Staycation, Route 66 Style: bus tour reveals the retro jewels in L.A.'s backyard
WHAT: Esotouric's 5-tour February architecture and urbanism series, REYNER BANHAM LOVES L.A., continues with ROUTE 66 (2/19, 11am-3pm) and the debut of BOYLE HEIGHTS (2/20, 11am-3pm)
WHERE/WHEN: ROUTE 66 departs 11am from Cafe Metropol, Downtown; BOYLEHEIGHTS departs 11am from Clifton's Cafeteria, Downtown
WEEKEND TOUR PACKAGES: Enjoy two days of architectural Los Angeles bus tourism, and save $30 with a weekend pass, details at the link below:
COST: $58/person, or just $45 with a weekend pass
INFO: http://www.esotouric.com, 323-223-2767
Savvy travelers know that the most incredible adventures are often found close to home. This February, join Esotouric, the offbeat bus adventure company whose tours reveal the secret heart of Los Angeles, as they host an excursion deep into the suburban San Gabriel Valley just east of Los Angeles, along America's most historic highway, Route 66.
Because if you think the best of Route 66 is hundreds of miles from L.A., you'd best think again. When Esotouric's Route 66 bus tour departs from Cafe Metropol in downtown on February 19, passengers are in for a four-hour tour packed with stunning retro jewels plucked from L.A.'s own backyard.
On the ROUTE 66 tour, hosted by Richard Schave, several dozen intrepid urban explorers will board a luxury coach class bus and head due East along the old Mother Road (an affectionate nickname for historic Route 66) to explore how Southern California welcomed newcomers for much of the 20th Century.
Route 66 only exists today in small fragments, but many of the unique attractions that dotted its length survive and flourish today.
Get on the bus to explore the real Southland, as no one but Esotouric's Richard Schave can reveal it. Richard's unique expertise on unknown Los Angeles has seen him as a featured guide on television's "Globe Trekker"(Grand Central Market) and "Cities of the Underworld" (downtown's prohibition-era tunnels) and speaking at the Canadian Centre for Architecture and Hammer Museum. And five times in February, he'll be exploring a different section of the city, following in the footsteps of his mentor, architectural critic Reyner Banham.
ABOUT THE REYNER BANHAM LOVES L.A. TOUR SERIES:
Esotouric's February architecture and urbanism tour series includes THE NEW CHINATOWNS (Saturday, February 5), SOUTH LA (Sunday, February 6), ROUTE 66 (Saturday, February 19), the debut of BOYLE HEIGHTS (Sunday, February 20) and THE LOWDOWN ON DOWNTOWN (Saturday, February 26), with $30 off discount tickets for weekend packages on February 5/6 and February 19/20. Inspired bythe British architectural critic Reyner Banham, who host Richard Schave studied under at UC Santa Cruz, the REYNER BANHAM LOVES LOS ANGELES series offers a fresh way of looking at the urban web of history, mass transit, migration and mystery that somehow holds L.A. together.
The ROUTE 66 (Saturday, February 19) tour explores California's original mass transit corridor and the building of its dream, from climate to citrus industry, TB hospitals to candyflake car culture. Highlights in the February 2011 edition of ROUTE 66 include a tour of E. WALDO WARD FARM (the oldest surviving commercial citrus facility in LA, where passengers can buy scrumptious preserves and almond-filled olives to take home), a stroll through Robert Stacy Judd's 1924 masterpiece THE AZTEC HOTEL (and yes, it's haunted), a swing around the homes of the feuding SLAUSON SISTERS tucked among vast cleared fields awaiting new development (hidden gems of Azusa lore and family dynamics, and a reminder of how fragile ecologies fall to the incessant crush of progress). Passengers will also tour the seldom-seen Civil War-era FAIRMOUNT CEMETERY and view the evocative BUNGALOWS of old Monrovia accompanied by host Richard Schave's lively rendition of a vintage bungalow booster tune.
The Reyner Banham Loves LA series of Esotouric bus adventures provides fresh ways of seeing the Southland and mingling with fascinating fellow travelers, and are a must for urban explorers, architecture buffs, curious locals, daring tourists, and anyone who enjoys turning over rocks to reveal the secrets beneath. Come ride and see for yourself.
Upcoming Esotouric bus tour and special event schedule
Sun Jan 30 - LAVA's Sunday Salon at Clifton's Cafeteria (free, info at www.lavatransforms.org)
Sat Jan 30 - The Science and Art of Forensic Investigations: Criminalistics from Test Tube to Testimony (info at www.lavatransforms.org)
Sat Feb 5 - Reyner Banham Loves LA: The New Chinatowns (weekend package available)
Sun Feb 6 - Reyner Banham Loves LA: South LA (weekend package available)
Sun Feb 13 - The Science and Art of Forensic Investigations: Criminalistics from Test Tube to Testimony (info at www.lavatransforms.org)
Sat Feb 19 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66 (weekend package
Sat Feb 20 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Boyle Heights (debut, weekend
Sat Feb 26 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The Lowdown on Downtown-TheSecret History of Los Angeles
Sat March 5 - Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice crime bus tour
Sat March 12 - Eastside Babylon crime bus tour (weekend package available)
Sun March 13 - Blood & Dumplings crime bus tour (weekend package available)
Sat March 19 - Pasadena Confidential crime bus tour
Sat April 9 John Fante's Dreams from Bunker Hill
Sun April 10 Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's L.A
Esotouric's Richard Schave, Kim Cooper and Joan Renner are proud members of LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association.
For more on Reyner Banham, see
And the BBC documentary "Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles"