Erika Thomas

in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured, People & Personalities

Camarillo Ranch HouseFeatured

The Home that Remains a Jewel in the Seaside City’s Crown for More than a Century Known for picturesque scenery that ranges from agricultural-rich land to Spanish architecture, Camarillo, California, is a lively mix of modern amenities, lush, century-old vegetation and plenty of early California charm; and a pristine, 18th century ranch house is its anchor. Juan Adolfo Camarillo first ventured to California in the early 1800s during the Hijar Padres Expedition There, he would purchase a 10,000-acre ranch. Camarillo’s land, which would become the site of his home, was one of the last remaining Rancho Calleguas (Mexican land grants) of the era. Development and Public Relations Director for the Camarillo Ranch House, Niki Chopra Richardson, says, “The ranch house was the original home of the Camarillo family. It was a working ranch, but it was also very much a family home. When Juan Adolfo passed away in 1880, his eldest son, 16-year-old Adolfo, took over the ranch.” Camarillo would not only run the day-to-day operations of his father’s ranch, he would take it from having only cattle and mules, to a booming agricultural business, including barley, corn, alfalfa and lima beans, as well as Citrus and Eucalyptus trees. Camarillo…

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The Original Farmers Market: People Have Been Meeting at Third & Fairfax for 80 Years
in Destinations & Landmarks

The Original Farmers Market: People Have Been Meeting at Third & Fairfax for 80 Years

Cheerful greetings of “Hi” and “Good to see you” in a sunny Irish dialect can be heard on any given afternoon from behind the counter at Magee’s House of Nuts at LA’s Original Farmers Market. The infectious salutations come from Doris Perez, who has been serving customers there for over 50 years. “I came here from Ireland in 1959 with the plan to stay for one year.” Perez (formerly Leach), who briefly worked as a nanny for an Encino family, says, “I liked it so much that I just never left.” Working first at the Market’s Desert Date Shop in 1963, she moved to Du-Pars shortly thereafter in 1968, where she would stay for 38 years. When they closed for remodeling, she moved over to Magee’s where she’s been ever since. “If people like to buy a particular thing, I write it down, along with their name, so I can always remember what they want when they come here.” Ever-ingrained in the history of this famous place, Perez, who has waited on everyone from heads of state like Eisenhower and Bush, to music mega-stars the Beatles, seems to have been there forever. But the story of this colorful, local market…

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in SoCal Trends

Fields Market: One of LA’s Hottest Filming Locations

Today it serves as the backdrop for countless television shows and movies. But at one time, the small, local grocery store—a throwback to midcentury America—had almost seen its better days. “When we first took the place over in the early 1990s, the store was in pretty bad shape. It was like the worst house in the neighborhood type of thing; dirty, stinky, and the people who owned it were running it like a liquor store. It was in desperate need of a facelift,” says co-owner of Fields Market, Bill Rinck.

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured

Muscle Beach Venice : Beach Next to the Santa Monica Pier Put LA’s Beautiful People on the Map

During the Great Depression, in an effort to improve the health and welfare of its citizens, the Works Progress Administration would install numbered playgrounds on many the beaches throughout Los Angeles. The program, which was part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” aimed to provide the “3 Rs”—relief, recovery and reform—for Angelenos faced with the many hardships of the time. New schools, parks, bridges and playgrounds went up in record numbers around the city, providing paid jobs for scads of unemployed men and women, and in turn, boosting the morale of people who’d lost all hope. Beach Playground #4 was located right next to the Santa Monica Pier. In addition to swings and slides, it included a plethora of athletic equipment. Within a short time, Hollywood stunt men, circus performers and variety acts began congregating there to train and stay limber. The beach would really gain a reputation for good-looking athletes and perfect physiques, when the UCLA men’s gymnastics team began training there regularly. It’s been said that the section of beach just north of the Pier was such a popular spot for students to study, that it was nicknamed “Brain Beach.” The many strongmen posing and flexing in the…

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