The Place in L.A.
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The Place in L.A. (http://www.democracyforcalifornia.com/losangeles/index.php)
- The Best of L.A. (http://www.democracyforcalifornia.com/losangeles/forumdisplay.php?forumid=47)
-- Canyon Country (http://www.democracyforcalifornia.com/losangeles/showthread.php?threadid=1886)


Posted by Anitah on 09-09-2002 09:37 AM:

Canyon Country

For those of you who have never been here, L.A. is a basin surrounded by hills and mountains. The hills have canyons -- beautiful hiking trails, open country with horse ranches. There are all kinds of small communities, like Topanga and Malibu Canyon, where hippies, cowboys, bikers, and all sorts of bohemian types live. It is truly a world set apart from the rest of the city.

Kagel Canyon is one of those tucked away places.
Here's an L.A. Weekly article about it.

http://www.laweekly.com/ink/23/01/canyon-baker.php

Tell us about the canyons you've discovered.

__________________
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt


Posted by Anitah on 09-09-2002 09:48 AM:

Topanga Canyon

Greetings From Topanga Canyon
Over the hills and far away
by Celeste Fremon

I first moved to Topanga because my ex-husband, who was then my
boyfriend, told me it was suited to the anti-establishment side of my
temperament. He’d come here himself in the summer of 1969, having
made his way to California from Chicago, driving Route 66 to the
Pacific. In those days, the place bred a picturesque cast of
characters who arrived from various points east to settle in the hills
once occupied by the Gabrielino Indians. There was Ed Lange, who
bought acreage on the east side of the canyon to found a
"clothing-optional bohemian paradise" he called Elysium Fields.
Louis Marvin, the Green Stamps trust-fund boy, used his unearned
money to build the Moonfire Temple high on a Topanga ridge
overlooking the ocean, where orgies and other pagan rites were
infamously held for most of a decade. The doyenne of the town and
its spiritual center was a 40-ish woman named Mimi Smith, whose
nature probably best suited her to be the mistress of a Wild West
saloon. Since she was born a century too late, she and her formidably
handsome, full-blooded Ojibwe husband, Henry, compensated by
creating a Wild West of sorts around them in Topanga. This included
a coterie of outlaw types, regular Native American ceremonies and
the odd shootout. Mimi was also reputed to be expert at curses.

Geographically, Topanga is situated five miles north of the Pacific
Ocean, eight miles south of the Ventura Freeway. It occupies 18.5
square miles of chaparral-covered hill and creekside in
unincorporated L.A. County. Unlike in the more populous canyons
farther east — Benedict, Laurel, Beverly Glen — only about 13
percent of the land here has been developed. Topanga Creek, which
runs through the center of the canyon, is the third largest watershed
draining into Santa Monica Bay, and every few rainy seasons it
overflows its bounds, taking out part of the road. Steelhead trout have
been verified in the creek as recently as this past summer. During
really bad floods, cars are sometimes seen floating down Topanga
Creek like native water birds; in the deluge of 1969, three vehicles
made it all the way across Pacific Coast Highway and out to sea.

From the time of the first settlers, both desperadoes and the
avant-garde have found their way to the canyon. In the 1870s, the
notorious bandit Vasquez preyed on the mining companies in the
Tehachapis, then galloped home to his hideout in Topanga.
Hollywood types kept weekend cabins here for secret trysts in the
1920s. During World War II, the gangster Mickey Cohen operated a
clandestine casino and brothel out of the historic Mermaid Tavern.
(When I excavated to build my house a few hundred yards away from
where the Mermaid still stands, the skip-loader dug up what appears
to be an extremely rusted, 1940s-vintage pocket revolver.) In the ’50s,
left-wing artists and intellectuals fled to the canyon to wait out
McCarthy. It was then that actor Will Geer established his Theatricum
Botanicum. Woody Guthrie gravitated to Will’s theater whenever he
was in California, along with Pete Seeger, Odetta and Ramblin’ Jack
Elliott. In the ’60s and early ’70s, musician/residents such as Neil
Young, Canned Heat, the Eagles, Little Feat, Mick Fleetwood and
Linda Ronstadt gathered regularly to perform at local hangouts like
the Topanga Corral and the Mermaid Tavern — reinvented by then as
an upscale music salon. Jim Morrison wrote "Roadhouse Blues"
about the Corral, and bought the cabin right behind the place to have
his own foothold in Topanga. On certain summer weekends, Taj
Mahal would deep-sea fish in the morning, then stand atop a flatbed
truck parked at town’s center and give away the day’s catch,
whereupon he and his band would play while everybody danced.


Read more:
http://www.laweekly.com/ink/23/01/topanga-fremon.php

__________________
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt


Posted by Ross on 09-09-2002 12:00 PM:

Really tripped on this article, Anitah. Thanks. Topanga Canyon really does have "a sense of place", eh? My cooker is on full steam, but I haven't opened it. I'm in awe, want to go there, want a place like that to 'be'. The art colonies in New Mexico are collapsing by bulldozer and development. Thing about Topanga, it's just too rough and distant to be taken over by developers


Posted by brava on 09-09-2002 02:11 PM:

I really loved Topanga Canyon when I first moved to L.A. It definately has a strong sense of place and a lingering mystique that takes us back to Jim Morrison and others of that era. I'm sure some interesting types still live there, tucked away in the woods, far from the maddening crowd of the city


Posted by Anitah on 09-09-2002 03:55 PM:

Info on Topanga Canyon

Some pictures too.

http://www.ineverquit.com/topanga.html

__________________
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt


Posted by Anitah on 09-09-2002 04:01 PM:

Old Western Movie Ranch in Topanga

http://employees.oxy.edu/jerry/ingram.htm

__________________
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt


Posted by Anitah on 09-09-2002 04:42 PM:

The Mermaid

Famouse bar/club and film location in Topanga Canyon

"Let's Go Down to The Mermaid... And I Will Buy You a Bottle of Wine..." - Joni Mitchell, from her song, 'Cary'

Official site w/great pictures (An eye full of vintage California architecture):

http://www.themermaid.cc/pictures.htm

Check out the "virtual tour," it's pretty cool.

http://www.themermaid.cc/

__________________
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt


Posted by Anitah on 09-09-2002 04:48 PM:

The pool at The Mermaid

__________________
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt


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