Esotouric, the eclectic bus adventure and walking tour company whose offbeat tours expose L.A.'s secret history, will be honored later this month when the Downtown News releases its Best Of issue, naming Esotouric providers of the Best Downtown Tours. Esotouric is owned by husband and wife Kim Cooper and Richard Schave, residents of downtown-adjacent Lincoln Heights. Most of their tours begin downtown or focus on the neighborhood.
Richard's tour John Fante's Dreams of Bunker Hill (which repeats 7/22) was featured twice in the L.A. Times during its debut week, and when Kim's popular five-hour bus adventure The Real Black Dahlia was recently re-imagined as a 90 minute downtown walking tour, twenty people turned up for the debut. Now, in recognition of the forthcoming Downtown News honor, Esotouric is announcing two thrilling new 90-minute downtown bus tours calculated to introduce passengers to the sleazy wonders of the neighborhood's past. These back-to-back Saturday tours are hosted by Kim Cooper and Nico Bella of Fleurde Lethal Productions, with tickets $25 for one tour, $45 for both, with the debut on Saturday September 8.
Tour #1 is Hotel Horrors, a true crime and oddities tour featuring some of the wildest, weirdest, goriest and most memorable happenings in historic hotels like the Alexandria, Rosslyn, Barclay and Cecil. Get on the bus to find out where Night Stalker Richard Ramirez liked to stay, which hotel was the choice of Columbian drug mules with cocaine in their platform shoes,what lobby hosted a bloody anarchist riot and where two traveling chocolate salesmen laughed so hard they fell backwards out a window to their deaths.
Tour #2 is Main Street Vice, a celebration of the ribald, racy, raunchy old promenade where the better people simply did not travel, but kicks were had by all who did. Burlesque babes and dirty picture parlors, gambling rackets and nudie magazines behind the counter, mummified old west outlaws and old time tattoo parlors, wax museums and pawn brokers -- these were the pleasures and the people to be found along Main during the first half of the 20th century, a street that every Angeleno knew offered more (yet less) of what could be seen anywhere else. On this tour, we'll visit the scenes of some more unforgettable debaucheries and share stories of crime, smut, passion and commerce.
These tours, along with the upcoming Bukday Charles Bukowski's birthday celebration, Ballroom Blitz flea market and art swap at the Alexandria, Nobody Reads in LA book club meetings and the new Bunker Hill walking tour, solidify Esotouric's commitment to creating interesting events and reviving forgotten gems of the downtown community.
Upcoming Esotouric tour and event schedule:
Thurs July 19 Nobody Reads in LA: Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister
Sat July 21 Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: In A Lonely Place
Sun July 22 John Fante's Dreams of Bunker Hill
Sun July 29 Ballroom Blitz flea market at the Alexandria (Esotouric table, Kim DJs)
Sun Aug 5 Bunker Hill Walking Tour
Weds Aug 15 - Nobody Reads in LA: Charles Bukowski's Post Office
Thurs Aug 16 Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles (special Bukday night tour on the author's birthday)
Fri Aug 17 - "Buk on the Nickel: Love, Liquor, Losers & Landlords" Charles Bukowski Bukday gallery party, 5@Alex
Sat Aug 18 Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles Bukday tour
Sun Aug 19 - Hair of the Dog (from Hell) Bukday Brunch at Royal Clayton's
Thurs Sept 6 - Nobody Reads in LA: James M. Cain's Mildred Pierce
Sat Sept 8 - Hotel Horrors (1pm) and Main Street Vice (3:30pm)
Sat Sept 15 James M. Cain's Los Angeles
Thurs Sept 27 - Nobody Reads in LA: Reyner Banham's Architecture of Four Ecologies
Sun Oct 7 Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles
Sun Oct 28 Hallowe'en Horrors with true crime writer Corey Mitchell
For more info on Esotouric, please visit http://www.esotouric.com For info on the Nobody Reads in LA book club, visithttp://www.nobodyreadsinla.com For info on Nico Bella and the Ballroom Blitz, visithttp://www.fleurdelethal.com/