The Big Fight


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It’s finally here, the day of the big fight! We’ve all been waiting in anticipation of tonight’s Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight on Pay Per View. It’s said to be one of the biggest (in terms of viewers and income) fights in history and the entire city of Las Vegas is buzzing. Wild Card Boxing Club, a small boxing gym in Hollywood, is owned by hall-of-fame trainer Freddie Roach and is the LA home base training facility to none other than Pacquiao himself. I speak for us all when I say Go Manny!!

Hidden Statues


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Westminster, located in northern Orange County, is home to countless Asian eateries and markets and there’s a good amount of Asian-inspired architecture along Bolsa Avenue. A Dong Market, one of the largest in the area, is in a long and narrow shopping center. If the market is particularly busy you’ll have to park in the back around this small courtyard with Asian statues and palm trees!

Deep in the Desert


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Sometimes the nonstop hustle and bustle of LA can get a bit tiresome, but luckily we have plenty of not-so-far-away destinations to get away from it all, even if just for a few hours. The desert surrounding Palmdale is only a short drive away and is littered with gorgeous Joshua Trees and has distant views of the mountains.

Some Like It Hot


Working my way through the AFI Top 100 Greatest Films of All-Time!

#22 — Some Like It Hot (1959)

Elysian Temple


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The Elysian Masonic Temple — hidden in plain sight on a busy intersection in Los Feliz — has a very subtle exterior but inside has a grand hall, court room, offices, club room complete with pool and poker tables, and this great circular entry way. The property serves as a lodge on certain days and is perfectly stuck in time with dark and neutral colors and plenty of wood paneling.

Cedar Grove


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Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in all of North America, has tons of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. This small forest, unlike any others you’ll find with the city limits, takes up only a small pocket of land in the hills near the Greek Theater. Even though it has clean dirt roads, it’s closed to cars and gives hikers free reign over the picnic tables and epic views of the Valley on one side and the Downtown skyline on the other!

El Pueblo


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Olvera Street, its tiny shops, and the big plaza and gazebo make up the historical El Pueblo de Los Angeles on the outskirts of downtown. The entire property — which also includes the Pico House, Chinese American Museum, and LA’s first fire station — is on the Nation Register of Historic Places and dates all the way back to the time the city was founded. This gazebo is in the middle of the plaza and usually features mariachi bands and other live entertainment for the public to enjoy!

Chicken Boy


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The historic Route 66 once spanned the country and along with it came numerous roadside attractions dotting the path along the way. Chicken Boy, originally located on the Route in downtown Los Angeles, now lives on a rooftop in Highland Park while still being on the one-time famous Main Street of America. This 22-foot tall fiberglass statue once served as outdoor advertising for a chicken restaurant, but it was given away when the eatery shuttered its doors. Some 20 years later it came out of storage and was placed atop the Future Studio Design Firm on Figueroa Street for all to see. In 2010 the statue received the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award and is now known as the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles!

The Apartment


Working my way through the AFI Top 100 Greatest Films of All-Time!

#80 — The Apartment (1960)

In the Rafters


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One of the most filmed at locations in all of Southern California is Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch in the Newhall section of Santa Clarita. Countless films, TV shows, commercials, and music videos have been shot on the property since its inception back in 1959. One of the most recognizable structures is the Golden Oak Hall which is a huge wooden hall with a stage and tons of ornate wood carvings on everything from the great front entrance to the pillars that keep the building standing. If you’re up to climbing the rickety ladders the view from the rafters is pretty great as well! This ranch is closed to the public and only available to film crews and scouts, but you can catch hundreds of movies that feature the expansive grounds!

Old Terminal


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The Ontario Airport has been an often filming location for quite some time. While the airport is still active, there is a closed terminal that lays empty just waiting for the next film crew to take it over. This stuck-in-the-past terminal has doubled recently as Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport in Argo as well as 1960’s LAX in Saving Mr. Banks. Moneyball, The Hangover Pt. 2, Due Date, Mission Impossible 3, among countless others have also shot at this airport!

As seen on screen in: Saving Mr. Banks (2013), Argo (2012), Moneyball (2011), The Hangover Pt. 2 (2011), Due Date (2010), Mission Impossible 3 (2006), and countless others.

Corporate Violence


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The Arts District is covered with beautiful sanctioned murals as well as tons of unsanctioned graffiti that really gives the neighborhood its charm. The old warehouses, lofts, and abandoned properties are blank canvases that are constantly changing hands between street artists. Some of the big names getting up around the neighborhood are JR, Retna, and plenty of others including Shepard Fairey which did this political stencil!

Show the Curve


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Los Angeles has plenty of world-famous and beautiful streets that are travelled by thousands of people every day. But perhaps some of the most picturesque roads are closed to the public and only open to film crews. Tejon Ranch, which is located waaay up in the Grapevine has twisty turny roads that zigzag around the whole property. This particular S-curve once wetted down makes for an amazing backdrop with the rolling hills behind it and a sheer cliff drop-off in front.

E. T.


Working my way through the AFI Top 100 Greatest Films of All-Time!

#24 — E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)