Archive for September, 2009

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 30 September 2009

The Comedy Store, formerly was…….

ciros1Ciro’s was a nightclub in West Hollywood, California, at 8433 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip, that opened in1940. Ciro’s combined an overdone baroque interior and an unadorned exterior and became a famous hangout for movie people of the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s. Among the list of celebrities who frequented Ciro’s were Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Sidney Poitier, Anita Ekberg, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Joan Crawford, Betty Grable, Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers, Mickey Rooney, Cary Grant, George Raft, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Judy Garland, June Allyson and Dick Powell, Mamie Van Doren, Jimmy Stewart, Sammy Davis Jr., Jack Benny, Peter Lawford, and Lana Turner (who often said Ciro’s was her favorite nightspot) among many others. During his first visit to Hollywood in the late 1940s, future President John F. Kennedy dined at Ciro’s.

Today, among the many things to do in Hollywood, the site of Ciro’s is now the world famous Comedy Store, owned by Mitzi Shore ( Paulie Shore’s Mom) since 1979.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 29 September 2009

Bona Vista Lounge

dsc_0136The famous Westin Bonaventure Hotel has been around since 1976, and if you have never visited it, chances are you have seen it featured in many movies and television series over the years including: Strange Days, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Blue Thunder, This is Spinal Tap, In the Line of Fire, Nick of Time, True Lies, Midnight Madness, Showtime, Hard to Kill, Chuck, and was destroyed (via special effects) in Escape from LA and Epicenter.

On the 34th floor of the Bonaventure Hotel is the Bona Vista Lounge and should be on your list of Los Angeles things to do. This revolving cocktail lounge, boasts soaring views of downtown LA. It’s the perfect location for a romantic date or high-powered business meeting, or a fun place to hang out before or after an LA sporting event. As an aside, the glass elevator ride up is fun in and of itself. Perhaps you remember the elevator scene with Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich in the 1993 Thriller “In the Line of Fire.” It is also hard to forget our very own Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger riding a horse into a Bonaventure elevator in 1994’s “True Lies.” Ahh the memories.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 28 September 2009

LA Pizza – Off the Charts

mozzaHow dare I Blog about pizza and showcase a Caprese Salad photo? Simply because the pizza is amazing at Pizzeria Mozza at 641 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, but I really want to influence your order even beyond that! I can not say enough about this this experience. I have heard all of the talk around town, and now I can confirm that they walk the pizza talk!

Owner, Nancy Silverton is an American chef and baker. Silverton trained at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in London, England and at the Ecole Le Notre in Plaiser, France. She is the co-founder and head baker at La Brea Bakery as well as the head pastry chef at Campanile Restaurant, both in Los Angeles. Pizza is not the reason people visit LA, yet on my Hollywood Tour, I practically insist that visitors eat at Pizzeria Mozza. Reservations are very hard to get; so if you can not get one, show up and put your name at the door and wait in line for a seat at the bar; it’s worth it! You can also take out!

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 27 September 2009

Fires from Space!

wildfires-2009Seeing a California fire from space, really allows a person to to put enormity of the situation into perspective. The California Station fire that began in August 2009 seemed liked it would never get contained as it burned fiercely even at times when the wind was calm, destroying hundreds of structures and killing two people. Many of these wildfires continue to burn through the month of September. Although fires burned many different regions ofCalifornia in August, the month was especially notable for several very large fires which burned in Southern California, despite being outside of the normal fire season for that region.

Sporadic fires are normal throughout California in the summer and fall as temperatures rise and rainfall drops, causing vegetation to die off and provide fuel for combustion. Three years of drought amplified these effects, making already fire-prone California ripe for wildfires. Visitors on Tours of Los Angeles are always curious about the local fire updates. These fires may be ignited by natural sources like lightning, or through human activity.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 26 September 2009

Copter Cops

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I saw one blue jay so far this year, but I see the LAPD helicopters several times a day!

The Los Angeles Police department’s airborne law enforcement program began with one helicopter in 1956. This helicopter, a Hiller 12J was assigned primarily for traffic patrol of the City’s freeway system and was assigned to the traffic Enforcement Division. In 1957 after a full year in operation, the “Helicopter Unit” flew 775 hours.

It is hard not to see a Los Angeles helicopter of some kind when you peer into the sky’s of Southern California.

Today the LAPD fleet at full capacity, consists of:

  • 12 Aerospatiale B-2 Astars
  • 4 Bell 206 Jet Rangers
  • 1 UH1H “Huey” helicopter
  • 1 King Air 200 – Airplane

A study commissioned by NASA and conducted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) Space Technology Applications Office confirmed the study and report findings as follows:

  • The number of Part 1 Property Crimes is reduced when an LAPD helicopter is overhead.
  • The number of arrests associated with radio calls is three times higher with the involvement of LAPD aircrews.
  • The citizens of Los Angeles accept helicopter patrols as a necessary part of the City’s police system and strongly favor their continuation.
  • Department ground based officers universally support a strong airborne law enforcement program within the department.
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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 25 September 2009

325 days of sunshine

dsc_0179Los Angeles can be so pleasantly overwhelming that often times I forget about some of the coolest aspects about living here and it always reinvigorating me when chatting with some of our visitors makes things resurface daily like a freash water spring!

However, sometimes I do not know how to “turn off.” Today I spent a couple of “off duty” hours chatting with visitors on my favorite hike near the Hollywood Sign! While I was tempted to check the back of my shirt to see if it read, Star Tours Hollywood, the hiking “chit chat” covered many questions about LA, that inspired me to share some with you in this blog. Enjoy!
* LA has, on average, 325 days of sunshine a year
* The average temperature in December is 68 degrees; and in July, 82 degrees
* LA is the only city in North America to have hosted the Summer Olympics twice
* The Olympic Cauldron (torch) from the 1984 games is still lit during USC football games
* Seven Super Bowls have been held in LA
* Dodger Stadium was the first ballpark to host more than 3 million spectators in one season
* You can surf, snowboard, ski, and blaze a trail through the desert all in the same day, thanks to the area’s unique geography
* More than 50 million people go to LA’s beaches each year
* The Santa Monica National Recreation Area covers 153,095 acres
* Griffith Park, at 4,014 acres of land, is the largest municipal park in the nation
* One of the largest manmade recreational harbors, Marina del Rey, is home to more than 6,000 private yachts
* LA has 475 miles of bicycle paths
* LA County has 19 golf courses, and 344 miles of horse and hiking trails
* Sports generally considered to have been invented here include: Beach Volleyball, Windsurfing, Skateboarding
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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 24 September 2009

In & Out @ LAX

laxIn & Out Burger has become legendary in the Southern California landscape. I am always encouraging people to visit a location while they are here, if they have never been. While it seems odd to suggest any one particular location out of countless identical locations, I ALWAYS recommend the In & Out near LAX on 9149 S Sepulveda Blvd because it is a fantastic place to watch the planes landing at LAX at very impressively low altitudes prior to their wheels hitting the runway.

When I recommend itineraries for Hollywood Adventure Tours, I often suggest that we can start a tour with a pick up at LAX, and an immediate visit to this In & Out to unwind after a long flight. In any case, bring a camera because a plane lands almost every 90 seconds or so.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 23 September 2009

Over 80 Farmers Markets in LA County

fm1Can you believe that there are over 80 Certified Farmers Markets in LA? So while the length of this blog may seem obnoxious, I wanted you to have the the “where” and “when” of it all! Farmers Markets are one of the best ways to enjoy California if you are visiting or positively add to your lifestyle if you are local!

Enjoy freshly picked, seasonal fruits and vegetables, juices, breads, specialty items that can found on almost any day, and seven days a week at the Original Farmers Market on Third & Fairfax. Some of LA’s top chefs shop LA’s Farmer’s Market looking for the freshest ingredients to to create their culinary masterpieces! On many of my Los Angeles Adventure Tours, I strongly suggest a visit, as a part of an amazing day.

Alhambra CFM Alhambra Los Angeles Sunday 8:30 AM 1:00 PM
Atwater Village CFM Atwater Village Los Angeles Sunday 10:00 AM 2:00 PM
Bellflower CFM Bellflower Los Angeles Monday 9:00 AM 1:00 PM
Bellflower Summer CFM Bellflower Los Angeles Thursday 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Beverly Hills CFM Beverly Hills Los Angeles Sunday 9:00 AM 1:00 PM
Brentwood CFM Brentwood Los Angeles Sunday 9:00 AM 1:00 PM
Burbank CFM Burbank Los Angeles Saturday 8:00 AM 12:30 PM
Calabasas Old Town CFM Calabasas Los Angeles Saturday 8:00 AM 1:00 PM
Carson CFM Carson Los Angeles Thursday 9:00 AM 1:00 PM
Central Avenue Farmers’ Market Los Angeles Los Angeles Saturday 8:00 AM 12:00 PM
Century City CFM Century City Los Angeles Thursday 11:30 AM 3:00 PM
Cerritos CFM Cerritos Los Angeles Saturday 8:00 AM 12:00 PM
Chatsworth / Porter Ranch CFM Chatsworth Los Angeles Saturday 4:00 PM 8:00 PM
Chatsworth CFM Chatsworth Los Angeles Saturday 8:00 AM 1:00 PM
Claremont Farmers & Artisans Market Claremont Los Angeles Sunday 8:00 AM 1:00 PM
Covina CFM Covina Los Angeles Friday 5:00 PM 9:00 PM
Culver City CFM Culver City Los Angeles Tuesday 2:00 PM 7:00 PM
Diamond Bar CFM Walnut Los Angeles Saturday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
Duarte Farmers Market Duarte Los Angeles Saturday 9:00 AM 1:00 PM
Eagle Rock N Roll Farmers Market Los Angeles Los Angeles Sunday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
East Los Angeles Farmers Market Los Angeles Los Angeles Saturday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
Echo Park Farmers’ Market Echo Park Los Angeles Friday 3:00 PM 7:00 PM
El Segundo CFM El Segundo Los Angeles Thursday 3:00 PM 7:00 PM
Encino CFM Encino Los Angeles Sunday 8:00 AM 1:00 PM
Gardena Saturday Farmers’ Market Gardena Los Angeles Saturday 6:30 AM 12:00 PM
Gardena Wednesday CFM Gardena Los Angeles Wednesday 7:30 AM 12:00 PM
Glendale CFM Glendale Los Angeles Thursday 9:30 AM 1:00 PM
HVP Certified Farmers Market Woodland Hills Los Angeles Saturday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
Hawthorne Del Aire Certified Farmers Market Hawthorne Los Angeles Saturday 9:00 AM 1:00 PM
Hermosa Beach CFM Hermosa Beach Los Angeles Friday 12:00 PM 4:00 PM
Hollywood Farmers’ Market Hollywood Los Angeles Sunday 8:00 AM 1:00 PM
Hollywood Lemon Grove Farmers’ Market Hollywood Los Angeles Wednesday 10:00 AM 2:30 PM
Huntington Park CFM Huntington Park Los Angeles Wednesday 9:30 AM 1:30 PM
L.A. Adams/Vermont CFM Los Angeles Los Angeles Wednesday 1:00 PM 6:00 PM
L.A. Chinatown Farmers’ Market – CLOSED Temporarily Los Angeles Los Angeles Thursday 4:00 PM 8:00 PM
L.A. Eagle Rock Farmers’ Market Los Angeles Los Angeles Friday 5:00 PM 8:30 PM
L.A. Harambee CFM Los Angeles Los Angeles Saturday 10:00 AM 4:00 PM
L.A. La Cienega Farmers’ Market Los Angeles Los Angeles Thursday 3:00 PM 7:00 PM
L.A. Seventh & Figueroa Friday Farmers’ Market Los Angeles Los Angeles Friday 10:00 AM 4:00 PM
L.A. Seventh & Figueroa Thursday Farmers’ Market Los Angeles Los Angeles Thursday 10:00 AM 4:00 PM
L.A. Silver Lake CFM Los Angeles Los Angeles Saturday 8:00 AM 1:00 PM
La Canada Flintridge CFM La Canada Flintridge Los Angeles Saturday 8:00 AM 12:00 PM
La Verne CFM La Verne Los Angeles Thursday 5:00 PM 9:00 PM
La Verne Saturday Farmers’ Market La Verne Los Angeles Saturday 9:00 AM 1:00 PM
Larchmont Village CFM Los Angeles Los Angeles Sunday 10:00 AM 2:00 PM
Lawndale Farmers’ Market Lawndale Los Angeles Wednesday 2:00 PM 7:00 PM
Leimert Park Village CFM Leimert Park Los Angeles Saturday 10:00 AM 3:00 PM
Little Tokyo CFM Los Angeles Los Angeles Thursday 10:00 AM 2:00 PM
Long Beach Downtown Farmers’ Market Long Beach Los Angeles Friday 10:00 AM 4:00 PM
Long Beach Southeast Farmers’ Market Long Beach Los Angeles Sunday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
Long Beach Uptown Certified Farmers’ Market Long Beach Los Angeles Thursday 3:00 PM 6:30 PM
Los Angeles Medical Center Certified Farmers’ Market at Barnsdall Art Park Los Angeles Los Angeles Wednesday 12:00 PM 7:00 PM
Lynwood CFM Lynwood Los Angeles Tuesday 12:00 PM 5:00 PM
Manhattan Beach CFM Manhattan Beach Los Angeles Tuesday 12:00 AM 4:00 PM
Mar Vista Farmers’ Market Mar Vista Los Angeles Sunday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
Melrose Place CFM Los Angeles Los Angeles Sunday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
Monrovia CFM Monrovia Los Angeles Friday 5:00 PM 9:00 PM
Monterey Park Farmers’ Market Monterey Park Los Angeles Saturday 8:00 AM 1:00 PM
Montrose Harvest Market Montrose Los Angeles Sunday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
Northridge CFM Northridge Los Angeles Wednesday 5:00 PM 9:00 PM
Norwalk CFM Norwalk Los Angeles Tuesday 9:00 AM 1:00 PM
Old L.A. CFM Highland Park Los Angeles Tuesday 3:00 PM 7:00 PM
Pacific Palisades CFM Pacific Palisades Los Angeles Sunday 8:00 AM 1:30 PM
Palos Verdes-Rolling Hills Estates Farmers’ Market Rolling Hills Estates Los Angeles Sunday 9:00 AM 1:00 PM
Pasadena Victory Park CFM Pasadena Los Angeles Saturday 8:30 AM 1:00 PM
Pasadena Villa Park CFM Pasadena Los Angeles Tuesday 9:00 AM 1:00 PM
Pomona Valley CFM Pomona Los Angeles Saturday 7:30 AM 11:30 AM
Redondo Beach CFM Redondo Beach, Los Angeles Thursday 8:00 AM 1:00 PM
San Dimas CFM San Dimas Los Angeles Wednesday 4:30 PM 8:30 PM
San Pedro CFM San Pedro Los Angeles Friday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
Santa Clarita CFM Santa Clarita Los Angeles Sunday 8:30 AM 12:00 PM
Santa Monica Pico Farmers’ Market Santa Monica Los Angeles Saturday 8:00 AM 1:00 PM
Santa Monica Saturday Organic Farmers’ Market Santa Monica Los Angeles Saturday 8:30 AM 1:00 PM
Santa Monica Sunday Farmers’ Market Santa Monica Los Angeles Sunday 9:30 AM 1:00 PM
Santa Monica Wednesday Farmers’ Market Santa Monica Los Angeles Wednesday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
Sierra Madre Certified Farmers Market Sierra Madre Los Angeles Wednesday 3:00 PM 7:00 PM
South Gate CFM South Gate Los Angeles Monday 9:00 AM 1:00 PM
South Park Farmers’ Market – CLOSED Temporarily Los Angeles Los Angeles Sunday 11:00 AM 4:00 PM
South Pasadena Farmers’ Market South Pasadena Los Angeles Thursday 4:00 PM 8:00 PM
Studio City CFM Studio City Los Angeles Sunday 8:00 AM 1:00 PM
Toluca Lake Certified Farmers’ Market Toluca Lake Los Angeles Sunday 9:30 AM 2:30 PM
Topanga Canyon Market Woodland Hills Los Angeles Saturday 4:00 PM 9:00 PM
Torrance Saturday Farmers’ Market Torrance Los Angeles Saturday 8:00 AM 1:00 PM
Torrance Tuesday CFM Torrance Los Angeles Tuesday 8:00 AM 1:00 PM
Valinda / La Puente Farmers Market La Puente Los Angeles Thursday 3:00 PM 8:00 PM
Van Nuys CFM Van Nuys Los Angeles Thursday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
Venice CFM Venice Los Angeles Friday 7:00 AM 11:00 AM
Watts Healthy Farmers’ Market Los Angeles Los Angeles Saturday 10:00 AM 2:00 PM
West Covina Farmers’ Market West Covina Los Angeles Saturday 8:00 AM 2:00 PM
West Hollywood Monday Farmers’ Market West Hollywood Los Angeles Monday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
West L.A. CFM Los Angeles Los Angeles Sunday 9:00 AM 2:00 PM
West Los Angeles Kaiser Permanente Certified Farmers’ Market Los Angeles Los Angeles Wednesday 9:00 AM 1:30 PM
Westchester CFM Westchester Los Angeles Wednesday 8:30 AM 1:00 PM
Westwood Farmers’ Market Westwood Los Angeles Thursday 12:00 PM 6:00 PM
Whittier CFM Whittier Los Angeles Friday 8:30 AM 1:00 PM
Whittier Unincorporated Farmers Market Whittier Los Angeles Friday 3:00 PM 8:00 PM
Wilmington Farmers’ Market Wilmington Los Angeles Thursday 9:00 AM 1:00 PM
Woodman Avenue Market Sherman Oaks, CA Los Angeles Tuesday 3:00 PM 8:30 PM
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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 22 September 2009

A Unique Thing to do in Los Angeles

the-rock-store1I was recently asked by a client, “Tell me about a cool hangout spot, that involves a scenic drive, and something I will not hear about on any other tour.” So I told him about The Rock Store at 30354 Mulholland Hwy near Malibu.

Located in the scenic canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains, this is one of the most famous stretch of back road in the world, and is about 35 miles from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Ed and Veronica Savko, have operated The Rock Store for over 45 years, and have turned their quiet little country store into the hottest biker destination in Southern California.

The Rock Store has always attracted celebrities, and it is not at all uncommon to spot Jay Leno somewhere in the parking lot checking out bikes. And yes, he almost always wears his trademark blue denim shirt! Leno often rides up on his Y2K jet-powered bike or one of his classic motorcycles. Among others, California’s “Governator” Arnold Schwarzenegger often comes by and “Friends” star Matt LeBlanc has also been spotted on the patio. In fact, you never know which celebs might be seen. I have diverted countless numbers of Los Angeles Luxury Tours to visit the hangout and experience something different. The best part about visiting The Rock Store is the “everybody” is welcome! Beyond celebs and traditional bikers, you will meet people from literally every walk of life! It is a place where Californians go to “get along” and enjoy life; a true California tradition!

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 21 September 2009

LA is HUGE!

tar-pits2Whether a visitor or a “home grown” Los Angelian, there are sure to be some facts below that you did not know.

* With a population of 10.3 million, LA County is the most populous in the United States

* If LA County were a state, it would be eighth largest in population

* The population of the five-county region of Los Angeles is larger than all of the states in the nation, except California, New York and Texas

* LA County is home to 88 cities

* LA is the largest city in LA County with 3,976,071 people

* 10,064-foot Mount San Antonio is the highest point in LA County

* LA County has 75 miles of coastline

* The longest street in LA City is Sepulveda Boulevard at 26.4 miles

* The enormous Walk of Fame began in 1960 with now more than 2,300 stars and the most visited place on Hollywood Celebrity Tours

* Sepulveda Boulevard continues through LA County for a total of 76 miles

* LA County’s land area is 4,752 square miles

* LA County has 79 certified farmers markets

* The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest school district in the nation

* La Opinión in the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, with a circulation of 125,624

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