Posts Tagged ‘Tour’

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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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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WINNER – The Chosen Stomach Has Been Chosen!

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

Mmmm! Ant larvae tacos!

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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VIDEO – Hidden Layers of the Million $ Theatre

post card of the Million Dollar TheatreScroll down to view a video by Filmmaker Haeyong Moon that goes behind the scenes. Parts 2-3 after the jump.

The Chinese and Egyptian Theaters in Hollywood brought the showman more lasting fame, but The Million Dollar Theatre on South Broadway was failed prospector Sid Grauman‘s first movie house. Located next to the historic Grand Central Market (built in 1917 and still thriving) and across from the iconic Bradbury Building (built in 1893 and now housing internal LAPD offices), this incredible structure was first opened to the public in February 1918.

The wonderful video below goes behind the scenes to share some of the hidden beauty that still exists and few get to see. If you’d like to learn more about the downtown theatre district firsthand, the LA Conservancy offers a walking tour every Saturday at 10am. Tickets are $10. YouTube Preview Image (more…)

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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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EVENTS – The Close Up 7/6-12

Note: Event listings are updated during the week as we see fit.

Now through 8/31/09 – Photography: The Billboard Show
7/9/09 – Downtown LA Artwalk
7/10-12/09 – Echo Park Community Festival
7/11/09 – Historic North Hollywood Walking Tour, 80′s Prom
– Bastille Day Los Angeles; Art and Poetry with Exene Cervenka

billboard showONGOING THROUGH AUGUST 31st
Selling the California Lifestyle – Photographic Landscapes of the 1950s & 1960s
Take My Picture Gary Leonard 860 South Broadway, Downtown (213) 622-2256
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10am–2pm & 3–6pm; Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am–2pm; Saturdays 12–6pm; Sundays 12–3pm

Details: “Ever since taking a photograph of the Dodgers as a little boy in 1959, Gary Leonard has documented the mercurial landscape of Los Angeles, from the political to the cultural and economic. A former employee of billboard advertising company Pacific Outdoor recently gave Leonard thousands of billboard slides, a hundred of which are now on view at Leonard’s gallery, Take My Picture (named after his column in various regional publications). Advertising everything from funeral services and early fax machines to civic defense and entertainment, the images provide a rare historical survey of mid-century American commercial design, proving that, much like one of his influences, Weegee, Gary Leonard has an excellent sense of timing.” (SOURCE)


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FUN – Photo Walking Los Angeles

What: Worldwide Photo Walk
When: Saturday, July 18, 2009
Where: Various locations – Chinatown, Echo Park, Malibu, Venice, Venice Beach, Silverlake, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Redondo Beach, Downtown, Claremont, Laguna Beach and Palm Desert
Price: FREEEE!

Do you love taking photos but your camera’s just sitting on the shelf gathering dust? Feel like exploring town, bonding with your fellow shutterbugs, but don’t know where to go? Scott Kelby (of Photoshop fame) is hosting his 2nd Annual Worldwide Photo Walk on July 18th. Scott describes it as “…a social photography event where photographers get together, usually in a downtown area or trendy section of town, to walk around, shoot photos, and generally have fun with other photographers.” and you can see him explain the event himself on the tiny video on this page. For people who feel like entering their best photo of the day into a competition, he offers small prizes for the winners.

There is a 50 person limit on each walk and they’re filling up fast so hurry to register. If you’re late to the game but still want to go, my guess is that the very last location to fill up will be Palm Desert, solely because it’s mid-July in Palm Desert and most people don’t like watching their cameras melt in their hands.

Feel like conducting your OWN private photo walk? NOBODY’S STOPPING YOU! You could do that RIGHT NOW (unless you’re reading this at work, in which case I’d wait). Grab your camera. Dust it off. Go outside! Walk. Take photos. I’m willing to bet your photo walk will probably be more interesting than whatever you were doing.

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FOCUS – Inspired by Sunset Boulevard

Note: A link to the entire film is after the jump.

May I present the most kickass stoplight you’ve ever seen. Well okay, your mileage may vary but I’ve been digging on this stoplight since the first moment I saw it. (And yes, I *am* easily entertained.) This was a typical sight on Sunset Boulevard in 1949, as captured in the iconic film Sunset Boulevard just moments before a pivotal flat tire changes Joe Gillis’ life forever, forcing him to hide out in Norma Desmond’s driveway.

I’m normally not one for traffic signals, but I love love love this stoplight. The technology was still relatively new… clearly people couldn’t be counted on to pay attention to simple colored lights yet so they made sure to add an automated sign that announced “Stop” and “Go” as well, just to make sure you were doubly aware of what green and red meant. No excuses, buddy.

Sunset Boulevard is, hands down, my number one top favorite film for sentimental reasons and has been ever since I first saw it with roommates just days after moving back to Los Angeles from San Diego by myself. I loved everything about the movie… the noir cinematography; the incredible dialogue (My favorite line? “Funny how gentle people get with you once you’re dead.” Just wow.); the total sexy hotness of William Holden in his vicuna; the batshitinsaneness of Gloria Swanson’s iconic portrayal of Norma; Erich VonStroheim’s accent; Betty’s smart sassiness; seeing Detective Joe Friday as a skinny party boy; and of course, the monkey funeral… but most of all, I LOVED being able to witness vintage Los Angeles in its glory. The magic of the film hooked me completely.

A few days after seeing the movie, I remember driving around town with my friends in search of the filming locations… it was so exciting to just imagine we were breathing the same air as William Holden and Gloria Swanson had, albeit decades later. Sunset Boulevard was the first film that inspired me to take to the streets and explore old Los Angeles, because the film captured it and showed it to me in real time. It’s a time capsule of the Los Angeles that has since been paved over and considered forgotten… but there are still very tangible traces of that city if you look for them.


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FOCUS – Your Inner Bukowski

YouTube Preview Image I’ve been noticing lately that people seem a bit weary right now. Just kind of… holding on and trying to keep their heads up until the tide turns. Los Angeles is a city with a bit of a manic depressive personality, so when times are hard (riots, earthquakes, fires, floods, unemployment, bad breakup, whatever) usually it’s easy to just look up at the sun and think, “Yeah, my life kinda sucks right now… but look at this weather! Tomorrow will be better!” Lately even the best of us seem to be struggling and feeling a bit down for an extended time, though. We’re all a little bummed that Obama hasn’t filled our lives with rainbows and butterflies yet.

Now I’m one of those annoying people who likes to focus on the good, but sometimes that’s a lot of work during times like these. What to do, what to do. (more…)

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