Downtown L.A. tour celebrates of novelist John Fante's centennial
WHAT: Esotouric's "John Fante's Dreams from Bunker Hill" bus and walking tour
WHEN: Saturday July 25, 12pm-4pm, departs from Lincoln Heights/ Cypress Gold Line Metro station
COST: $58/person. SPECIAL OFFER: ride any two July literary tours for $96 (save $20) or ride all three for $134 (save $40). Contact Esotouric to reserve.
MORE INFO: visit http://www.esotouric.com or call 323-223-2767
Esotouric's July literary series also includes RAYMOND CHANDLER'S LA on July 11 and CHARLES BUKOWSKI'S LA on July 18.
This July, the eclectic bus adventure company Esotouric offers three bookish tours of L.A. literary landmarks, focusing on the lives andwork of Raymond Chandler, Charles Bukowski and John Fante. A special promotional ticket celebrating the city's literary legacy lets passengers ride any one of the tours at the regular $58 rate, ride two and save $20, or ride all three and save $40. For more info or to reserve visit http://www.esotouric.com and see the "July Literary Tour Discounts" links in the left sidebar.
On July 25 Esotouric rolls out its very occasional literary bus and walking tour, JOHN FANTE'S DREAMS FROM BUNKER HILL. Public interest is high, as John Fante's 100th birthday in April was the occasion of a sold-out Zocolo panel discussion at the Hammer Museum and a lively and one of the more eclectic gatherings ever seen at the last Skid Row bar, the King Edward Saloon.
This tour is a chance to discover a great writer and the lost downtown he celebrated, through the narration of Esotouric's Richard Schave, the L.A. historian who is the new Director of the Downtown L.A. Art Walk, with his special guest Vickie Fante Cohen, the author's daughter (and bratty teenage heroine of his late short stories).
John Fante was cult hero Charles Bukowski's favorite writer, his "Ask the Dust" was the film Robert Towne wanted to make after "Chinatown" (it finally was made in 2006 starring Colin Farrell, Salma Hayek, and Donald Sutherland) and he is honored with an annual festival in Italy but in 21st Century Los Angeles, his name often gets a shrug. That's too bad, because Fante might be the funniest, most heartwarming, honest and appealing writer to ever take this city as his subject.
Downtown Los Angeles is a neighborhood to watch, with huge crowds attending the monthly Art Walk, and some of the hottest bars and restaurants in the city. But the New Downtown exists on the footprint of a fascinating old neighborhood whose stories are in danger of being lost.
Many of Esotouric's tours are devoted to revealing this lost downtown, from the crimes of Hotel Horrors to the burlesque and freak show delights of Main Street Vice, the secret post war woman's history of The Real Black Dahlia to the architectural anthropology of The Many Downtowns. On JOHN FANTE'S DREAMS OF BUNKER HILL, passengers walk and ride in the footsteps of Fante and his anti-hero Arturo Bandini, from the lost Bunker Hill Victorian rooming houses where Fante starved and dreamed of fame, the main library where he roamed the stacks (and later, where Bukowski discovered "Ask the Dust"), the Skid Row bars where b-girls pocketed his royalty payments, the Grand Central Market where kindly Japanese farmers gave the poor writer free oranges, to the retirement home Angelus Plaza to see Kay Martin's stunning paintings of Bunker Hill's mansions just before the city condemned them.
Get on the bus to bask in the spirit of the weird old L.A. that's not there anymore, where a poor Italian-American Colorado kid could sell a novel, become a screenwriter, and inspire a new generation of writers just by telling the raw and funny truth.
To learn more about Esotouric's forthcoming tour of John Fante's Bunker Hill, visit http://www.esotouric.com/fante
Upcoming Esotouric bus tour schedule
Thurs July 9 - The Hippodrome (Downtown Art Walk Shuttle, free)
Sat July 11 - Raymond Chandler's LA
Sat July 18 - Charles Bukowski's LA
Sat July 25 John Fante's Dreams from Bunker Hill
Sat Aug 1 - The Real Black Dahlia Saturday
Sat Aug 8 - Pasadena Confidential
Thurs Aug 13 - The Hippodrome (Downtown Art Walk Shuttle, free)
Sat Aug 15 - Blood & Dumplings
Sat Aug 22 - Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice
Sat Aug 29 - Reyner Banham Loves LA: The Lowdown on Downtown-The Secret History of LA
Thurs Sept 10 - The Hippodrome (Downtown Art Walk Shuttle, free)
Sat Sept 12 - The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's Southern California Nightmare
Sat Sept 19 - John Buntin's L.A. Noir (debut)
Thurs Oct 8- The Hippodrome (Downtown Art Walk Shuttle, free)
Sat Oct 10 - Wild Wild West Side
Sat Oct 17 Raymond Chandler's Bay City
Sat Oct 31 - Save the date for a Halloween surprise tour!
Sun Nov 1 Reyner Banham Loves LA: South LA
Sat Nov 7 - Charles Bukowski's LA
Thurs Nov 12 - The Hippodrome (Downtown Art Walk Shuttle, free)
Sat Nov 14 - The Real Black Dahlia
Sat December 5 Pasadena Confidential
Thurs Dec 10 - The Hippodrome (Downtown Art Walk Shuttle, free)
Sat December 12 Blood & Dumplings
For more info on Esotouric, visit http://www.esotouric.com