LA City Tours Driver on the Cover of Los Angeles Times!

Hey guys – some really cool news.  Our longtime driver and friend Don Dangerfield Baisa is on the cover of today’s Los Angeles Times in a full article about his life as a tour guide in Hollywood!

LA City Tours Driver Don "always hoping the stars are out..."  Us too!

LA City Tours Driver Don “always hoping the stars are out…” Us too!

LA City Tours driver Don "He Wants Stars in their Eyes"

LA City Tours driver Don “He Wants Stars in their Eyes”

LA City Tours makes the cover of the LA Times!

LA City Tours makes the cover of the LA Times!

That’s right, the story shared the front page with other big-deal headlines, like Elections in Egypt and the Levitated Mass opening at LACMA.  From the abbreviated online LA Times article (the full story in the paper is so worth a read):

Baisa…knows what his passengers want during their two-hour journey through Hollywood and Beverly Hills….

On this afternoon, as his tour winds through Trousdale Estates, Baisa gets lucky. “Look, everyone!” he says, pausing outside Courteney Cox‘s sprawling home. “It’s David Arquette. Hi, David!”

Arquette, unsmiling, waves. He pulls a white Avanti convertible into a gated driveway.

“Oh my God!” one Australian tourist gushes. “Hi, David! Hi, David!”

“Yes, this is Hollywood, folks,” Baisa says amid the heightened chatter and iPhone camera flashes. “Where the stars live, work and play.”

The article is an interesting and unflinching look at the diverse characteristics of the modern day Hollywood.  We feel honored that our driver of 4+ years Don was chosen for the article and gave such a full portrait.  Grab a tall soy latte, stear clear of the homeless man in your favorite chair at Starbucks, and flip through the LA Times and read all about it!  I did.

If you’re in Los Angeles on vacation or planning one, come down to our office on Hollywood boulevard and we’ll give you our best shot at seeing stars!  If you bring in a copy of the paper, hell, we’ll give you a discount.

There’s lots to do while you’re in the expansive City of Angels.  On our Los Angeles sightseeing tour, we take you through the historic and cultural diverse hotspots in Los Angeles and fill you in on Hollywood history, old and new.  We do, as the article in the LA Times suggests, the movie stars homes tour, and we also do Santa Monica beaches tours, Disneyland and Universal Studios stuff, and while Los Angeles Vacation Packages!  Today is a great day to go!  Then again, every day is a great day in southern california, so give us a call or visit LA City Tours if you’re coming anytime soon!

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Rising Star Yuna at Amoeba Records, Hollywood

This is the last weekend of the Los Angeles Film Festival (still some good films today to catch if you get a chance!) and I caught a live performance of some really talented artists at one of the Fest’s “Music in Film” events at the LA Grammy Museum.  In particular, the rising indie pop star Yuna caught my attention!

She has a really cool sound and is super charming.  Yuna sounds kind of Norah Jones-ish with more of an indie-pop bent, and she’s from Malaysia and has a really cool backstory!  Want to check her out?  You’re in luck because she will actually be performing at the iconic Amoeba Records on Tueday for free! (Most Amoeba performances are free – just another reason why its the best damn record store in America)

Malaysian pop star Yuna will be performing at Amoeba Records on Tues

What URB has said about Yuna after a live show that had people lined up around the corner to get in:

“Vocally, the singer blends the sultriness of a jazz chanteuse with the sincerity of an acoustic singer-songwriter – think Norah Jones meets Regina Spektor or Ane Brun – and balances an inherent sense of confidence with a nervousness more endearing than perplexing.”

A little more info on her from Yunamusic.com:

At the age of 19, while in law school, she picked up a guitar and began to fervently write. She released her self-titled EP in Malaysia in 2008.  Yuna joined FADER Label in summer 2010 and released her digital EP Decorate in March 2011, which had fans, critics from Billboard, KEXP, The New York Post, and even Russell Simmons himself, who raved, “an amazing new singer…her music is incredible”, all instantly praising her talents.

Also in 2011, SPIN featured Yuna in their Buzzcatcher piece, “Eight Bands You Need to Hear Now” and she gave a stellar performance before a packed audience at MTV Iggy’s “Best New Band in the World” concert in New York City. In January 2012, Yuna released “Live Your Life”, the first single from her forthcoming full-length album. It started getting airplay immediately at Sirius – The Loft, KCRW and KROQ. The music video premiered on MTV2 and was featured on the homepage of VEVO.com. Yuna’s self-titled album will be released on April 24, 2012.

Law school?!! Another interesting fact that Garth Trinidad (who was hosting the “Music in Film” event) noted was that Yuna was actually discovered on Myspace when she posted songs there that she’d recorded for fun in her house on her computer in Malaysia!  Now, she’s with Fader Records and you can look for her cover of The Beatles “Here Comes the Sun” on Oliver Stone’s upcoming film “Savages”…what a journey!

Malaysian singer/songwriter Yuna will visit Amoeba to play a set and sign copies of her self-titled album (out now on the Fader Label).  On our Hollywood tours we explain how awesome Amoeba Records is, so you should check it out regardless. It would be a great way to finish up a day in Hollywood after one of our tours – by listening to a great new musician and getting your CD signed by her! Just check out her sound:

If you’re in Los Angeles on vacation or planning one, come down to our office on Hollywood boulevard and we’ll fill you in on any cool new music acts going on at Amoeba and the many famous nearby venues and nightclubs!  There’s lots to do while you’re in the expansive City of Angels.  On our Los Angeles sightseeing tour, we take you through the historic and cultural diverse hotspots in Los Angeles and fill you in on Hollywood history, old and new.  We also do Santa Monica beaches tours, Disneyland and Universal Studios stuff, and while Los Angeles Vacation Packages!  Today is a great day to go!  Then again, every day is a great day in southern cali, so give us a call or visit LA City Tours if you’re coming anytime soon!

Hollywood Celebrity-of-the-Day: Dustin Hoffman

It’s true, celebrities may not live in Hollywood (they live in much nicer neighborhoods, of course – we take you there on our hilarious Movie Stars Homes Tour) but they do come to Hollywood, whether just walking around (Kim Kardashian!) or to walk down the red carpet at a film premiere at the Chinese Theatres.  Two fridays ago, Hollywood was buzzing at the Rock of Ages Premiere (Tom Cruise, Catherina Zeta Jones, Julianne Hough, Paul Giamatti, and Russell Brand were all across the street from our office – to name a few!  Write-up to come….I’m a little behind.)

To illustrate what I mean, today’s Hollywood Celebrity-of-the-Day goes to Oscar winning legendary actor Dustin Hoffman.  Seriously!

Dustin Hoffman with Donnie in front of LA City Tours!

Dustin Hoffman with Donnie in front of LA City Tours!

Know much about the guy?  He has an interesting past!  From Imdb:

Graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1954. Went to Santa Monica City College where he dropped out after a year due to bad grades. But before he did, he took an acting course because he was told that “nobody flunks acting.” Also received some training at Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. Decided to go into acting because he did not want to work or go into the service. Trained at The Pasadena Playhouse for two years.

I’d say Dustin certainly didn’t flunk since he’s gotten 2 Oscars and 7 nominations. (“Boooring,” says Dustin.)  About a year ago Dustin was around on a regular basis while they filmed “Luck” the HBO series as the nearby Santa Anita racetrack.  Sadly, the show was cancelled (I never got to see it…sad about the horses) but I’m sure he’ll come back with a passion in his upcoming film to look for “The Song of Names”.

If you’re in Los Angeles on vacation or planning one, come down to our office on Hollywood boulevard and we’ll take you to all the spots where you’re most likely to see the famous actors, musicians, and socialites that have been in all your favorite parts of pop culture!  There’s lots to do while you’re in the expansive City of Angels, celebrity schtuff is one small part of it.  On our Los Angeles sightseeing tour, we take you through the historic and cultural diverse hotspots in Los Angeles and fill you in on Hollywood history, old and new.  We also do Santa Monica beaches tours, Disneyland and Universal Studios stuff, and while Los Angeles Vacation Packages!  Today is a great day to go!  Then again, every day is a great day in southern cali, so give us a call or visit LA City Tours if you’re coming anytime soon!

Celebrities at LA Kings Games!

The Los Angeles Kings are having a historic hockey season this year.  Have you heard?

The Kings won their division for the only time in their history in 1990–91.[3] They have qualified for post-season play in twenty-four seasons, advancing past the first round twelve times, and past the second round twice.[4] The franchise won their conference championship and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals in the 1992–93 season, losing to the Montreal Canadiens in five games.[5]

On May 22, 2012, the Kings beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4–3 in overtime in Phoenix to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993. From Kings’ Wikipedia page.

In other words, the Kings are probably the worst hockey team out there.  They even declared bankruptcy at some point a few decades ago!  They’ve never been to the finals in the last 19 years.  And today, in Game 6, if they win this game against the Devils, they will WIN THE STANLEY CUP FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY!

For a lot of Angelenos who never paid attention to the Kings or hockey before, it’s an exciting time.  Especially as the Lakers and the Clippers are both not in the NBA playoffs and there’s no other teams to cheer for!  (well, other than the Dodgers or Angels, but its so soon in the season for anybody to get too excited.) And maybe thats why so many CELEBRITIES have come out of the hills to get in on the excitement!  Check out a few of the sightings:

Will Ferrell funnyman of Anchorman fame looks a little nervous.  Don't worry we're up 4-0!

Will Ferrell funnyman of Anchorman fame looks a little nervous. Don’t worry we’re up 4-0!

Martin Short must have said something funny for that Will Arnett face!

Martin Short must have said something funny for that Will Arnett face!

Vince Vaughn not stoked on the cameras...kiss cam, babies!

Vince Vaughn not stoked on the cameras…kiss cam!

Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard...whoa....are these two an item???!!!

Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard…whoa….are these two an item???!!! Ellen Page cameo on True Blood?

If you’re in Los Angeles on vacation or planning one, come down to our office on Hollywood boulevard and we’ll fill you in on sports games YOU should go to while in LA!  There’s lots to do while you’re in the expansive City of Angels.  On our Los Angeles sightseeing tour, we take you through the historic and cultural diverse hotspots in Los Angeles and fill you in on Hollywood history, old and new.  We also do Santa Monica beaches tours, Disneyland and Universal Studios stuff, and while Los Angeles Vacation Packages!  Today is a great day to go!  Then again, every day is a great day in southern cali, so give us a call or visit LA City Tours if you’re coming anytime soon!

Hollywood-Celebrity-of-the-Day: Eddie Murphy – loves his cuppa joe!

I haven’t had a chance to post this pic till today from our recent sighting of one of my all-time favorite comedians (and actors) Eddie Murphy!

Eddie Murphy in his nice black convertible...cheers to you too!

Eddie Murphy in his nice black convertible…cheers to you too!

What is he drinking?  I bet its something cool, like a Cuban latte with extra cinnamon.  Who knows, I should have asked Xochitl, who snapped this pic on our tour, if she asked him!  Man, I love the Murphy.  Have you seen any of his early stand up?  If you ignore The Nutty Professor, he’s almost had a flawless comedic career!

In my opinion, and I’m not exactly an expert but I have seen my fair share of Eddie Murphy films, these are his top 5 ALL TIME FLICKS that Eddie Murphy has been in:

5. Beverly Hills Cop.  Come on, with that classic theme song, how could this not be on the list!

4. A two way toss up between two medium-good comedies: Meet Dave (A crew of miniature aliens operate a spaceship that has a human form; you guessed it, small Eddie Murphy inside of big Eddie Murphy) and Coming to America (An African prince goes to Queens, New York City to find a wife whom he can respect for her intelligence and will….).  Actually, Coming to America is really pretty good, and it features a funny Aresnio Hall, but if you like Eddie’s physical comedy, you’ll enjoy Meet Dave too.

3. Shrek.  Any of them, but the first is the best.  Love Eddie in his role of Donkey.  Murphy, Mike Myers, and and Dreamworks, great combo!  Dooooonkey!

2. Vampire in Brooklyn.  Eddie plays a swoony Caribbean vampire named Max. “Maximillian is the only survivor from a race of vampires on a Caribbean Island, and as a vampire, he must find a mate to keep the line from ending. He knows that a child had been born to a woman who had a vampire father, and he searches for her in Brooklyn….” Naturally.

AND the all time best film Eddie Murphy has been in goes to…..

1. BOWFINGER !  It’s the best Eddie Murphy film that nobody ever saw.  Seriously, I really enjoyed it, it’s got STEVE MARTIN in it also, not to mention Eddie Murphy plays two people: a celebrity “jiff ramsey” and his unfamous brother “kit ramsey”. (Kit Ramsey has braces, that alone is worth renting this on netflix.)

Just my opinion, of course…

If you’re in Los Angeles on vacation or planning one, come down to our office on Hollywood boulevard and we’ll fill you in on everything we did (or didn’t) want to know about Eddie Murphy and other celebrities!  And, we’ll keep an eye out for him in his black convertible!  There’s lots to do while you’re in the expansive City of Angels.  On our Los Angeles sightseeing tour, we take you through the historic and cultural diverse hotspots in Los Angeles and fill you in on Hollywood history, old and new.  We also do Santa Monica beaches tours, Disneyland and Universal Studios stuff, and while Los Angeles Vacation Packages!  Today is a great day to go!  Then again, every day is a great day in southern cali, so give us a call or visit LA City Tours if you’re coming anytime soon!

The Rock sells Los Angeles Mansion with Pink and Purple Princess Room!

It’s true – Dwayne Johnson, or The Rock as some of us still call him, sold his Los Angeles home in the Hidden Hills for nearly $4.9 million!!!  Not a bad deal in this housing economy (lol).

I like the Rock.  I know he wants to be called by his real name and get away from his WWF days and on to “serious roles”.  (He interviewed on a late night talk show, forget which, and said he really really wanted to do serious roles if anyone would give him a chance).  But personally, I think he’s really charming in his silly comedic roles – like, uh “The Tooth Fairy”!   There’s just something funny and sweet about this big ex wrestler playing a nice but frustrated guy in tutus talking to kids.  And funnily enough, after seeing the bedroom where his little daughter sleeps in the pics leaked, presumably, from his realtors, you can see he REALLY must be a big softie at heart!

Check it out:

Just look at this cute room - are those pink and purple monkeys hanging from the ceiling?

Just look at this cute room – are those pink and purple monkeys hanging from the ceiling?

Awwww how sweet.  The Rock totally loves his daughter!  Can’t you see him tucking her in and telling her to put her tooth under the pillow and she’ll get a dollar bill…or a hundred dollar bill, whatever it is these days.

Considering the look of the rest of the house, I wouldn’t be surprised.  It’s sweet!

Yup.  Exactly how every Celebrity mansion looks in my imagination!

Yup. Exactly how every Celebrity mansion looks in my imagination.  Maybe add some waiter with champagne in a white suit standing next to the pool and there you go.

This is how I want to watch "The Scorpion King"!

This is how I want to watch “The Scorpion King”!

Infinity pool, that's what I'm talkin bout.

Infinity pool, that’s what I’m talkin bout.

Like.  So where is The Rock moving to?  Not sure.  Maybe he’s moving to Europe, since Fast and Furious 6 is going to be filming in London and Berlin a lot.  (I know, there’s been 6 OF THEM already???) From Collider.com:

We already knew that the Justin Lin-directed Fast and Furious 6 would be taking place overseas, andJohnson recently told Steve that they’ll specifically be filming in London and Berlin.  Variety’s casting report notes that the plot involves everyone’s favorite street racing crew going across the pond to work on a heist job.  Evans’ villain role is that of the leader of another crew attempting to pull off the same job.  We previously learned that Jason Statham turned down a role in the film, so presumably he was offered this same villain that Evans will be playing.

Before the release of the surprisingly great Fast Five, rumors arose that Universal was toying with the idea of switching up the genre of the franchise and churning out a series of heist movies.  Five got the ball rolling on the whole heist idea, and with the Fast and Furious 6 plot details centering around a heist, it definitely sounds like the rumors were true.

Come visit us at LA City Tours and we’ll get you set up on a trip to tour all of the biggest movie stars homes!  If you’re in Los Angeles on vacation or planning one, come down to our office on Hollywood boulevard for shopping tours, trips to Santa Monica beach, LAX layover, or entire Los Angeles vacation packages.  Today is a great day to go!  Every day is a great day in southern california, so give us a call or visit LA City Tours if you’re coming anytime soon!

LAPD Officer Sets Santa Monica Ferris Wheel World Record!

Big news this weekend in Santa Monica – a world record has been set!  A Los Angeles police officer named Gus Martinez rode the 130-feet tall Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel from 7:30 am on May 31 to 8:30 am on June 1, earning the Guinness Book of World Record title for “Longest Ride on a Theme Park Ride”!! Congratulations!  Not only did he set the record, he was doing it for a great cause – the Special Olympics Southern California – and for his son, an athlete in the Special Olympics.

This is the Ferris Wheel in Santa Monica that Guz rode to set the record - check out Pacific Park on Facebook for more pics!

This is the Ferris Wheel in Santa Monica that Gus rode to set the record – check out PacWheelWatch on Facebook for more pics!

I love Ferris Wheels, but can you imagine riding that thing for 25 hours??! That’s commitment.  From the Pacific Park of Santa Monica Pier site:

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier joined Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) and Southern California Law Enforcement in its 25-hour effort to break the current Guinness World Record of 24 hours and 30 minutes. Gus Martinez remained in the Ferris wheel gondola throughout the record-setting period and was periodically joined by Jason, his son and SOSC (Special Olympics Southern California) athlete. Additional family members, friends and law enforcement officers were also riding along and cheering him on each minute of the way. After setting the record, Gus Martinez and his son lit the official Southern California Law Enforcement Torch held by a Santa Monica Law Enforcement Officer and SOSC athlete. The pair ran up the Santa Monica Pier, down Colorado Blvd., onto Main Street to the Santa Monica Police Department where the flame will be kept for the weekend. On Monday, June 4, Law Enforcement Officials will kick-off the Southern California legs of the Southern California Law Enforcement Torch Run for SOSC Summer Games.

Congratulations Gus and all of Santa Monica!

Gus and his Son smiling for pics after the record was set; Gus doesn't even look dizzy!!

Gus and his Son smiling for pics after the record was set; Gus doesn’t even look dizzy!!

It’s a good time (and perfect weather) to get check out the Santa Monica Pier.  You may not set any world records, but you can still ride in the Ferris Wheel!!

Come visit us at LA City Tours and we’ll get you set up on a trip to Santa Monica Pier and beaches and fill you in on other things to do!  If you’re in Los Angeles on vacation or planning one, come down to our office on Hollywood boulevard for shopping tours, trips to Santa Monica beach, LAX layover, or entire Los Angeles vacation packages.  Today is a great day to go!  Every day is a great day in southern california, so give us a call or visit LA City Tours if you’re coming anytime soon!