All the Colors of the City edition
Submitted by kim on Wed, 07/18/2012 - 8:37am
All the Colors of the City edition
Wouldn't you just know it? Nearly three years after we stepped away from the management of the DOWNTOWN ART WALK upon running up against a solid wall of resistance from the impossible (and since-fired) head of the local Business Improvement District, we agree to return to the event and host a free BUNKER HILL HISTORY LECTURE (video link below) during Art Walk… and members of Occupy LA show up to hand out STICKS OF COLORED CHALK in protest of unreported free speech arrests outside another local Business Improvement District office… and suddenly there are hundreds of police officers in riot formation on Spring Street, taking kids into custody for CHALKING IN THE RAIN, and firing bean bag rounds and tear gas directly into a confused and frightened crowd--not of protesters, but Art Walk attendees.
Now we don't think that we personally brought chaos to the Art Walk, any more than a guest from foggy old London can be said to have brought bad weather with them, but the situation has certainly made for a lot of rumination and debate around our kitchen table, and a DEEP REGRET that something so preventable was allowed to unfold without an open line of communication between Art Walk management, the police, the city's Art Walk Task Force and the Occupy LA protesters. Chalk Walk was widely promoted in social media; yet somehow nobody bothered to get in touch with the organizers to say "so, we've got a few concerns."
Some folks say that Occupy LA isn't relevant any more, that when they were evicted from the lawn at City Hall and turned their focus to the last LA community where they were welcome to camp on the streets -- Skid Row -- they stopped mattering. Well, in Skid Row, the radicals got further radicalized, as they learned about the private security forces that fan out around Downtown, enforcing separate rules for poor and shabby-looking people than for people who have money to spend in upscale bars and restaurants. Eventually, their Skid Row studies led Occupy LA to look at a very powerful, very shadowy organization, THE CENTRAL CITY ASSOCIATION, that for decades has lobbied the city and state to make our urban core more profitable for business, too often at the expense of longtime residents.
Last Wednesday night, the CCA was a mystery. By Friday morning, it was the centerpiece of a dozen newspaper articles, some nationally syndicated. Complex issues like the dark side of gentrification, private security in public spaces, and the criminalization of poverty got a rare airing. And suddenly, Occupy LA was as relevant as it's ever been.
Like it or not, we live in an interesting time and place. Here's hoping all these challenges are helping to make a better city, and better Angelenos of us all.
Now read on, for all the news you can use.
1) THURSDAY, JULY 19 - Join us for LIT FEST @ THE KING EDDY SALOON: FANTE, SHAW & ORTEGA, the second in a series of free cultural programs honoring the last Skid Row bar, THE KING EDDY, as it winds up nearly a century of continuous service, half of that under one family's management. DAN FANTE will read selections from his poetry and his recently published memoir about growing up with his father, novelist John Fante. JONATHAN SHAW will read a short story about his meeting with Charles Bukowski and the fist fight which ensued. RUBEN ORTEGA is a local L.A. writer of short stories. Program begins at 8 sharp, and while the event is free, reservations are required. For more info or to reserve, visit: http://lavatransforms.org/kingeddylitfest1
2) MONDAY, JULY 23 - SOLD OUT! If you love old Los Angeles and the magical places where it seems time stands still, then The Musso & Frank Grill requires no introduction. We've long adored the oldest restaurant in Hollywood with its incredible literary pedigree and stiff gimlets, red-coated waiters and scrumptious sourdough. And now, after several years talking with the restaurant's proprietors about just the right way to celebrate everything that makes Musso's matter, we're able to invite to you attend a quarterly literary salon and dinner series: The LAVA Salon at Musso & Frank. Sorry, but it is now too late to join us for the sold out Salon THAT SIDE OF PARADISE: DOROTHY PARKER & F. SCOTT FITZGERALD IN THE GARDEN OF ALLAH, but we hope to see you at the October Salon, date and theme of which will be announced soon. All the details are at http://lavatransforms.org/mussosalon3
3) SATURDAY, JULY 28 - SOLD OUT! We roll with our most popular crime bus tour. THE REAL BLACK DAHLIA 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. To reserve a seat on the next edition of this sold out tour, on September 29, visit: http://esotouric.com/dahlia-9-29-12
4) SATURDAY, AUGUST 4 / SUNDAY AUGUST 5 - THE ARCHITECTURE SERIES returns with a weekend package in the REYNER BANHAM LOVES L.A. series: ROUTE 66 / SOUTH LOS ANGELES. Take either tour, or spend the whole weekend with us at a special discount rate. First, join us on a time travel ROUTE 66 excursion (8/4) as our bus rolls east along California's Mother Road to explore the building of its dream, from citrus ranches to oddball roadside attractions, sinister sisters, an ancient hidden graveyard (perhaps the most remote and haunted site we visit on any of our tours) and the many mysteries of the northern San Gabriel Valley. The SOUTH L.A. tour (8/5) 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. For more info, or for discounted weekend passes, visit http://esotouric.com/weekendpass-august-2012
5) SATURDAY, AUGUST 11 - Join us for the very popular RAYMOND CHANDLER'S LOS ANGELES: IN A LONELY PLACE, 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 be steeped in noir LA. To reserve, see http://esotouric.com/chandler-8-11-12
6) SATURDAY, AUGUST 18 - 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. Reserve quick, seats are going fast! More details are at http://esotouric.com/buk
7) SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 - NEW TOUR! Just added to our architecture series, we've spliced the DNA from two retired bus tours to create an brand new East Side cultural immersion adventure that we're calling BOYLE HEIGHTS & THE SAN GABRIEL VALLEY. Come on a century’s social history tour through the transformation of neighborhoods, punctuated with delicious stops to sample the tastes, smells and cultures that make our changing city so beguiling. Voter registration, citizenship classes, Chicano Moratorium, walkouts, blow-outs, anti-Semitism, adult education, racial covenants, boycotts, punk rock, 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. So get on the bus--and bring your appetite! One of the best ways to understand a neighborhood is to eat there, and we’ve got some tasty treats in store. Discover the new wave of Mexican cuisine with our lunchtime visit to Guisado’s in Boyle Heights, for a miniature taco sampler that will tickle your taste buds. Later, learn how a passion for traditional Chinese tea has evolved into a unique way of selling wine, as we tour the automated wine dispensers of Monterey Park’s Wing Hop Fung superstore and enjoy a complementary tea tasting and no-host wine selections. This whirlwind social history tour will include stops at: The Vladeck Center, Libros Schmibros, Hollenbeck Park, Evergreen Cemetery, The Venice Room, El Encanto & Cascades Park, Divine’s Furniture, Guisado’s, Wing Hop Fung. Plus in a very special guest-hosted section, a pocket history of the rich and unjustly neglected East Los Angeles punk rock scene, a cultural explosion that measures up to anything happening in London, New York or Huntington Beach in the late 1970s. Reserve your spot at http://esotouric.com/bh-sgv-8-25-12
8) SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 - Join us at the Cal State Los Angeles teaching crime lab for the latest in a series of historic true crime seminars benefiting the Criminalistics graduate department. COLD A LONG TIME: SOLVING A 22-YEAR-OLD FORENSIC MYSTERY features true crime writer John Leake's personal investigation into the unexplained death of a Canadian hockey player in Austria, and the chilling truths that a victim's body can reveal, even years after the fact. Join John Leake and LASD trace evidence analyst Lynne Herold for an afternoon of hard core forensic science and human tragedy. Seats are going quick, so reserve your spot today! Info at http://lavatransforms.org/crimelabaugust26
9) You asked and we delivered -- Esotouric now has an APP FOR THE iPHONE/IPAD. "Know What" ($1.99) is an urban city guide featuring hundreds of cool California destinations, selected by local historians and experts, including Esotouric's picks. Add our complete BLACK DAHLIA or CHARLES BUKOWSKI self-guided tours for an additional $3.99. More info is at http://bit.ly/yEq7Og
10) Don't forget, there are DISCOUNTS to be had on the Esotouric bus. Take 15% off if you are a KCRW subscriber (for gift certificates, too). Spring for a SOLO 6-PACK or a SHAREABLE 12-PACK and save big on every seat, visit http://www.esotouric.com/6pack for the skinny. Call us if you have a group of 8 or more people wanting to ride a tour for a special quote. Or rent the whole bus and make a private party of it... you can even bring Crimebo the Clown along, if you must. There really are no limits except your imagination, our driver's patience and gravity.
11) Come BUY OUR WARES - they make great gifts! We're the exclusive LA distributor of Bob Waldmire's amazing ROUTE 66 maps and postcards and RAYMOND CHANDLER MYSTERY MAPS. You can hang GEORGE MANN'S rare color images of BUNKER HILL on your wall. And our 9-photo set of vintage HISTORIC CORE IMAGES is an instant Downtown L.A. history lesson. See links below for more info.
12) Come BROWSE OUR SHOP - FREE! Have you seen the ESOTOURIC EMPORIUM OF LOS ANGELES LORE? It's a virtual Amazon book and dvd store containing all our favorite cultural touchstones, updated frequently, organized by subject (true crime, L.A. films, the weird old America that doesn't exist anymore). Also featured, some of the cool tools we use on the bus. Should you happen to buy something, we'll get a share of the sale price to help support our esoteric explorations, but the cheap dates among you can just use the links below to augment your library wish list. http://astore.amazon.com/bubble1-20
13) And finally, links!
A dream of a growing metropolis
A neighborhood saved
Miss Moore's abode is buried, somewhere, under there
The sexy side of canoes
Mr. Mitchell observes
The George Mann Archives (as featured on our On Bunker Hill blog) finally have a website
Richard's eulogy for the King Eddy Saloon (read the transcript or click for audio)
More vintage celebrity clips emerge from the George Mann archives--including a weird one!
Long simmering conflicts come to a head at Art Walk
And a petition seeking an independent investigation
Prohibition stash emerges
A house in long decline
Talking about lost Bunker Hill at the George Mann exhibition (video)
Crimebo presents: a trick that is also a treat (video)
Upcoming Esotouric bus tour and special event schedule
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