Palatial star homes and luxury shops? Those aren't on this bus tour. Gritty, atmospheric locations once frequented by writer Raymond Chandler and the seen-some-life characters he created? Yep, plenty of those.
Noir lovers, book buffs and people who've seen "L.A. Confidential" more than a few times are among the fans of the Esotouric bus tours. Esotouric, a literary- and historic-minded group that sought to provide an alternative to the more glittery tours about town, focuses on many of the true-life characters that helped shaped the City of Angels in its formative years. Chandler was one such person. The creator of Detective Philip Marlowe often cast an eye on the less savory aspects of our fair -- and sometimes unfair -- city, finding inspiration in the real places he knew.
Esotouric will be visiting several of those spots around Santa Monica on Saturday. Casting a spotlight on Chandler's middle period (when he wrote "Farewell My Lovely" and other hard-boiled classics), the bus stop by a number of places with meaning to both Marlowe and the man who made him.
We'd suggest donning your finest fedora before you roll, but a camera, an appetite for crime fiction and the more sordid side of LA's past will do nicely.
Raymond Chandler's Bay City Estouric Bus Adventures
Meeting Place: The Museum of Jurassic Technology, 9314 Venice Boulevard, Culver City
Reservations may be made through the Esotouric web site