The name California comes from a mythical Spanish island ruled by a queen called Califia that was featured in a Spanish romantic novel ("Las Sergas de Esplandian") written by Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo in 1510. The Spanish explorers originally thought that California was an island
The Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolá visited the site of the future city of Los Angeles in 1769. On 4th September, 1781, the Mexican provincial governor, Filipe de Neve, founded “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles de la Porciuncula,” meaning “The Town of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of the Small Portion.” The pueblo became the capital of the Mexican province, Alta California, and it was the last place to surrender to the United States at the time of the American occupation in 1847. In the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, Mexico ceded California to the United States, and Los Angeles was incorporated as a city in 1850.
For many people, Los Angeles is synonymous with Hollywood, and Hollywood means movies. What better time than Academy Award month to explore the city through the lens of the film camera.
Another more recent film classic captures the mood of the modern Sunset Boulevard - Pulp Fiction (1994, Oscar for Best Original Screenplay). The diner where Vincent (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) famously stop for a Big Kahuna burger is on Van Ness Avenue, just north of Hollywood Boulevard. Stop off here for a burger, visit a film studio then walk the famous boulevards of Sunset and Wilshire.
Downtown Los Angeles is richly explored in 1997's classic L.A. Confidential (Two Oscars: Best Screenplay and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Kim Basinger). Adapted from a James Ellroy novel, the film is set in the 1950s in a world of corrupt cops, organised crime and celebrity. Much of the action takes place in LA City Hall, and the familiar pyramid-topped high-rise can be seen at 200 North Spring Street.
The J&J Sandwich Shop, 119 East 6th Street, opposite the Pacific Electric Building, is where Bud White (Russell Crowe) dangles the terrified DA (District Attorney) from a window. Also in the same area is the “Night Owl Café”, site of the massacre in the film.
Heading back to Hollywood, sleazy journalist Sid Hudgens (Danny De Vito) has his office beneath the illuminated spire and revolving globe of the Crossroads of the World, 6671 Sunset Boulevard, a glorious 1930s shopping mall designed as an ocean liner, complete with port holes.
Also in Hollywood is the bar where Captain Smith (James Cromwell) gives Bud White his gun and badge back: Boardner's, 1652 North Cherokee Avenue on Hollywood Boulevard.
Finally, for a view above all the action, head to the Hollywood Hills and the Griffiths Observatory. The home of Lyn Bracken's (Kim Basinger) high-class pimp Pierce Patchett in the film is Richard Neutra's 1929 Lovell House. It's a private residence, an example of the International Style in Los Angeles, at 4616 Dundee Drive, Los Feliz, below the Griffith Observatory, which you can see on the skyline in the movie.
The Griffith Observatory, situated in Griffith Park not very far from the famous “Hollywood” sign, has been featured in many films over the years, most memorably in the closing scenes of Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean's classic 1955 film about teenage angst. The Observatory has an extensive array of space and science displays, most of which is free, and there is a wonderful view of the city.
Musso & Frank Grill - 6667 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood
Giorgio Baldi - 114 W. Channel Rd., Santa Monica
Cliff's Edge - 3626 W. Sunset Blvd.
Skooby's Hot Dogs - 6654 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood
The Hard Rock Cafe at Universal City Walk - 1000 Universal Studios Blvd.
Boardner's - 1652 North Cherokee Ave. Hollywood,
Foxfire Room 12516 Magnolia Blvd, East San Fernando Valley
The Formosa Cafe - 7156 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood
Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas - 1200 N Alta Loma Rd, West Hollywood
Il viaggio: un esercizio di inglese!