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Vedanta Walk Description

There is one Los Angeles neighborhood that seems to vibrate on a special frequency, where the layers of offbeat spiritual, cultural, music industry, motion picture, architectural and true crime history knit together to tell an only-in-Hollywood story: Franklin Village.

Join Esotouric for an immersive walk back through time to get to know the colorful characters, faith, folly, fantasies and heartbreak that left their eternal mark on this beautiful and historic corner of the city.

Starting from the hillside Hindu ashram Vedanta, where the English writers Christopher Isherwood and Aldous Huxley expanded their minds as the Hollywood freeway cut the neighborhood in two, we’ll descend down into the flats then up again on a tour that spans the highest consciousness and the depths of depravity, lovely architecture and landscapes, real life and fictional noir narratives that will have even locals exclaiming “I never knew that!”

Stops include the Parva Sed Apartments from Nathanael West’s dark Hollywood fantasy “The Day of the Locust,” the Chateau Alta Nido from “Sunset Boulevard,” Old Hollywood’s favorite pied-à-terre Château Élysée that’s now the Scientology Celebrity Centre, plus the site of the high profile police raid that inspired Jack Webb to create “Dragnet,” a nightmarish tale of a Capitol Record co-worker run amok, City Hall gadflies, torched landmarks, lost restaurants, a serial killer who hunted in his own backyard, and a visit to Monastery of the Angels, the nearly century old community of Dominican nuns that is beginning a new chapter with its recent suppression by the Vatican.

On our return to Vedanta as the tour concludes, you will have an opportunity to shop in the temple bookstore, and (volunteer staff permitting) have a chance to purchase pumpkin bread when we stop at Monastery of the Angels.

This walking tour is illustrated with rare photos you can view on your smartphone.