Our Pledge to Preservationists edition

 

HAVING TROUBLE READING THIS EMAIL? READ IT ONLINE!

<!–

ESOTOURIC NEWSLETTER

June 19th, 2014

–>        Facebook icon Twitter icon Twitter icon Twitter icon Twitter icon Twitter icon Forward to a friend
 

 

 


LIDO MOTEL, 8989 ATLANTIC AVE, SOUTH GATE #signgeeks #signage #signporn #vintage #retro by @esotouric

Gentle Reader. . .

{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}

This email is a small call to arms.

If you fret about the history and built environment of Los Angeles, it's time that you, and you, and you back there hiding behind your Foster Grants, put your shoulders to the wheel and prove it.

We lost another great building this week, a fine Art Deco commercial structure on a busy stretch of La Brea Boulevard. You've seen it, you know it, you've admired it many times. It was always there, a beautiful piece of the city's jigsaw puzzle–only it's not anymore.

Now we could bellyache about the fact that the biggest preservation non-profit around devotes its time and resources to giving out not-entirely accurate letter grades to the varied cities of L.A. County instead of consistently identifying and seeking to landmark clearly endangered treasures. In the case of this demolition, the permits were issued in April, but the alarm bells didn't ring until half the magnificent facade had been smashed like an egg.

Yes, we could bellyache. But bellyaching is not going save any buildings.

What will save them is dedicated amateurs working together to research, document, celebrate, promote and ultimately nominate the priceless gems that are our birthright as Angelenos, be we native or adopted.

The tools are at hand, the passion is there, and the wolf of redevelopment is breathing down our collective neck. This email goes out to a lot of people. If just 5% of you heed this call to arms, it will transform the state of historic preservation in Los Angeles, for now and for the future.

And to encourage you, we make this pledge: for every HCM nomination submitted to the Cultural Heritage Commission by a subscriber to our newsletter, we'll give you and up to three collaborators a free ticket on the Esotouric bus adventure of your choosing. For every successful landmark nomination, we'll feature you on our podcast, and buy you a beer.

What are you waiting for, dear citizens? Get nominating!

We're back on the bus this Saturday, with a Weird West Adams crime bus tour revealing secret histories of urban development with a heaping helping of strange and sometimes strangely sweet criminal activity. And on Sunday, we're hosting a free LAVA history tour of the gorgeously tiled 1920s show house, El Encanto in Monterey Park. Join us, do!

Upcoming Tours & Happenings

On this guided tour through the Beverly Hills of the early 20th Century, Crime Bus passengers thrill as Jazz Age bootleggers run amok, marvel at the Krazy Kafitz family's litany of murder-suicides, attempted husband slayings, Byzantine estate battles and mad bombings, visit the shortest street in Los Angeles (15' long Powers Place, with its magnificent views of the mansions of Alvarado Terrace), discover which fabulous mansion was once transformed into a functioning whiskey factory using every room in the house, and stroll the haunted paths of Rosedale Cemetery, site of notable burials (May K. Rindge, the mother of Malibu) and odd graveside crimes. Featured players include the most famous dwarf in Hollywood, mass suicide ringleader Reverend Jim Jones, wacky millionaires who can't control their automobiles, human mole bank robbers, comically inept fumigators, kids trapped in tar pits, and dozens of other unusual and fascinating denizens of early Los Angeles.

You are invited to be part of a transformative downtown experience. The Sunday Salon is the free monthly gathering of our creative consortium LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. From noon to 2pm, at Les Noces du Figaro on Broadway, we hope you'll join L.A.'s most innovative artists, writers and performers to enjoy good company, hearty comfort food, and presentations from fascinating LAVA Visionaries. This month, we celebrate the spirit of otherworldly creativity in Los Angeles. Speakers include Craig Berry, an initiate of Ordo Templi Orientis, who will take us on a journey through the magical world of Jack Parsons, rocket scientist and mystic. And Milt Stevens of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, which for many years met at Clifton's Cafeteria and counted Jack Parsons among its members, will take us on a guided tour of 20th Century science fiction. After the Salon, Richard Schave leads one of his free Broadway on My Mind walking tours (free, reservations required).

Come explore Charles Bukowski's lost Los Angeles and the fascinating contradictions that make this great local writer such a hoot to explore. Haunts of a Dirty Old Man is a raucous day out celebrating liquor, ladies, pimps and poets. The tour includes a visit to Buk's DeLongpre bungalow, where you'll see the Cultural-Historic Monument sign that we helped to get approved, and a mid-tour provisions stop at Pink Elephant Liquor.

In our very occasional guest tour series, a delightful excursion that only comes around once a year, the Tom Waits bus adventure hosted by acclaimed rock critic David Smay (Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Swordfishtrombones). This voyage through the city that shaped one of our most eclectic musical visionaries starts in Skid Row and rolls through Hollywood and Echo Park, spotlighting the sites where Waits was transformed through the redemptive powers of love and other lures: the Tropicana Motel, Francis Coppola's Zoetrope Studios, the raunchy Ivar Theatre and so much more. Join us for a great day out in 1970s Los Angeles celebrating the music, the culture and the passions of Tom Waits.

Join us on this iconic, unsolved Los Angeles murder mystery tour. Our excursion begins in the historic Olive Street lobby of the Biltmore Hotel and ends in time for you to take tea and crumpets where Beth Short waited out the last hours of her freedom before walking south into hell. After multiple revisions, this is less a murder tour than a social history of 1940s Hollywood female culture, mass media and madness, and we welcome you to join us for the ride. This tour always sells out, so reserve your spot today.

You are invited to be part of a transformative downtown experience. The Sunday Salon is the free monthly gathering of our creative consortium LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. From noon to 2pm, at Les Noces du Figaro on Broadway, we hope you'll join L.A.'s most innovative artists, writers and performers to enjoy good company, hearty comfort food, and presentations from fascinating LAVA Visionaries. This month, we celebrate the culture and horticulture of old Los Angeles, as David Boule shares wild tales of the citrus industry and Brent E. Walker delves into the secret history of our town as revealed in early Charlie Chaplin comedies. Plus! instruction in digital mapping for would-be time travelers. After the Salon, Richard Schave leads one of his free Broadway on My Mind walking tours (free, reservations required).

This rare Sunday tour in our California Culture series rolls through Vernon, Bell Gardens, Santa Fe Springs and Downey, and the past two centuries, exploring some of L.A.'s most seldom-seen and compelling structures. Turning the West Side-centric notion of an L.A. architecture tour on its head, the bus goes into areas not traditionally associated with the important, beautiful or significant, raising issues of preservation, adaptive reuse, hot rod kar culture and the evolution of the city.

Join us for a journey from the downtown of Chandler's pre-literary youth (but which always lingered at the fore of his imagination) to the Hollywood of his greatest success, with a stop along the way at Tai Kim's Scoops for unexpected gelato creations inspired by the author. We'll start the tour following in the young Chandler's footsteps, as he roamed the blocks near the downtown oil company office where he worked. See sites from Lady in the Lake and The Little Sister, discover the real Philip Marlowe (Esotouric's exclusive scoop, and the inspiration for Kim's novel The Kept Girl), and be steeped in noir LA.

Come on a century's social history tour through the transformation of neighborhoods, punctuated with immersive stops to sample the varied cultures that make our changing city so beguiling. Voter registration, citizenship classes, Chicano Moratorium, walkouts, blow-outs, anti-Semitism, adult education, racial covenants, boycotts, The City Beautiful, Exclusion Acts and Immigration Acts, property values, xenophobia, and delicious dumplings–all are themes which will be addressed on this lively excursion. This whirlwind social history tour will include: The Vladeck Center, Hollenbeck Park, Evergreen Cemetery, The Venice Room, El Encanto & Cascades Park, Divine's Furniture and Wing Hop Fung.

Come discover the secret history, and the fascinating future, of a most beguiling neighborhood. This is not a tour about beautiful buildings–although beautiful buildings will be all around you. This is not a tour about brilliant architects–although we will gaze upon their works and marvel. The Lowdown on Downtown is a tour about urban redevelopment, public policy, protest, power and the police. It is a revealing history of how the New Downtown became an "overnight sensation" after decades of quiet work behind the scenes by public agencies and private developers. This tour is about what really happened in the heart of Los Angeles, a complicated story that will fascinate and infuriate, break your heart and thrill your spirit. Come discover the real Los Angeles, the city even natives don't know.

From the founding of the city through the 1940s, downtown was the true center of Los Angeles, a lively, densely populated, exciting and sometimes dangerous place. After many quiet decades, downtown is making an incredible return. But while many of the historic buildings remain, their human context has been lost. This downtown double feature tour is meant to bring alive the old ghosts and memories that cling to the streets and structures of the historic core, and is especially recommended for downtown residents curious about their neighborhood's neglected history.

  

AND FINALLY, LINKS!

  • Sometimes the toughest guy in the room is a dame.
  • Street vending thrives in all great urban centers, but BIDs want to make Downtown Los Angeles into Disneyland.
  • Michelle Mills gets her kicks talking about our Route 66 bus adventure (back on the calendar for Valentine's Day!).
  • A plan to count the ancients at China Lake.
  • Another dive down.
  • A mysterious someone with deep pockets has bought a bauble for our Mr. Chandler; Linda Loring?
  • {C}{C}{C}{C}{C}<!–
    KEEP THE TAGS AS THEY ARE FOR EMPHASIS SO THE SIGN OFF IS NOT LOST
    –>

    yrs,

    Kim & Richard

    Esotouric

    {C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}

    Facebook icon Twitter icon Twitter icon Twitter icon Twitter icon Twitter icon