A Secret History Hidden Among These Hills

Spy bunkers. Missile silos. Fistfights.

By The Editors
June 5, 2015 9:00 am

I didn’t want to move to L.A.

But when a man wants to be a screenwriter, he doesn’t have much of a choice.

Seeing as I loved New Orleans and NYC (my previous homes) for their rich cultural histories, I decided to study the same aspects of L.A.

Kicked it off with two books:

First, Jonathan Gold’s Counter Intelligence. He’s as much a cultural anthropologist as he is a foodie. Second, Carey McWilliams’ Southern California — a sunnier, more timeless history than most.

Boom. Success. An Angeleno was born.

Apple Pan burgers on the regular. Swimsuit always in the trunk. Card-carrying, uh, back-pain sufferer.

And strangely, I loved knowing that the Beverly Center used to be home to oil derricks.

That history bias has crept its way into this column, as well. Maybe you’ve noticed. Some of the most popular pieces I’ve ever penned have explored L.A.’s bizarre history.

Earlier this month, we helped raise money for The Olympic Auditorium Project, a documentary about the rough-and-tumble venue that played home to L.A.’s prizefighting heyday (they hit their Kickstarter goal yesterday, but you can still help fund it).

Last year, we investigated the noir side of L.A. with a piece celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Chinatown that visited the film’s original shooting locations via tours, destinations and eateries that are still active today.

We’ve hiked burned-down resorts, deactivated missile sites and the ruins of a bunker where Nazi spies once camped out.

Summer is here, and it’s a fine time to acquaint yourself with the secret history hidden among these hills.

We’ll continue bringing you these stories, because there’s more to the land of smoke and mirrors than meets the eye.

Get out there.

Reuben Brody
LA Editor

P.S. Questions? Complaints? Comments? Just want to send me flowers? I’m all ears: reuben@insidehook.com

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