Apple’s Birthplace

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This unassuming ranch style home in Los Altos has just been unanimously voted to become a historical landmark. To most people it just looks like any other home, but in reality this home once belonged to the parents of Steve Jobs. It was inside this home that Jobs, Steve Wozniak and their team created the first Apple computers. Along with its real-life history, the recently released film Steve Jobs — starring Michael Fassbender as the man himself — filmed at this home. After some slight remodeling, director Danny Boyle and the crew were able to bring it back to its 1970s appearance! The value of this home you ask? Oh, just a cool $1.6 million! You can click here to read more about this world famous site!

As seen on screen in: Steve Jobs (2015).

Land of Tourists

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The streets of Beverly Hills have been immortalized on countless films and television shows over the years. That — paired with its designer shops and celebrity owned eateries make it a hot spot for tourists from all over the world. One movie that hilariously shows what it could be like for someone from out-of-town is the late, great Chris Farley’s Beverly Hills Ninja. In the film, Haru (Farley) arrives in “the Hills of Beverly” to save the gorgeous Sally Jones. To ensure his safety, Haru’s ninja brother Gobei follows him around. In one scene, Gobei disguises himself to look like one of these statues as Haru aimlessly searches for Sally.

As seen on screen in: Beverly Hills Ninja (1997).

Cope2’s Wall

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The Arts District area of Downtown is covered in murals, some sanctioned and some illegal, and most of them change on a regular basis. One piece that has been riding for a while (since 2012 that is) is this colorful gem done by legendary artist Cope2. You can find this wall tucked in the back of a parking lot on Traction Avenue!

Glendale’s Station

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Perhaps one of my favorite hidden gems in all of Southern California can be found on the back roads of Glendale. Originally named the Glendale Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, now known simply as the Glendale Transportation Center, this small train station dates back to 1923 when it was first put into commission. The Jewel City’s station is still in operation with regular service from MetroLink, Amtrak, and even Greyhound!

Mount Olympus

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Stunning Signage!

Highlighting all of the Southland’s neighborhoods and their city entryways!

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Next up in my Stunning Signage section is this towering sign at the entrance to Mount Olympus. This exclusive neighborhood in the Laurel Canyon section of the Hollywood Hills has played home to several films and television shows including Lou Ferigno’s house in “I Love You, Man.” Perhaps its most memorable claim to fame is from Hollywood Homicide where Sargent Joe Gavilan (Harrison Ford) is practicing his real estate chops but ends up constantly trying to unload an expensive home. There’s even a quick shot of Joe driving by this tall sign!

As seen on screen in: Hollywood Homicide (2003).

Star Wars

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

#13 — Star Wars (1977)

Twin Peaks

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San Francisco has several vantage points throughout the city that offer amazing views of the famous skyline. Perhaps the best view in the city is above the hairpin turn leads up to Twin Peaks. If you go early enough in the morning you can see the road completely empty. Later in the day it becomes clogged with tourists and sight-seeing tour buses.

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The roads surrounding the two tops are so well known, they’ve even appeared in numerous films and car commercials!

Jobs at Home

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The Silicon Valley in Northern California is home to most of the world’s tech industry powerhouses and, of course, that includes Apple. Steve Jobs, known to all as the face of the company, lived on a quiet street in the high-end city of Palo Alto. While the neighborhood may look like any other upper-middle class area in the country, the homes are basically all topping a million bucks simply because of its proximity to so many corporate headquarters. Steve’s home is hidden behind some trees and bushes, but is definitely not the mega-mansion type of home you’d expect him to live in.

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Hacienda Cemetery

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New Almaden — a very historic neighborhood on San Jose’s southern side — was once home to a large community of miners that worked in the quicksilver mines nearby. While the community is (for the most part) long gone, there’s still several reminders of what once was. The Hacienda Cemetery is the final resting place for several of those community residents. The red sign on the road reads, “On the East bank of Los Alamitos Creek, with graves dating back to the 1800s, lies the final resting place for quicksilver miners and their families. A wooden marker notes the burial site of Richard Barrett’s arm, lost in a hunting accident at age 13.”

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Once you venture inside the fence, you’ll find an official marker from the National Register of Historic Places. The plaque reads, “Hacienda Cemetery. California Registered Point of Historical Interest Number SCL-052. Dating back to the early 1850’s, this cemetery was in use until 1920’s, when musician Ben Black, who wrote the then popular song ‘Moonlight and Roses’, bought some of the mining company land at the Hacienda and subdivided it. Bertram Road was cut through the length of the tract and through the cemetery over the tops of an unknown number of graves. After being tax-deeded to Historian Gene Vennum, he turned the Hacienda Cemetery over to the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County in 1974. Dedicated October 10, 1981. Native sons of the Golden West, San Jose Parlor No. 22; California Pioneers of Santa Clara Co.: and Mountain Charlie Chapter No. 1850. E Clampus Vitus. This Property ‘Hacienda Cemetery’ has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior.”

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Above is the old wooden tomb stone as mentioned on the red sign. It reads, “Richard Bertram “Bert” Barrett. His arm lies here. 1893 May it rest in peace.”

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Most of the other tombstones are so old and weathered they’re unable to be read.

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Hamilton House

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When most people think of San Jose and the rest of the Silicon Valley they think advanced tech company power houses like Google, Adobe, eBay, etc. But nestled in between the ever-increasing real estate you can find plenty of hidden gems. The beautiful Hamilton House can be found on Bascom on the edge of Campbell.

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This victorian house has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and today houses some realty offices. The landmark plaque can be found on the sidewalk and it reads…

HAMILTON HOUSE

In 1882 Captain James A. Hamilton purchased 21 acres of orchards and built this Queen Anne farmhouse for his family. James A. Hamilton was born in 1828 in Portage City, Ohio, and he left home at the age of 18 to become a sailor. His first position was out of New York on the whaling ship “Italy.” In 1854 he became “Master of Vessel” and served aboard the “Sheffield,” “Italy,” and “Republic.” He later was promoted to Captain, and served aboard the “Emona F. Herriman.” The “Charles W. Morgan,” became the most noteworthy of his ships, famous for carrying the largest amount of whale blubber in a single voyage. Dedicated May 18, 1984 by Steve and Lucile Birkeland and the Mountain Charlie Chapter No. 1850, E Clampus Vitus. “Right Wrongs Nobody”

MvF San Jose, CA

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Even though it hasn’t been on for a few years, I still love watching old episodes on Man v. Food with Adam Richman. He always highlights the best of local favorites and back in 2009 he gave San Jose a visit. First up was Iguanas located at 330 South 3rd Street, San Jose, CA 95112,

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followed by Henry’s World Famous Hi-Life located at 301 West Saint John Street, San Jose, CA 95110,

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and lastly was SmokeEaters located at 29 South 3rd Street, San Jose, CA 95113 (the show visited the Santa Clara location which has moved to this new property).

Halloween’s Hardware

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First off, happy Halloween to everyone and I hope it’s a safe and fun holiday! In honor of the holiday I thought I’d share a key spot from my favorite horror movie, the 1978 original Halloween. In the flick when Michael Myers comes back to Haddonfield, IL to basically murder as many people as he can on Halloween night. This corner spot in South Pasadena acted as Nicholas Hardware Store where Michael steals a knife and his famous white mask.

As seen on screen in: Halloween (1978).

American Graffiti

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

#62 — American Graffiti (1973)

Back to the Future Day

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If you’re a fan of the legendary Back to the Future trilogy like I am, you’ve undoubtedly been waiting for this day for quite some time. When Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel back to the future the day is October 21, 2015 at 4:19pm. Click here to track this historic event! Like the tag line says, “The future is now the past.” This unassuming home up in Arleta acts as the McFly residence in the films. The tower behind it is unmistakeable!

As seen on screen in: Back to the Future (1985), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III  (1990).

Death at a Funeral

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Usually movie remakes don’t have the best track record as far as quality goes. This is especially true when the remake comes out within only a few years of the original. The British comedy Death at a Funeral was pure genius, so when I finally sat down to watch its American counterpart starring Chris Rock I didn’t have high expectations. Surprisingly Chris Rock’s version was pretty good, not as good as the original, but still enjoyable. Plus you won’t have to go all the way to Oxfordshire to visit the house. This scary looking home fit for real life funerals is on a quiet street in South Pasadena.

As seen on screen in: Death at a Funeral (2010).