Explore L.A.'s oddball criminal history on the Blood & Dumplings bus tour
WHAT: Esotouric's Blood & Dumplings crime bus tour of the San Gabriel Valley
WHEN: Saturday, December 12, 2009, 12pm-4pm
WHERE: Tour departs from Lincoln Heights/Cypress Gold Line Metro station, 370 W. Ave 26, LA, CA 90031
COST: $63, includes dumplings (vegetarian options available on request)
DISCOUNT TICKETS: The new 6-Pack (single user) and 12-Pack (multi-user) tickets make Esotouric's tours much more affordable. Details at http://www.esotouric.com/6pack
INFO: http://www.esotouric.com or call 323-223-2767
On Saturday, December 12, the eclectic bus adventure company Esotouric presents its most bizarre true crime and cultural history tour, BLOOD & DUMPLINGS. The tour celebrates a surprising side of Los Angeles history not found in tour books.
Starting from the premise that the secret heart of Southern California's weirdo pop culture beats strongest in the Eastern San Gabriel Valley, the tour introduces passengers to such fascinating local characters as the costumed Man from Mars Bandit, eccentric record producer and ladykiller Phil Spector, lion farmers Charles and Muriel Gay, and DIY filmmaking icon Timothy Carey, whose notorious "The World's Greatest Sinner" was shot on location in 1960s El Monte.
Heading due East out of downtown, the tour explores several historic communities that reflect the growth and eccentricity that are hallmarks of 20th century Los Angeles. Crime Bus passengers will discover notorious, strange, fascinating and forgotten tales from the past hundred years, each told at the scene of the crime. They'll thrill to the freakish case of the Man from Mars Bandit who stalked area supermarkets for months in 1951 before meeting his match in a police sharpshooter, shock to discover the deadly infighting among El Monte's hippie-era American Nazi Party members, mourn the Case of the Buried Bride dragged beneath her home on her wedding day by her secret lover, gnash teeth at the famous lion farm (home to every MGM lion) that served lion meat BBQ on special occasions, and view scenes of notorious cases including Phil Spector's spooky hill top castle and James Ellroy's slain mother Geneva (the true-life inspiration for his Black Dahlia novel).
And since no visit to the San Gabriel Valley is complete without a delicious Chinese meal, the Crime Bus will stop at 101 Noodle Express (one of L.A.Weekly critic Jonathan Gold's picks for 99 L.A. restaurants not to be missed) to pick up a dumpling feast, which will be enjoyed picnic-style at Monster Park, a remarkable sea-themed folk art environment recently saved from demolition. There passengers can enjoy their snack in the mouth of a concrete whale, or under a grinning octopus, then pose for photos with the creatures. All this, plus wild shootouts, dope-dealing druggists, missing Salvador Dali paintings and the original "little girl down a well" 1940s television sensation.
Don't miss the Crime Bus tour that guide Kim Cooper calls "My personal favorite of all our tours, packed with more offbeat history,
horror, roadside architecture and fabulous Route 66 vistas than any other."
For more info on Esotouric, visit
Upcoming Esotouric bus tour and event schedule
Sat Nov 7 - Charles Bukowski's LA
Thurs Nov 12 Downtown LA Art Walk w/ FREE Salons & walking tours
Sat Nov 14 - The Real Black Dahlia
Sat December 5 Pasadena Confidential with Crimebo the Clown
Thurs Dec 10 - Downtown LA Art Walk w/ FREE Salons & walking tours
Sat December 12 Blood & Dumplings
Sat January 9 - The Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour
Thurs Jan 14 - Downtown LA Art Walk w/ FREE Salons & walking tours
Sat January 16 - Wild Wild West Side
Sat January 30 - East Side Babylon crime bus tour
Sun Feb 7 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: South LA
Thurs Feb 11 - Downtown LA Art Walk w/ FREE Salons & walking tours
Sat Feb 13 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66
Sat Feb 20 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The New Chinatown
Sat Feb 27 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The Lowdown on Downtown- The Secret History of LA
Sat March 6 - Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice crime bus tour
Thurs March 11 - Downtown LA Art Walk w/ FREE Salons & walking tours
Sat March 13 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles