Invaded Beverly

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Hello Adventurers!

Los Angeles has been a mecca for street art for years now with many world-known and high profile names leaving their mark on the city. Space Invader has made a few trips to the City of Angels (even supposedly getting arrested for vandalism back in 2011) and surprisingly several of his pieces still remain up to this day. Like many other big-name street artists, Space Invader’s pieces are usually stolen right off the wall by someone looking to resell it or keep it as a trophy for themselves. This big installation in Westlake was put up and stolen several years ago but has recently made a triumphant return. Was it put back up by the artist himself? Or possibly the shop owner? Your guess is as good as mine…

Do the Right Thing

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

#96 — Do the Right Thing (1989)

Reflective Peninsula

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When most people think of canals in LA County they immediately picture the famous Venice Canals just north of the Marina del Rey boundary line. A more hidden, tourist free canal can be found in Long Beach in the Naples neighborhood. The beautiful — yet tiny — Naples Park sits on the Rivo Alto Canal and even on cloudy days offers a nice view of the Peninsula across the water!

Emma Jean’s Holland Burger

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Just off the freeway in the high desert city of Victorville — near a few power plants and water treatment plant — is Emma Jean’s Holland Burger. Ever since way back in 1947 this small diner has been serving up breakfast and lunch on the historic Route 66. The menu has all the breakfast classics but what they’re really known for is their burgers. The Holland Burger itself as well as the Brian Burger are a must! Besides serving up classic American fare for decades, Emma Jean’s has also appeared in several films and TV shows! The Quentin Tarantino fans will instantly recognize it from Kill Bill Vol. 2! Although short, it’s probably my favorite scene from the whole movie! Grab yourself a glass of water and check the clip out here!

As seen on screen in: Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004).

The Bates Motel

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Silver Lake is no stranger to public art spaces, street art, and/or graffiti. The Bates Motel on Sunset Boulevard (named simply because the small side street it sits on is Bates Avenue) was once a local motel, but it’s now scheduled to be torn down to make way for a new mixed use building. Before this local landmark gets torn down, French artist Vincent Lamouroux covered the entire thing in white, eco-friendly limewash paint. And yes, that even includes the billboard and tall palm trees (the tops of the trees were also painted but Mother Nature has taken her course and washed that small bit off)! This dilapidated building is no stranger to big name street artists. Shepard Fairey (Obey Giant), Space Invader, and plenty of others have also left their mark here at one point or another!

Ronny and Nancy

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A lot of attention has been paid to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley due to the recent passing of former First Lady Nancy Reagan. Now the couple both call this beautiful property their eternal resting place after Nancy was buried next to her late husband last month. Whether you agree with Reagan’s political views or not, it goes without saying that his time in office had many historical events. The library itself is great for Americans both young and old that are looking to learn more about our past. The long list of traveling exhibits is fantastic as well (including the huge Baseball and Football exhibits)! These statues of Ronald and Nancy Reagan can be found inside with a quote above them that reads, “America’s best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead.” -Ronald Reagan.

West Side Story

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

#51 — West Side Story (1961)

The Green Cow

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Almaden Expressway is the main thoroughfare that connects the wealthy neighborhood of Almaden to the 87 Freeway and the downtown area. Ever since the tech boom exploded in Silicon Valley, Almaden Expressway has been continuously getting busier and busier and they keep raising the speed limit as well. Most people from the area will recognize this cow proudly standing above the Sherwood Inn which is known simply as “The Green Cow.” While it used to be the same faded green as the awning on the front of the building, it recently had a makeover and now catches the eye even more of drivers cruising down the Expressway!

Over the Tracks

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It’s not hard to find amazing graffiti around town. A lot of it is hidden in back alleys or under freeways because the city is pretty vigilant when it comes to painting over it. However, the stretch of train tracks that parallels Slauson Avenue in South LA is always covered in bright and colorful pieces. This area even made a brief appearance in the film Straight Outta Compton!

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!

Hello Adventurers!

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)