Where in LA should I take my anachronistic sister?
February 5, 2008 9:38 AM   Subscribe

Where in the Los Angeles area should I take my charmingly anachronistic sister?

My sister will be visiting for a weekend (of Feb 15) for a Highland dance competition, and I'd like to find some interesting things to do in Los Angeles. Her interests include Jane Austen, books, language, history, Britain, Scotland, old movies, Gilbert & Sullivan, etc.

Can you recommend a nice and/or slightly anachronistic restaurant? Also, do you know of anything else that she might find interesting? I'm thinking the Huntington Library & Gardens, and perhaps the Silent Movie Theater. Last time, we went to the Museum of Jurassic Technology, and she seemed to enjoy it.
(She's an adult, mid-20s if it matters.)

If I were selfish, I'd take her to see Siouxsie, but I don't think she'd appreciate it very much!
posted by kidbritish to Society & Culture (24 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
If you like MJT, the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition is amazing *and* animatronic. And not to be confused with the Scientology center. 6331 Hollywood Boulevard.
posted by unknowncommand at 9:45 AM on February 5, 2008

I'm not sure if this helps, but Amoeba Music might have some classic silent movie CD's if she likes the classical piano played amongst most of them.

Don't quote me on that, I've never specifically looked for anything of that nature in Amoeba.

The Hollywood Wax Museum might have some classic stars.

And the La Brea Tar Pits if she is into that as well.

I'm probably not helping, but it's worth a shot!
posted by Schuby at 9:48 AM on February 5, 2008

Best answer: I adore Musso & Frank's. Old-fashioned service, olden-timey interiors, and amazing little olden-timey cocktails.
posted by mynameisluka at 10:18 AM on February 5, 2008

As far as coffeeshops go, I had a blast sipping coffee at the Bourgeois Pig. I don't know if it's still a popular place but it was interesting. Even though I didn't go to the LaBrea Tar Pits, I hear it is a very very inspiring destination.
posted by mamaraks at 10:24 AM on February 5, 2008

Best answer: Sounds like she would LOVE the Gamble House in Pasadena, and the gardens, museums and libraries at Huntington Gardens. In fact, she's probably the ideal demographic for both of those.
posted by luriete at 10:24 AM on February 5, 2008

If you're interested in something off the beaten path, consider checking out the amazing Watts Towers.

Besides being beautiful, they have a real sense of story and history (and so does the surrounding area, which has changed enormously since the towers were built). Go early in the day and ask for a tour.
posted by Mender at 10:25 AM on February 5, 2008

Best answer: Another vote for Musso & Franks for dinner. Classic old school setting, menu, cocktails, and service.
posted by scody at 10:31 AM on February 5, 2008

Best answer: Nthing Musso & Franks. Chicken Pot Pie specials are on Thursday.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:34 AM on February 5, 2008

Best answer: I've been going to Musso's since I was a baby...but do go to the Tam O' Shanter for prime rib. She might also like the Forever Hollywood show at the Egyptian.
posted by brujita at 10:57 AM on February 5, 2008

Cafe 50s could be fun too.
posted by sharkfu at 10:57 AM on February 5, 2008

Best answer: Also: you probably already know this, but the Huntington also does a nice traditional English tea (reservations required). If for some reason that doesn't work out, but you think she'd like the idea, there are some other tearooms in town -- e.g., the Rose Tree Cottage in Pasadena or the Tudor House in Santa Monica.
posted by scody at 11:09 AM on February 5, 2008

Best answer: If you wind up in Pasadena to see the Gamble House (which is gorgeous and lovely) be sure to see Castle Green. It's right in the center of Old Town, and it's wonderfully bizarre and non-modern, and used as a backdrop in plenty of movies.
posted by tula at 11:39 AM on February 5, 2008

Best answer: The UCLA Film & Television Archive will be showing 2 pre-code movies on Saturday the 16th that she might enjoy.
posted by mogget at 11:44 AM on February 5, 2008

Best answer: Taking one of the guided tours of the Gamble House would be a lovely idea. They have a nice gift shop too in the house's garage, full of great books; make sure to leave time for browsing. Then you could drive around Pasadena slowly and ogle all the wonderful arts and crafts architecture; there are larger mansions near the Gamble House area, and then sweet little craftsman bungalows in the "Bungalow Heaven" historical district.

Preserve L.A. has a list of walking tours too -- an Art Deco buildings tour, a Los Angeles history tour, etc.
posted by Asparagirl at 11:48 AM on February 5, 2008

Well, it's not LA specific, but going to an English Country dance, or a Scottish Country dance class might be just the thing for a Jane Austen fan.

Someone described English Country dance to me as 90 minutes of foreplay. Maybe not for everyone, but we like it. You could do this anywhere.
posted by vilcxjo_BLANKA at 12:43 PM on February 5, 2008

Cocktails at the Edison, perhaps? It's a relatively new but retro-ish lounge in LA's first private power plant. Has a dress code, FYI.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:43 PM on February 5, 2008

If you're keen on taking a slightly morbid twist on Old Hollywood, head over to Hollywood Forever Cemetary. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous and you'll find the creme de la creme of Hollywood buried there.

There are also quite a few Russian and Armenian graves, which adds a nice touch of local history to the whole trip. :-)
posted by arishaun at 2:54 PM on February 5, 2008

You could do a Sex & Rockets Tour: go to Pasadena for what used to be the Agape House of the OTO at 1071 South Orange Grove (where Jack Parsons and Elron Hubbard met and cast spells); then to JPL (where Parsons invented modern rocketry, plus there's great short hiking trails); then to the big weird Scientology center on Sunset where you can gawk at the slaves.

To eat: Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena has fantastic bangers and mash, and El Cochinito on Sunset has the best roast pork ever.
posted by generalist at 4:38 PM on February 5, 2008

Best answer: How about Maxwell DeMille's Cicada Club? Wonderfully retro!
posted by Space Kitty at 8:03 PM on February 5, 2008

Barney's Beanery.
posted by Unsomnambulist at 10:37 PM on February 5, 2008

FYI, the Silent Movie Theater is mainly a talkie house now (albeit a hip one).

The delightfully archaic songbird Janet Klein has two gigs that weekend, one of them a freebie.
posted by Scram at 12:19 AM on February 6, 2008

Los Angeles Time Machines - "Los Angeles metropolitan area historic restaurants, bars, buildings and hotels from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s with a description of their history (movie palaces, motel signs, and remnants of Rt. 66 as well) - places like the Brown Derby Restaurant, Musso and Frank's, the Formosa Cafe, Miceli's Italian Restaurant and Canter's Deli - this website concentrates on the history of those bastions of a bygone era."
posted by conrad53 at 8:37 AM on February 6, 2008

Check out the website of the Historical Society of Southern California for ideas. Will Rogers State Park (in the Pacific Palisades) has a tour of his house and a museum running film clips in a loop about him. The Los Angeles Conservancy has walking tours and info about historical places in LA. Finally, seconding the Hollywood Forever Cemetery - they have tours as well.
posted by ljshapiro at 9:38 AM on February 6, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone, for some wonderful ideas. You've been extremely helpful!
posted by kidbritish at 11:25 AM on February 8, 2008

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