Family Friendly

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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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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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!

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:

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.”


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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!


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.


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 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 Thanks! :)

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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!!! :)


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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

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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 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, 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)


LA Heritage Portal

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COOL STUFF – Hangin’ Out With Blue Whales!

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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EVENT – Limited tickets left for our LA River Tour!


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


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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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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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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DISCOUNT – Touring the San Andreas Fault


WHAT: A road trip from LA! Tour the San Andreas Fault with Desert Adventures
: Indio, California about two hours east of L.A.
Normally their three hour off-road jeep tour of the San Andreas Fault costs $120 per person, which we realize isn’t exactly cheap for many of you. So for HiddenLA fans only, Desert Adventures will discount the price to $85 per person through September 30, 2010. Just purchase your tickets online and enter the discount code “HIDDENLA.”
TIPS: Don’t forget, the desert is hotter. We were there on a moderate day, but summer’s here. Desert Adventures will provide water but please be sure you lather on the sunscreen, wear comfy stuff and bring a hat.


A few weekends ago we decided to take a road trip to the desert. When I saw a groupon deal for a tour of the San Andreas Fault, I was intrigued. We’re supposed to be in “discovering new things” mode here at HiddenLA and since I hate earthquakes with every fiber of my being, I figured it might be a good way for me to learn more about them. Besides, who doesn’t need a road trip once in a while!? (more…)

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*Almost* FREEEEE! – Ride the L.A. Red Car!

YouTube Preview Image redcarWe’ve already flashed back to the daily operations of the old P&E streetcars a few times. The Red Cars famously transported Angelenos through their lives for sixty years (the story behind why they disappeared is kinda similar to what they told you in Roger Rabbit)… but little did I know one could still be ridden! A big thanks to reader Pedrogirl for bringing it to my attention that every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am until 6pm, a replica streetcar runs a 1.5 mile route from the Port of Los Angeles’ cruise ship terminal to other attractions along the San Pedro waterfront. Since it seems I’m not the only local who doesn’t know about this, it’s mostly ridden by visitors. But if you’re looking for something fun and cheap to do some weekend, the fare is only one dollar (children 6 and under free). The fare is collected on board the cars and not only is your ticket good all day for unlimited rides, it’s also valid for the bus shuttle connecting to Cabrillo Beach. (more…)

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WINTER FUN! – Outdoor Skating Rinks in LA

W Hotel rinkCHILL, your new boozy skating rink @ W Hotel Westwood, 930 Hilgard Avenue (310-208-8765), 21 and up.
Hours: Starting Sunday, ongoing through the winter. Mon-Fri, 3-10pm; Sat-Sun 10am -10pm
Cost: Bring your own skates and your figure eights will be FREE. Skate rental isn’t, it’s $10. The alcoholic drinks won’t be free either.
Details: “The W Hotel Westwood has created the winter wonderland our town sorely lacks, transforming its grounds into a simulated snow extravaganza complete with hybrid-ice skating rink and holiday-styled cabanas.” Woo hoo! I can’t skate, but I can definitely drink spiked pumpkin lattes with the best of ‘em.


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EVENT – They Might Be Giants Family Show

WHAT: They Might Be Giants Family Show
WHEN: Saturday, November 14th, 3pm
WHERE: Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive
PRICE: $28 adults, $18 kids
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FOCUS – Galco’s Soda Pop Stop


WHAT: Galco’s Old World Grocery 
WHERE: 5702 York Blvd, Highland Park (323) 255-7115 
DETAILS: Galco’s purveyance of vintage sodas and candies is clearly a labor of love for owner John Nese. He took over the business from his father, who originally ran the Highland Park market as a grocery store. With 174 rave reviews on Yelp, John’s enthusiasm is definitely contagious… so go there and drink up the fun! Literally.  :)
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GAME – The LA Phil? There’s an app for that!

laphilIn an effort to bring some lighthearted fun to the symphony’s image, The LA Philharmonic has taken a cue from the popularity of Guitar Hero and Rock Band… and created their own simple online game and iphone application! Bravo!


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JAVA – What Coffeehouse Would Jesus Go To?

The other day I spent my lunch hour at Centinela Feed buying dog food. I knew I needed coffee to get through the rest of the day and spotted a really interesting looking place called The Coffee Connection that I’d never noticed before. I pulled over immediately to check it out. It just had to be done.

coffee connectionI opened the thick wooden door and was shocked. The beautiful patio and warm wood interior and stained glass windows reminded me a bit of one of my very favorite coffeehouses in town, 18th Street in Santa Monica. But there was a huge difference between The Coffee Connection and any coffee house I’ve ever been in before. IT WAS FREAKISHLY SILENT. There were eight occupied tables, but no sound whatsoever… I had an immediate flashback of the dark ages when I was regularly shushed in libraries (and I’ll admit, that memory made me a bit uncomfortable at first). I whispered my order to the girl at the counter and asked her how long they’d been in business. She said 7 years. I asked if it was always this quiet and she replied that it usually was, and that there’s ample parking lots and no line in the morning “so that’s really good.” (Although it’s probably not good if a coffeehouse wants to make a profit and stay in business.) As I walked to my car, eager to return to the crazy loudness of my desk, I sipped my latte. Gotta say, it was very tasty.

Once I turned the street corner, I realized why the vibe of this coffeehouse was a little different. The Coffee Connection on Centinela (no relation to Jennifer’s Coffee Connection in Studio City, btw), is affiliated with the Vineyard Christian Church next door. As the late, great, Michael Jackson might’ve called it… I was drinking some Jesus Java.

And it was good.

HOURS: Monday – Friday:  6:30am – 9pm, Saturday:  7am – 5pm, Sunday: Closed
PROS: Ample church parking. Reasonably priced/tasty organic and fair trade coffee. Free Wifi and access to electric outlets. Friendly service. Clean bathrooms. Open early and late. Daily newspapers free to read, some food, great selection of teas, and I’ve heard they offer a free computer if you don’t have your own. Great place to focus on work, reading the Bible or to just hang out, especially if you’re antisocial and don’t like chitchat much.
CONS: Well, there’s the uncomfortable silence. And apparently there were Prop 8 posters in the window during election time which cut down a lot of their customer base. But I can’t deny it’s a great room and good coffee… so that’s all the negative I can say (which might be enough for some).

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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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EVENT – Thriller Practice

Picture 1What: Open rehearsal of Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance in preparation for LA’s Thrill the World performance on October 25th (You can also learn the moves online)
When: Saturday, August 29. According to their Facebook page, Thriller practice will be from 10am – noon and 4-7pm. A “Beat It” event will be taking place from noon-3:30pm and 7-9pm.
Where: Weddington Park South, 10719 Valleyheart Drive, Toluca Lake, CA 91604
Details: Go to the LA Zombies Facebook page for more details.

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FLASHBACK – Why do people work?

I’m baaaack! As mentioned, I’ve been working a lot this week… provided the economy’s treating you all right, perhaps you’ve been working hard too! Aren’t we all glad it’s Friday? Yay Friday! As a tribute to our hard work this week, below is a groovy little glimpse into the lives of hardworking Angelenos back in glamorous 1973. People in the 1970s liked Fridays too, I’ll bet.

After the jump, a special little treat to accompany this film. (more…)

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EVENT – Downtown LA Film Festival 8/12-22


YouTube Preview ImageThe Downtown Film Festival starts this week with a cool lineup to check out. Film highlights for the week include Spike Lee’s Passing Strange The Movie, LeVar Burton’s Reach For Me, The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzie, In the DrinkMy Suicide, and Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison.

On the 20th, the Festival will encourage you to get your Green on by presenting the 4th Annual SUSTAINABLE L.A. event. Oh, and as a special treat… because we all know you can’t get your fill of pre-freaky MJ, you can tag along with the cute and funky Jackson brothers during their first tour of Africa in 1974 via Jackson 5 in Africa on the closing night of the event. We never can say goodbye!

Personally, I’ll probably go just for the free double feature tribute to Paul Newman… cuz… sigh. I miss his blue eyes something fierce.

If you’d like to go to the festival but are low on funds, VOLUNTEER!!!


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HANDSHAKE – We love you, North Dakota!

North DakotaAccording to Google Analytics, the only state in all of America that has yet to visit HiddenLA even *once* is North Dakota. Seriously! Even though we did a nice big feature on one of their native sons! Sigh.

Feeling a bit sad and rejected with this news, naturally the only solution was to turn to the internet for possible answers. It was tough admitting that all I really knew about North Dakota was to stay away from wood chippers. It seemed a good time to learn a bit about the commonalities we share so that perhaps we might have a better chance of forging a bond of web friendship. (I mean, how tough could it be… the word Dakota MEANS “allies” in the Sioux language, for Christ’s sake, so they’ve gotta be super friendly people. Right?)

After a bit of research it’s easy to see why North Dakota might be a bit intimidated by Los Angeles, though… the entire state contains nearly ONE THIRD the population of the San Fernando Valley alone. Wow.

Well, we may be big city folk, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care about stuff that’s important to our fellow Americans, though. We do! So after a bit of research, here are a few things I’ve come up with… an olive leaf of sorts. An itemized list with links after the jump.


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