LAVA co-founders Kim Cooper and Richard Schave invite you to join them at Skylight Books for the release party for The Kept Girl (Esotouric Ink), Kim's debut novel of 1929 Los Angeles. Kim will read a selection from the book, answer questions and write something sweet inside your copy. Vintage attire is encouraged, but not required.
The Kept Girl is inspired by a sensational real-life Los Angeles cult murder spree which exploded into the public consciousness when fraud charges were filed against the cult's leaders in 1929. The victim was the nephew of oil company president Joseph Dabney, Raymond Chandler's boss. In the novel, Chandler, still several years away from publishing his first short story, is one of three amateur detectives who uncover the ghastly truth about the Great Eleven cult over one frenetic week. Informed by the author's extensive research into the literary, spiritual, criminal and architectural history of Southern California, The Kept Girl is a terrifying noir love story, set against the backdrop of a glittering pre-crash metropolis.
"[This tour is] a poetic journey full of rare insight into the life of a man who's come to represent the ghettoized contingency of the City of Angels.” - Tanja M. Laden, Flavorpill
"Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's LA" focuses on Bukowski’s great passions: writing, screwing and Los Angeles. We’ll take in the canonical locations of his life and myth: the Postal Annex Terminal where he gathered the material for “Post Office,” the De Longpre apartment where he briefly experimented with marriage and fatherhood, one of his favorite bars and liquor stores, and many other spots. Along the way, we’ll explore the people and ideas that made up the warp and weft of Buk’s rich inner life. This Esotouric bus adventure is hosted by Richard Schave.
The tour spans Bukowski's personal city, from Skid Row to once-genteel Crown Hill, to Bukowski's favorite East Hollywood liquor store, the Pink Elephant.
Esotouric has made its name with true crime bus tours (Black Dahlia, Pasadena Confidential) and explorations of literary LA (Raymond Chandler, John Fante, James M. Cain). Now they turn their creative attentions to Bukowski, the prolific poet, novelist and screenwriter whose rough-hewn tales of boozing, wild women and rotten jobs never obscure the deep vein of sweetness and hope that runs through all his work. In one of his finest poems, he described this as a bluebird he kept caged, and that bluebird is been represented in the Bukbird, a pale blue version of his beloved alcoholic crow character, represented by a logo created by cartoonist Tony Millionaire exclusively for this tour. The Bukbird is available on T-shirts, beer coasters and fine art prints by plasticmuse.
Bungalows. Crime. Hollywood. Blondes. Vets. Smog. Death.
This was Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles, which resonated under deft and melancholy fits from his writer’s bow.
Join us as we go down the mean streets that shaped his fiction, and that in turn shaped his hard-boiled times, in a four hour tour of downtown, Hollywood and surrounding environs: The Los Angeles Athletic Club, the Larry Edmunds Bookshop, the Hotel Van Nuys, Paramount Studio’s gates, and much, much more, including a Chandler-themed gelato stop at East Hollywood cult favorite Scoops.
Through published work, private correspondence, screenplays and film adaptations, we trace Chandler’s search for meaning and his anti-hero Philip Marlowe’s struggle to not be pigeonholed or give anything less than all he has, which lead them both down the rabbit hole of isolation, depression, and drink.
"This [Esotouric] bus tour... has established itself as an L.A. classic." -The Los Angeles Times
The Black Dahlia murder in 1947 is the most compelling unsolved crime Los Angeles has ever known. What Jack the Ripper is to London, the Torso Killer to Cleveland, the Black Dahlia is to L.A. And yet unlike those other cases, the name Black Dahlia refers not to the killer, but to the victim. What was it about Elizabeth Short that keeps her the object of obsessive fascination by writers, musicians, artists, filmmakers, cops and readers, more than sixty years after she was slain?
The Real Black Dahlia Crime Bus Tour seeks to answer this question by intimately exploring the last weeks of Elizabeth Short's life, asking not "who killed her?" but "who was she?"
The tour takes us from the human hustle of Main Street to the serene lobby of the Biltmore (the second-to-last place she was seen alive), to the newspaper offices and the Greyhound station where she checked her bags, and concludes at the site where her bisected body was found in Leimert Park and with a little known suspect who lived nearby.
From the few personal possessions she left behind to the friends who scarcely knew her, from the mass hysteria of the investigation with its fruitless leads, wacko suspects and false confessions, the tour reveals all that's known about this enigmatic black-haired girl who reinvented herself at whim, and shows how she came to be the unfortunate symbol of her time and place.
Join Esotouric on its final crime bus tour of 2013. The Crown City masquerades as a calm and refined retreat, where well-bred ladies glide around their perfect bungalows and everyone knows what fork to use first. But don't be fooled by appearances. Dip into the confidential files of old Pasadena and meet assassins and oddballs, kidnappers and slashers, Satanists and all manner of maniac in a delightful little tour you WON'T find recommended by the better class of people! From celebrated cases like the RFK assassination (with a visit to Sirhan Sirhan's folks' house), "Eraserhead" star Jack Nance's strange end, black magician/rocket scientist Jack Parsons' death-by-misadventure and the 1926 Rose Parade grand stand collapse, to fascinating obscurities, the tour's dozens of murders, arsons, kidnappings, robberies, suicides, auto wrecks and oddball happening sites provide a alternate history of Pasadena that's as fascinating as it is creepy. Passengers will tour the old Millionaire's Row on Orange Grove, thrill to the shocking Sphinx Murder on the steps of the downtown Masonic Hall and discover why people named Judd should think twice before moving to Pasadena.
From the founding of the city through the 1940s, downtown was the true center of Los Angeles, a lively, densely populated, exciting and sometimes dangerous place. After many quiet decades, downtown is making an incredible return. But while many of the historic buildings remain, their human context has been lost.
This downtown double feature tour, hosted by Kim Cooper, Joan Renner and Richard Schave, is meant to bring alive the old ghosts and memories that cling to the streets and structures of the historic core, and is especially recommended for downtown residents curious about their neighborhood's neglected history.
The Hotel Horrors portion is a true crime and oddities tour featuring some of the wildest, weirdest, goriest and most memorable happenings in historic hotels like the Alexandria, St. George, Barclay and Cecil. Get on the bus to see inside some of these legendary locales and find out where Night Stalker Richard Ramirez liked to stay and the hotel that saw a visit from the Skid Row Slasher, and where two traveling chocolate salesmen laughed so hard they fell backwards out a window to their deaths. You'll also explore the fiery curse that repeatedly leveled the St. George Hotel. Included are some light hearted stories to help the blood and gore go down.
The Main Street Vice portion is a social history tour celebrating the ribald, racy, raunchy old promenade where the better people simply did not travel, but kicks were had by all who did. Burlesque babes and dirty picture parlors, mummified western outlaws and old time tattoo parlors, wax museums and pawn brokers, "professors" offering sex lectures and magazine peddlers with nudie Marilyn Monroe calendars under the counter, sophisticated steak houses and nickel donut dives -- these were the pleasures and the people to be found along Main during the first half of the 20th century, a street that every Angeleno knew offered more (yet less) of what could be seen anywhere else. On this tour, we'll visit the scenes of some more unforgettable debaucheries and share stories of crime, smut, passion and commerce.
Climb aboard for a time travel journey back to the downtown that's not there anymore, and the surprising amount of gems that survive.
LAVA Visionary and president of the LA chapter of the Dorothy Parker Society, Adrienne Crew will host a short walking tour of F. Scott Fitzgerald's (West) Hollywood and the places that were significant to him at the end of the writer's life. The tour will begin at the corner of Sunset Blvd & Crescent Heights (exact details furnished upon registration) and conclude at Greenblatt's Deli, where Sheilah Graham purchased the Hershey bar which was the last thing Fitzgerald ate.
A partial list of both extant and demolished locations along the route are: The Garden of Allah apartments, Schwab's Drug store and the apartment of Sheilah Graham.
Encore walking tour to augment Dorothy Parker Society activities in December, starting December 12, 2013 with a cocktail party celebrating the publication of Under the Table: A Dorothy Parker Cocktail Guide at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Reserve your spot now.
$15 per person. Pre-payment and reservation required. Tour location shall be sent after confirmed reservation. Contact Adrienne Crew atat firstname.lastname@example.org for information about reservations and payments. Paypal and credit cards accepted. Comfortable walking shoes and sunscreen are advised. Plan on arriving 15 minutes prior to tour start time for check-in.
Join LAVA Visionary, Adrienne Crew, and Kevin Fitzpatrick, author and founder of the Dorothy Parker Society, for a bus tour of Los Angeles locations connected to Dorothy Parker.
The tour includes stops at several of Dorothy Parker’s residences in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. The tour navigates Parker’s peripatetic journey through the area as she commuted between Hollywood and her homes on the East Coast over a thirty year period. Some walking is required on this tour. The tour is open to the public; it begins and ends at Book Soup, 8818 W. Sunset Blvd (note bus pickup is across the street at old Tower Records, 8801 W. Sunset Blvd).
Click here for reservations and details.
Join LAVA for our revived free monthly Sunday Salon series. We return to South Broadway, to the mezzanine of Les Noces du Figaro, which was recently opened by the family behind Figaro Bistro in Los Feliz. This handsome space was formerly Schaber’s Cafeteria (Charles F. Plummer, 1928), and the mezzanine features wonderful views of the Los Angeles Theatre.
On the last Sunday of each month, LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a structured Salon featuring formal presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another. If you’re interested in joining LAVA as a creative contributor or an attendee, we recommend Salon attendance as an introduction to this growing community. We also recommend the eclairs.
Read about the original Sunday Salon at Clifton's Cafeteria here.
You are encouraged to arrive early if you wish to order food and beverages from the counter downstairs, and bring your meal upstairs. There will only be one presentation at this Salon. There will be a short break of 10-15 minutes about 40 minutes into the program.
Salon Presentation - Ordo Templi Orientis
Presenters' Statement: Ordo Templi Orientis is an international initiatory order dedicated to promulgating the Law of Thelema. We can summarize The Law of Thelema in the deceptively simple sentence “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” While the roots of O.T.O. lie in Freemasonry, it separated from that tradition a century ago under the leadership of noted magician Aleister Crowley. O.T.O. has a rich history in Los Angeles stretching back to the 1930s, when Wilfred Smith and Jack Parsons led Agape Lodge in Pasadena, the only fully operational O.T.O. body in the world at the time of Crowley’s death in 1947.
The central ritual of Ordo Templi Orientis is the Gnostic Mass, also called Liber XV; a eucharistic ceremony written by Aleister Crowley in 1913. The most important purpose of the Mass is to lead all participants to an awareness of their divinity, an idea expressed in the declaration made by each member of the congregation after consuming the eucharist: “There is no part of me that is not of the gods.” To this end, the Gnostic Mass incorporates dramatic ritual elements taken from Thelemic symbolism, as well as that of sources as disparate as alchemy, the Chaldean Oracles, and Qabalah. It is a beautiful and inspiring celebration of the energies of Life and Joy, of ecstatic union on all planes, and of the great Mystery of generation.
Star Sapphire Lodge, the O.T.O. body serving Los Angeles, invites you to join us in a celebration of the Gnostic Mass. We will also offer a brief talk on the nature of O.T.O. and the Gnostic Mass. Experience the deity within you; “Every man and every woman is a star!”
Shades of LA is the compelling archive of 10,000 photos of diverse Southern California families, copied by Photo Friends from family albums, under the direction of Carolyn Kozo Cole in the 1990s, for the Photo Collection of the LA Public Library. Archive images include daily life, social organizations, work, personal and holiday celebrations, and migration and immigration activities, and are available to view online at photos.lapl.org.
This program will be presented by Kathy Kobayashi, co-author of the book, Shades of LA: Pictures from Ethnic Family Albums.
Everyone is warmly welcome. Former Shades donors and volunteers are especially encouraged to attend and to let us know to expect you (email email@example.com), but no reservations are required.
Part of the series, LA in Focus, a free lecture series presented by Photo Friends of the LAPL
ABOUT PHOTO FRIENDS: Formed in 1990, Photo Friends is a nonprofit organization that supports the Los Angeles Public Library’s Photo Collection/History & Genealogy Department. Our goal is to improve access to the collections and promote them through programs, events, and online exhibits.