Get your Kicks on Route 66 Sunday

Esotouric has invited me to help host their newest tour which will launch for the first time on Sunday. What better way to learn the history and mystery of Route 66 than by basking in my royal glory? Here’s the details and I hope to see you there!


Esotouric’s “Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles” tours each explore themes of industry, infrastructure, architecture and the built environment.


In this third installment in our ongoing architecture series, we explore California’s Mother Road and the building of its dream. The dream manifests at the turn of the 20th century as we explore how the climate was sold, the growth of the citrus industry and Tuberculosis hospitals. Then come the programmatic roadside architecture of the 1920s and 1930s and postwar V-8 visions fueled by gasoline and good climate (too bad you can’t run an engine on it).


The Reyner Banham tour series is dedicated to revealing greater L.A.’s infrastructure, history, the built and natural environment, transportation corridors, drive-ins, attractions and oddities.



Mar 1 2008 – 11:00am

Mar 1 2008 – 4:00pm
Tickets are $55 and can be ordered online until the morning of the tour. For last minute bookings, please feel free to call 310-995-4591 after 8am on tour day, and if there are seats available, you can reserve a spot and pay with cash at the bus.
Highlights of the Route 66 tour include:

Rubel Castle. One man’s vision and triumph over mediocrity. This completely unexpected and astonishing structure, built piecemeal over the course of thirty years and holding true to the notion of a Medieval Castle and its Keep while reflecting an abiding California citrus industry influence, is an early stop on the tour.

City of Hope. A early tuberculosis hospital and retreat, now a world class, no-cost cancer treatment and research facility, is also home to an inspired series of murals by the important abstract expressionist artist Philip Guston and muralist Rubin Kadish.

Santa Fe Dam recreation area. A testament to the industry and
infrastructure which makes life in the San Gabriel Valley possible, this meditation on form, function and the built environment is a classic “Reyner” structure of the sort that compelled Banham to write “Los Angeles: A Study of Four Ecologies.”

Aztec Hotel. Though really Mayan in decoration, this 1924 Robert Stacy Judd-designed gem in the San Gabriel Valley’s crown is becoming the place again to get your kicks.

Covina Bowl. Destination, gathering point, icon, masterpiece of thin membrane construction. The Covina Bowl is all this and more. Built in 1955, it helped define and create the community of Covina and environs through the 1960s and 1970s. As a roadhouse, nightclub, 24-hour bowling alley and diner, the sprawling entertainment center continues to serve the community beneath its landmark neon sign. The venue’s history, shared with passengers by long time staff members, offers an engaging glimpse into life along the Mother Road.

Guest Speaker J. Eric Lynxwiler. For nearly ten years, J. Eric Lynxwiler has worked with the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) as a guide on its famed Neon Cruise in an effort to educate the public to the beauty of neon signage. Not all neon is created equal however, and Lynxwiler acknowledges there are some signs that give the medium a bad name. Lynxwiler will introduce passengers to MONA’s sign acquisition standards and answer the burning question, what makes a good neon sign?

Guest Speaker Scott R. Piotrowski. Ever since following Route 66 when moving to Los Angeles in 1996, Scott R. Piotrowski has been fascinated by the “Mother Road.” That love for road less traveled led Piotrowski to write “Finding the End of the Mother Road: Route 66 in Los Angeles County” in an effort to show just how much of Route 66 is left in the Southland. Piotrowski will be available to answer any questions about 66 in particular and historic roads in general, and will be available to sell and sign copies of his book, the only guide book to detail Route 66 in Los Angeles County.

This five hour tour will include a snack break at Classic Coffee in Glendora (snacks are on your dime).

What’s holding your wallet? ~ don’t miss the Great Pasadena Purse Swap


If you’re a fashion diva like me, you’ll want to make plans to attend this fun event. And when you’re there, take time to visit the museum’s exhibit where you can see photos of me with my favorite purse!

The Great Pasadena Purse Swap:
South Pasadena Designer Jeanie Joe
Featured in the “10-Minute Purse Challenge”
Sunday, March 9, 2008 – 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Dreaming of a new “clutch”?  Don’t want to spend much?
Here is the event for you.  Whether you want a fun tote, a classy shoulder bag, or a practical pouch, you might score the purse of your dreams at this first-time “purse swap” at the Pasadena Museum of History. 
Here is how it works:  You bring in a purse, bag, or tote that no longer suits your style and exchange it for somebody else’s once loved accessory.  Local purse experts will rank your incoming bag for the “A,” “B” or  “C” table – so that all guests exchange items of similar quality/value.  All bags must be empty, clean and in useable condition.  Upon check-in you will receive a ticketed time to choose your swap.
The “swap room” is just part of the fun.
10-Minute Purse Challenge:
South Pasadena designer Jeanie Joe, of Mission Street’s Sew Joe Stitch Lounge, has thrown down the gauntlet, stating that she can make a tote from start to useable finish in just 10 minutes!  Jeanie is bringing her sewing machine, we’ll provide the stopwatch — guests can watch, root for her, and even learn design tips and sewing techniques.
 Information Stations will help you
·        Learn how to tell a genuine purse from a knock-off,
·        Get advice on how to fend off purse snatchers,
·        See treasured finds from local purse collectors,
·        Hear purse prose and poetry,
·        Discover what that heavy satchel you are toting is doing to your back. 
Light refreshments and viewing the 100+ purses in the Museum’s exhibition The Purse and the Person, round out a complete afternoon of purse fun, facts, and trading. 
Location: Pasadena Museum of History, 470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena (corner Orange Grove Blvd. and Walnut St.); free parking.
Tickets: The admission fee of $8.00 general; $5.00 for Museum members allows you to swap one purse.  Guests can bring a maximum of three additional purses for swapping at a charge of $5 each. 
Reservations: Please call 626-577-1660, ext. 10 for reservations

Atticus ~ words from a VIP


That’s right, I am a VIP- a Very Important Pup. And I managed to sneak onto my mommy’s computer while she’s busy taking a shower.


Like mom, just because the Doo Dah Parade has happened, it doesn’t mean my life is any less special. Of course, nowadays I tend to spend more time at home chasing my tennis ball and napping in the sun and I still look forward to car rides and a nice walk. But word on the street is, well, me!


It seems that everywhere mommy goes people ask her “How is Atticus?” And many times they ask about me before they even ask her how her Queenly reign is going. Well, to all of you askers, I’m doing great!!


Enjoy this photo that my Uncle Jason took of me before the parade (notice how I kept my toes off the wet grass by gently standing on my mommy’s dress) and keep those e-mails and hellos coming. A big fan base is important to a little dog.


Gotta go. I think mommy’s out the shower- I can’t hear her singing any more. Keep the sunshine in your face and smell all the flowers!


Paws up,


Get your kicks with me on Route 66

Just because the memories of my big parade day may be fading, that doesn’t


mean my reign is over– it’s far from it!! 


On March 1st, I will be joining Esotouric for its new adventure, “Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66.” I will offer my wise and witty commentary on downtown Covina (all four blocks, woo hoo!), the story of Azusa Pacific University and the famous – and almost destroyed – Azusa Drive-In sign and more.


If you’re extra good, I might even tell you the location of Meth Alley. This small segment of Covina is located on a main thoroughfare and has received its name from the police who patrol it. It will definitely surprise you, as it looks extremely innocuous and, honestly, I’ve never noticed any kind of suspicious activity there except by the cops…


Here’s some information on the tour, please visit for tour summary and more.


Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66 – Saturday March 1st

Mar 1 2008 – 11:00am
Mar 1 2008 – 4:00pm

Instructions for passengers:

There are no paper tickets: your name will be on a list at the bus door. Check in is at 10:30am for a 11am sharp departure from Philippe The Original in downtown Los Angeles, just across from Union Station.


Tickets can be ordered online until the morning of the tour. For last minute bookings, please feel free to call 310-995-4591 after 8am on tour day, and if there are seats available, you can reserve a spot and pay with cash at the bus.


Food and drink are permitted and suggested; no audio or video-taping without permission. We regret that there are no refunds for passengers who miss the bus.


PARKING: There are a couple of pay lots in the immediate vicinity of Philippe’s, along New High Street one block north and parallel to Alameda. Please do not park in the restaurant lot. You may also choose to arrive by train at Union Station, which is a block from the restaurant.


Price: $55.00

History in the making

You can share one of the most historic moments in all that is Doo Dah by taking time to visit “The Purse and the Person: A Century of Women’s Purses” exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of History now through March 30. Just added to the display is a slide show of Pasadena people with their favorite purses, totes, instrument cases and other carrying aids. Among the many VIPs, you’ll see are none other than me- the still-reigning Queen of the 31st Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade and Prince Andrew, the Duke of Doo Dah.


For my regular readers, this is the moment you have been waiting for– a great mix of culture and fun that makes for a perfect outing with your mother. For my new or occasional readers- get with the program! You only have until next November to bask in my regal glory.


Here’s the rest of the details on the museum so you have no excuse not to drop by:


Pasadena Museum of History

470 W. Walnut St. (at the corner of Orange Grove Boulevard), Pasadena

Noon-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday

$5 admission

(626) 577-1660


And the reign goes on…


As we go further into February, you would think that the Doo Dah Parade has become a distant dream, but it is still very much a part of my life.


For example, I took my mother, AKA the Royal Mum, to the Fret House in Covina for its Open Mic Night last Saturday and they announced that the Doo Dah Queen was in attendance.


And at the mardi gras party at Mr. T’s Bowl in Highland Park Tuesday, people were still congratulating me and commenting on how they were so pleased that I am the reigning Queen. The most amusing – and sweet – comment that evening came from a shy guy, who looked down at the floor and said, in between furitive glances at me, “I saw you on TV. You had your dog with you. You were pretty.” Awwwww….


I am still waiting for the Pasadena Museum of History’s ( slide show to be added to its exhibit, but here’s a couple more photos from my fun day with the wonderful and always in focus photographer Terry Miller.


You may also want to make reservations for Esotouric’s “Renyer Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66” tour


March 1. Not only will it be a fun time, I will be in attendance to help entertain, inform and share my glory with those on board.  Visit for more information.


Yes, it is good to still be the Queen!!


Doo Dah Queen makes history at Pasadena museum


The parade is long over, but I am still in demand. Recently, the Pasadena Museum of History requested me to pose with one of my favorite purses for its slide show of Pasadena VIPs. The show will be part of its current “The Purse and the Person: A Century of Women’s Purses” exhibit. But it’s not all for the gals- prominent men have also been asked to sit with their favorite tote, whether it’s a briefcase, instrument case or something else.


I was thoroughly delighted when I walked in to the sitting to discover Terry Miller (my Knight of Camera Obscura) serving as chief photographer. He made me feel instantly at ease and we had some fun. I had brought along my Flying V guitar purse, a gift from Valerie, who is a member of my Official Entourage.



At the museum’s request, I brought Prince Andrew, Duke of Doo Dah as well. He is also known around town for his trombone playing in a number of bands and jams, plus the Pasadena City College Community Band.


The slide show isn’t playing just yet (I’ll keep you posted), but I thought that a few photos would pique your interest.


Ahhh, it’s good to be Queen! 


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply