Join Esotouric on a tour revealing the bookish cultural history in the heart of the city, packed with tales of colorful Los Angeles writers, readers and booksellers.
Starting from Grand Central Market, where the young John Fante hustled cheap fruit from the Japanese vendors to fuel his dreams of becoming Bunker Hill’s great novelist, we’ll blaze a time traveler’s trail along Hill, Grand and Broadway, visiting Central Library with its street corner monuments to Fante and Ray Bradbury, to former locations of legendary book sellers Jake Zeitlin, Caravan, Dawson’s and Fowler’s, explore Pershing Square’s rich literary history and symbolism, and so much more. Featured players include Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Hart Crane, John Rechy, Aldous Huxley, Carey McWilliams and legendary early city librarians Mary Foy and Tessa Kelso. And because it’s an Esotouric tour, you’ll enjoy lesser known, offbeat tales about L.A. books and the oddballs who love them.
This walking tour is illustrated with rare photos you can view on your smartphone.
Tour begins at 10:30am sharp, with check-in time 10am at the patio outside Grand Central Market at 324 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013. Please arrive on time and proceed to the check in table to get signed in and logged in to the smartphone slideshow. Scroll down for tour rules and recommendations.
There are numerous paid public parking lots around Grand Central Market, including GCM’s multi-level lot at 308 South Hill Street Los Angeles, California 90013. The nearest Metro stations are Civic Center/Grand Park and Pershing Square. If using public transit, this link can help you plan your trip:
BE PREPARED: This is a walking hour lasting 3 hours, over a mix of level ground and occasional hills and stairs moving at a casual pace. Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Bring your smartphone so you can view the tour slide show. We will have a cooler with cold water, and you’re encouraged to bring a full water bottle. A restroom will be available at the start and end of the tour. If you need more information about what to expect, please email us.
COVID SAFETY: At this time, we no longer require that masks be worn on walking tours, with the exception of when we visit the cramped and unventilated basement speakeasy beneath the King Edward Hotel or the Dutch Chocolate Shop. Please bring a mask to wear for this portion of the tour. If you forget your mask, we can provide one on check in.
CAMERA POLICY: No video- or audio-taping unless it has been pre-cleared with us, please. Still cameras and sketchbooks are fine.
If you feel like you’re getting sick, if you test positive for Covid-19, or if you have knowingly been in contact with a positive case of Covid-19 in the last 7 days, please do not attend the tour. Let us know not to expect you. If notified at least 72 hours before tour departure, we can refund or reschedule your booking. If notified at least 24 hours before departure, we can honor the booking on a future date. You may also gift your ticket to someone else—we will need their name, email address and phone number to make this switch.