Join Esotouric for an immersive time travel trip in the footsteps of master detective novelist Raymond Chandler and his cynical alter ego Philip Marlowe, in the historic heart of Downtown Los Angeles.
Chicago-born and educated in a fine English boarding school, Chandler found his literary voice during long boozy lunches as a 1920s oil company executive, quietly observing the criminal origins of great Los Angeles fortunes. Although he left Downtown in the 1930s and found success with fiction and screenwriting, the old neighborhood cast an abiding spell and he returned to it throughout his career.
This tour explores some of the time capsule sites where the young Chandler worked and played, and where the mature writer set some of his most memorable and murderous scenes. From Angels Flight Railway and old Bunker Hill to the Oviatt Building, Clifton’s Cafeteria to seedy hotels on the edge of Skid Row, we’ll bring Chandler’s real and invented worlds alive on a stroll among beautiful, fascinating landmarks.
Along the way, you’ll get to know the real Raymond Chandler, with intimate details sleuthed out by the tour guides who over many years of noir exploration have discovered Chandler’s previously unknown comic operetta and penned a Chandler map and nonfiction novel The Kept Girl about the real life cult of angel worshippers who fleeced his oil executive colleague and were front page news in a crime crazed city.
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.