Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Esotouric offers L.A. Noir bus tour weekend May 19 and 20

Book An L.A. Noir Weekend touring Raymond Chandler's city and San Gabriel
Valley murder scenes

WHAT: Esotouric's mid-May L.A. Noir bus tour weekend featuring RAYMOND

WHEN: Raymond Chandler tour is Saturday, May 19, 11:30am-3:30pm; Blood &
Dumplings tour is Sunday, May 20, 12-4pm

WHERE: Raymond Chandler tour departs from the Los Angeles Athletic Club, 431
West 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014. Blood & Dumplings departs from
Nick's Cafe, 1300 N Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

COST: Raymond Chandler tour is $58/person and includes coffee and cookies,
Blood & Dumplings tour is $62 and includes dumplings

INFO: , 213-373-1947

This May 19th and 20th, the eclectic bus adventure company
Esotouric offers a weekend's worth of tours that delve deep into L.A.'s noir
past, from the fictional spaces inhabited by Raymond Chandler's legendary
1940s detective Philip Marlowe to the real-life horrors of the San Gabriel
Valley's true crime scenes. Take one tour or both and you'll get a memorable
experience deep inside the dark side of the City of Angels, and disembark
with some wild tales to tell. The tours play out in this order:

Esotouric's Raymond Chandler delves deep into a lost city that exists in
shadowy parallels to contemporary LA.

Bungalows. Crime. Hollywood. Blondes. Vets. Smog. Death. This was Raymond
Chandler¹s city, which resonated from deft and melancholy fits of his
writer¹s bow. Join Esotouric on an exploration of the city that shaped
Chandler's fiction, and that in turn shaped his hard-boiled times, in a four
hour tour of downtown, Hollywood and surrounding environs: Musso & Frank,
Union Station, the Hotel Van Nuys, Paramount Studio¹s gates, and beyond.
Through published work, private correspondence, screenplays and film
adaptations, the tour traces Chandler¹s search for meaning and his anti-hero
Philip Marlowe¹s struggle to not be pigeonholed or give anything less than
all he has, which lead them both down the rabbit hole of isolation,
depression, and drink.

Get on the bus for a revealing time travel journey into the literary history
of Los Angeles, and discover the places and people who inspired Raymond
Chandler's timeless novels, screenplays and stories. And as a special treat,
the tour's complementary snack break features a selection of noir-themed
gelato flavors from the creative kitchen of Tai Kim's Scoops, the most
interesting and acclaimed ice cream shop in Los Angeles. Scoops doesn't
announce the featured flavors in advance, but Chandleresque offerings on
past tours have have included Coffee/Jack Daniels, Bacon/Caramel,
Guinness/Chocolate and even Nicotine (made with Nicorette gum)!

Ask most people to name a true crime location in Los Angeles and you'll hear
about Nicole Brown's Brentwood condo, the Manson Murders scene in the
Hollywood Hills, the Black Dahlia's disappearance from the Biltmore Hotel or
Bugsy Siegel's Beverly Hills death house. But when the crack researchers of
Esotouric go crime hunting, they throw out the map to the stars homes and
cast their eye to less glamorous L.A. neighborhoods that prove to be packed
with bizarre crime histories. True crime buffs have already heard the famous
stories a dozen times before on cable TV, but the forgotten crimes Esotouric
digs up are fresh, fascinating and truly chilling.

Case in point, that most demented crime bus tour: BLOOD AND DUMPLINGS.
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 hilltop castle and James Ellroy's slain mother Geneva (the
true-life inspiration for his "The 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 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 folk art
playground environment recently saved from demolition and named a State
monument. 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."

Upcoming Esotouric bus tour and special event schedule (free events starred)
*Fri April 27 - The Trial of Mary Dugan (info at
Sat April 28 - Special event: Maja's Mysteries: Rapture & Release
Mon April 30 - The LAVA Salon at Musso & Frank featuring John Buntin (info
*Sun May 6 - Sunnyside Mausoleum Tile, Architecture and History tour (info
*Sun May 6 - Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum tour (info at
*Thurs May 17 - Union Rescue Mission Walking Tour: 121 years on Skid Row
(info at
*Thurs May 17 - Of Scrap & Steel: free rooftop screening of rare 1949 color
film (info at
Sat May 19 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
Sun May 20 ­ Blood & Dumplings crime bus tour
*Sun May 27 - The Flâneur & The City: Hill Street walking tour (info at
*Mon May 28 - Savannah Cemetery tour (info at
Sat June 2 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The Lowdown on Downtown
Sun June 3 - Crime lab seminar: The Killer Behind the Camera (info at
Sat June 9 - Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice
Sat June 16 - The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's Southern California
*Sun June 17 - El Ranchito: Tour of Pio Pico's Historic Whittier Adobe (info
Sat June 23 - Weird West Adams
Sat July 14 - Pasadena Confidential (weekend pass available)
Sun July 15 - Eastside Babylon (weekend pass available)
Sat July 28 - The Real Black Dahlia
Sat August 4 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66 (weekend pass
Sun August 5 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: South LA (weekend pass
Sat August 11 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
Sat August 18 - Haunts of A Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles
Sat August 25 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Boyle Heights & The San
Gabriel Valley

Esotouric's Richard Schave, Kim Cooper and Joan Renner are proud members of
LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association.

For more info on Esotouric, visit

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