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in Destinations & Landmarks

SoCal’s Magical Wisdom Tree

  Situated on the Cahuenga Peak Trail in Griffith Park, the “Wisdom Tree”—which resembles a bashful sprout of broccoli—should have been one of Mother Nature’s tragedies, but it has turned out to be a rousing success story.   For all intents and purposes, the tree should have succumbed to not only an unmerciful fire in 2007, but a land sale in 2010 that would have seen it felled without forethought. However, the inferno, though unrelenting as it was in destroying most of the vegetation around it, spared the limbs of the tree. And the potentially disastrous real-estate transaction was countervailed by The Trust for Public Land, which won out when a miraculous $900,000 check by Hugh Hefner sealed the deal and salvaged the tree’s fate.   After winning the “Save the Peak” sweepstakes, the tree has been since meditating on an additional 138 acres of public property, accessible to all visitors, who often hike by to bask in its sage vibe. The really inspired ones will pick up one of the many journals and pens placed at the feet of its bark (provided by advocate Mark Rowlands) and write a meaningful message for posterity.   Among all the Wisdom Tree…

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in Destinations & Landmarks

Take a Hike: The Palm Canyon Trail

After you inch your way down the main drag of Palm Springs, past the restaurants, clubs, shops, noise and famed Palm Canyon Walk of Stars , a peaceful journey awaits.   Continue down South Palm Canyon Drive, along the dusty road dotted with flash flood signs warning “Turn Around or Drown.” At the end you will find yourself at the entrance to the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indian Reservation and some of the most magical hiking trails in Southern California.   Entrance fees to Palm Canyon, Andreas Canyon and Murray Canyon range from $9.00 for adults to $5.00 for children for adventure on foot as well as horseback.   The most spiritual of all the trails is Palm Canyon – 15 miles at most and ranges from easy to strenuous in difficulty level. Or you can just have lunch at a picnic table, surrounded by the largest California Fan Palm Oasis in the world, which has been there for centuries, originally settled by the Agua Caliente Native Californians.   The trail winds along a canyon of palms, pools and streams, surrounded in dramatic contrast by ancient rocky gorges jutting straight up to the sky and the barren desert that is the…

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in Food & Drinks

Five Tasty Cupcake Shops

There’s nothing that quite hits the palate like a delicately crafted cupcake, replete with fluffy frosting and moist cake center. The right one will fill not only the stomach, but the heart, the very moment the tip of the tongue touches the billowy top. There are many a cupcake that satiates that unbridled urge to reach out at the elbow, but for fear of perilously high blood sugar, here are five Southern California-based shops—not named Sprinkles— for your perusal and consumption.

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in SoCal Trends

A Look Back at The Schlitz Bouts

The Hollywood Athletic Club, established in 1924, was Hollywood’s very first “social club.” It catered to the likes of John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, and most of the old Hollywood elite. The architecture of the historic building, even after all these years, is stunning. From the immaculate ceilings, to the grand staircase, and the marble bathroom we are reminded of the attention to detail and high quality materials used in that time period. The Schlitz Bouts, A Night of Heritage Boxing, took us back in time to the days of ‘ole where dapper dudes and flapper dames dressed in their 1920s best to enjoy a night to remember. The roaring 20s themed night, brought to us by the iconic American beer, Schlitz, offered a 7-piece orchestra, cigar-rolling, boxing card stamping on a century old stamper, dancing, oysters, and four amateur boxing matches. Of the amateur boxers featured, there were four sanctioned bouts: Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, and Heavyweight. The fights were 3-minute rounds with a maximum of three rounds meaning, fight hard, fight fast, and go for the knock out from the get-go. Throughout the fights the crowd was continuously entertained by the dance troupe, The LA Follies, a classic…

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in People & Personalities

Honoring the Honorable

Air Force veteran Warren Weinstein enjoys Monday mornings at the West Hills Wendy’s fast food restaurant where, for more than a decade, a group of about 75 Southern California veterans calling themselves Wings Over Wendy’s has been meeting to swap war stories and camaraderie. “I’m in awe of some of these gentlemen,” Weinstein says. “They’re in their 90’s, and being a pilot, particularly a B-17 and B-29 pilot, I was talking to some of these men who were on the actual missions over Germany, Ploiesti, the oil fields of Romania, some of the famous raids of WWII. These men have stories to tell.” Westlake Village resident 85-year-old Weinstein was a rescue pilot in the service from 1950-1953 and had his own adventures. His 10-member crew was in charge of going to crash sites to determine if there were survivors. If so, with a para-rescue jump team, they would get them flown safely to a hospital. On a good day, he was able to save lives at a crash. On one of his adventures in the jungles of Brazil, although there were no survivors, Weinstein recalls recovering $2 million dollars in diamonds on a crashed flight. Weinstein says no one will…

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