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Secrets of Downtown LA’s Underbelly HistoryFeatured

By Melissa Curtin Carefully climbing down into the bowels of a famous watering hole that still exists today on the outskirts of Skid Row, I wonder if I should turn back. The smell of rodents or maybe dead air from 100 years ago wafts into my nostrils, suffocating my senses. I try not to breathe too hard. Are those rat droppings? A cockroach skitters. Ducking below an old cobweb, I wonder what life was like down here in the 1920s. Images quickly come to mind from the HBO show Boardwalk Empire of gangster life in Atlantic City. But here we are in the recesses of Wild West Los Angeles. Once a fake piano shop above the bar, a mural of kegs painted on the wall are still present under the city streets next to a false wall made of light wood and sideboards for food and drink. Evidence of what was once a Prohibition-era tunnel is slathered and sealed off with concrete – apparently just cemented in the last 20 years. A crumpling dusty room nearby in the cellar exposes old metal bank vaults where booze money was kept – exchanged and transported underground from banks. Once upon a time,…

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in Featured, Sports & Adventures, Things To Do

BMW Driving Experience – The Ultimate SoCal AdventureFeatured

By Matthew Goldberg While many of us dream of racing professionally, few of us will likely ever get to. We can, however, participate in the BMW Performance Center’s BMW One Day M-School in Thermal, California. Equipped with an ID badge, lanyard, and lunch, drivers can spend an exciting day learning the ins and outs of professional racing and walk away with a certificate of completion at the end of the day.  School begins at 8:30 a.m. when students gather in an outdoor seating area for a classroom session. Instructors greet drivers, introduce themselves and outline their respective backgrounds in professional racing. Their expertise ranges from Indy 500 races to winning the Long Beach Grand Prix and they had decades of teaching experience between them.  Students are given a detailed course with key points for driving a vehicle efficiently with a presentation and discussion. The first few slides detail the importance of proper seating, including correct seat height and seatbelt fit, allowing for the most comfortable and effective handling of the steering wheel and gas/brake pedals. Drivers must have maximum steering control and the precision of turning corners is underscored. Proper technique and keeping eyes far in the distance allows the…

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Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau Kicks Off National Travel and Tourism Week With Town Hall and Volunteer OpportunitiesFeatured

‘Drive to Change Lives’ encourages Greater Palm Springs tourism community to give back Prior to the pandemic, tourism supported over 53,000 jobs in Greater Palm Springs and contributed $7.5 billion to the local economy. While the past year has presented extraordinary challenges, Greater Palm Springs and the tourism industry are turning the page to a new chapter with the start of National Travel and Tourism Week, May 2-8, an annual tradition that spotlights the collective strength of the U.S. travel industry. May is also Visit California’s California Tourism Month, which celebrates tourism and hospitality across the Golden State.  To showcase how the power of travel will drive recovery, the Greater Palm Springs CVB will host a virtual town hall meeting, led by President & CEO Scott White, on May 4 at 10 a.m. to provide updates on consumer sentiment, highlights of state and regional destination marketing plans, and updates on the CVB’s newest programs. Other town hall speakers include Lynn Carpenter, Vice President of Marketing of Visit California, Erin Francis Cummings, President & CEO of Destination Analysts and Nick Forro, President of AHL Palm Springs and SVP of the Seattle Kraken. Guests can RSVP to attend the virtual town hall meeting here.  Additionally, during the…

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Sylmar Earthquake 50 Years LaterFeatured

Destructive temblor marked turning point in the science of quakes This year marks 50 years since the 1971 Sylmar-San Fernando earthquake unleashed its fury on Los Angeles just after 6 a.m. The seismic waves began their destructive path seven miles beneath the earth’s surface, then traveled up at an angle and burst through the ground along a 12.5 mile stretch of the northern San Fernando Valley. “The 1971 quake woke California up to the real earthquake hazard that it had in its own backyard,” says Brian Olson of the California Geological Survey . “It exposed a lot of problems, it exposed a lot of weaknesses.” Renowned seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones tells Eyewitness News the Sylmar quake was the first time a major fault ruptured to the surface through homes in the Los Angeles area. “We saw all of these houses ripped apart,” says Dr. Jones. “It helped change the focus and made us realize that this is a big risk for Los Angeles in particular.” It left a mark on the Southern California landscape, pushing the Santa Susana Mountains up by about 6 feet. “The reason Southern California is a wonderful place to live is because of the earthquakes,” says Dr….

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Get Away Without Going AwayFeatured

5 Family Staycation Ideas That Won’t Break Your Budget Family vacations are a great way to bond and take a step back from the hectic schedules that accompany everyday life, but sometimes time or money (or both) make planning an elaborate trip a non-starter. However, a staycation – a vacation you take right in your hometown (or nearby) – can be much less expensive and fit into nearly any amount of available time with the added bonus of skipping out on potentially stressful travel. Consider these staycation ideas to take advantage of your local area’s attractions and prove you don’t have to go far to spend quality time together. Visit local landmarks. Just because it’s not a traditional vacation doesn’t mean you can’t pretend to be tourists. Start by visiting the places you recommend to friends and family from out of town or pick up a city guidebook to uncover hidden spots you may not even know exist. Make a plan to seek out historic sites, visit local landmarks like museums or try an out-of-the-way restaurant (or two) you’ve never eaten at before. Camp out in the backyard. Camping doesn’t have to be done far from home. In fact, it…

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in Sports & Adventures, Things To Do

Spring-Time Group Bike ToursFeatured

By Dustin Clendenen Our weather is the envy of the world year-round, but even SoCal blooms in the spring. Now’s the time to venture out of your car and experience all the Golden State has to offer. Our roundup of group bike tours are the perfect excuse to explore the great outdoors and work up a sweat while you’re at it. Having such an eco-friendly hobby won’t hurt either! If you want to experience Los Angeles, you’re in for one of the most diverse urban landscapes in the entire world, from a bustling downtown metropolis, to sun-soaked beaches, to beautiful hiking trails and national forests, not to mention all the celebrities, world-class food and an art scene getting attention across the globe. LA Cycle Tours offers a number of group bike adventures in all these areas, every single day. Focusing mostly on the diversity of downtown, the company’s tours take riders on a sightseeing expedition of the areas brightest street art and murals, the city’s best taco stands or pastry shops and a 40-mile ride from the urban core to the beach. Tours start at $65 and up. Check out the event calendar for more details and specific pricing at…

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