Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Voyager Los Angeles is taking a voyage- will try to post next week!

In the meantime, I hope the City of Angels looks over you!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Castles in the Air

When you visit a new city, you may come across something so unexpected, or weird, or beautiful, that you say “Wow! What’s that?” In 30 plus years of living in Los Angeles, I can think of three Wow! Moments:

When I moved to LA in 1981, I was driving around in West Hollywood looking for somewhere to live. I rounded the corner and saw an enormous blue building – “What is that?” It, of course, was the Pacific Design Center, known as the PDC. Since then, it has been joined by equally huge red and green buildings.

The first time I went down to the Exposition Park area around USC, I saw a 747 parked on the corner!

And how many castles have you seen in the Southland? Until the fires of 2005, there was a castle sitting on the hill overlooking Malibu. (Sorry, no picture!)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Alvarado Terrace

I think most people have a set way of driving to work- they’ve figured out the best route to take, and they stick to it. But if you get off the beaten track, there can be a whole new world to see.

Case in point- I exit the 10 freeway at Hoover, then head north to Alvarado. Neither of these streets is particularly attractive. But- right after Alvarado forks off of Hoover, there is a street named Alvarado Terrace. One day, I decided to turn there. What a difference! Alvarado Terrace is full of gorgeous Victorian houses, 6 of which are designated as “cultural historic monuments”. I knew that the homes around USC, as well as the Adams district, had some beautifully restored homes- but I did not know about this street.


Shows what can happen when you take “the road less traveled”!

Monday, September 12, 2011

5 Cool Things To Do In LA

If you have visitors- or you are visiting Los Angeles- why don’t you:

Go to the Ennis-Brown house in the Hollywood Hills.
You probably know this Frank Lloyd Wright house, located at
2607 Glendower Ave.
from the movies (most notably Blade Runner). Built in 1924, it resembles a Mayan temple. It used to be open for tours, but has been closed since the 1994 earthquake. Billionaire Ron Burkle just bought the house in July 2011.

Go to Philippe’s for a cup of coffee.
Philippe’s, a downtown institution since 1908, last raised the price of a cup of coffee in 1977. It used to be 5¢; now it’s 9¢. (Sorry, no refills.) Take that, Starbucks!

Swing on out to Tarzana.
Tarzana is named after the ranch purchased in 1915 by Edgar Rice Burroughs- who wrote Tarzan.

See the Watts Towers.
Everyone who is an Angeleno should see this work of art. And even if you’re just visiting, you should see it too. Built over a period of 30 years, with found materials, it is like nothing else you’ll see in LA.

Avoid Disneyland and enjoy Pacific Park in Santa Monica instead.
Cost of one adult ticket at Disneyland: $80.00. Cost of one child’s ticket at Disneyland: $74.00. No view of the Pacific Ocean.
Cost of admission to Pacific Park (on the Santa Monica Pier): $0. Individual rides: $3.00 -$5.00. The Pacific Ocean surrounds you.
No contest!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Turn On Your Love Light

I know what you’ve been thinking- “It’s really disappointing that LA has so few lighthouses.” Yeah, I’ve been thinking that too. I’ve come up with only three- in San Pedro; Rancho Palos Verdes; and a fake one in Marina del Rey at Fisherman’s Village, a faux New England fishing village (which is kind of run down, and very underutilized- but that’s a post for another day). There’s also Parker’s Lighthouse in Long Beach, but that’s fake as well, being a restaurant.

        Point Vicente Lighthouse

The lighthouses in San Pedro and Palos Verdes were once real, active lighthouses. Point Fermin lighthouse, located in San Pedro, was built in 1874, and was the first navigational light into the San Pedro Bay. Point Vicente, built in 1926, is in Palos Verdes, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Both lights were extinguished during World War II.

Point Fermin Lighthouse

If you want to see these lighthouses, take PCH down through Redondo Beach, then turn on
Palos Verdes Blvd.
going south, then onto
Palos Verdes Drive West
. It will take you on the Palos Verdes peninsula. This is a beautiful drive, so be sure and bring your camera! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wedding Cake in Beverly Hills

Another one of my favorite houses in Beverly Hills is the Wedding Cake house. Seen from the alley behind it (always the most glamorous way to view homes), it reminds me of something Antonio Gaudi would have done.

I quote again from the Architecture Guide to Los Angeles:”Los Angeles’s first real Art Nouveau building- Gaudiesque in the extreme.”

By way of comparison, here is Gaudi’s Casa Batll√≥ in Barcelona: