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This week’s column is a special all-L.A. edition; enjoy!

Los Angeles is just New York lying down - Quentin Crisp

Los Angeles is a large city-like area surrounding the Beverly Hills Hotel - Fran Liebowitz

Los Angeles is 72 suburbs in search of a city - Dorothy Parker


March 21 - April 19 Aries
Aries loves elegance and beauty and to see and be seen. Therefore I suggest you hightail it over to The Blvd at The Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, located at 9500 Wilshire Boulevard in the luxurious & opulent heart of Beverly Hills - directly across the street from the shops on Rodeo Drive. This hotel, built in 1928, is a classic L.A. landmark in the Italian Renaissance style of architecture, and seethes with celebrities on a daily basis. A number of movies have been filmed there, including Pretty Woman and Clueless. HBO’s series Entourage frequently uses it as a location. Join the media power brokers at The Blvd where you can order up a vodka gimlet, a martini, or whatever tickles your fancy while glimpsing anyone from Mick Jagger to Warren Buffet on the next barstool. They also feature a great menu of everything from Kobe beef burgers to prime rib-eye steaks. And it feels like Old Hollywood reborn into the Age of New Media.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Taurus loves up that comfort food and nothing is more comforting than good ol’ cheeseburgers and apple pie. And that in fact is just about all you can get at the Apple Pan at 10801 W. Pico Blvd. Dating back to 1947, this place is no frills. It’s basically just a circular counter where patrons sit and order. The hickory burger is the house specialty. At lunchtime the line snakes around the perimeter of the room and out the door. This is a classic diner and the service is brusque and businesslike. It’s probably the cheapest meal you can find in Los Angeles County. And definitely order the Apple Pie (with vanilla ice cream) which is baked on the premises. To quote the Los Angeles Times, In the shadow of the Westside Pavilion in West L.A. stands a tiny building that houses a world. People come there for burgers and pie, and they keep coming back because something about the place is magnetic. They can’t stay away.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Geminis are passionate for obscure, offbeat places and facts. Your destination, should you be anywhere near the zip code of 90024 this weekend, should be the Raymond Chandler Los Angeles (Vroman’s Edition) Bus Tour this Saturday October 11th. This journey is served up by the fantastic folks of the Esotouric Bus Company, whose tagline is Bus Adventures into the secret heart of LAEsotouric Tours veer off into fascinating, neglected neighborhoods with tour guides who are passionate, brainy and hilarious. Trip themes are provocative and complex, with a mix of crime and social history, rock and roll and architecture, literature and film, fine art and urban studies etcetera etcetera. Even the snack stops are unique: a Chinese dumpling picnic in a garden of concrete sea monsters, homemade mint lemonade and cookies at the site of the first UFO sighting in the Southland, or Black Dahlia and Nicotine flavored gelato at Scoops in East Hollywood. The Raymond Chandler Tour leaves from Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena on Saturday at noon. Call them to reserve seats - 626-449-5320. The tour will be four hours long with a gelato stop at Scoop’s. Let’s quote Raymond Chandler, because you won’t be driving: Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
If you’re sentimental, a lover of fine things, and beautifully handmade items thrill you - you must be the moonchild of the Zodiac. And you would walk into Jack Taylor’s men’s apparel store at 341 North Camden Drive in Beverly Hills (310-274-7276) and feel right at home. There was a time when men were men and movie stars were glamorous. That’s the era when Jack Taylor made suits for the likes of the Rat Pack, Cary Grant, Jan Murray, Jackie Gleason, the Duke of Windsor, President Truman, Mike Douglas, Monty Hall, Danny Thomas, Charles Bronson, even Elvis Presley. Frank Sinatra was buried in one of his suits. Many actors of the day actually put it into their studio contracts that they wear his suits in their films. Mr. Taylor, now 90 years old and still working every day in his shop, is the subject of a beautifully made documentary Jack Taylor of Beverly Hills (stitched together as meticulously as his clothing) by Cecile Leroy Beaulieu which recently aired on the Sundance Channel. Lisa Eisner and Roman Alonso wrote in the New York Times: What does <actor> Jason Schwartzman like about Jack Taylor? ”Jack is like a shaman with big, thick glasses,” he says. ”You go in for an hour, you spend 10 minutes on your suit, and the other 50 you get to hear old stories about guys you admire.”

July 23 - August 22 Leo
The sophisticated, charming, and chic Leo will heartily enjoy a trip to the world famous Musso & Frank Grill at 6667 Hollywood Boulevard. This landmark harkens all the way back to 1919 and is the oldest restaurant in Hollywood (and remains to this day unremodeled, amen and hallelujah). Named for the original owners Joseph Musso and Frank Toulet, it was the hangout of folks like Raymond Chandler, William Saroyan, Dorothy Parker, Dashiell Hammet, Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. There is a story told that Chaplin, Valentino, and Douglas Fairbanks challenged each other to a race down Hollywood Blvd. on horseback and the loser picked up their dinner tab here that night. They are known far and wide for their martinis. The food is beyond beyond. You’ll remember this place the rest of your life (Thanks to Barbara for taking me here - next time’s on me).

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Productive, resourceful, level-headed Virgos will enjoy a visit to the Margaret Herrick Library at the Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study. This building houses one of the world’s most extensive and comprehensive research collections on the subject of motion pictures and is supported through the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Foundation. The collection includes literally thousands of books, magazines, screenplays, clipping files, posters, lobby cards, pressbooks - over 10 million photographs - over a thousand manuscripts and other special collections relating to prominent industry individuals, studios and organizations. All this in addition to sheet music, music scores and sound recordings; production and costume sketches; artifacts; and oral histories. The Research Library, which was founded in 1928 and later named the Margaret Herrick Library after a former Academy librarian and long-time executive director, maintains a world-renowned, non-circulating reference and research collection devoted to the history and development of motion pictures as both an art form and an industry. It is believed to be one of the most complete collections of film-related materials ever assembled.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Do you know a Libra who doesn’t either adore music or make music themselves? I personally don’t. Libran musicians include John Lennon, Ray Charles, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and George Gershwin. I urge you to check out the LA-based indie label 2 Minutes 59 Records (00:02:59). Helmed by owner Abe Bradshaw (previously with Sanctuary, BMG, and RCA), this label (now almost four years old) is home to Willie Nile, Scott Kempner, Christopher Denny, Matthew Ryan, and more. New releases include the highly anticipated debut from Dana Falconberry, Oh Skies of Grey (the Austin Chronicle calls her voice a study in paradox: delicately soft yet powerfully dynamic, warmly inviting yet brazenly defiant, emotive yet wise beyond her years). The new Scott Kempner (ex-Dictators and Del-Lords) release Saving Grace is his first solo album in 16 years. I’ve finally found the follow up to the last Del-Lords album (from 1990), Lovers Who Wander! Kempner formed that band in 1984 and they were a kickass amalgam of 60’s garage with Americana country, blues and folk. Kempner had envisioned a band with four lead singers, similar to The Kinks, The Who, and The Beatles. Saving Grace is fantastic and Kempner’s voice has never sounded better. Check out the song Heartbeat of Time which features a duet with Dion.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Scorpio, you daring, adventurous nutcase you. You like to visit places out of the ordinary and thrive on the unusual. I know you’ll dig (pardon the expression) a visit to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, the Resting Place of Hollywood’s Immortals. One of the city’s most fascinating landmarks, this is the final residence for more of Hollywood’s founders and stars than anywhere else on earth. Founded in 1899, the cemetery was an integral part of the growth of early Hollywood. Paramount Studios was built on the back half of the original Hollywood Cemetery, where the studio is still in operation today. Visitors come from all over the world to pay their respects to Cecil B. DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and hundreds more. This place is unique not just because of the many famous people interred here, but also because they offer services available at no other cemetery in the world - like live worldwide webcasts from the Funeral Chapel and LifeStory Tribute Kiosks. Hollywood Forever Cemetery is located at 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard. Walking tours are available.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
You Sagittarians tend to obsess over your health and wellbeing. Satisfy both your urge for organic food and your love of good coffee at the Urth Caffe, which was established in 1989 as the first exclusively organic coffee company in America. Now they have three fabulous locations - West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. They feature all organic specialty coffees, teas, and exquisite fresh-baked desserts in a terrific earthy-crunchy atmosphere. You can also enjoy a wide selection of healthy entrees, soups, organic salads, and sandwiches. The desserts range from the most decadent to low fat and also vegan selections. The LA Times deemed their Caffe Latte the Best in all LA; LA Magazine called them the #1 Coffee Restaurant in town. The last word comes from FoodTourist.com: No visitor to Los Angeles should miss Urth Caffe. Seriously - if you have to skip Disneyland, skip the Walk of Fame, but don’t skip the Urth Caffe.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Capricorn lives for vintage collectibles, antiques, estate jewelry, the sort of classic style that is always in fashion. You will absolutely love Ralph Hancock’s 1949 book Fabulous Boulevard, long out of print, but still available through the magic of the internet and not at all difficult to locate. The Boulevard referred to in the title is Wilshire Boulevard, named after outspoken socialist, publisher and land developer Henry Gaylord Wilshire. Wilshire donated the land that is now the boulevard that bears his name to the city of Los Angeles. Alas, he died destitute in 1927 after a lifetime of gaining and losing vast fortunes. The book also takes a look at Los Angeles history dating back to the Triassic period (that would be 230 million years ago, give or take a few years).

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
It should come as no surprise to any of us that Paris Hilton is an Aquarius, being born on February 17, 1981. Unpredictable, adventurous, independent, eccentric, a love for fame - these are all traits of the Aquarians among us. Yes, it’s another sign of the decline of Western civilization, bitches - the premiere of Paris Hilton’s My New BFF occurred September 30 on MTV. But don’t worry if you were too busy with the financial tsunami currently enveloping our country and the world to miss it, MTV will probably run that shit right into the ground with oodles of repeats all week long. Here’s the deal - it’s the usual reality show scenario of a gang of hot bods (in this case, 16 girls and 2 boys) living together in a gorgeous mansion. The first week they all received gift bags with pink blackberrys through which Paris sends them text messages and challenge instructions (they’re told not to text her back). During the premiere, they were all individually interrogated in a scene right out of the Hanoi Hilton - blindfolds, one hanging white light - while Paris and her boyfriend watched without their knowledge. They were asked things like Why should you be Paris’ new best friend? and Would you die for Paris? (by the way, the correct answer to that last question was yes, in case you were wondering). Make sure you have an empty stomach and watch the trailer here.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Our independent bookstore of the week has been specially picked for Pisces people, who have a penchant for Eastern philosophy, yoga, and the metaphysical. Located on Melrose Avenue a stone’s throw from the Urth Caffe in West Hollywood, The Bodhi Tree bookstore got its start in 1970 when the neighborhood was a very different place than it is now. The Bodhi Tree was founded by three aerospace engineers who left their careers to merge their mutual passion for books, metaphysics and mysticism into a bookstore. The store is now one of the best known and busiest philosophical bookstores in the Los Angeles area, featuring an extensive selection of books dealing with spiritual wisdom and knowledge. They also have a fascinating event schedule with everything from readings to workshops to lectures. Namaste.

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This post has 4 comments. Add your own.
Artie Wayne - 10 Oct 08 at 20:55:53

Holly…as an Aquarian, I especially enjoy your posts. Aren’t you happy that Mercury goes direct next week.?

Regards, Artie

Holly Cara Price - 11 Oct 08 at 07:12:30

Hey Artie, amen to that! although i just read that to be safe we should wait another 5 days after the retrograde period in order to get away completely from that retrograde energy. oy vey! what a time for presidential debates, eh?!

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nutcracker - 27 Oct 08 at 12:19:07

nutcracker…

i agree…