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Archive for December, 2009

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 30 December 2009

The Fairfax District

It is roughly bordered by West Hollywood on the north, Highland Avenue on the east, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills on the west and Wilshire Boulevard on the south. The Fairfax District is sometimes confused with Park La Brea, which is a real estate development within the District, and the curious Beverly Hills Adjacent, particularly on housing rental advertisements. The section of Fairfax Avenue filled with traditionally Jewish businesses is sometimes referred to by Angelenos as Kosher Canyon or “The Bagel District.” This area should be added as a brief stop on your “things to do in Los Angeles” agenda. Beginning around 2005, real estate listings began to define the western part of the area as Beverly Grove when listing homes for sale.

Historically, the Fairfax District has been a center of the city’s Jewish community. In the early 20th century, with an expanding population and more young families, many began looking for new housing. As a result of this, many middle class Jewish families moved west from Boyle Heights, City Terrace, East Los Angeles andMontebello to the area around Fairfax Avenue, a street they lined with Kosher delis, restaurants, butcher’s and baker’s shops and fish markets, creating a unique village in the heart of the city.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 30 December 2009

Hollywood Star Tours

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On my last trip to LA, the highlights of my trip were the two star tours that I experienced with my son. Like most tourists, I was naturally intrigued to get a glimpse of the glitz and glam of the Hollywood lifestyle. My son and I took a daylong star tours Hollywood adventure, which familiarized us with all of the legendary venues of the historic city.

During the tour, we were even able to spot some famous stars eating lunch as a ritzy bistro. The other Star Tours that served as an acme of the vacation was the ride at Disneyland. When I was little, my favorite attraction at the park was always the Star Wars-themed ride, and I was happy to have an opportunity to share it with my son.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 29 December 2009

The LA Farmer’s Market

File:Farmers Market Los Angeles.JPGThe Farmers Market is a heavily trafficked area of food stalls, sit-down eateries, prepared food vendors, and produce markets. It’s also a historic Los Angeles landmark and tourist attraction, first opened in 1934. The Farmers Market features more than 100 restaurants, grocers and tourist shops, and is located just south of CBS Television City.

The market is a popular destination for foodies in search of the market’s wide assortment of ethnic cuisines, many of them unusual, as well as its specialty food markets and prepared food stalls. This is a “must” stop on a Hollywood tour. The front of Farmers Market displays a sign saying “Meet Me at Third and Fairfax.”

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 28 December 2009

Los Angeles County

File:New LA Infobox Pic Montage 5.jpgLos Angeles County is a county in California and is by far the most populous county in the United States. Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau give an estimated 2008 population of 9,862,049 residents, while the California State government’s population bureau lists a January 1, 2009, estimate of 10,393,185. The county seat is the city of Los Angeles, the largest city in California.

The county is home to 88 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas. The southern portion is the most heavily urbanized area and is home to the vast majority of the population which lives along the Southern California coastline and the inland basins and valleys. The northern half is a large expanse of less-populated desertincluding the Santa Clarita Valley and the Antelope Valley, which encompasses the northeastern part of the county and is adjacent to Kern County. With regard to sightseeing, tours of Los Angeles often focus on LA, Hollywood & Beverly Hills. In between these portions of the county sit the San Gabriel Mountainsand the vast wilderness known as the Angeles National Forest.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 27 December 2009

La Cienega Boulevard

La Cienega Boulevard is a major north-south arterial road that runs between El Segundo Boulevard in El Segundo, California on the south and the Sunset Strip/Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.

It is unusual among most Southern California roadways in that part of it was built to freeway standards in the late 1940s as part of the proposed Laurel Canyon Freeway, part of State Route 170. The SR 170 freeway was never completed south of U.S. Route 101, and the stretch of La Cienega from just north of Fairview Blvd in Inglewood, through the Baldwin Hills and along theKenneth Hahn State Recreation Area to Rodeo Road in Los Angeles is a divided, limited access highway with few traffic signals. As such, emergencycall boxes like those found along the area’s freeways were installed along that stretch in the 1970s.

From south of Fairview and from north of Rodeo, La Cienega Boulevard is a regular surface street and one of Hollywood’s major thoroughfares. Offices forA&E Network, The History Channel and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are located on La Ciénega as are the studios of KABC and KLOS, two of Los Angeles’ biggest radio stations. A portion of La Cienega in and adjacent to Beverly Hills is known as “Restaurant Row” for its large number of upscale restaurants, showcased on many “star tours Hollywood.” South of Olympic, La Cienega is known for its large number of automotive-related business including several used car dealerships and many body shops and auto mechanics.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 26 December 2009

Pink’s

File:Pinks Hot Dogs.jpgPink’s was founded by Paul and Betty Pink in 1939 as a pushcart near the corner of La Brea and Melrose. The Great Depression was still having an impact on the country, and money was scarce. People could purchase a chili dog made with Betty’s own chili recipe accompanied by mustard and onions on a steamed bun for 10 cents each. As business grew, thanks to Betty’s chili and the custom-made Hoffy-brand hot dogs with their natural casings, so did Pink’s. The family built the current building in 1946 at 709 North La Brea.

Pink’s has named several newer menu items after Hollywood celebrities, some of whom can be seen at the restaurant. There are many signed celebrity photographs hanging on the walls inside; some celebrities have signed more than one photo. The celebrity-named hot dogs are often versions actually ordered by the person in question, such as the “Martha Stewart Dog” with mustard, relish, onions, chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut, bacon, and sour cream. Another is the “Rosie O’Donnell Long Island Dog,” which is a 10″ dog topped with mustard, onions, chili and sauerkraut. The “Huell Howser Dog” is a standard chili dog with two of the regular hot dogs on a single bun while the “Ozzy Spicy Dog” named for Ozzy Osbourne features a Polish sausage, nacho cheese, American cheese, grilled onions, guacamole and chopped tomatoes.

A large selection of hamburgers are available as are desserts, with the latter limited to generous slices of coconut or marble cake.

There is usually a long line of customers in front despite the lack of parking in and around the area. The often slow-moving line, seen driving by or while on one of LA’s private Hollywood tours, is viewed by some as part of the attraction at Pink’s, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when the stand becomes packed with club and concert goers. The business is strictly cash; no credit cards are accepted. Sales tax is included in the posted prices.

Pink’s has its own parking-lot attendant, even though parking is free. According to the menu, Pink’s original signature chili dog in stretched, 10″/25cm form remains the stand’s top seller.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 23 December 2009

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, California, United States. The facility is situated in the northern portion of Pasadena. JPL is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Laboratory’s primary function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA’s Deep Space Network. Among its current projects are the Cassini-Huygensmission to Saturn, the Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity), the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

JPL’s Space Flight Operations Facility and Twenty-Five-Foot Space Simulator are designated National Historic Landmarks. Being nicely viewed from one of our Los Angeles Helicopter tours, it is a very rich piece of California history and forward thinking technology.

JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) traces its history back to 1936, when the first set of rocket experiments were carried out in the Arroyo Seco. Caltech graduate studentsFrank Malina, Weld Arnold, Apollo M. O. Smith, and Tsien Hsue-shen, along with Jack Parsons and Edward Forman, tested a small, alcohol fueled motor to gather data for Malina’s graduate thesis. Malina’s thesis advisor was aerodynamicist Theodore von Karman, who eventually arranged for U.S. Army financial support for this “GALCIT Rocket Project” in 1939. In 1941, Malina, Parsons, Forman, Martin Summerfield, and pilot Homer Bushey demonstrated the first JATO rockets to the Army. In 1943, Von Karman, Malina, Parsons, and Forman established the Aerojet Corporation to manufacture JATO motors, and the following year JPL formally became an Army facility operated under contract by Caltech.[1]

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 22 December 2009

LA Coliseum 1930’s – 1940’s

In 1932, the Coliseum hosted the 1932 Summer Olympic Games; the first of two Olympiads hosted at the stadium. The Coliseum served as the site of primary track and field events as well as opening and closing ceremonies. The 1932 games marked the introduction of the Olympic Village as well as the victory podium.

The former Cleveland Rams of the National Football League relocated to the Coliseum in 1946, becoming the Los Angeles Rams; but the team later relocated again, first to Anaheim in 1980, then to St. Louis, Missouri in 1995. The Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference played in the Coliseum from 1946 to 1949, when the Dons franchise merged with its NFL cousins just before the two leagues merged. Today the massive structure is best seen by doing one of our private LA helicopter tours. In 1960 the American Football League’s Los Angeles Chargers played at the Coliseum before relocating to San Diego the next year.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 21 December 2009

Rob & his Cobb

In 1937, Brown Derby owner Robert H. Cobb went into the restaurant’s kitchen to fix a late-night snack for Sid Grauman, operator of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. He browsed the refrigerator for ingredients, and chopped them up finely. Thus, the Cobb salad was born. From then on, Grauman often requested that a Cobb salad be prepared for him. Word soon spread about this creation throughout Hollywood, quickly increasing its popularity. It became such a hit that film stars started requesting “Cobb’s salad”, and it was eventually added to the menu of the Drake Hotel.

Another story that helps to explain why the items are chopped up, states that Sid Grauman had to have dental surgery one morning and wasn’t allowed to eat all day, so was particularly hungry. Since the pain in his jaw would not allow him to open his mouth very wide, Robert Cobb fixed him a salad and cut up each item into small bits. The original recipe is lost to the ages; the chef remembers collecting items that were available in the refrigerator at the time. One thing he does remember is that he chose items that would not require heavy chewing. Of them are: chopped egg, iceburg lettuce, avocado, blue cheese, bacon, tomato. If you tour Los Angeles, it is hard not to find a Cobb Salad on the menu. Today items vary but the proper presentation is all items are chopped and mounded separately.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:11 20 December 2009

Santa & his Helicopter

You will not find too many Santa’s in LA with a fake beard. After all, there is a reputation to uphold in this town. At many of the high end malls in Southern California you will find old St. Nick just as you last saw him in your favorite Christmas movie.

Beyond the standing in line to meet Santa, there are special private venues that you can tell Santa what you want for Christmas. For instance, by reservation in December, the jolly fella will actually land to meet you for a quick photo op, atop a roof top building over looking LA. Yes, Santa has an agent! It is the most fantastic way to experience one of our Los Angeles Helicopter tours and to have the most unique Holiday picture for your Holiday card and/or Facebook page! Our source tells us that he does not use the sleigh to run errands the rest of the year.

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