Secret Stairs In Pacific Palisades

So Candice, the woman who does Mrs. Kongo’s toes, told her about these secret stairway walks all over Los Angeles.  Naturally, Mrs. Kongo shared this enticing news and Kongo took off to start exploring a whole new thing. Actually, he’d kinda sorta heard about these secret stair walks when researching places to do photo shoots in LA but this really got him going. First he did some research and it turns out that there are actually books written about these hidden stairways but it’s still a pretty under the radar thing.   One of the coolest walks is supposed to…

La Brea Tar Pits

Right in the middle of Los Angeles’ “Miracle Mile” lies one of the oldest sites in North America.  It’s full of ferocious animals along with baby strollers, grandparents, and sunbathers.  It’s the La Brea Tar Pits. Tens of thousands of years ago naturally occurring tar — also called bitumen — seeped from the earth in the Los Angeles basin.  Dust and leaves would cover the tar and unsuspecting prehistoric animals would wander in and that was the end of that.  There are literally thousands of skeletons of animals from a different age laying around Los Angeles and more are discovered…

Original LA Farmers Market

Old and new come together in West Hollywood at the Los Angeles Farmers Market.  Now there are lots of farmers markets in LA.  Dozens.  But this is the ORIGINAL farmers market that started up in 1934 when a handful of local growers backed their pick up trucks at the corner of 3rd and Fairfax and started selling their produce.  The concept really took off and in a few months people were building stalls and restaurants at the site and it quickly became an institution. Today the market is next to the modern and hugely popular and upscale The Grove outdoor…

Searching for World Peace in Santa Monica

Santa Monica might seem a strange place to seek world peace.  I mean really, Santa Monica?  Maybe some temple high in the mountains of Tibet or an ashram in Santa Fe, or even the UN building in New York but not Santa Monica.  Perhaps I’m wrong-headed about this but Santa Monica seems more like a live for today for tomorrow we die kind of place.  But yet, indeed there are people searching for peace in Santa Monica.  Right down on the beach next to the famous pier. Perhaps Kongo is just in a cynical mood but he doesn’t think a…

Getty Field Trip

Gentle readers will recall that Kongo loves field trips with his two granddaughters.  This week the monkey climbed aboard a school bus with 22 budding classical scholars from Mrs. Hutson’s 3rd Grade Class and a handful of chaperones to visit the Getty Center in Los Angeles.  What a trip!  Most adults may think that art and 3rd graders won’t mix.  Not these kids!  They were all over this like Rococo on Versailles. The Getty Center is a wonderful place for children.  There are plenty of fountains, gardens, and outdoor things for them to experience.  Inside … well, inside it’s a…

Top O’ Topanga

High above the San Fernando Valley, home of Valley Girls, most of the world’s pornography business, 2.9 million people and the 1994 Northridge earthquake is a L.A. Park known as Top O’ Topanga.  The nine acre park is a popular spot to view sunsets and provides spectacular views of the Santa Monica Mountain, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the Santa Susana mountains in the far distance.  Topanga is a name that means “crazy people” and it refers to the early settlers who used to run around naked and grow sunflowers on the mountain.  (Kongo just made that up).  Topanga is…

Roman Monkey Garden Tour

So, a few blogs ago Kongo let it slip out that he was now a docent at the Getty Villa in Malibu.  The Villa is part of the Getty Museum complex in Los Angeles.  The Villa houses the Getty’s collection of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan artifacts and the architecture is designed after a real Roman villa discovered beneath 100 feet of volcanic material in Herculaneum on the Bay of Naples in Italy.  Herculaneum along with Pompeii and a few other Roman towns were completely buried when Mt. Vesuvius blew its top on August 24 in A.D. 79. Anyway, back to…