Inside Los Angeles’ Historic Grand Central Market

In the heart of downtown Los Angeles stands a rather unassuming building, but on its first floor is a unique icon of the city, Grand Central Market. Under various buzzing neon signs, each advertising a different vendor, crowds of people make their way through what is now a first class food hall offering unique dishes…

The Ghostly Remnants of the Old LA County Poor Farm

Within the small LA suburb of Downey sits what appears to be a ghost town. A mixture of overgrown, charred, and boarded up buildings sit behind chainlink fences topped with barbed wire, and gates locked with multiple padlocks. What is this ghostly place? It is what remains of the Los Angeles County Poor Farm. For those…

Fading Icons of Arizona’s Route 66

As mentioned in earlier Arizona posts, most of our journey took us along the Mother Road, Route 66. The legendary stretch of blacktop is dotted with a combination of still functioning tourist attractions and long forgotten buildings, all begging to be photographed. So, in my concluding Arizona post, I share with you a sampling of…

Tracing the Journey of Mummified Outlaw Elmer McCurdy to the Long Beach Pike

Last week I talked about the history of Long Beach’s infamous Pike, including the location being used in an episode of Charlie’s Angels and The Six Million Dollar Man. What I didn’t mention was that in the Charlie’s Angels episode, “To Kill an Angel,” a man’s body is found within the Pike’s Laff in the…

Catalina Island: A Tale of Chewing Gum, Grave Robbing, and Movie Stars

On Sunday, Patrick and I finally made it over to the little island of Catalina. If you aren’t familiar with California geography, Catalina is a small island, roughly 30 miles off the coast of Long Beach, accesible by ferry from a handful of ports on the mainland. At just under 75 square miles, about 4,000…

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…

Exploring the Historic Santa Monica Pier

Nothing quite says summer like a day at the beach, especially if that beach is lucky enough to have a pier filled with a carousel, roller coaster, games and more. Around the turn-of-the-century California’s coast was dotted with what was known at the time as “pleasure piers” a wooden boardwalk along the coast that offered…