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…

A Revisit to the Enigmatic Fun Factory

Last year we visited the Redondo Fun Factory located on the Redondo Beach Pier after hearing news it would be closing. Over a year later the bizarre Fun Factory, with its eclectic variety of games and collection of odd signs, is still operating, but now has a large banner reading “Open Until December 2019.” With…

Peek Inside America’s Oldest Puppet Theater

Recently we visited The Bob Baker Marionette Theater for a friend’s birthday. It was our second visit to what is the oldest puppet theater in the United States, and it was just as trippy and wonderful as the first time. For the afternoon we got the party room all to ourselves before the show, and…

Abandoned Resort Town of Bombay Beach Now Weird Artist Paradise

Over the last couple days I have been entertaining one of our friends visiting from Portland. It was a whirlwind few days hitting up various tourist and not-so-tourist spots. We spent Sunday in the desert including a visit to the Salton Sea. I’ve been several times now, but it’s always worth revisiting as it is…