Venue Details

14 Star Starred
The Esotouric Bus - W Avenue 26
370 W Avenue 26 Los Angeles, CA 90031
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Bring a sack lunch, and leave room for a complementary cookie and coffee break.
John Fante's Dreams Bus Tour
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10 events
4 reviews
78 stars
Everything at the Amtrack Station - Great!
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Reviews & Ratings

"John Fante's Bunker Hill" Bus Tour
7 ratings
3.4 average rating
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7 events
4 reviews
6 stars
attended Jun 16 2007

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

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10 events
4 reviews
1 stars
attended Jun 16 2007

This event was great, we booked it for a fathers day surprise for my father in law. There were 4 of us and we had a great time. There were places in LA that I have never even seen even though I have lived here for a while. Everyone that was on our...continued

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3 events
2 reviews
9 stars
attended Jul 22 2007

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!

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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.