Venue Details

14 Star Starred
The Esotouric Bus - W Avenue 26
370 W Avenue 26 Los Angeles, CA 90031
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3.4 / 5 Rated by 7 members
Review from Goldstar Member
29 events 13 reviews

The tour operators obviously spent a lot of time putting this tour together-the sites, history, videos, guests and yes, even the food was amazing.

Can't wait to go on one of their other "tours"

reviewed Jul 22 2007 report as inappropriate
Review from Nicole Wright
7 events 4 reviews

learned a lot on this tour that I didn't know about downtown Los Angeles and the Author: Fante. A really great experience.

reviewed Jun 16 2007 report as inappropriate
Review from Lucinda K.
3 events 2 reviews

SO much fun! A great way to spend a day, and worth every (half-priced!) penny!

I would totally pay full price for an event like this, but it's so fantastic to not have to do so. Thanks Goldstar!

reviewed Jul 22 2007 report as inappropriate
View All 7 Reviews
More Information


This is the downtown literary tour featured in the Los Angeles Times Calendar and Sunday sections, which earned the title of Best Downtown Tour from the Downtown News.

Before Kerouac, before Bukowski, there was John Fante, author of “Ask the Dust,” “Dreams of Bunker Hill,” “Full of Life,” “The Road to Los Angeles” and “Wait Until Spring, Bandini.” This five-novel cycle, written over sixty years, introduced the world to Arturo Bandini, an outspoken, down-and-out Mr. Hyde to Fante’s Dr. Jekyll.

As Bunker Hill’s prodigal son, Fante-as-Bandini chronicles a forgotten downtown Los Angeles neighborhood teeming with immigrants, criminals and dreamers like himself. With genuine compassion and wonderful craft, he sketches the hopes and dreams which fly round their heads, and in the process finds his own voice, a revelation which carries him all the way to Hollywood. Once there, he is distracted by fame and fortune, and settles for easy answers to the questions of faith in oneself, the nature of inspiration, and the duality of failure and redemption. “Dreams of Bunker Hill” was dictated by a blind Fante two years before his death, and “Road to Los Angeles” was published posthumously.

Bunker Hill is gone now, flattened, its mansions torn down, long since redeveloped by corporate and civic interests. But in today’s downtown communities the same stories play out, in thriving micro-climates where artists and writers find their voices, where some are making it big and others breaking up on the reef, some moving away and others coming back in search of what they have lost.

Arturo Bandini is alive and well, and his lament is as relevant today as it was 75 years ago. So please join us as we follow in his footsteps, to the Goodwill store, King Eddy’s, Clifton’s Cafeteria (“pay what you can”), the Los Angeles Library’s Reading Room and the Post Office Terminal Annex (important landmarks for Bukowski and Fante), the ghosts of Sonora Town (now Chinatown), and other evocative scenes of old L.A.

We’ll also visit Tai Kim’s acclaimed Scoops gelato shop for a complementary serving of flavors inspired by Fante’s life and work.

This a new Esotouric bus adventure, hosted by Kelly Kuvo and Richard Schave.

<em>Company</em> Paranormal Investigation on the Queen Mary <em>An Evening of Classic Broadway</em> Lionel Richie & Mariah Carey <em>The Book of Mormon</em> <em>The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Mean Gurlz</em>