Thursday, February 28, 2008

Esotouric tour to focus on Raymond Chandler

Follow in the Footsteps of Philip Marlowe thru Raymond Chandler's West LA

WHAT: "Raymond Chandler's Bay City" bus tour
WHEN: Saturday March 8, 1pm-5pm, departs from Museum of Jurassic Technology
COST: $55/person (15% off for KCRW members) including coffee and snacks
MORE INFO: visit or call 323-223-2767

In March Esotouric, the eclectic bus adventure company whose tours reveal L.A.'s secret history, launches a new tour dedicated to the city's greatest detective novelist, Raymond Chandler, and his uniquely poisonous portrayal of Santa Monica, AKA Bay City.
RAYMOND CHANDLER'S BAY CITY was crook town, run down, shabby town, gambling town. Chandler naturally gravitated to sin and debauch, so sleazy Santa Monica was a frequent stop for his anti-hero Philip Marlowe. This tour has it all, from doctors feel good to second wives with pasts to crooked cops with a loathing for a mouthy PI. Chandler's canonization of sin, wealth and sunshine on L.A.'s West Side fed the abiding myths of the American hard-boiled genre and play into the popular conceptions of the community.
Focusing on Chandler's middle period ­ "Farewell My Lovely," "Lady in the Lake" and a few short stories upon which these novels are built, "Bay City Blues" among them-- this four hour bus tour will explore Chandler's take on the Westside, the real life rackets and murders which gave Bay City its wild reputation, and the elements of the old community that have survived layer upon layer of gentrification.
The tour is hosted by Esotouric's Richard Schave with assistance from 1947project crime historians Kim Cooper and Joan Renner and Chandler scholar Loren Latker of Shamus Town online.
As the bus rolls from point to point, your guides will draw the lines between Chandler's life and his fiction, offering insight into his nomadic life with wife Cissy, the enigmatic redhead who appears in many forms in his short stories and novels.
Locations for the tour include: Casa del Mar Hotel (jumping off point for the gambling ships), the site of the former Santa Monica City Hall (4th & Broadway) immortalized in "Farewell My Lovely," the former site of Thelma Todd's sidewalk cafe and her mysterious death site (inspiration for the Lindsay Marriot House in "Farewell My Lovely"), plus Santa Monica and Brentwood residences for the Chandlers and a drive by of soon-to-close Dutton's Books, in homage to Chandler's passion for the great lost bookstores of Los Angeles.
Books & Short Stories covered in the tour: "Farewell My Lovely," "Bay City Blues," "Lady in the Lake," "Red Wind," "The Little Sister."

Upcoming Esotouric bus tour schedule (new tours starred):
*Sat Mar 1- Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66
*Sat Mar 8- Raymond Chandler's Bay City
Sun Mar 9- Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles
Sat Mar 15- Vroman's Bookstore - Pasadena Confidential
Sat Mar 29 - The Real Black Dahlia
Sat April 5 ­ Where the Action Was rock history tour
Sat April 12 - Wild Wild West Side
*Sat April 26 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The Many Downtowns
Sat April 26 - Main Street Vice (90 minute tour, $30)
Sat May 3 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: In A Lonely Place
Sat May 10 - Blood & Dumplings
*Sat May 17- Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66
Sat June 14- Vroman's - The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's SoCal Nightmare
Sat Aug 9- Vroman's Bookstore - Charles Bukowki's LA
Sat Oct 11- Vroman's Bookstore - Raymond Chandler's LA

For more info on Esotouric, visit

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