Thursday, February 23, 2012

UPDATE! DUE TO SELL OUTS NEW DATES & TIMES ADDED TO TOUR DATES! This Weekend's Walking Tours of Historic Downtown Los Angeles

The Last Bookstore Presents….
The Secret Lives of Historic Downtown Los Angeles

Saturdays will have the HISTORIC DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES 101  tour and Sunday will have the HOW LOS ANGLES INVENTED THE WILD WEST (and why no one knows it) tour.

For the next three weekends - see below for days and times) will be two DIFFERENT guided walking tours of Historic Downtown Los Angeles’ secret past, its present - and its future.

All tours begin at THE LAST BOOKSTORE at 453 S. Spring Street in the Spring Arts Tower and will be led by long time Downtown resident Brady Westwater who, besides being involved with the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council, the Historic Downtown BID, Gallery Row, Art Walk, and the BOXeight and the CONCEPT Fashion Weeks, has brought over 150 businesses, artists and non-profit institutions to Downtown.

Tickets now SOLD OUT for both  Saturday February 26th's 11 AM and 2 PM AND Saturday March 3rd 11AM and 2 PM walks of "Historic Downtown Los Angeles 101'.

But tickets are still available for  March 10th again at 11 AM and 2 PM and March 17th at 11AM and 2 PM  for the “Historic Downtown Los Angeles 101” tour that  will be a general introduction to our rapidly developing neighborhood and an overview of the multiple histories of the streets of Broadway, Spring and Main.

Tickets are also still available for the  "How Los Angeles Invented The Wild West (and why no one knows it)" at 11 AM (4 tickets right now) and 2 PM (six tickets right now) Sunday March 4th -  and also March 11th and March 18th at 11 AM and at  2 PM.
If you are a participant in Saturday's 'Historic Downtown Los Angeles 101' Tour, you will see the first motion picture theater built,  the place where Babe Ruth signed his contract with the Yankees, the hotel where Charlie Chaplin lived when he made his early films (and the place where he made his Los Angeles vaudeville debut in 1910) - plus the homes and haunts of everyone from actor Nicholas Cage, the Black Dahlia, Rudolph Valentino, LA’s version of Jack the Ripper, President Teddy Roosevelt, the Night Stalker, western outlaw Emmet Dalton,  actor Ryan Gosling and more.  And you will also visit where O. J. Simpson bought his knife.

You’ll explore an intersection where all four buildings were often visited by gunfighter/sheriff Wyatt Earp since they were all built or occupied by friends of his from Tombstone during the shoot-out at the OK Corral.  At this intersection you will also discover what John Wayne, a prime minister of Italy, Houdini, Winston Churchill, boxer Jack Dempsey, Greta Garbo, President Woodrow Wilson and multiple Mexican boxing champions all had in common here.

You will also see where the first new lofts were opened, the places where Gallery Row and the Art Walk began and where Fashion Week returned to Downtown.  You will see many of the new boutiques, designer showrooms and stores that have recently opened in the area along with getting a sneak preview of what will soon be happening in the area.

And if you take this Sundays. "How Los Angeles Invented The Wild West (and why no one knows it" tour that begins at 11 AM February 26th, you will discover that long before the famed Western cowtowns and mining camps Tombstone, Dodge City, and Deadwood existed, Los Angeles was the first town where everything that happened in the Wild West, happened here first and that everyone from Wyatt Earp to Judge Roy Bean came to Los Angeles first before going east to help start the Wild West .   You will also discover LA was a far ‘wilder’ town than any Western town that followed after it.

And besides ‘inventing’ the original Wild West, Los Angeles also remained part of the Wild West for far longer than other place (from 25 years to over 90 years - compared to the average period of 3 or 4 years to 10 years of most cowtowns) and LA was also one of the few towns built upon both cattle and mining.

Tickets for either tour are only $15 per person - free for children under 8 - and reservations can be made by calling Brady Westwater at 213-804-8396 or emailing  All credit card orders will be processed  at Last Bookstore and cash payments may be made at the start of the tour.   All proceeds will go towards the revitalization and the study of the history of the neighborhood.  

Lastly, future tours will feature specialized areas of interest such as architecture, art of all kinds, shopping and food, single streets, sports (from steer wrestling to luchador wrestlers to a Sumo wrestler), transportation, specific periods of history, the hidden Wild West history of Los Angeles, movie locations, Downtown after hours and many other aspects of the neighborhood.  And custom designed can be developed - by request - for groups of four or more.

We will also be soon starting weekday and evening tours on what it's like to live in Downtown Los Angeles. You will be introduced to the many of stores, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues (and often their owners, too) - along with being given previews of one of a kind special events - so you can get a feel for what it is like to live in Downtown Los Angeles.

We expect this tour to be popular with not only people considering moving to Downtown and people who work in Downtown and who would like to know what to do after hours in Downtown - but also to recent and even long established Downtown residents who want to know more about their neighborhood.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

THE LAST BOOKSTORE Named The Project of the Year in Historic Downtown Los Angeles

In the Downtown Los Angeles News annual awards, Historic Downtown's THE LAST BOOKSTORE was selected as the best development project of the year in our district:

Winner: Last Bookstore

lot of things are important in making a neighborhood a place where people actually come together. Few are as crucial as a bookshop. Although the Historic Core (aka Historic Downtown Los Angeles) last year lost its stalwart Metropolis Books, it scored when Josh Spencer moved his Last Bookstore to a mammoth space at Fifth and Spring streets. The 10,000-square-foot literary emporium is filled with great deals — many of the used tomes cost just $5. The room, meanwhile, reflects and serves its neighborhood, with a funky feel — there’s a taxidermy-style Wooly Mammoth head — amid soaring ceilings. The book business is brutal these days, but this community gathering place does more for the Historic Core than a thousand online retailers will ever do. 

Not mentioned in the article is that THE LAST BOOKSTORE is already expanding - again - and just signed a lease for the entire mezzanine level at the Spring Arts Tower - which will double the amount of space they will have for selling books at the corner of 5th and Spring.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tonight's the Night for the Edwardian Ball at the Belasco Theater!

Tickets for TONIGHT'S EDWARDIAN BALL in Downtown Los Angeles's historic BELASCO THEATER can still be purchased on line!

                                                                                             Order Tickets

The Los Angeles 2012 Line Up features
Edwardian Ball Creators & Co-Hosts
presenting an original staging of ”The Iron Tonic” by Edward Gorey
and of course… YOU!
Emcee’d by
Vegas E. Trip
LA Art Curation by Debi Cable
Kevin Rolly – photography (web)    Lilli Muller – body installation (web)
Raquel Lopez – fabric installation (facebook)    Gabe Leonard – artwork (web)
Sean Boones – live painting! (facebook)    Amy Kaps – performance art (web)
James Stewart – red art paintings (web)    Ashley Bowers – live painting, artwork (facebook)
Michael Pukac – live painting, artwork (web)    Gypsy – live painting, artwork (web)
Michael Stubbs – artwork (web)    Shira Loa – sculpture (web)
Joseph Fernandez – sculpture (facebook)    Nicole Fornier – photography (web)
David Haskel – sculpture (facebook)    Jason Sarrow – blacklight /crystal installation
Ryan Patterson – “Lets Play Dead” installation (website)    Chango – sculpture (facebook)
Debi Cable – artwork and installation (website)    Richard Wilks – big sculpture(website)

ANNOUNCING! Our 2012 Performers & Features!

Featuring… Edwardian Ball Creators & Co-Hosts
Performing an Original Presentation of Edward Gorey’s “The Iron Tonic”
And don’t miss…
NEW! Tours through the Museum of Wonders (The Edwardian Odditorium) (Both Nights)
NEW! Animated FLIP-BOOK Photo Booth (Both Nights)
Ballroom Dancing (Saturday Only!)
Barbary Midway Gaming (Friday Only!)
Vendor Bazaar & Piano Saloon (Both Nights)
And much more in store…!

Visit LA's First LA ZINE FEST at Downtown's THE LAST BOOKSTORE!


453 S. Spring Street at 5th and Spring!

The first LA Zine fest will span two levels, include 60-plus exhibitors, zine making workshop with Grrl-Zines-A-Go-Go, a panel moderated by Machine Project on how to run your own DIY art space with panelists from The SmellSynchronicity SpaceEcho Curio, and Home Room, interview of V. Vale of RE/Search Publications by Henry Rollins, and much more!

Panel is at 11:30am on the Last Bookstore stage.
Vendor floor in the Mezzanine closes at 5:00 p.m., with live bands rocking The Last Bookstore stage afterwards, sponsored by L.A. Record.
Entry to the Zine Fest is FREE to the public.
Check out the full list of exhibitors here, at the

2012 Exhibitors

4AllEyes Zine
A Book A Week
Adam Roth
Adam Villacin
Allison Krumwiede
Amanda Makes Comics
Andy Ristaino
Autopilot Press
Ayun Halliday/East Village Inky
Band of Outsiders
Bianca Barragan
Bombshell Comics & Hello World Zine
Brainscan/Stolen Sharpie Revolution/Small World Buttons
The Braskis
Brass Tacks Press
Carrie McNinch
Champoy Hate
Crossroads School
Daisy Noemi
The Devastator
The Doktor is In
Doodling Nerd
Double Fur Press
Drippy Bone Books
Edward Bolman
Emilio’s Pocket
Emily Alden Foster
Eyeball Burp
Foolish Heart
Gabrielle Gamboa
Galatea’s Pants
Ginger Rabbit Studio
Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go
Gulahlah Comics
Home Room
I Love Bad Movies
Igloo Tornado
Impossible Moon
Josh Crampton
J.T. Steiny
Jed McGowan
Jennie Yim
Jennifer Tong
Jesse Tise, Brad Lynn, Liz Mamont & Javier Ramirez
Jon Barba
Jon Clark
Jon Vermilyea
Kelli Callis
Library Sciences
Luke Mahan / Selfish Steam
Malachi Ward
Mari Naomi
MARS Design
Meltdown University
Meredith Wallace
Michel Valdes
Most Ancient
My Little Friend Zine/Eryca
Never Press
No Girls Allowed Records
No Kings
Nowhere Place
OMGCow: A Diary Comic
Pentagram Press
Peter Lorre Is Dead Productions
Punk Tree Records & Distro
Red Forest Distro
Revival House Press
Robin Enrico
Rhea Tepplim
Secret Headquarters
Seite Books
Shako Art
She’s Not A Morning Person
Shako Art
Simon Sotelo
Sparkplug Books
Super Secret Pow Wow
Super Trooper
Synchronicity Space
Thi Bui
¡Three Amigos Press!
Tom Neely
Tomas Moniz (Rad Dad Zine)
Tugboat Press
Ultraculture Comix
V. Vale
Van Patten Art
The Wonderful World of Rolnik
Xmas on TV
Yumi Sakugawa
Zebratron Friendship Association