Discovering the Hidden Treasures of Sid Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre

Think you’re looking at an ancient Egyptian temple? Well, not quite. This isn’t Egypt, and this wasn’t built thousands of years ago. Try Hollywood, and 1922. This is Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre. Patrick and I have been meaning to take one of the tours offered at the Egyptian for years now, and with the theatre’s future…

Gallows, Ghosts, and Paved Over Graves: A Visit to San Diego’s Whaley House

On a September day in 1852 James “Yankee Jim” Robinson was taken from an adobe jail to the gallows. Standing upon a wagon, a noose was placed around his neck. When the order was given, the wagon driver pulled away, and Yankee Jim reportedly kept his feet on the wagon as long as possible, but…

San Diego’s Historic Cosmopolitan Hotel

Each July the company Patrick works for hosts a massive conference in San Diego. Sometimes Patrick attends, sometimes he doesn’t. But this year he did, and like most of his conferences, I tag along to enjoy the sights of the city. This year we chose to stay in one of California’s oldest hotels, The Cosmopolitan,…

The Stunning Art Deco Theatre Hidden Inside Catalina’s Casino

Our main reason for visiting Catalina was to attend Catalinaland, a presentation by Ambassador of Americana, and personal idol, Charles Phoenix. Phoenix was presenting his slideshow celebrating the island in the iconic Avalon Theatre, which is located within the Catalina Casino. When chewing gum king, William Wrigley Jr. opened his “Casino” on May 29, 1929,…

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…

The One Night Revival of Hollywood’s Favorite Honky Tonk, the Palomino Club

When people think of Hollywood, they think of searchlights rocking back and forth, glittering movie stars, and flash bulbs popping on a red carpet. But just on the other side of the Hollywood sign is North Hollywood, and the further out you go, it turns heavily industrial, and you begin to feel a long way…

The World’s Oldest McDonald’s

Right here in Southern California, in the LA suburb of Downey (a place my father lived during part of his childhood), is the world’s oldest operating McDonald’s. It’s a unique claim to fame, and one some may pay no attention to, but, like it or not, fast food is an invention of America, and thus,…

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…

The Remains of West Hollywood’s Kitschy New Orleans Themed LGBT Headquarters

Recently I was out photographing a building for an upcoming post, and as I was shooting Patrick and I began to talk about where to go for lunch. I snapped away as he looked on his phone and said “Well, the place right next door is a New Orleans place. Oh, wait, it’s closed.” And…