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I live near Sunset and Benton Way. A neighbor told me I’m “HaFo/SaFo adjacent.” What’s the story?

Illustration by Jason Schneider Neighborhood nicknames in New York take their cues from street monikers; L.A. finds inspiration in business signage. In this case, “HaFo/SaFo” is short for “Happy Foot/Sad...

What is that tiny bridge on the 210 near Marengo?

Image courtesy of wikipedia.org In 1972, after Pasadena residents complained about highway noise and visual pollution, parts of the 210 were built below grade—city streets were scooped out to create...

Which bar is the oldest in Los Angeles?

Photograph courtesy of Cole's Vintage joints such as Town House and the Golden Gopher claim pre-Prohibition lineage, but since it’s impossible for me to pin down the illegal in-between...

Why does L.A. have so few public trash cans?

Photograph courtesy flickr.com/waltarrrrr There are more than 5,000 wire mesh baskets on the streets—not that we couldn’t use more. Chicago has 7,850. The good news is the city is rolling...

Is it true that Bob Keane, who was Ritchie Valens’s producer, had something to do with shipping sand from Manhattan Beach to Waikiki?

Photograph courtesy flickr.com/TurtleStay There’s a plaque in Manhattan Beach that says Kuhn Brothers Construction began sending sand to Waikiki in the 1920s. One of those brothers was Bob’s dad (the...

I’ve read that Hollywood Park racetrack is closing, but bands play there from time to time. What gives?

Illustration by Jason Schneider The Inglewood park is in the final stretch. For six months of the year the ponies still run (they’re simulcast on video the rest of the...

Valet parking is said to have originated at either the Brown Derby or Lawry’s the Prime Rib. Do you know which one it was?

Photograph courtesy flickr.com/Loren Javier Neither, actually. Lawry’s has offered the service since the day it opened on La Cienega in 1938. However, Sally Cobb, the late owner of the Derby...

There’s a secured area on Cahuenga Boulevard off the 101. What’s inside?

Photo Courtesy of lacity.org Think of it as the holding pen for the city’s greenery. The Bureau of Street Services operates this 2.5-acre yard as a temporary storage spot for...

I hear that cult leader Jim Jones had a church in L.A. Did he preach here?

Photograph courtesy skyscrapercity.com Six years before he led a mass suicide in Guyana, Jones and his People’s Temple purchased an ornate old church at Hoover and Alvarado streets. The Romanesque...

I just watched Jerry Lewis in the 1960 classic Cinderfella. What’s the location of the crazy mansion where they shot the film? Is it intact?

Photograph courtesy ioffer.com The Kirkeby Mansion in Bel-Air was a popular filming location. Lewis toiled for a wicked stepmother outside the same beaux arts estate that would go on to...