Remembering Balboa Park’s Nudist Colony at the Zoro Garden

One of my favorite places in San Diego is Balboa Park. The sprawling park features fanciful architecture housing a plethora of museums, plus multiple gardens. One such garden is the Zoro Garden, which is tucked away behind a leaf covered wall, and shaded beneath massive trees. When I first gazed upon it I wouldn’t have…

Meet Catherine Segura, the Young Woman Who is Keeping Tintype Photography Alive

When you walk into Old Town San Diego, you instantly feel like you’re transported to the past. And if you’re lucky enough to be there on a weekend, then you can have a truly unique and transporting experience by visiting Catherine and her father, Clement, who do tintype portraits on the porch of the Cosmopolitan.…

The Forgotten History of Gower Gulch, Hollywood’s Western Strip Mall

Gower Gulch. Sounds like a small town in the deserts of Arizona, right? But you’d be wrong. It’s in fact a western themed small strip mall that sits at the corner of Gower and Sunset in the middle of Hollywood. But why a western theme? And just how did this corner get its name? The…

The Violent History of LA’s Iconic Crossroads of the World

Sunset Boulevard is synonymous with Hollywood. It’s home to a plethora of iconic buildings and linked to many legendary people. One such building is Crossroads of the World, a bizarre little 1930s shopping center turned office complex that looks like something out of a Disney theme park, with a steamship style building “sailing” past storefronts…

Step into the Beauty Bubble, Joshua Tree’s Kitschiest Salon & Museum

Just past the turn to head into Joshua Tree National Park is another national treasure, the candy colored The Beauty Bubble Salon and Museum. Step inside and you’ll instantly want to do something wild and crazy with your hair. Because, how can you not with a plethora of vintage hair goodies across every surface, and…

Exploring the Desert Wonderland of Moorten Botanical Garden

The annual visit to Palm Springs, which is for Pat’s work, typically means I fill the days on my own – shopping, visiting museums, etc. This year Charles Phoenix recommended I visit Moorten Botanical Garden. And when Charles Phoenix tells you to go somewhere, you go! Home to over 3000 plant varieties, Moorten Botanical Garden…

The Outlet Mall Masquerading as an Assyrian Palace

If you’ve ever driven along Interstate 5 through Commerce, just outside Los Angeles, you’ve likely spied a grand ancient looking palace and perhaps wondered “What on earth is that!?” Well, it’s an outlet mall actually. Yes, an outlet mall, known simply as The Citadel. But it wasn’t always that way. The building was actually built…

The Shopping Mall Based on the Set of a Silent Movie Flop

Located at what is considered to be the center of Hollywood, among grand old movie palaces and tourist traps is the Hollywood and Highland shopping center, with a Forever 21, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, and more. But this isn’t just any ol’ shopping center, it’s attached to the Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak), the home of…