Year in Review: The Places I’ve Gone

Before I fully dive into the new year, I always reflect on the last one, listing  accomplishments, milestones, challenges, disappointments, etc. While these reflections  remain private, I did want to document here some of the historic and/or notable places I moved through this year. This is definitely not an exhaustive list but just a few highlights to remind myself how I spent my 2018.

Built in 1875, Rapp Saloon was the first brick structure in Santa Monica and was designated a historic landmark 100 years after it was built. More info via the Santa Monica Conservancy: 

Million Dollar Theatre
Celebrated the 100th anniversary of DTLA’s Million Dollar Theatre a few days early at the annual “Night on Broadway” on January 27, 2018. The historic theatre opened on February 1, 1918.
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Ten months have passed and I’m still heartbroken about the closing of the Caravan Book Store in February 2018. When Leonard announced he was closing, I made many trips to soak up as much history as possible.
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My first time eating at this historic restaurant, which originally opened in 1931. More about El Coyote:
Los Angeles City Hall was not the only city hall to celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2018. San Pedro’s old City Hall was also built in 1928.
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Couldn’t resist photographing La Placita Church with this low-rider posing in front of it in March. When the driver saw me with camera, he smiled and turned on his hydraulics.
It only took me three years but I finally made it to The Broad.
Celebrating the 90th anniversary of Los Angeles City Hall in April from atop City Hall with the new book about this historic landmark.
Having a birthday donut at my local landmark the Donut Hole.
Santa Anita Race Track - Art Deco
I try to visit the Santa Anita Race Track once a season as it has one of the best views of the San Gabriel Mountains.
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In May, the Arboretum Library hosted its first Party in the Stacks. I absolutely love this library!
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A spring-time peek at the construction of Metro’s Regional Connector.
Felt like a giant over this miniature version of Hollywood, which was on display at Hollywood Heritage.
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Celebrated the life of surfer Nick Gabaldon at the historic Ink Well in Santa Monica.
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In June, the historic Pascual Marquez Family Cemetery (established in 1839) was dedicated in Santa Monica.
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Union Station’s Train Fest in July.
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Enjoyed a rare visit to Disneyland & California Adventure and was fascinated (and a bit pained) by the recreated LA landmarks.
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In August, the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society hosted an open house at the Waffle House (built in 1889).
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The August view atop the Metropolitan Water District in La Verne.
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Kayaked the Los Angeles River in August (near Sepulveda Basin).
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Celebrated Biddy Mason’s 200th birthday in August.
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Visited Route 66 at the Los Angeles County Fair in September.
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The golden spike was driven on Lang Station on September 5, 1876. I happened to be passing through this site on its 142nd anniversary.
Stayed at the Benicia Hotel while in the California Delta. This stained glass window commemorates the fact the Benicia was briefly the capitol of California from 1853-1854.
Loved driving over all the bridges along the California Delta!
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Spent an afternoon researching at the California State Library.
Paid my respects to the California State Capitol.
Ate dinner right next to an old mine shaft at the Smith Flat House, built in 1853 in Placerville, California.
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Spent a warm September afternoon looking for gold. ☺️
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Started my 10-hour road trip home by driving toward Highway 395, past South Lake Tahoe.
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On that long drive home, I stopped by Mary Austin’s house in Independence the day after what would’ve been her 150th birthday (she was born September 9, 1868).
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When I went to visit an old friend on Dilling Street, I never thought I would also visit the Brady Bunch house.
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Kicked off the 100th birthday celebration of the Los Angeles Philharmonic on September 27, 2018.
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Later that night of September 27, 2018, I also celebrated the 100th birthday of Jazz legend Gerald Wilson at the Catalina Jazz Club.
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Celebrated LA at the Philharmonic & CicLAVia’s joint street party on September 30, 2018. Music & whimsy were everywhere.
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Attended the 25th anniversary of the reopening of the Los Angeles Public Library because that is one of my favorite buildings in the city.
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Can’t believe I had never been to the historic Smoke House in Burbank!
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Seeing the Triforium come alive was definitely one of my October highlights. Kudos to the Triforium Project team!
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Toasted to El Cholo on its 95th anniversary. Here’s to 95 more!!
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I did not attend Los Angeles High School, but it felt like I did after finishing a project related to the first high school in Los Angeles.
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Bittersweet to say goodbye to one of the landmarks of my Echo Park childhood. While I will deeply miss this theater and its location, the folks who now manage the Bob Baker Marionette Theater have such grand plans that I smile at its future.
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Spent the last night of 2018 with a couple of my favorite people at the Descanso Gardens.






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