Eye On L.A.

Classic Los Angeles from A to Z

Saturday, May 12, 2012
The Academy Awards, beach culture, custom cars, Disneyland, Elysian Park and freeways made the Classic L.A. list. Griffith Park, Hollywood Sign, Jim Ladd, Kareem Abdul Jabaar, L.A. River and movie palaces made the Classic L.A. list. Neon signs, observatories, public art, quakes, Rainbow Bar & Grill, Sees candies and tar pits made the Classic L.A. list. Union Station, Vin Scully, L.A. weather, high-profile eXes, Yogananda and Z-Boys made the Classic L.A. list.

This week Eye on L.A. teams with Los Angeles Magazine to bring you an A-Z list of the enduring and endearing people, places and things that are quintessential, "Classic LA!"

The February issue of Los Angeles Magazine - Classic L.A. is on newsstands now. See Los Angeles Magazine's full Classic LA-Z list!

A - Academy Awards - Eye on L.A. went back in time to take a peek at the early days of the Academy Awards... when they were held as a private ceremony.

B - Beach Culture - From babes in bikinis to riding the waves, Speedo-clad bodybuilders, and all those boardwalk performers you find at L.A.'s world-famous beaches.

C - Custom Cars - Eye on L.A.'s Tina Malave hung out with the King of "Kustom" cars, George Barris, and got to check out his world famous creations, including the Munsters TV car, KITT from Knight Ryder and the holy grail of cars... the original Batmobile!

D - Disneyland - The "Happiest place on Earth" makes our list of Classic L.A.

E - Elysian Park - Elysian Park made the list, not only because it's a beautiful piece of nature in the middle of the city, but because it's full of fascinating little corners and wonderful hidden gems.

F - Freeways - Angelinos love our cars, making the L.A. Freeways some of the most congested in the U.S. and making freeway traffic, unfortunately, Classic L.A.

G - Griffith J. Griffith - The pristine, 5-square-miles of gorgeous Griffith Park was actually given to the people of Los Angeles as a gift in 1896 by Colonel Griffith J. Griffith. The civic-minded immigrant purchased the land after making a fortune during the California gold rush and wanted to show his appreciation to the city that was so good to him.

H - Hollywood Sign - Eye on L.A. takes a peek at the secret "eyes" watching the most iconic image in entertainment.

I - International Community - Being one of the most diverse cities in the world, you can literally leave your passport at home and travel the world, right here in L.A.!

J - Jim Ladd - True fans of Classic L.A. music will tell you, for decades Jim Ladd has created the soundtracks of their lives. Tina Malave caught up with the last of the "free-form" DJs, who plays what he wants, when he wants, and found that his fans, called "The Tribe" are thrilled at their hero's recent good fortune. Not only is Ladd prominently featured in the new Door's Documentary, "Mr. Mojo Risin': The Story of L.A. Woman," but we now have to share L.A.'s most beloved DJ with the rest of the country. Ladd is taking his free-form DJ style to a national audience on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Catch Jim Ladd on Deep Tracks, Monday-Friday from 4-8 p.m. on Sirius XM Channel 27.

K - Kareem Abdul Jabaar - He's the 19-time all-star and all-time leading scorer in NBA history with six MVPs. Today Kareem is an accomplished author and Cultural Ambassador for the United States, making this L.A. Lakers All-Star Eye on L.A.'s pick for Classic L.A.

L - L.A. River- This natural water source drew the first settlers to Los Angeles, and hundreds of years later, the nearly 48-mile L.A. River is still an important and iconic part of the city.

M - Movie Palaces - Once upon a time, Los Angeles had more movie palaces than almost any place on Earth. Decades later, some of those original theaters are still going strong!

N - Neon- Los Angeles was home to the first neon sign in the U.S. It was 1923 and they called it "liquid fire." That one sign set off a neon craze still alive today.

O - Observatory - L.A.'s two observatories are the homes to some of the most famous and important astronomical discoveries in the universe, including the discovery of the "Big Bang."

P - Public Art - L.A. is widely considered the mural capital of the world. With artwork as deep and personal as it is cool, from the Chicano Art Movement of the '70s to South Central's African American muralists who were clamoring for social justice, and the iconic images of Venice's Rip Cronk and Shepard Fairey - "Public Art" our letter P.

Q - Quakes - Many out of state people think of earthquakes when they think of Los Angeles. And with L.A. getting about 10,000 tremors each year, we had to agree that quakes are a part of Classic L.A.

R - Rainbow Bar & Grill - For generations of music icons like Ozzy Ozborne, Jon Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and Led Zepplin (to name a mere few), the Rainbow was the rock star sanctuary. Tina Malave paid a visit to the iconic Sunset Strip locale and got to visit the upstairs lounge which used to be known as "The Vampire's Lair," a private hang out usually taken over by musician pals John Lennon, Micky Dolenz and Alice Cooper.

S - See's Candies - Founded in Los Angeles in 1921 by Charles and Mary See, the world-famous candy company makes more than one billion pieces of candy every year. And most of the production still happens right here in L.A.

T - Tar Pits - If you pay a visit to the George C. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pit, you'll find that what they've found in the Tar Pits shows a very different picture of Wilshire Boulevard as late as 11,000 years ago, when it was filled with Mastedons, Sabre-toothed Cats, 1,500-pound sloths and even camels!

U - Union Station - An iconic image for Los Angeles, Union Station was known as one of America's great railway stations. With its original architecture and grand interiors it's truly a time capsule from the 1930s.

V - Vin Scully - When you hear the words "It's time for Dodger baseball!" There can only be one man behind the microphone, and you don't have to be a Dodger fan to know that when you're listening to Vin Scully, you're hearing classic L.A.

W - Weather - Our weather is pretty "Classic L.A." too! With its Mediterranean climate and nearly 150 miles of coastline, Southern California is best experienced under the sun.

X - eXes- When it comes to L.A. divorces the "X" always gets half. So what's considered the biggest payout in Hollywood history? Watch to find out!

Y - Yogananda - Here in L.A., meditation and downward dogging are a part of everyday life. But we might not have found that inner peace if it weren't for Paramahansa Yogananda, who brought the practice of Raja -- or meditative yoga -- to the U.S., making Los Angeles his home in 1925. Eye on L.A. got an interesting look at the man who brought "zen" into our L.A. lives through rare photos and footage of the yogi.

Z - Z-Boys - Back in 1975 a group of young surfers and skateboarders sponsored by Jeff Ho Surfboards and Zephyr Productions were dubbed the Z-Boys. Surfing the waves in the morning and the asphalt at night, the fearless and inventive Z-Boys revolutionized skateboarding and inspired generations of boarders to follow.

See photos of the A-Z list of the people, places and things that are "Classic L.A."!

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