From Clark Gable to Jim Morrison, Route 66’s Barney’s Beanery Has Seen it All

Hollywood has seen a great deal of changes over its lifetime, and one place that has witnessed it all is Barney’s Beanery. Once a humble California Craftsman home surrounded by poinsettia fields it has morphed to become one of the icons of Hollywood history, both of the film and music variety. Oh, and did I…

The Fleeting Resurrection of the Iconic Aquarius, Hollywood’s Psychedelic Theatre

In my last post I mentioned that Quentin Tarantino brought many long gone 60s LA icons back to life for his film Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, just to serve in the background. One of these icons was the Aquarius Theatre, which is just down the street from the Cinerama Dome and across from another…

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…

Riding Southern California’s Oldest Rollercoaster at Belmont Park

San Diego really has a lot to offer when it comes to history. Many regard San Diego as the birthplace of California, as it is home to the first Spanish Mission and many more historic locations. It is also home to southern California’s oldest rollercoaster, the Giant Dipper at Belmont Park, built in 1925. I…

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 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…

The Kitschy Mexican Restaurant Where Sharon Tate Had Her Last Meal

On August 8, 1969, four people, including aspiring actress Sharon Tate walked into El Coyote and sat down for what would unknowingly be their last meal, for just a few hours later they would be brutally murdered by members of the Manson Family. El Coyote first opened in 1931, on First and La Brea by…