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 9, 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…

The Charred Ruins of the Palm Springs’ Playground where Marilyn Monroe was Discovered

Tucked away behind a tarp covered chainlink fence sits the remains of what was once one of the most glamorous spots in all of Palm Springs, The Racquet Club. The motion picture industry changed Palm Springs from a sleepy health resort town to a getaway for Hollywood’s elite by the 1920s. In 1934 actors Charles…

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 Lost Art of Candy Cane Making at Logan’s Candies

In a world of mass produced everything, hand-made goods are becoming unicorns, but in the little town of Ontario, where they still put up various scenes of the life of Jesus in the heart of their downtown during Christmas, Logan’s Candies is like a beacon of glistening sugar. Since 1933 Logan’s Candies has become borderline…

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…