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Matthew Perry lists sleek Sunset Strip pad for $13.5M

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An infinity pool and shimmering city views

Those Friends residuals must be hefty. Matthew Perry owns a midcentury stunner in the exclusive Bird Streets pocket of the Hollywood Hills, and he just listed it for $13.5 million.

The Los Angeles Times suggests the actor isn’t holding onto the place, because he’s spending a lot of time outside of LA while working on the play The End of Longing, which he wrote and stars in.

His house has been updated with an infinity pool, screen room, and contemporary fixtures. But the walls of glass and blended indoor/outdoor spaces look to be holdouts from 1962, when the home, located above the Sunset Strip, was constructed. It comes in at three bedrooms and five baths, and from the living room, you can see straight out over the city and to the bay.

In Pacific Palisades, Rick Caruso will revive 1940s-era Bay Theatre as a fancy Cinépolis

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The new theater will feature a marquee inspired by the old movie house

Shopping mall developer Rick Caruso announced Thursday that he has found an operator to bring a movie theater to Pacific Palisades for the first time since 1978, when the neighborhood’s strikingly-designed Bay Theatre shuttered.

The new Bay Theatre by Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas will hold five screens with reclining leather chairs, reserved seating, and in-seat call buttons for full food and bar service. The company has theaters in a handful of suburban neighborhoods across Southern California, including Laguna Niguel, Pico Rivera, and Westlake Village.

 Courtesy of Santa Monica Public Library Digital Collections
The Bay Theatre on opening night in 1949.

“We are inspired by the nostalgia of our new location and the community that Palisades Village will create, and are honored to contribute to this valued connection between family and friends, ”Cinépolis USA CEO Adrian Mijares Elizondo says.

Caruso, who’s building a Grove-style open-air mall in downtown Pacific Palisades, had promised residents he’d bring back the Bay Theatre as part of his development. His Palisades Village is scheduled to open next summer.

The new theater will incorporate the Bay Theatre’s name, and its big marquee will look sort of like the old movie house’s.

Designed by prolific theater architect S. Charles Lee and opened in 1948, the Bay Theatre “was the only theater north of Santa Monica, so it was always very busy.” Shortly after it closed, it was converted into a hardware store.

 Courtesy of Santa Monica Public Library Digital Collections
The Bay Theatre, photographed in 1953, with its marquee advertising John Wayne in “The Fighting Kentuckian”

Hikes in Los Angeles: 8 trails with spectacular endings

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From moonlight hikes to shady trails near the beach

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2014 and has been updated with the most recent information.

Los Angeles’s wealth of outdoors activities is no secret, and now that summer is here, it’s a good time to get out of the house and enjoy that sun.

Hiking is a great, cheap way to enjoy the fresh air and fantastic weather, but for those more reluctant hikers—folks who need a little carrot to dangle in front of them as they trudge up a hill—we’ve compiled a list of Los Angeles-area hikes that all come with spectacular sights along the way or at the end: waterfalls, stunning views, unique leftovers from heydays as a filming site. So bribe friends and family by promising them a cool dip in a waterfall, or a selfie with some leftovers of a M*A*S*H episode, and hit the trails.

Since it’s summertime, be extra vigilant for rattlesnakes and pack more water than you anticipate needing. This list of hiking essentials is a good way to prepare for even the shortest of walks in the wilderness.

Now, time to hit the trail!


1. Malibu Creek State Park

A post shared by Nina Bonina (@lionfishnina) on Jun 20, 2017 at 11:45am PDT

Hikes in Malibu Creek State Park have Hollywood connections, as the park includes areas that were used to shoot M*A*S*H and South Pacific. There are some rusted Army Jeeps and other signs of filming here, and it seems like every hiker who passes through stops to have her picture taken with one of the rusty relics.

A post shared by it me (@imnotcrazyimchilling) on Jun 21, 2017 at 8:13am PDT

The hike to this point and back is under 5 miles round-trip and gains less than 200 feet of elevation, making it a pretty good trip for families with kids who can be coerced onto the trail.

Heads up: You will have to pay the $12 entrance fee to park in the lot if you want to start the hike at Crags Road; the trailheads for South Grassland Trail and Cistern Trail are both close to free parking. Hikespeak offers good directions with pictures here.

2. Echo Mountain

A post shared by Fleet Feet Burbank (@ffburbank) on Jun 20, 2017 at 3:56pm PDT

Want to have a picnic among some picturesque ruins? The trail to Altadena’s Echo Mountain will make you work for it. Beginning at the very top of Lake Avenue and through a big, beautiful gate, the 5-mile (round-trip) trail is all steep-ish switchbacks and little shade, but it is very well-maintained. It’s also peopled enough that a solo hiker can feel secure.

The reward is a dynamic history exhibit and shaded, very spread-out picnic space left over from the resort that used to be on the site.

A post shared by Joe Miranda (@joejandm) on Jun 12, 2017 at 12:18pm PDT

There are also large pieces of the dismantled Mt. Lowe Railroad that once brought resort-bound vacationers here, and an old metal echo phone; yell into it and have your words bounce off the mountains back to you. Amazing! Click over to SoCal Hiker for image-heavy directions.

3. Wildwood Canyon

A post shared by Alexander M. (@ace_of_knaves) on Jun 11, 2017 at 6:26pm PDT

Burbank’s Wildwood Canyon offers an easy-to-moderate 2-mile loop, with a peak providing sweaty explorers some amazing city views and a permanent reclining chair/memorial on which to kick back and relax until it’s time to carry on.

There are picnic grounds, restrooms, and drinking water off of Wildwood Canyon Road, too, so you can compare photos and munch post-hike snacks while you sit down and cool off. Get there early, though: The park closes at sundown.

4. Eaton Canyon

A post shared by Stacey (@staceyanne___) on Jun 22, 2017 at 12:07am PDT

Eaton Canyon’s lower waterfall is looking fairly robust right now, likely thanks to snowmelt. (The upper falls are closed indefinitely.) The hike to the falls is relatively shady and relatively flat—the roughly 3-mile round-trip hike only gains about 375 feet.

A post shared by Grimm (@grimmacethedog) on Jun 20, 2017 at 8:57pm PDT

Start hiking from the nature center, where there are restrooms, water, and people to talk to about the trails. This is a really nice novice hike or ideal for a day when you don’t feel like being in pain later.

5. Murphy Ranch

By now, a lot of people know about Murphy Ranch—the compound built by 1930s Nazi sympathizers in Malibu’s Rustic Canyon that was eventually supposed to have enough self-contained infrastructure to provide for a small town’s worth of people. But who has really gone through the trouble of seeing the place for themselves?

This generally flat hike comes in at just under 4 miles and starts only a few miles from the 405. The grounds are graffiti-covered but the structures that were built are still mostly in one piece (or in discernible pieces), and there are staircases and gates still standing, too. It was rumored last year that the buildings were being torn down, but photos show that it remains a really well-preserved site in a beautiful setting. Hikespeak provides detailed directions from the start of the trail.

6. Mount Wilson

A post shared by Scott F. Goldberg (@shockgold) on Jun 21, 2017 at 10:29pm PDT

If all of the trails above seem too tame, there’s always the hike from Sierra Madre’s Chantry Flats to Mt. Wilson, which is a punishing but beautiful trail about 7 miles up with a 4,200-mile gain in elevation. Lots of people do this hike as conditioning, to work up to bigger peaks.

One great reward at the end—if you’re up for it by then—is the Mount Wilson Observatory’s weekend tours. They start promptly at 1 p.m. and offer visitors a chance to see the 100-inch telescope. You can catch it if you start the hike early enough, a good idea anyway because the parking at Chantry Flat fills up fast.

Added bonuses for visiting the Observatory are the snack shack, which offers cold drinks and food you might buy at a local softball game (chili dogs, Fritos, etc.) and restrooms. Plus, at the parking lot right below the Observatory, some kind soul might be waiting in a car to take your tired bones home.

The lot is about 30 minutes north of La Cañada. Cars parked in the lot will need a $5 day-use Adventure Pass, available for purchase at multiple locations.

Hikers could also continue back down for an approximately 14-mile hike, if desired. Detailed directions here.

7. Solstice Canyon

Solstice Canyon is a popular hike and with good reason: The trail takes hikers past waterfalls, the ruins of a burned-out Paul R. Williams mansion called Tropical Terrace, and the remains of what was once believed to be the oldest building in Malibu.

The National Park Service maintains a great website with directions to the trailhead and a downloadable map. If you go up the Rising Sun Trail and down the Solstice Canyon Trail to the TRW Trail, as suggested by Robert Stone in his book Day Hikes Around Los Angeles, it’s about 6 miles total. ModernHiker takes a slightly different route.

8. Mount Baldy

A post shared by Ethan (@elgreenblatt) on Jun 11, 2017 at 7:36pm PDT

Out in the Inland Empire, Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts hosts a bi-monthly summertime series called Moonlight Hikes, which employs barbecue to get people to hike 2.5 miles and gain about 1,300 feet of elevation. They also offer tickets that include one-way or round-trip rides on the ski lift to the top, for those who can’t or don’t want to hike.

The hike itself isn’t an outrageous challenge and the reward here is the amazing far-and-wide views of city lights, live music, and, of course, that barbecue.

Tickets run about $25 ($30 at the door), depending on whether or not you elect to ride the ski lifts. They can be purchased online.

Metro approves $1.4B construction plan for Gold Line extension to Claremont

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The project will break ground in October

Residents of the Inland Empire should soon have another way of getting to and from Los Angeles—but maybe not as soon as they expected.

Metro’s Board of Directors approved a $1.4 billion budget Thursday to extend the Gold Line from its current terminus in Azusa to Claremont, 11.5 miles to the east.

The extension is one of many transit projects set to be funded through Measure M, the sales tax hike approved by LA County voters in November. It will be the first rail project funded by the measure.

Along the way to Claremont, stops will be constructed at Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, and Pomona. Eventually, the train will reach Montclair, in San Bernardino County, but funding for that leg of the route will have to come from elsewhere.

According to the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority, which Metro has contracted to build the project, San Bernardino County officials are still weighing funding options for the final stretch of the project.

Construction workers will break ground on the project in October, with the full extension expected to open by 2027. That’s four years after the 2023 opening date originally projected for the project, but Metro announced in January that relocation of track used by freight and Metrolink trains and other obstacles would cause significant delays.

Under the Measure M spending plan, the extension is set to receive $1.02 billion in sales tax revenue. According to a release from Metro, the agency will fill in the funding gap with a combination of savings from past projects and a $249 million grant that Metro is hoping to receive from the state.

Metro estimates that the completed train line will carry riders from Montclair to Pasadena in a little over 40 minutes. The trip to Los Angeles will take around 75 minutes.

Meanwhile, construction on Metro’s Regional Connector project is already underway. The 1.9-mile tunnel below Downtown LA will allow the Expo Line to merge with the southern portion of the Gold Line, while the northern stretch of the Gold Line (the one being extended to Montclair) will connect with the Blue Line to Long Beach.

The Wilshire Grand—LA’s tallest tower—opens today

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Its distinctive sail-shaped top was inspired by Yosemite’s Half Dome

The Wilshire Grand Center—which opens to the public today—narrowly eclipses the U.S. Bank Tower as the tallest skyscraper in Los Angeles. But what might stand out to Angelenos more than the height is the tower’s ornamental top.

It is the first Downtown high-rise to be built since Los Angeles City Hall in 1928 that will not have a flat roof. Instead, at its apex, is a glass “crown” and light-up spire that rises above the 73rd floor. It’s because of that unique, decorative roofline that Los Angeles is home to the tallest skyscraper west of Chicago.

The crown is often described as looking like a sail, but the shape of its curve was actually inspired by Half Dome, a massive granite formation in Yosemite Valley.

Los Angeles boasts world-famous landmarks, the Hollywood Sign and the Santa Monica Pier, for instance, but it has never really been known for its skyline. If other architects take advantage of the city’s 2014 decision to allow spires, slanted roofs, and other innovative shapes, that might not be the case forever.

The Wilshire Grand holds restaurants, stores, offices and a hotel, and, in honor of its opening, here are five fun things to know about the glassy giant.


The California-inspired design

“There is a reference architecturally to Half Dome, as well as the glass skylight forming the Merced River at the base of the mountain,” Architect Chris Martin tells KCRW. (His firm, AC Martin, by the way, helped design LA’s handsome City Hall.)

The skylight that Martin references is a steel cage wrapped in 475 glass panels. It swoops over the tower’s first-floor entrance like a ribbon, and it is one of the first things riders of LA’s transit system see when they disembark from 7th Street/Metro Center.

Martin says he visits Yosemite every year and that chairman of Korean Air, which owns the skyscraper, has an affection for the U.S. and its national parks. Martin says they “all went to Yosemite together early on in the project.”

The glare

The owners the Ernst & Young Plaza, just south of the Wilshire Grand, have claimed that the new glimmering facade is reflecting a lot of light and creating “thermal heat gain” at its plaza. The Wilshire Grand is wrapped in a type of glass called VRE 1-38, the same glass used on the facade of the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas, which generated a beam of light so hot that it signed a guest’s hair and melted plastic cups.

In November, an expert told us that that the Wilshire Grand will produce some vexing glares, but no “serious heat stuff.” That’s because the Wilshire Grand tower is convex, while the Vdara is concave.

The ‘Times Square of the West’

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIRpDT3RCKk?rel=0&controls=2&start=16]

The crown and the building’s “spine” are equipped with LED lights that can display mesmerizing, neon colors—and advertisements. In 2011, the City Council unanimously signed off on allowing the top of the tower to feature “digital signs promoting the buildings’ owner and major tenants.” On the lower floors, “noncommercial images such as flowers and vines … [can] fade in and out.”

The Wilshire Grand won’t be the only new high-rise in DTLA equipped with flashy digital signs. There are a handful of new towers in the works that will also be equipped with big digital billboards. They could very well make the neighborhood near LA Live the “Times Square of the West,” says LAist.

The soaring sky lobby

If you’re not a hotel guest or an officer worker, how will you be able to interact with the building? Namely via the restaurants and bars.

Eater LA says the open-air outdoor bar on the top of the property will be, “the most elevated position for enjoying a cocktail anywhere in the city, and for many, many miles around.” Renderings have shown the bar will be encased in glass panels to protect visitors from the wind, “but otherwise this place is open to the stars and the evening sky,” says Eater LA.

Accidentally tall

 Sterling Davis via Curbed LA Flickr pool

Martin says seizing the title of LA’s tallest building wasn’t important to him. He told the Real Deal LA that it wasn’t even intentional.

To circumvent LA’s decades-old rule that skyscrapers have flat roofs to accommodate emergency helicopters, Martin says he decided to, “build a third staircase and a firemen-dedicated elevator with an impenetrable shaft, so there would be no need to have a helipad, and [fire officials] agreed. This allowed us to add a spire, and all of a sudden the building was to be 1,100 feet tall. We didn’t realize it would be the tallest building in the West until an L.A. Times staffer wrote about it. But it was never our goal.”

Petite 1920s Pasadena bungalow wants $560K

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Located in the city’s Historic Highlands district

This adorable 732-square-foot bungalow is located in the Historic Highlands district, which listing agent Nancy Gerber describes as a collection of Craftsmans, bungalows, Tudors, and 1920s-era Spanish-style homes mingled together in one northern Pasadena neighborhood.

The compact charmer makes the most of its space, and it offers hardwood floors, recessed lights, and a redone kitchen with new countertops.

The two-bedroom residence’s master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom, while the other bedroom could be used as an office or family space. That room opens to a backyard deck.

The house, which was built in 1923, according to public records, probably predates the era of every family having a car (or two or three), so there is no driveway, just street parking.

Last sold in 2000 for $150,000, the house is now listed for $539,000.

Bike lanes may be headed to Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown

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2.3 miles of lanes as part of street safety improvements

Plans filed Wednesday with the city planning department show that a stretch of Temple Street through Historic Filipinotown and other parts of Westlake could get 2.3 miles of new bike lanes.

The city’s transportation department wants to rejigger existing lanes on Temple between Beverly Boulevard and Beaudry Avenue to make room for bicyclists.

Right now, there are two lanes for cars in both directions, but those would be reduced to one lane for cars in each direction with “a 2-way center turn lane”—and one bike lane on either side of the street.

A rep for LADOT tells Curbed that there’s no installation date yet, because the department plans to do public outreach for the project first.

 Via Google Maps

The changes are geared toward making Temple safer.

This same stretch of the street is the site of the Temple Street Slow Jam, a multi-day series of events that is part of the Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2025.

According to organizers, five people were killed and 21 people were severely injured while walking or biking on Temple Street between 2009 and 2015. The website has a map noting where those incidents occurred along the thoroughfare.

City will pay relocation expenses for tenants evicted from unsafe buildings in DTLA

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The city is giving the tenants $400,000 to find new homes

The city is paying $400,000 to help relocate artists living in two un-permitted buildings in Downtown LA’s Fashion District, the LA Weekly reports.

At least one of the buildings, a warehouse at 931 Pico, was the subject of intense scrutiny in the wake of the Oakland Ghost Ship fire, which killed 36 people late last year.

Los Angeles city officials claim the building on Pico, which is zoned for commercial uses, was not permitted for residential use and was not safe for tenants. Fire officials alleged the building didn’t have adequate fire alarms or accessible fire escapes.

According to the Weekly, the tenants say their landlord, Morad “Ben” Neman, refused to pony up the money they are owed under city law when an “order to vacate” has been issued.

So Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar pushed through an emergency motion and, with the help of the city’s chief legislative analyst and administrative officer, the money was found and approved quickly, the Weekly says.

Neman is “subject to legal action by the City Attorney’s Office,” and in court, he will be “pressed” by the City Attorney to repay the money, reports the Weekly.

 
 
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