Archive for January, 2010

LA Adventure Specialist - 12:00 31 January 2010

The Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, andwriters. The formal ceremony at which the awards are presented is one of the most prominent award ceremonies in the world. It is also the oldest award ceremony in the media, and many other award ceremonies such as the Grammy Awards (for music), Golden Globe Awards (all forms of visual media), and Emmy Awards (for television) are often modeled from the Academy. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences itself was conceived by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio boss Louis B. Mayer.

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held Thursday, May 16, 1929, at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood to honor outstanding film achievements of 1927 and 1928. It was hosted by actor Douglas Fairbanks and director William C. deMille. On the day of the Academy Awards, “tour vans Los Angeles” showcase the perimeter of the event as visitors try to catch a glimpse. The 82nd Academy Awards, honoring the best in film for 2009, will be held on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at theKodak Theatre in Hollywood, with actors Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin hosting the ceremony. Some of the nominees include Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Kathryn Bigelow, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and three newcomers Carey Mulligan and Gabourey Sidibe and to english language films Christoph Waltz.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 12:00 30 January 2010

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

File:AMPAS.jpg The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures. The Academy’s corporate management and general policies are overseen by a Board of Governors, which includes representatives from each of the craft branches.

The Academy is composed of over 6,000 motion picture professionals. While the great majority of its members are based in the United States, membership is open to qualified filmmakers around the world.  The Academy is known around the world for its annual Academy Awards, informally known as the “Oscars” and often asked about in detail on private Los Angeles van tours.  In addition, the Academy gives Student Academy Awards annually to filmmakers at the undergraduate and graduate level; awards up to five Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting annually; and operates the Margaret Herrick Library (at the Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study) in Beverly Hills, California and the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 12:00 29 January 2010

Saddle Ranch Chop House

Come rock out on the famous sunset strip with Saddle Ranch Chop House!The vision behind Saddle Ranch Chop House was that of a destination restaurant where, unlike other restaurants, people would come for a great meal and stay long after their plates had been cleared to enjoy a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience with friends and family. The extensive and eclectic menu offers generous portions of steaks, chops, ribs, sandwiches, burgers, seafood, salads, biscuits and gravy, eggs, pancakes, and more.

The concept is “Rock Meets Western”, which comes to life in every aspect of the construction, décor and operation of these unique restaurants. The rustic, ranch-style buildings are constructed of wood and stone, and decorated with western props and memorabilia, merging the feel of an Aspen ski lodge with the style of an old Western saloon, complete with faux balconies and saloon girls. Every Saddle Ranch Chop House has a large outdoor patio with stone campfire pits where guests can roast their own s’mores or enjoy a glass of wine next to a warm fire. Visiting the Sunset Strip location needs to be added to your list of “things to do in Hollywood.” Inside, each Saddle Ranch has a large, oval-shaped bar in the center of the dining room and, of course, a mechanical bull amidst the tables and booths providing endless entertainment to diners. The Saddle Ranch team is known for making guests feel like they are dining at a friend’s table with home-style cooking and down-home hospitality.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 12:00 28 January 2010


A Manhattan Beach tradition makes it’s way into the heart of Downtown with ROCK’N FISH. From 1960 until 2000, Hibachi Restaurant was an institution at the Manhattan Beach location. In an effort to maintain some of the history and tradition of that beloved establishment, some of Hibachi’s signature items, such as the Navy Grog, Teriyaki Chicken, Sticky Rice, and Hibachi Dressing, have been remembered in the Steak and Seafood Menu.

One of the top things to do in Los Angeles, they only use the highest quality PRIME beef and freshest fish, which are brought in daily for your pleasure. Enjoy one of the house specialties such as the Oak Grilled Artichoke, Blue Cheese Wedge Salad, BBQ Shrimp, or Kapalua Ribeye. Whether you’re looking for an old tradition or a new one, they are here to please.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 8:37 27 January 2010

Katsuya Downtown LA

Featuring the dynamic pairing of master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi and world-renowned designer Philippe Starck, Katsuya Downtown LA arrives on the heels of SBE’s success with the restaurant’s Brentwood, Hollywood and Glendale locations.  Located in the center of the LA LIVE promenade, Katsuya offers traditional Japanese fare as well as signature dishes and specialty cocktails created with only the freshest ingredients, making it the perfect night on the town after an amazing private Hollywood tour or adventure.

A spot to watch the game, grab a bite before or after a show, or enjoy an inventive meal downtown, Katsuya also features take-out, catering, a weekday happy hour from 4 – 5 PM, and a special late night menu nightly during the last hour of service.

Special menu daily from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM  Special late night menu during the last hour of service nightly / 800 W. Olympic Blvd. 90015

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LA Adventure Specialist - 12:00 26 January 2010

Los Angeles County

File:Map of California highlighting Los Angeles County.svgLos 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 Department of Finance 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 desert including the Santa Clarita Valley and the Antelope Valley, which encompasses the northeastern part of the county and is adjacent to Kern County. In between these portions of the county sit the San Gabriel Mountains and the vast wilderness known as the Angeles National Forest, an interesting place to incorporate on private tours of Los Angeles.

One of the most diverse counties in the country, it holds most of the principal cities encompassing the Greater Los Angeles Area and is the core of the five counties that make up the area. In 2004, the county’s population was larger than the individual populations of 42 statesconsidered separately, and on that basis, is more populous than the aggregate of the 11 least populous states. Similar in land area to the state of Connecticut and in population to the state of Michigan, the county is home to over a quarter of all California residents. According to the United States Conference of Mayors, if Los Angeles County were a nation, it would boast a GDP among the twenty largest countries in the world.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 9:34 25 January 2010

Traveling in Unfamiliar Territory

When it comes to traveling abroad or in an area of the country where you’ve never been, it can be difficult to distinguish the hotspots and the duds. Traveler’s manuals will list various locations you can visit, but often won’t tell you if it’s worth it. Often the best way to visit fun or interesting locations is through travel tours.  In civilized places a travel tour will take you to all the best historic locations, shops, and eateries, while if you’re traveling somewhere like South America or Africa, you can view the flora and fauna from a safe distance with an experienced professional.

People will often book travel tours with their airfare and accommodations; it’s a smart decision to plan your entertainment ahead of time so you don’t wind up bored! Before my last trip to Southern California, I booked my family and myself a couple of tours of Los Angeles to ensure that we didn’t miss out on any of the prime sightseeing opportunities.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 8:49 24 January 2010

Mulholland Drive in Pop Culture

File:2004-04-02 - 31 - Mulholland Drive.jpgKing of the Mountain was a fictional movie loosely based on actual Mulholland Drive racers, racing to be king of the hill. The 1981 movie include stars, Dennis Hopper, Harry Hamlin, Seymour Cassel and Dan Haggerty. The films Mulholland Drive and Mulholland Falls were named after the road.

The events described in the spoken portions of the Poe song Hey Pretty take place on Mulholland Drive, mostly close to scenic points on star tours Hollywood.

Mulholland Drive inspired (and is mentioned in) the R.E.M. song Electrolite.

Mulholland is mentioned, along with other major Los Angeles thoroughfares, in the Tom Petty song “Free Fallin’.”

There is also a ride at Disneyland’s California Adventure called “Mulholland Madness” (previously, “Mulholland Highway”).

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LA Adventure Specialist - 12:00 23 January 2010

Fire Station No. 23

Fire Station No. 23 Fire Station No. 23 is a former fire station in Downtown Los Angeles. Built in 1910 as an operating fire station, it was also the Los Angeles Fire Department’s headquarters until 1920 and the residence of every fire chief from 1910-1928. When it opened, it spawned a political firestorm due to the ornate interior and expensive imported materials, leading to its being called the “Taj Mahal” of firehouses. After 50 years of operation, the station was closed in 1960 as the department began replacing older stations with new facilities.

The station off the beaten path on private Hollywood tours, but since the  since the 1980s, Fire Station No. 23 has been a popular filming location. Motion pictures filmed at the station include the Ghostbusters movies, The MaskPolice Academy 2,FlatlinersFirehouse and National Security.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 6:00 22 January 2010

Lovell Health House

The Lovell House or Lovell Health House is a modern residence designed and built by Richard Neutra between 1927-29. The home, located at 4616 Dundee Drive in Los Angeles, California, was built for the physician and naturopath Philip Lovell. It is considered a major monument in architectural history, and was a turning point in Neutra’s career.

It is often described as the first steel frame house in the United States, and also an early example of the use of gunite (sprayed-on concrete). Neutra was familiar with steel construction due to his earlier work with the Chicago firm Holabird & Roche. Neutra served as the contractor for the project in order to manage the cost and quality.

Philip Lovell was enchanted with the house and praised his architect publicly. Lovell had previously commissioned architect Rudolf Schindler to build the landmark Lovell Beach House in 1926. Neutra and Schindler were contemporaries in Europe and the Neutras lived with the Schindlers when they first settled in LA in 1925. Dr. Lovell chose Neutra instead of Schindler to build his LA home while they were living under the same roof. Neutra was known for his relationships with his clients–he thought of himself as a therapist and the client his patient. He spent time getting to know his clients and analyzed their needs.  Request to see this home on private LA guided tours because, the Lovell House was added to the list of Registered Historic Places in Los Angeles in 1971. The Lovell Health House was used as the home of the character Pierce Patchett in L.A. Confidential.

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