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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Los Angeles - a city of urban sprawl and the most exciting as well as quirky attractions! - Part Two

My friend Shawn and I spent a weekend exploring Los Angeles, a city of many surprises. I've lived in the area for many years and I still discover new and interesting spots. Shawn was doing research for some articles for one of his freelance journalist projects and I was tagging along, having fun. While waiting for the Griffith Observatory to open
(see last post:,
we had breakfast in a nearby coffee shop and then checked out another quirky and very interesting place, called Wacko/Soap Plant in Los Angeles. This is a store that sells an amazing collection of magical and crazy stuff as well as sophisticated works of art and some splendid books.

But first we checked out the current art exhibition in the store. I knew of my friend's love of Tiki bars and Tiki drinks and took it for just another one of his many quirks. I have to admit though I've acquired a taste for these Hawaiian inspired drinks myself. What I wasn't familiar with though was the more serious aspect of this international movement of Tiki Art. The exhibition of paintings and sculptures was truly amazing. One of the famous artists among the group is a guy by the name of Shag. More about him here:

And here are a few pictures of the Wacko store and of the art exhibition. It's located at the end of Hollywood Blvd. where it leads into Sunset. Here is the outside--you obviously can't miss it.

And here the inside: paintings and sculptures, the true Tiki phenomena. I was really excited about it!

Above: This is the kind of crazy and magical stuff you can enjoy there.

Below: This is part of the exhibition

Our next stop after Wacko and the Griffith Observatory was Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. This part of the city, which is now mainly a tourist attraction, was founded in 1781 and has an interesting and at times controversial history and Latin heritage. More about this here:

We visited Calle Olvera October 21 and the street was already decked out for the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 2 and 3. Here are some pictures of the tourist attractions and the more historical buildings.

More follows--another fabulous Los Angeles highlight, Clifton's Cafeteria. Stay tuned!


  1. Zowie! You have some great shots of/in WACKO and of Olvera Street. " I have to admit though I've acquired a taste for these Hawaiian inspired drinks myself." That's good to know. I always wondered if you were just being polite while I indulged my tiki passion. Oh my---you'd be amazed by the tiki crawl schedule I have for myself just after Christmas in the Bay Area---all for "research" for an article I am doing, of course. There will be something like 9 tiki bars in two days. Ha! Someone call me a cab. Wanna come? I'll link this blog entry to my blog post about the same day. CHEERS!

  2. There are some interesting places in Los Angeles that the average tourist misses. I love the Spanish influence and the Dia de los Muertos celebrations. I included the Day of the Dead in my last book taking place in New Mexico so did some research on it. Your pictures are wonderful. Look forward to the next instalment.

    1. Thanks, Darlene. It is when all is said and done an extremely fascinating city!

  3. I added the link to this page below the section on Olvera Street on my post. CHEERS!