A Look at Los Angeles Before It Was Tinsel Town

“Lights, camera, action!”

We all know that phrase keeps the film rolling in Hollywood. However, long before the glitz and glamor of Tinsel Town made Southern California famous, photo-worthy moments happened here. You can still capture a few of them on camera in some of Los Angeles’ best spots for photos.

Prehistoric Los Angeles

Before it was Hollywood, LA had its share of big-time actors. Today, some of the biggest are immortalized at the La Brea Tar Pits. Yes, one of the world’s most famous fossil finds is right in the heart of the city at 5801 Wilshire Boulevard. The amazingly preserved skeletons of mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and giant sloths have been waiting patiently for their photo opportunities since being trapped in the tar up to 50,000 years ago. That’s a long time to wait for their big break!

More recently, The George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries has exhibited these stars. Now we can all get a good close-up of these famed fossil celebrities.

In our imaginations, we envisioned these creatures sinking into a quicksand pool. However, our guide explained the process of their petrifaction as something more similar to being trapped on an enormous sheet of flypaper than to languishing in a lake of liquid goop. First, an animal would get stuck. Then others would arrive, thinking they had gotten a free and easy meal. Before long a whole group, sometimes dozens, would be trapped.

Over time, the oily ooze fossilized the bones, preserving the entire scene, almost as if it was caught on film. Once the ice age and the exotic headliners that starred in it were left long in the past, a settlement sprang up just a few miles to the east of the pits.

The City of Angels

Tucked in among the freeways and skyscrapers of downtown and right across from the Union Station train depot, the tiny pedestrian lane of Olvera Street is known as the Birthplace of Los Angeles. More precisely, Don Fernando Rivera y Moncada and 44 Spanish settlers arrived from Mexico and established El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de la Porciúncula in 1781.

As a part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, the cobblestone block known as Olvera Street includes several of the oldest surviving structures in LA, including the Avila Adobe and Sepúlveda House. These landmarks are nestled in among quaint little shops overflowing with every kind of colorful keepsake imaginable. Flamboyant flowers, dresses, guitars, dolls, piñatas, ponchos, rugs, sombreros, and glitzy wrestling masks make a fantastic backdrop for one-of-a-kind photos.

Then, when all of that shutter snapping helps you work up an appetite, nothing tops the original taquitos sold at Cielito Lindo on the end of Olvera Street. Since this shop opened in 1934, it has spanned the timeline between old Los Angeles and new Hollywood, so it’s possible that a few movie stars have stopped by.

Could taquitos be the unknown key to Tinsel Town’s fame?

We are happy to present this collaborative post to offer valuable information to our readers.

Did you enjoy what you just read? Then you'll LOVE our book!
Going Gypsy: One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All Going Gypsy One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All 

- See how it all began!
ORDER NOW - Wherever Books Are Sold!
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - IndieBound - Books-a-Million
Also available as an audiobook from Audible.com

25 thoughts on “A Look at Los Angeles Before It Was Tinsel Town”

  1. Pretty nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really loved browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing for your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  2. I was more than happy to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks on your time for this excellent read!! I definitely enjoying every little little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you weblog post.

  3. I seldom leave a response, but i did a few searching and wound up here . And I do have a couple of questions for you if you usually do not mind. Could it be just me or does it look like some of the remarks come across like coming from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are writing at other online social sites, I’d like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Could you make a list of every one of your communal sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  4. Itreally a cool and useful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  5. That sure is one pretty site you have there. Can I ask you a very simple question? What kind of fertilizer do you use to make it grow so wonderfully?

  6. Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog centered on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  7. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appeal. I must say you’ve done a excellent job with this. In addition, the blog loads very quick for me on Internet explorer. Exceptional Blog!

  8. Wonderful photographs and a great read. I remember having a discussion similar to this with my dad-in-law sometime back where we debated how cities are not what they used to be. It’s great to learn and hear from people who have different opinions. As a traveller, it makes me look at a place with different angles and that’s what I love. Thanks for writing.

  9. Nice post, photographs are amazing ones. Thanks for sharing this post this is really very nice and amazing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.