existed. Scroll down and check out our photo gallery!

If you’re interested in seeing blue whales for yourself, they’re out there so now’s the time! Details below.

WHAT: Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises three and a half hour whale watch excursion with Aquarium experts (more…)

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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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EVENT – Limited tickets left for our LA River Tour!

LA River Tours with Jenny Price – FULL TOUR SCHEDULE AND PURCHASING INFO HERE


Above, a teaser from the upcoming movie ROCK THE BOAT.

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755092502Learn about the past, present and future of the mighty (!?) L.A. River, PLUS enjoy some fantastic tacos and cream puffs along the way

*This tour is perfect for people of all ages who would like to learn more about the river that once brought fresh water to Los Angeles*

Difficult as it is for Angelenos or anyone else to believe, the Los Angeles River was once a very real flowing river, along the banks of which the city was founded. In 1781, 44 people (Los Pobladores) traveled from Sonora, Mexico to settle along its West bank. For more than 100 years, this 51 mile long river was the sole source of water for the city that grew around it.

Have you ever *really* seen the LA River? Do you ACTUALLY know anything about it? Sure, maybe you’ve passed a concrete slab with an LA River sign… but have you seen where it flows? Do you know the *true* stories of the river’s past and present beyond the fictional details you remember from seeing Chinatown? And what about its future? Sure, everyone in Los Angeles has seen the LA River, and many have heard that it’s being revitalized. But who knows where and what exactly is happening on its banks? There’s much more to the story than meets the eye as you pass from a speeding car while commuting. (more…)

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IMAGERY – The Los Angeles Wheelmen

Angelenos have had a passion for bicycling for longer than you might think. The image below was taken in Boyle Heights in 1893, about ten years after the bicycle chain was invented. Reformed in 1945, the Los Angeles Wheelmen bicycle riding club is still going strong, with multiple rides every week. There are far more than eleven members now. And don’t worry, I doubt they’re still wearing that fancy uniform. :)

The club’s ride schedule is here.

From their site:

“We are a group of bicyclists who enjoy the pleasure of riding with friends. We are not a racing club, and we welcome members of all abilities. We offer easier, moderate and difficult rides. We hold some multi-day trips, and in late June we offer the Grand Tour, a 24-hour ride of 120+, 200, 300 or 400 miles. At our social events, we make up for all the calories burned while riding. Our monthly newsletter, “The Gooseneck,” contains a descriptive ride schedule and much other news. Newcomers are welcome to try a few of our rides before deciding whether to join. Helmets are mandatory on all rides.”

CLICK ON PHOTO FOR LARGER VIEW
©USC Digital Archive

Photographic portrait of the 11 Los Angeles Wheelmen posing as a group in cadet type uniforms at the East Side (Boyle Heights) track, October 3, 1893. “The Los Angeles wheelmen on the track include, left to right, standing — Jack Winters, John S. Thayer, Faye Stefenson, Phil Kitchen, W.J. Allen, E.S. Pauly, Tracy Hugh Rall, W.A. Tufts, and Walter Tyler; seated — Lord Gattensbury, A.D. Cummings, and Ernest Steuart, Paully.”

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