Local Interest

VIDEO – The Hidden Oil Rigs of L.A.

Anyone who has driven by down La Cienega to the airport or through Long Beach has found the locahttp://hiddenlosangeles.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=8929&message=1l oil derricks hard to miss. Many people know about the rigs hidden between the kidney shaped buildings at Beverly Center and that the site of the Farmers Market/Grove Shopping Center was where Earl Gilmore once struck oil, but most don’t realize that black gold is actually being pumped from the ground below your feet every day. The video below really shows and explains that process.

Exploration #4 – Oil of L.A. – Twenty billion barrels of oil sit beneath Los Angeles. Hidden in plain sight, thousands of wells pump day and night all over the city covered by hollow office buildings, camouflaged next to high schools, and concealed behind shopping malls. We put on our boots and went exploring.

This great video was filmed as part of VBS.tv “Uneven Terrain,” a series “devoted to urban exploration and uncovering the hidden, underground and forgotten corners of the world’s leading metropolises.” The second episode was about pirate radio in London.


QUIZ – What Lies Beneath #5

The answer is posted after the jump! :)

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Hint: this week’s What Lies Beneath is holiday-themed!

Just to refresh your memory, here’s how this little game goes… we’ll show you a spot on a google map (see below). We’re thinking of a reason this location is notable. Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as always, we’re going to give you a fair amount of time to guess what we’re referring to first. We encourage you not to cheat by googling the address and if you know the answer right away please try not to announce it too quickly and ruin the game for the people who don’t.

Here it is!


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RIP – Jaime Escalante

©LA Times/UCLA LibraryUPDATE: Jaime Escalante passed away from cancer on March 30, 2010.
This article is a repost from July 2009.

HiddenLA’s HOT Angeleno of the Day: JAIME ESCALANTE!!!

Our HOT Angeleno feature was created to prove a point and counter the perception that we’re all shallow dimwits here. Knowing this, normally this is about the time I’d make silly jokes about whether or not the accomplished person being profiled has rock-hard abs – just to be a smart ass. Today I’ll refrain from the silliness out of respect for the subject, though. Jaime Escalante was born in Chochabamba, Bolivia, where he began teaching physics and mathematics. In 1964 he decided to find a new life for himself in America, although he spoke no english and had no valid American teaching credentials. He began to go to night school at Pasadena City and CSULA, and in 1974 was hired to teach basic math at Garfield High in East LA. His students were disrespectful, unprepared and uninterested. He considered giving up teaching, but over time his incredible educational and motivational skills as a teacher ended up turning around a low-priority public high school as he single-handedly built a calculus program rivaled by only a few well-funded private academies. His teaching style and students’ accomplishments were the focus of the 1988 movie Stand And Deliver.

So THAT’S why he’s our Hot Angeleno today. But unfortunately, the story of Jaime Escalante didn’t play out as happily as the movie, which is why I won’t joke about his abs. It just doesn’t feel respectful, and he deserves to be honored. Bureaucracy and office politics aside, for our own sakes we need to embrace our passionate and caring educators and leaders instead of underpay them, knock them down and drive them away.

*To see a great video of Jaime discussing his love for teaching, scroll down after the jump.* (more…)


QUIZ – What Lies Beneath #4

Our answer is posted after the jump! :)

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We’re heading a little outside of the city today and down to Long Beach! The rest of the game works the same as usual… below is a spot on a google map. Today we’re thinking of a specific *reason* that this location is notable (other than the general business it currently does every day). Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as usual, we’re going to give you a little time to guess what we’re referring to first. If you know the answer right away please try not to announce it too quickly and ruin the game for the people who don’t. No hints today, either!

Okay… here you go!


View Larger Map (more…)


QUIZ – What Lies Beneath #3

Okay, time’s up. The answer is after the jump!!!

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It’s that time of the week again! :)

Just to refresh your memory, here’s how this little game goes… first we’ll show you a spot on a google map (see below). We’re thinking of a notable location that’s within walking distance of that exact point, less than a block or two away. Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as before, we’re going to give you a little time to guess what we’re referring to first. We encourage you not to cheat by googling the address (but we know how impatient some of you are). If you know the answer right away please try not to announce it too quickly and ruin the game for the people who don’t.
And no hints this time! BWAHHAHAHAHAAAHHHH!!! < ---(That's our evil laugh.)

Ready? GO!


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YAY – Angel’s Flight is Running!

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adk9kHC60Ko[/youtube]

angelsflight- The historic Angels Flight funicular will resume regular service today, more than nine years after being closed because of a fatal accident.
The California Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday approved the replaced cable system and a new automatic brake system for what has been dubbed “the shortest railway in the world.”
Demonstration rides were conducted Sunday on the hillside track connecting Hill Street near the Grand Central Market to California Plaza on Grand Avenue.
Angels Flight will operate from 6:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The fare is 25 cents. (more…)


HOT ANGELENO – Guy Orlando Rose

5 O Clock, 1910Never heard of Guy Orlando Rose? Well, if you had been born 100 years ago you would’ve been in the minority. Not only does the town of Rosemead bear his family name, but Mr. Rose (1867-1925), a California impressionist painter born in San Gabriel, is said to have been the very first native Southern Californian to receive international fame. His incredible artistic vision and skill even earned him high standing as a protégé and friend of Monet. No kidding! Click on the thumbnails throughout this post to see larger views of some of his incredibly beautiful paintings of Southern California in the early 20th Century.

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QUIZ – What Lies Beneath #2

Okay, you guys got it. The full answer’s after the jump. :)

*****

Well since y’all had so much fun with this last week, let’s try this little game again!

Just to refresh your memory, here’s how it goes… first we’ll show you a spot on a google map (see below). We’re thinking of a notable location that’s within walking distance of that exact point, less than a block or two away. Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as before, we’re going to give you a little time to guess what we’re referring to first. Again, don’t you dare go cheating by googling the address. Cheaters never prosper. (And if you know the answer right away please try not to announce it too quickly and ruin the game for the people who don’t.)
Lastly, if you need a hint, scroll down and we’ll give you one. :)

Ready? GO!


View Larger Map

HINT:
It’s historic and off limits to the public. (more…)


QUIZ – What Lies Beneath? #1

A few of you got it! Nice shootin’, Tex! The answer is after the jump. :)

quiz Okay, we’re going to try a new game. Here’s how it goes… first we’ll give you a location (see below). Now, it’s been widely stated that something (or someone) *very* notable once happened (or lived) within yards of the exact point shown on the map.

Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but just to be sadistic and challenge you, we’re going to give you a little time to guess what we’re referring to first. And don’t you dare go cheating by googling the address. That’s not fair!!!

Happy guessing!


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SERIES – On Skid Row: Part Five, Afterword

PART 5 OF 5 (With follow-ups to come) For full series, click here.skidrow

I’d like to thank everyone who’s made such a point to tell me that by watching this film series, their perceptions of homelessness in Los Angeles has really been altered. Over and over again I’ve heard: “Seeing the series made me want to help. I just don’t know how.” The films affected me the same way, which is why I chose to embed them.
I’m currently in contact with Sam Slovick and we’re trying to brainstorm ideas for how we can harness the collective power of our huge HiddenLA audience to make a difference and help get some of these parents and children off of our streets. Please keep an eye out, because as soon as we come up with a good gameplan for what would truly help the situation, we’ll be announcing it.

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Los Angeles’ homeless community isn’t exactly hidden, yet poverty is a particularly easy issue to ignore as we go about our busy days, driving through the city streets at high speeds worrying about our own problems. I hope you’ll stop and take a minute to watch these short films from 2008. Especially in this economy, there but by the grace of God go us all.

(more…)


SERIES – On Skid Row: Part Four, God

PART 4 OF 5 – For full series, click here.skidrow

Los Angeles’ homeless community isn’t exactly hidden, yet poverty is a particularly easy issue to ignore as we go about our busy days, driving through the city streets at high speeds worrying about our own problems. I hope you’ll stop and take a minute to watch these short films from 2008. Especially in this economy, there but by the grace of God go us all.

Journalist Sam Slovick posted a comment for us after we featured part one on HiddenLA:

“Thanks for posting my skid row doc series. Sadly not a lot has changed since I made it. I’m about to shoot another as a companion piece to a story for the launch of the new SLAKE magazine. This one will consider home as an internal condition, as apposed to a geography through the lens of some decidedly disenfranchised people who have found themselves fallen deep between the cracks on skid row in L.A.”

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGV_FpKP2ro&feature=channel[/youtube]

DESCRIPTION: Part 4: Union Rescue Mission’s Orland Ward and Skid Row preacher Pastor Jeffery Thomas reveal the role of God on Skid Row. Alongside Skid Row’s hustlers, transients, and cops are a lesser known population of children, social servants and religious workers whose daily lives play out on LA’s most dangerous city blocks.

Note: We really love to hear what you have to say here. Just know that inappropriate, rude shout out comments will not be approved… you should post those on You Tube.


POLL – Name your neighborhood coffee hangout!

What are your fave places to relax with a cup of coffee?

You can choose more than one. Add your thoughts and more suggestions in the comments below!

View Results

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RIP – Bill Binder, Philippe’s Patriarch

philippes

William “Bill” Binder (seen above left, with sons Richard and John circa 1982), who for years ran Philippe’s, the Los Angeles eating institution famous for its sawdust-covered floors and trademark French dip sandwiches, has died. He was 94.

Binder, who retired in 1985, died Jan. 28 of natural causes at a care facility in Pasadena, said his son John, who runs Philippe’s with his brother, Richard.

“He had a real mild temperament; he always tried to treat everybody with respect,” John Binder said. “He had a very, very deep religious belief. He felt we were just so blessed to have the business.” (more…)


SERIES – On Skid Row: Part Three, Drugs

PART 3 OF 5 – For full series, click here.skidrow

Los Angeles’ homeless community isn’t exactly hidden, yet poverty is a particularly easy issue to ignore as we go about our busy days, driving through the city streets at high speeds worrying about our own problems. I hope you’ll stop and take a minute to watch these short films from 2008. Especially in this economy, there but by the grace of God go us all.

Journalist Sam Slovick posted a comment for us after we featured part one on HiddenLA:

“Thanks for posting my skid row doc series. Sadly not a lot has changed since I made it. I’m about to shoot another as a companion piece to a story for the launch of the new SLAKE magazine. This one will consider home as an internal condition, as apposed to a geography through the lens of some decidedly disenfranchised people who have found themselves fallen deep between the cracks on skid row in L.A.”

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbxm5sCXZ_Y[/youtube]

DESCRIPTION: Part 3: Two sides of the same coin: Super Dope cop, Commander Andrew Smith from Central Division lays down the law, plus former Skid Row crack dealers, gutter rappers Choc Nitty and Six Reasons from the infamous Snowman Cliq, come correct. Alongside Skid Row’s hustlers, transients, and cops are a lesser known population of children, social servants and religious workers whose daily lives play out on LA’s most dangerous city blocks.


GREEN – Surviving Climate Change in LA

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0ocUhxzwWM[/youtube]

This BBC Hot Cities documentary originally aired in the United Kingdom on December 11th and 12th, 2009. Parts 3-4 are after the jump.

“…The show explores global warming challenges and solutions, comparing and contrasting the situations in Los Angeles and Mumbai (India). Segments in the program feature L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, IoE Director Glen MacDonald, Mumbai Mayor Shubha Raul, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra Pachauri and Stanford University Climatologist Steve Schneider.”

The final words of the documentary are these: “This is how we are going to solve climate change tomorrow:  live a little more like a community. Not just within a city, but within a country. Not just within a country, but between continents. It is one home. Just one small blue planet.” Seems to me if more people adopted that attitude it could solve more problems than just global warming…

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SERIES – On Skid Row: Part Two, Kids

PART 2 OF 5 – For full series, click here.skidrow

Los Angeles’ homeless community isn’t exactly hidden, yet poverty is a particularly easy issue to ignore as we go about our busy days, driving through the city streets at high speeds worrying about our own problems. I hope you’ll stop and take a minute to watch these short films from 2008. Especially in this economy, there but by the grace of God go us all.

Journalist Sam Slovick posted a comment for us after we featured part one on HiddenLA:

“Thanks for posting my skid row doc series. Sadly not a lot has changed since I made it. I’m about to shoot another as a companion piece to a story for the launch of the new SLAKE magazine. This one will consider home as an internal condition, as apposed to a geography through the lens of some decidedly disenfranchised people who have found themselves fallen deep between the cracks on skid row in L.A.”

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=karPGdnqljE[/youtube]

DESCRIPTION: Part 2: Teenaged Skid Row filmmaker Franklin Arburtha carries the mantle of disenfranchised youth on skid row. Alongside Skid Row’s hustlers, transients, and cops are a lesser known population of children, social servants and religious workers whose daily lives play out on LA’s most dangerous city blocks.


LOCATION – Bad News Bears Field

I remember loving the movie the Bad News Bears as a kid. Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal? Little league put to the music of fiery Carmen? Pure gold! (What I definitely *didn’t* remember was that the trailer FEATURED THE N WORD!!!! Wait, really??? Wow. Wasn’t expecting that.)

BNBBut I digress. Here’s something else you might not expect. While the original Bad News Bears movie (the remake doesn’t count) was filmed at Marsh Park in Chatsworth, there’s a baseball diamond hovering next to the 405 on Sepulveda, just North of Wilshire, which is officially NAMED The Bad News Bears Field. This field wasn’t in the movie, so why would it be named after it? Anyone? Anyone? (more…)


SERIES – On Skid Row: Part One, Introduction

Skid RowBetween December 2005 and March 2006, journalist Sam Slovick wrote a stunning and insightful series of LA Weekly cover stories that took readers “deep inside the everyday tragedies and triumphs found on Downtown Los Angeles’s Skid Row.” These stories were then turned into a documentary series by GOOD Magazine (a “collaboration of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits pushing the world forward”) in 2008. I’ll be embedding this entire film as a series here.

Los Angeles’ homeless community isn’t exactly hidden, yet poverty is a particularly easy issue to ignore as we go about our busy days, driving through the city streets at high speeds worrying about our own problems. I hope you’ll stop and take a minute to watch these films. Especially in this economy, there but by the grace of God go us all.

DESCRIPTION: Part 1: The lay of the land on Skid Row in Los Angeles, the worst social disaster in America. Alongside Skid Row’s hustlers, transients, and cops are a lesser known population of children, social servants and religious workers whose daily lives play out on LA’s most dangerous city blocks.

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS6ar1aJIYM[/youtube]


MATINEE – Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles

After the jump, a really great 30 minute long documentary (shown in 3 parts) about iconic author Raymond Chandler‘s take on the corruption of Los Angeles in the 1930s… a paradise infiltrated by dope fiends, smut peddlers, schemers in low places and high, crooked cops and crooked politicians…
[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zDqrSctpVw[/youtube]

Raymond ChandlerAnd here’s something you might not have known… I’ll bet you’ve passed The Cahuenga Building in Hollywood a million times and not thought twice about it… but the six-story structure erected by John and Donald Parkinson (they also built Bullock’s Wilshire and the Santa Monica City Hall) was once the tallest building on the Boulevard and the high-profile home for L.A.’s best-known fictional private detective. Cynical gumshoe Philip Marlowe‘s office was located on the top floor in Suite #615 and it’s for this very reason that the building’s intersection was officially named after his creator, author Raymond Chandler. Interested in checking the building out? Well you’ll soon be able to spend the night… it’s currently being turned into a boutique hotel.

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FLASHBACK – Racing Thru The Clouds in Venice

©VirtualVenice.infoOnce upon a time, the first roller coaster ever built on the West Coast reached towards the Venice, California sky. The ride was called Race Thru The Clouds and when it opened on July 4, 1911, even with only half of its cars on line over 25,000 people rode it. Yes, in one day. Roller coasters soon became such a popular attraction in Venice that fourteen were built in between 1904 and 1925. In the early 1920’s, visitors to Venice had a choice of six different rides: three on the Venice Pier, one on the inland lagoon and two on the Ocean Park/Lick Piers.

Although the first coaster is long gone, you can still find evidence of Race Thru The Clouds nearby if you look… architect Steve Ehrlich themed a nearby commercial building after its curves. I think my favorite tribute is this, though: a Folsom Prison inmate named William Jennings-Bryan Burke once spent over a decade erecting a replica of the ride made entirely out of toothpicks! AWESOME! (He actually built entire carnivals from toothpicks. I’m not kidding.)

(CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR LARGER VIEWS)©USC Digital Archive
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HISTORY – Sister Aimee & Her Castle

angelusAs some of you may know, as a teenager during the early 20th century my grandmother preached in tent revivals alongside (and also babysat for) local evangelist Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, who was once – without question – the most powerful, influential, and controversial woman in all of America. Founder of the Foursquare Church, Sister Aimee opened her Angelus Temple on New Year’s Day in 1923… a giant round building facing Echo Park which no doubt many of you pass daily without thinking twice about. The building’s cost was an unheard-of 1.2 million dollars at the time (paid for through average donations of TWO CENTS!!)… leading one critic to declare that Aimee “put the cost in Pentecost.”

At the very bottom of this post is a rare video tour of Aimee’s castle home in Lake Elsinore. Directly below are a few short samples of the show-womanship of Sister Aimee in all of her sin-battling glory… so REPENT, SINNERS!
[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftqumRF9Sh4[/youtube] (more…)


EXPLORE – LA’s Abandoned Zoo

zoo sign

In the heart of Griffith Park lies a ghost zoo, built in 1912 and abandoned in 1965. You can still visit it, but you’ll have to bring your own animals. A breakdown of the old zoo’s story can be found here.

[vimeo width=”590″ height=”420″]http://vimeo.com/2201258[/vimeo]



WARNING: For those of you viewing this from other countries… if you don’t speak English as a first language you might struggle at first to understand the narration in the above video, mainly because it’s true that many of us speak very fast and slur our words together here in Los Angeles and this narrator is no different. (Take a breath, man!) Honestly I’m known to turn five words into one on a regular basis myself, though, which can lose people who aren’t used to hearing it. It’s a great video, though. :)


VIDEO – Hidden Layers of the Million $ Theatre

post card of the Million Dollar TheatreScroll down to view the video.
Parts 2-3 after the jump.

The Chinese and Egyptian Theaters in Hollywood brought the showman more lasting fame, but The Million Dollar Theatre on South Broadway was failed prospector Sid Grauman‘s first movie house. Located next to the historic Grand Central Market (built in 1917 and still thriving) and across from the iconic Bradbury Building (built in 1893 and now housing internal LAPD offices), this incredible structure was first opened to the public in February 1918.

The wonderful video below goes behind the scenes to share some of the hidden beauty that still exists and few get to see. If you’d like to learn more about the downtown theatre district firsthand, the LA Conservancy offers a walking tour every Saturday at 10am. Tickets are $10. [youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoI1Px6ysIY[/youtube] (more…)


FESTIVITIES – Hollywood Christmas Parade

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOjAHhuePwk[/youtube] In case you missed it, tonight was the safest night of the year to walk through Hollywood (feels like every cop in town is there) and the most annoying night of the year to try driving through it… the eve of the 3.5 mile long Hollywood Christmas Parade. Now officially known as the “Hollywood Santa Parade,” the event was originally known as the Santa Claus Lane Parade back in 1928 when the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce created it to promote local shopkeepers. According to legend, the inaugural parade featured only Santa Claus and the actress Jeanette Loff.* Although the parade has experienced its share of tough times, it grew dramatically over the years and for decades Santa was portrayed by honorary Mayor of Hollywood (the late Johnny Grant) up until he was too old for the duties. (more…)