Join Esotouric for an immersive time travel trip in the footsteps of novelist and screenwriter John Fante (1909-1983) through Downtown Los Angeles and Bunker Hill, On this special edition of the tour hosted on John Fante’s birthday, we’ll be joined by Fante’s family and Bunker Hill native son Gordon Pattison, and end the walk with birthday cake.
Before Jack Kerouac, before Charles Bukowski, there was John Fante, author of the classic comic novel Ask the Dust (1939) and four more books featuring his alter-ego Arturo Bandini, an outspoken, down-and-out Mr. Hyde to Fante’s Dr. Jekyll. As Bunker Hill’s prodigal son, Fante chronicles a colorful Los Angeles neighborhood teeming with immigrants, criminals and dreamers like himself, until redevelopment forces swept the people, the buildings and much of Bunker Hill itself away. But Arturo Bandini’s voice remains as strong and relevant today as it was in 1939. So please join us as we follow in his footsteps, to the hidden speakeasy beneath the King Eddy Saloon, Central Library and John Fante Square, for a ride on his beloved Angels Flight Railway and across the new, corporate Bunker Hill in search of echoes of the lost neighborhood. 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.
Emailing is the best way to communicate with us, but after 8am on tour day you can call or text Richard on his mobile phone, 213-915-8687.
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.
Click the “+” button for the number of tickets desired, then click “Get Tickets” to check out.