In his role as Executive Editor at TASCHEN Books, Jim Heimann has overseen the creation of dozens of books on art, architecture, and fringe culture. His 2009 opus Los Angeles: Portrait of a City is indispensible for understanding this place. Heimann is an L.A. native who has been presenting the wonders of Southern California to a worldwide audience for decades and is the perfect choice to create Get Lost, a guide for “mature visitors” to Hollywood commissioned by the hotel Mama Shelter.
The fold-out fun map suggests hotel guests drop by Musso & Frank, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and the other grande dames of the boulevard, but he seems much happier directing them towards the (vanishing) seamy underbelly with pins placed at Pla-Boy Liquor, the Seventh Veil, and SOS bail bonds. We should all thank Pan that as Hollywood goes ever more upscale there is still room for shops that sell movie posters and witchcraft supplies.
I don’t know what these poor tourists are going to think when they show up at the crappy 50s apartment building that replaced the Victorian home of Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum or a couple other “things that aren’t here anymore” locations but even locals can learn a thing or two from this Heimann’s-eye-view of Hollywood.
Mama Shelter is a French-based hotel chain that opened last summer in the 90-year-old building that was once the Hotel Hollywood Wilcox. In the 1970s and 80s the ground floor was sealed off while the building was used by Scientology and then it seemed to sit empty for years. Today you can order a $10 bottle of water at the lovely looking 70-room inn with a chalkboard on the lobby ceiling and a restaurant about to open on the roof.