Emmy Awards 2014

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Hello Adventurers!

Well, it’s that time of year again … the Emmy Awards are right around the corner! It’s been a great year for television and the nominees for Outstanding Drama and Outstanding Comedy are all fantastic! Below are all the nominated shows as well as my guess for who will take home the trophy!

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

big_bang_theory louie

modern_family orange_is_the_new_black

silicon_valley veep

…and the Emmy goes to… MODERN FAMILY!

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

breaking_bad downton_abbey

game_of_thrones house_of_cards

mad_men true_detective

…and the Emmy goes to… BREAKING BAD!

Nasty Neck Face

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Neck Face, known for his devilish sketches and quotes, has to be one of my favorite graffiti / street artists. Most of his work is fairly simple and consists of crude sketches of monsters, devils, etc. However, even this small tag in a decommissioned phone booth has some power behind it — complete, of course, with a pentagon.

Green Acres Estate

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I think we all can agree that Harold Lloyd is one of Hollywood’s most legendary comedic geniuses. His name is usually mentioned along with Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and others from the silent era. This humungous estate (appropriately named “Green Acres”), located a bit off Benedict Canyon in Beverly Hills, was the estate owned by the famous actor. It was originally over 15 acres and included a golf course, 900 foot canoe run, and a 44-room mansion with several detached buildings as well. After Lloyd’s death in 1971, the property was subdivided into multiple lots and sold off. Thankfully, the mansion itself still stands and is now on the National Register of Historic Places!

Pricey Ivy

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Beverly Hills – the land of mansions and plastic surgeons. Forget Rodeo Drive, the real attractions are these pricey plastic surgery places that scatter the streets of the entire city. If you’re around for long enough you’ll probably spot some familiar faces going in and out of the doors too. This particular office is covered in perfectly manicured ivy that extends to the parking structure next door. Those of you that saw Adam Sandler’s Just Go With It will recognize this building as Danny’s (Adam Sandler) office where he works with his assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston).

As seen on screen inJust Go With It (2011)

Tagging the Zoo

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The Old Zoo in Griffith Park is probably one of the best kept secrets in LA. It’s near the famous Merry Go Round, but hidden from the parking lot. There’s a small foot path that leads around a bend before opening up into a large grass area with the Old Zoo structures on the side. When the zoo closed down in the 60′s, the fences and cages came down and the park left the structures to be used as a picnic area while nature slowly starts to reclaim it. If you climb into the narrow stair wells, which were originally used to bring the animals down into the viewing areas, you’ll find graffiti on top of graffiti, some of which has been there for decades. Be warned, I’ve stumbled into some very unfriendly homeless dudes while exploring these tunnels; not to mention you’ll probably spot some tweekers shooting up in the abandoned buildings (seriously).

Lady of the Canyon

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Deep in a narrow canyon, way off the beaten path in Simi Valley, you’ll find this stone carving of a woman’s face that seems to be watching over the narrow, blind corner of the road that she faces. If you spot it quick enough, there’s a small turn-out to pull over and park before tightrope-walking the narrow shoulder of the road to snap some photos. However, if you miss it, be prepared for a long journey down the canyon before finding a safe place to bust a U. Beneath the face is also a few stone steps that act almost like a foundation for the carving!

Double Indemnity

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With the increasing amount of garbage the film studios have been pushing in the faces of viewers, I’ve finally had enough. New technology is allowing the special effects and explosions to be played up, and the story line and plot to be played down. Thankfully, plenty of amazing movies have been made in the past that have stood the test of time. I’ll be slowly checking off the greatest movies of all-time from my “to watch” list. I figured there’s no better place to start than the AFI Top 100!

#29 — Double Indemnity (1944)

POTUS’s B-Day

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In honor of President Barack Obama’s birthday (August 4) I figured what better time than to post his banner located on Presidential Drive in Simi Valley. This long and curvy road leads up to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, but along the way there’s a banner for every single one of our past leaders. Of course, President Obama’s banner doesn’t yet have an end time!

Beautiful on Screen, Too

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It’s no secret that San Francisco is among the most beautiful cities in the world. The towering hills, majestic bridges, and lunch box homes always make for great photographs and they all appear just as pretty on the silver screen! It’s no wonder so many films have been shot in this city. Above and below are two of the homes featured in Chris Columbus’s Mrs. Doubtfire (the Hillard home (Sally Field, Lisa Jakub, Matthew Lawrence, and Mara Wilson) and Daniel’s (Robin Williams) new apartment respectively).

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As seen on screen inMrs. Doubtfire (1993)

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Above is the Salinger (Scott Wolf, Matthew Fox, Neve Campbell, and Lacey Chabert) home from Party of Five!

As seen on screen inParty of Five (1994 – 2000)

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Above is the girls’ (Cameron Diaz, Selma Blair, and Christina Applegate) apartment from Roger Kumble’s The Sweetest Thing…

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…and this is the corner from the famous taxi cab splash scene when Christina Walters runs after Peter Donahue!

As seen on screen inThe Sweetest Thing (2002)

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Above is the Dolittle (Eddie Murphy, Kristen Wilson, Kyla Pratt, and Raven Symone) house from Betty Thomas’s Dr. Dolittle!

As seen on screen inDr. Dolittle (1998)

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Above is the new home of Elliot (Brendan Fraser) in Harold Ramis’s Bedazzled (located on the very top of the steepest street in San Francisco)!

As seen on screen inBedazzled (2000)

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Above is Ginger’s house (Sally Hawkins) in which Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) takes up residence in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine…

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…and this is the infamous park bench from the final scene of the movie where we see Jasmine mumbling to herself!

As seen on screen inBlue Jasmine (2013)

Hills and Tunnels

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As I’ve said before, I could start an entirely different blog to show off the beauty of San Francisco (of which there are many already). Instead, I’m capping my coastal journey with just a handful of my favorite snaps I took while visiting the City by the Bay. Above is perhaps one of the most known vantage points in the entire city. The Painted Ladies are right across the street from Alamo Square Park and if you find the right spot, the entire City skyline can be seen above the seven gorgeous victorian homes!

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The hills in this city are no joke! If you don’t come with proper walking shoes you’ll be in some serious pain the entire time. If you find the courage and stamina to traverse the massive hills, the views you’ll come across are breathtaking! Like this view down Kearny Street!

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The throwback to the 20′s strip of clubs on Broadway is a great place to visit as well. These huge neon signs stretch above the entrances to the historic cabaret and strip clubs.

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The Condor is even a Historic Landmark and is known as the first topless and bottomless club in the world! The plaque out front reads, “The Condor. Where it All Began. The birthplace of the world’s first topless and bottomless entertainment. Topless – June 19, 1964. Bottomless – September 3, 1969. Starring Ms. Carol Doda. San Francisco, California.”

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The City is also loaded with tiny narrow alley ways that lead to sunken back homes, garages, and front doors. The sunrise right coming through makes beautiful shadows down the street!

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The Robert C. Levy Tunnel passes through Russian Hill as a shortcut around (or under) the massive hills in the area.

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Some streets are so steep the City built stairs into the sidewalk to help make things easier on you. The foliage planted by the home owners on this particular “street” forms a prefect tunnel up to the top of the hill!

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But once you get to the top, another spectacular view can be found!

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It’s impossible to do a post on San Francisco without showing some of the great historic homes that scatter the city. These are just a couple of the incredibly ornate victorian houses I came across!

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Vertigo

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With the increasing amount of garbage the film studios have been pushing in the faces of viewers, I’ve finally had enough. New technology is allowing the special effects and explosions to be played up, and the story line and plot to be played down. Thankfully, plenty of amazing movies have been made in the past that have stood the test of time. I’ll be slowly checking off the greatest movies of all-time from my “to watch” list. I figured there’s no better place to start than the AFI Top 100!

#9 — Vertigo (1958)

Cannery Row

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The Monterey coast line is one of the prettiest in the whole state. Of course, with that comes tourists, which also means tourist trap establishments start sprouting up all over the place. Cannery Row is one of said traps, however it’s gorgeous and somehow retains the small-town feeling (but who knows, it may turn into Santa Monica at some point in the future).

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In between the buildings and restaurant patios you’ll see beautiful views of the bay and plenty of fountains and foliage lining the street.

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Among the ruins of buildings that couldn’t stand the test of time, artists have moved in to create very location specific murals to enhance the view as well as show pieces of the bay’s history.

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And yes, even some taggers have claimed their perfect spots as well.

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There’s also those amazing Cypress trees scattered up and down the coast.

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No visit to Monterey would be complete without a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium which proudly stands at the end of Cannery Row. If you love the ocean and all of its inhabitants, you can easily spend an entire day wandering around and looking at all the amazing fish!

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Without a doubt, the best part (in my opinion anyway) of Cannery Row has to be the Mirror Maze. The amazing attraction is very unassuming from the outside, which just a small sign by the door. Once you step inside it opens up into a maze that is lined with slanted mirrors, flashing strobe lights, bright colors, and blasting music. Oh, and the best part is they give you 3-D glasses to wear while you try to find your way around! It’s nothing short of hilarious, but be warned, every once in a while the lights turn off and leave you in complete darkness for several seconds! When we purchased our tickets I asked the girl behind the counter how long the maze should take us and she jokingly replied, “Anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, depending on how lost you get.” Amazing!!

17 Mile Drive

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The stunning 17 Mile Drive is regarded as one of the most scenic drives in the world. The twisty-turny road in Pebble Beach, just south of Monterey, weaves through thick forests, beautiful ocean views, and passes some of the most expensive real estate in the country. This gated community ($10 entrance fee at any of the gates) is also home to the world renowned Pebble Beach Resorts which includes Spyglass Hill and Del Monte golf courses. When you enter the community you’re handed a map with the 20-something individual sites to see along the drive!

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One of the stops includes the very appropriately named Seal Rock which is covered in seals and birds. There’s even several telescopes on the coast that offer a great close-up view of the rock!

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There’s also plenty of absolutely gorgeous trees that dot the road including the…

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eerie Ghost Trees, and the world famous…

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Lone Cypress! This magnificent cypress tree is growing all alone on the edge of a granite cliff. Thought to be over 250 years old, this landmark has been burned by arsonists (luckily a neighbor sprang into action to save the tree) and is now supported by a wire to ensure the high winds don’t topple it over. It’s been listed as one of the Ten Most Beautiful Trees in the World and it’s also the most photographed tree in all of North America!

Sassy Stare

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Saturday Snap! Each Saturday I’ll post a random and unplanned photo I’ve snapped from somewhere around town!

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LA is quickly becoming the land of murals, however, some are far better than others. Then there’s this one. While sitting in traffic in Arleta, I looked over and saw this sassy girl staring right at me!

Bubblegum Alley

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Usually during my somewhat-frequent drives up the coast I try to stop off in the amazing college town San Luis Obispo. Because I have family that lives in the area, I tend not to explore as much as I’d like to, but this time I decided to change that. Perhaps the most famous monument in S.L.O. is Bubble Gum Alley on the shopping central Higuera Street. This ever-evolving masterpiece has been added to by people all over the world. The rules are simple… 1) chew up a piece of gum, 2) stick it on the wall, 3) enjoy your permanent place in history! While some might think this gum covered alley is gross or disgusting, for the rest of us, it’s a tradition that you can add to as many times as you want! Just be careful where you step!

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Also located in the center of the city is the magnificent Jack House and Gardens. This historic house is surrounded by beautiful landscaping that can host weddings or any other special event!

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Yes, even the library is housed in a gorgeous historic building!

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Another historical building in this great city is the Ah Louis Store on Palm Street. Built in 1885 by Ah Louis himself, it served as a general store for the neighborhood’s Chinese residents and specialized in selling goods from the orient like rice and opium. Today, the shop is still open for business and is operated by the great-grandson of Ah Louis.

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