Monthly Archives: June 2008

Save Ferris!

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  has long been one of my favorite movies.  So I was completely floored when I found out that Ferris’ house from the movie was located in Southern California!  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  was filmed almost entirely on location in Chicago, Illinois, but for some reason producers chose a house on the West Coast, in Long Beach, California, to use as the Bueller family home.  As soon as I found the address, I immediately dragged my boyfriend (on his birthday, no less!) to go stalk it.  This was quite a few years back and we took pictures of the house using a cell phone, so they aren’t the best.  😦  You will immediately recognize the large colonial style home, though, and its circular driveway, as they look EXACTLY the same as they did over two decades ago when the movie was filmed.  It was so much fun to see the house in person, and I really wanted to ring the doorbell to see if Ferris’ taped doorbell recording would play.  🙂

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing some cyber-stalking and found some interior pictures of the home on a movie location website.  I was shocked to see that the interior of the real home matched the interior of the home from the movie, as I had always assumed that a set was used for the interior shots.  But from what I can see from the pictures, the interior of the Long Beach home was obviously used for filming, as well.  You can see the interior of the house here.  You’ll recognize the staircase and the kitchen as almost a perfect match to Ferris’ house in the movie.

The Ferris Buehler house was also used in the Silence of the Lambs  sequel Red Dragon  and in Not Another Teen Movie  as the house where the massive party is thrown.

A little bit of Ferris  trivia – Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward, the actors who played Ferris’ parents, met while filming the movie and ended up getting married after filming was completed.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Ferris Buehler’s house can be found at 4160 Country Club Drive in Long Beach.  Many other homes in the same neighborhood have been featured in other movies and TV shows.  Check out Seeing Stars, which  does a great write up on this neighborhood and its famous homes. 

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Marilyn’s Former Home

For some reason lately I have been obsessing on Miss Marilyn Monroe.  I never really had any interest in her until recently, had never even seen any of her movies all the way through, and generally never really had an opinion about her one way or another.  But that all changed about two weeks ago when my acting teacher recommended that I study some of Marilyn’s films.  I rented The Seven Year Itch  and ever since  have become completely obsessed. I had no idea how absolutely adorable Marilyn was!  She completely lit up the screen anytime she was on it.  For those of you who have yet to see any of her movies, I highly recommend renting The Seven Year Itch.  My favorite scene is when she leans out of her second story window and announces to her neighbor “I just washed my hair!” with the same excitment as if she had just booked a movie role.  It’s hilarious!  🙂

So last week, when I found the address of one of Marilyn’s first residences, a small studio apartment, in my fave stalking book, I dragged my boyfriend right out to stalk it.  Marilyn lived in the property during the year 1942.  At the time, Marilyn, who was then known as Norma Jean Baker, was 16 years old and had just married her first husband Jim Dougherty.  Some refer to the studio as her “first honeymoon home”.  But when we arrived at the address, we discovered that Marilyn’s former home is no longer there.  😦 

When my boyfriend and I pulled up to the address, we saw a sign announcing an apartment for rent in what I assumed was Marilyn’s former building.  In what definitely constitutes a stalker maneuver, we called the phone number and asked for a tour of the available apartment.  🙂  I was hoping the vacant apartment was the one Marilyn had actually lived in back in 1942.  But the super nice property manager explained to me that long ago there used to be a single family home and a small studio sized guest house located on the property.  The guest house is where Marilyn lived in 1942.  Both homes were torn down many years back to make room for the apartment building that is standing there today.  Today stalkers can only visit the land where Marilyn’s former home once stood.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The apartment building where Marilyn’s former home used to be located can be found at 4524 Vista Del Monte in Sherman Oaks.  The property manager said tourists flock to the building constantly to take pictures.  He said he’s even seen news-people holding newscasts in front of the building on occasion.  🙂

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Tom C. Ruz

During high school I was completely and totally head-over-heels for Tom Cruise.  Let me clarify that I now think the man is an absolute loon, but back in the day I thought Tom Cruise was the bees knees.  🙂  Each week in my high school Spanish class we were assigned three 5 minute conversations, to be conducted outside of class entirely in Spanish.  We were required to keep detailed logs of when, where and with whom these conversations took place.  My girlfriends and I would always sign at least one conversation each week with the code name “Tom C. Ruz” in honor of our movie star crush.  Looking back, I am pretty sure our teacher knew exactly what we were up to, but we thought we were hilarious.  🙂

So when I found out, while browsing the Internet this week, that the Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie – under the code name “Rubicon” – was being filming at a church in Pasadena on Thursday, my inner-high-school-girl forced me to do some stalking.  I was also really hoping to spot Katie Holmes, who has really been growing on me ever since she cut her hair.  🙂  So, at around lunch time on Thursday, I headed to the Valkyrie  set.  Between the hours of 12 and 1PM is usually the best time to stalk a film set, as the actors usually break for lunch around that time and you have a good chance of spotting them walking from the set to their trailers.

I am very sad to report that even though I spent a good 4 hours on the set!!!!!!, I did not get to see Tom OR Katie (who was there WITH Suri).  😦  Apparently, Tom never comes outside during film shoots.  One of the crew members told me that he wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Ruz had an underground tunnel built from the church to his trailer so that he wouldn’t have to set foot outside!  LOL  All was not lost, though, as I did get to see Bill Nighy, who walked right past me on his way to lunch.   Bill played musician Billy Mack in the movie Love Actually, one of my favorite romantic films of all time.  Bill was very friendly and even said hi and saluted as he walked by (he was in military costume at the time).  🙂

Even though there was no TomKat sighting, it was still super exciting to be on the set.  And let me tell you, it was quite a production!  There was even an on-set barista, making mocha’s and frappaccino’s for the crew all day long.  🙂  Most of the crew was extremely nice and friendly and I even got to snap some pictures of the filming, which is usually a big no-no on movie sets.  I was surprised at how laid-back the set actually was, being that the biggest movie star in the world was there. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Westminster Presbyterian Church is located at 1757 N. Lake Avenue in Pasadena.  The church has been around since 1928 and is a frequent location for weddings.  The movie American Wedding  filmed just across the street froom Westminster Presbyterian at Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, which is located at 1879 N. Lake Avenue, on the corner of Lake and Woodbury.  The picture to the left is of Saint Elizabeth’s.

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Stumbling Upon Sarah Silverman

Yesterday, I happened to stop into my favorite bookstore on the planet – Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena – and was floored to see a sign on the door saying “Filming in Progress”.   I couldn’t believe my luck and I rushed inside to find out what was being filmed.  Turns out it was The Sarah Silverman Program  and Sarah Silverman herself was actually there!  What was even more exciting was that they did not close any part of the store down for filming and you could literally walk right through the scene as long as you didn’t “look directly at the camera.”  I parked myself in an aisle right near filming and just watched as Sarah performed take after take.  As an actress, it was fascinating to observe. 

In the scene, Sarah confronts a man who she believes is her father.  He tells her that he is not her father and she says “Well if you’re not my father, then it would not be wierd at all to make out right now.”  They kiss and both get grossed out and the guy admits that he is her father.  The picture to the left is a shot of them filming and that is Sarah in the blue and white stripped baseball style t-shirt.  I only had my blackberry on me at the time, so the pictures didn’t turn out great.  Sarah Silverman was absolutely adorable, though – one hundred times cuter than she appears on screen and a lot taller than I imagined.  She looked to be about 5’7″.  She seemed very nice and friendly, too, although I did not go up and talk to her. 

Vroman’s is a fabulous bookstore and I highly recommend stalking it.  I could literally spend whole afternoons just browsing the shelves there. It is a great store not only for books, but for fine stationary, scrapbooking supplies, and gifts.  The people who work there are highly knowledgeable about books, too, and I absolutely love that.  You can literally go in there and say “I just heard about a book that’s about a girl, but I don’t know the title or the author” and they will find it for you!  They’re great!!  They were also recently voted Bookseller of the Year 2008 by Publishers Weekly.  I’ve blogged briefly about Vroman’s once before in my 40 Year Old Virgin post, as it was used as the interior of the bookstore where Beth works in the movie.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Vroman’s Bookstore is located at 695 East Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena.  You can visit their website here to view upcoming events and signings.

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Finally!

After what seems like months of searching, I have FINALLY found the Chinese Food restaurant from my fave romantic comedy A Lot Like Love.  For the past few weeks, I have dragged my poor father to literally every single Chinese and Japanese restaurant in the greater Pasadena area, because according to the director’s commentary on the A Lot Like Love  DVD, the restaurant used was his “mother’s favorite Chinese food place in Pasadena.”  But the director didn’t specify the name of the restaurant, which means that this stalker had her work cut out for her!  The hostess at one of the restaurants I stalked said I was actually the third person in the past few months who had stopped into her restaurant to ask the exact same question!  🙂  LOL

Then last week, while walking around Old Town Pasadena with my boyfriend, when I had just about given up hope, we happened to walk by Vive Lounge on the corner of Raymond Avenue and Union Street.  I peeked in the windows and immediately realized I had found my location!  We went inside and asked the restaurant manager, Randy, if the Lounge had in fact been used in A Lot Like Love.  He wasn’t sure, so he called up the owner for me who confirmed it!  Yahooooooooo!  At the time of filming the restaurant was actually a Chinese-Malaysian fusion place called Nonya.  Nonya closed down two years ago and Vive Lounge opened in its place.  While the decor is a bit different, it is definitely recognizable as the restaurant where Amanda Peet and Ashton Kutcher spit water at each other while enjoying a New Year’s Eve dinner.  🙂

Last night we were finally able to return to Vive to grab a drink and a bite to eat and I am happy to report that we had a fabulous time!  The food was amazing (especially the shrimp spring rolls!!!), the atmosphere was very New York-y complete with an exposed brick wall, and the service was spectacular!  Jim, the bartender (a cutie for all you single girls) and Randy, the manager, spent most of the evening chatting with us, discussing Pasadena history, wine and champagne (Randy is somewhat of a wine connoisseur), and of course, filming locations.  I was amazed to discover that neither man had ever seen A Lot Like Love!!!  I tried to explain to Randy that he needs to tout Vive as the restaurant featured in A Lot Like Love  and that stalkers everywhere would flock there, but I am not quite sure he believed me.  🙂

Vive is a great place to spend an evening, and I highly recommend stalking it!  On weekdays, the place has a laid-back, relaxed feel (which I actually prefer), but on weekends the vibe changes and becomes more of a dance club/lounge.  And every Sunday night, the restaurant turns into a salsa lounge complete with free salsa dancing lessons.  Rob Schneider even showed up for some salsa dancing a few weeks ago.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Vive Lounge is located at 61 N. Raymond Avenue in Old Town Pasadena.  You can visit their website here.  A meal there will cost you about $30 per person.  The bar also features a great nightly happy hour with super reasonable, really tasty hors d’oeuvres.

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Brenda and Kelly’s Spa Weekend

The other night while watching some old episodes of 90210, I was super excited to recognize a location from the Season 3 episode entitled “Midlife . . . Now What?”  In the episode Brenda, Kelly, and their moms, along with Donna and Andrea, try to spend a relaxing weekend at a health spa, but, as usual, drama ensues. Kelly’s mom, Jackie, runs into her former coke dealer and Brenda overhears some disturbing gossip about Kelly’s step-dad. Such a great show! 🙂 Anyway, the health spa that the girls spent the weekend at was actually Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, a location my boyfriend and I have visited on many occasions.

So, of course, after watching the episode, I immediately dragged my boyfriend to the Loews to do some stalking.  But I was crushed to see that the lobby was completely different than I remembered it due to a recent remodel.  Up until just a couple of months ago, the lobby looked exactly the same as it did in the 90210  days.  But, sadly, now the lobby is virtually unrecognizable.  Gone are the large chairs and couches that used to line the lobby area, and which Brenda and Kelly sat in upon their arrival at the spa, and in their place is a long row of tall palm trees which now run the length of the lobby.  😦

The hotel pool was also featured extensively in the episode – Jackie sits by the pool and contemplates using cocaine again and later has a poolside heart to heart with Kelly. I am happy to report that not only did Jackie decide not to start using drugs again, but that the hotel pool looks exactly the same as it did when filming took place there 15 years ago.  An episode of Season 10 of The Bachelor with triathlete Bachelor Andy Baldwin was also filmed at the hotel pool. The girls competed in a triathlon competition around the pool to win private time with Andy.

The Loews is a really nice place to stop in and have a drink. The hotel is situated right on the beach in Santa Monica and has amazing views of the Pacific and the famous Santa Monica Pier. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled if you visit the Loews as celebs often frequent the hotel.  The last time my boyfriend and I were at the lobby bar, Jorja Fox from TV’s CSI walked in off the beach after a surfing lesson to have a drink. 🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂

Stalk It: The four-diamond Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is located at 1700 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. You can visit their website here. Their rooms will run you about $400 a night.

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Pacific Dining Car

My father is currently in the hospital (again) as he just had some minor surgery – and no, it was not caused by me dragging him to filming locations! 🙂 As they say, though, every cloud has a silver lining! Not only has his hospital been used as a filming location, but there is a restaurant across the street from the hospital that is a favorite of film producers. My dad is staying at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downtown Los Angeles. Even though there are countless vacant hospitals all across LA that are only utilized for filming, for some reason Good Sam still shows up in productions now and again. The exterior was shown in an earlier episode of The Closer, it was featured on Dr. 90210 and a movie was filmed there last winter, but unfortunately I am not sure what movie it was.

Across the street from Good Sam is a restaurant that has been around since 1921 called Pacific Dining Car. Fred and Grace Cook opened the restaurant in a replica of train dining car on a rented plot of land in Downtown Los Angeles in 1921. The idea was based on a restaurant that they had visited in New York that was also situated in an authentic railway dining car. Owned and operated by the same family since its opening, Pacific Dining Car serves up some AMAZING food in a truly unique environment. You definitely feel like you are stepping back in time when you enter the restaurant.

The restaurant has long been a favorite of novelist James Elroy, author of Training Day, LA Confidential, Black Dhalia and the screenplay for the 2008 movie Street Kings. James usually writes about the LA area and often features Pacific Dining Car in his novels. Consequently the restaurant often shows up in the movies based on his books. The movie Training Day was filmed in the Pacific Dining Car, as was Street Kings with Keanu Reeves. Both movies were filmed in the Pacific Northwest Room of the restaurant. The scene from Training Day when Denzel Washington meets with the “three wise men” was filmed at the booth I am standing in front of in the picture to the left. (IMDB actually states that Training Day was filmed at the Santa Monica location of the Pacific Dining Car, but that information is incorrect.) My dad happened to also be in the hospital during the filming of Street Kings and I got to watch part of it be filmed. 🙂 I got to see Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, and Jay Mohr. I was HIGHLY disappointed, though, that I didn’t get to see Chris Evans, who also starred in the movie. He is such a cutie!! The security guard on duty during the filming was slightly disgusted with the fact that I was standing around watching the filming of Street Kings while my father was in the hospital. What can I say – once a stalker, always a stalker! 🙂

If you dine at Pacific Dining Car, chances are you’ll get to see a celeb. Famous patrons have flocked to the restaurant since its opening – including Louella Parsons, Mae West, Mickey Cohen, George Raft, Sid Ziff, all of Linkin Park, Nicholas Cage and Johnny Depp who just threw a party in the Astor Room of the restaurant.

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂

Stalk It: The Pacific Dining Car is located at 1210 West 6th Street in Downtown LA. You can call (213)483-6000 to make reservations. They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you can order breakfast there all day long! Pacific Dining Car is in a bit of a sketchy neighborhood and I recommend that you utilize their valet parking and exercise caution at night. Their sister restaurant is located in Santa Monica at 2700 Wilshire Boulevard, but that restaurant is only 18 years old and not as charming. Both restaurants are pricey and will run you about $50 a person for a meal. If you want a cheaper option, head to the restaurant’s full bar for a drink.

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