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.
Please join the Los Angeles Visionaries Association for a return of their traditional Thanksgiving gathering at Clifton’s Cafeteria.
You are invited to join the LAVA community for a no-host Thanksgiving afternoon gathering in the newly re-opened Clifton’s Cafeteria. Have your holiday meal or enjoy dessert and coffee with your friends and extended LAVA family in a private dining room. Space is limited, so please only reserve if you intend to attend. You can register for this free event by clicking the “buy tickets” link above. No “plus ones,” so tell your friends to sign up using their own accounts.
Richard’s 47th Birthday Bus Tour of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Southern California’s Best Kept Secret
For LAVA co-founder Richard Schave’s once-a-year birthday bus adventure, we ask you to pack a picnic lunch (we’ll supply the birthday cake and coffee) and join us for an all-day outing exploring the history, landscape and built environment of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. This is a one-time only bus adventure that will never be repeated.
Richard’s co-host will be Monique Sugimoto, Historian at Peninsula Center Library, Rolling Hills Estates. She is doing deep and fundamental work in the library’s archive, some which is already online.
You might think you already know a little something about Palos Verdes, but it isn’t until you delve into its deep and layered history that you can truly wrap your mind around the place.
Richard’s birthday bus tour will reveal the hidden history of this gorgeous coastal community. You’ll learn about its ranching and farming periods, including the enormous impact of Japanese internment on what had been thriving commercial farming center, and about the prominent role the peninsula has played in US military strategy, from World War I to the end of the Cold War.
It’s said that you can’t turn around on the Peninsula without meeting a rocket scientist. With its proximity to so many aerospace and defense industry companies, the area has long attracted engineers, mathematicians and physicists. The housing boom of the 1950s transformed the peninsula: in just 14 years, the population swelled from 6,500 to 54,000.
Also in mid-century, Marineland of the Pacific became one of Southern California’s greatest tourist attractions. We’ll stop at the Point Vincente Interpretive Center to view the historic site from the bluffs, tour the world’s largest collection of Marineland memorabilia and hear insider lore from its golden age.
We’ll also visit Palos Verdes Estates, to explore the development’s fascinating architectural and philosophical origins. Palos Verdes Estates was one of the first planned communities in the United States, home to a host of well-known characters, ranging from movie stars to nationally renowned landscape architects. The Roessler Pool (Kirtland Cutter, 1930), the library (Myron Hunt, 1930), the golf course and La Venta Inn (Davis & Davis, 1924): these early community amenities stand as benchmarks in the development of Southern California’s Spanish Colonial Revival design style.
The preservation of open space defines the area, and has been integral to the peninsula since planners the Olmsted Brothers’ day. Just take a look at Santa Monica, with its construction all the way to the water, to see how extraordinary this is. Throughout the day, you’ll enjoy unparalleled views of the place where land and sea meet.
All this, and more, will be revealed when you join us for Richard’s birthday bus tour of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Southern California’s Best Kept Secret!
New from the deranged minds of Esotouric, an historical crime bus tour meant to honor the lost souls who wander the hills and byways of the “streetcar suburbs” (Echo Park, Silver Lake, Elysian Park, Angeleno Heights) that hug Sunset Boulevard. Climb aboard to see seemingly ordinary houses, streets and commercial buildings revealed as the scenes of chilling crimes and mysteries, populated by some of the most fascinating people you’d never want to meet. Featured cases include Edward Hickman’s kidnapping of little Marion Parker and the bizarre “Man in the Attic” love nest slaying, plus dozens of incredible, forgotten tales of Angelenoes in peril. Guests will also see some of the most beautiful historic architecture in Los Angeles, including a visit to Sister Aimee Semple McPherson’s exquisite Parsonage, her one-time home, now a museum.
Mary McCoy, Senior Librarian for Teen’Scape at the Central Library, will moderate a panel of authors discussing the dark side of Los Angeles and its influence on their work. McCoy is the author of the novel, Dead to Me.
Panelists: Steph Cha (author of Follow Her Home, Beware Beware and Dead Soon Enough), Kim Cooper (author of The Kept Girl, Lost in the Grooves and Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth. Cooper is also the creator of 1947project, a crime-a-day time travel blog) and Richard Lange (author of novels This Wicked World and Angel Baby, and collections Dead Boys and Sweet Nothing).
Join these four Angelenos for a walk on the dark side. After the panel, they’ll sign copies of their books.
Free, no reservations required (the “buy tickets” link takes you to the library website).
Author and filmmaker Liz Goldwyn discusses her book Sporting Guide: Los Angeles, 1897 (Regan Arts, 2015) a series of interlinked stories that evoke a lost world on the margins of Los Angeles society in the 1890s.
Long before the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Los Angeles was a city where dreamers came to make their fortunes—and where a madam named Pearl Morton entertained the city’s most powerful politicians and entrepreneurs inside her namesake brothel.
LAVA Visionary William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, talks with Goldwyn about her research (much of it conducted at The Huntington) and about the creative process that fictionalizes the real-life people and events of a tumultuous era. A book signing follows the program, which is free with reservations required. (Click the “buy ticket” link above to reserve). The Café will be open until 7:15 p.m. before the start of this event.