Being from the Northeast corner of this giant sized country, it's easy to think that Southern California is only one thing: Hollywood. In fact, this large and diverse part of our country stretches from Los Angeles all the way to the Mexican border and has many wonders that are worth knowing about. I am lucky to have some great pals who live or work in Southern California and recently I asked them what they liked about this unique corner of the world. Here's what they had to say:
Film maker/ Producer Lisa Kors reports that there are hidden architectural gems in Los Angeles, a city not usually known for it's buildings. The great Frank Lloyd Wright designed a number of homes there as did the amazing Richard Neutra who designed the beautiful home pictured below. Many production and set designers who work in the film industry build whimsical castles or fairy homes that can surprise the eye and there are hidden gems of architecture that can be seen by walking the canals of Venice, CA. These canals are an off the beaten path adventure used mostly by locals, so if you find yourself out that way, act like a local and go for a stroll!
Artist John Richey, who works as Chief Registrar for the Keith Haring Foundation, was born in San Diego and reports that Southern California is a place where the "weather is always nice, the people are super chill, the food is awesome and there are great beaches, national parks, museums, art galleries and more.”
He especially loves Coronado Island which is a resort city located across San Diego Bay. This remarkable place is considered a “walkers paradise” and is known for the number of bicycles that are used there. Wonderfully, It is possible to get all around this island without ever using a car. In addition to having beautiful beaches, there is the historic hotel, The Hotel del Coronado (below), which was where the classic film “Some Like it Hot” was filmed.
Now living in New York, John also reports that his first place he goes after landing in San Diego is In-n-Out Burger. He also loves the plethora of Mexican food that is everywhere from tiny taco shacks to larger established restaurants. And being an artist, he reports that there are big, wonderful museums as well as galleries and experimental art spaces that offer up an endlessly lively art scene.
For those with an interest in things more "out there," film maker Brian Savelson brings news of the "Integratron." According to it's website, the Integratron is “a resonant tabernacle and energy machine sited on a powerful geometric vortex in the Mojave Desert.” It is located in Landers, California near Joshua Tree, a place known for it's strange and beautiful landscape. It was built in 1959 by the aircraft mechanic George van Tassel, who stated that he was contacted by people from outer space and guided to create this structure as it had the power to rejuvenate human cell tissue.
After van Tassels death in 1978, the structure had various owners over the years and fell into disrepair until it was purchased by the three Karl sisters in 2000. They now run the structure, considered to be acoustically perfect, as a place to visit and heal. They run sessions in the interior of the building (below) that they call “sound baths” which are meditations accompanied by sounds created by quartz bowls.
All of these places are just a sample of the many joys to be found in this sunny southwestern corner of our country. Consider it on the map of possibilities for your next trip!
Lorne Holden is an artist, author, educator and entrepreneur. Learn more about her and the great book she wrote by visiting her site MAKE IT HAPPEN.