Tag Archives: Halloween

Halloween 2008

For Halloween this year, I desperately wanted my boyfriend and I to dress up like Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.  I know, total shocker.  🙂  It all ended up coming together quite perfectly, too, as earlier this summer I found a white dress a la Marilyn’s subway grate ensemble, that was super inexpensive.  I also happened to have an appointment to get my hair cut on Halloween morning, so I asked my amazing hair stylist, Martina, if she could do me up Marilyn style.  She happily obliged and even offered to do my make-up for me.  Without even looking at a picture of the starlet for reference, she was able to whip my hair into a full-on Marilyn ‘do and apply my make-up perfectly!  I was shocked!  When I asked her how she did it without using a photo, she said “Honey, that’s what I do!”  LOL  I actually think the effect may have been too good, though, because I had FIVE people stop me and say “Has anyone ever told you that you look EXACTLY like Marilyn Monroe.”  Even though it was Halloween, no one seemed to realize I was wearing a costume – they thought I just looked like Marilyn naturally.  LOL  That actually might be good news, though – as maybe someday I’ll get to play MM in a big screen biopic of the star.  🙂  

Anyway, since we couldn’t find anything to do in L.A. for Halloween (we were literally all dressed up with no place to go!), I dragged my boyfriend to Downtown Palm Springs.  We spent the evening walking around Downtown, barhopping, hanging out, and watching all the other people in costumes.  We had a blast!  And I even got stopped by a Japanese tourist who wanted her photo taken with me.  🙂 

We ended up spending most of our evening at the Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Spa – a legendary Palm Springs hot spot from back in the 50s and 60s.  The resort recently underwent a complete rennovation and has been closed down for the past year.  It only just reopened two weeks ago and it is a very cool, very hip spot to hang out.  The hotel has a 50s-modern style vibe to it, made complete with a large picture of Marilyn made out of Guatemalan coins hanging in the lobby, so, of course, I had to snap a photo of it. 🙂   And the Riviera is even a filming location!   It was featured as the hotel where Connie Stevens stayed in the 1963 flick Palm Springs Weekend.

 

The poolside Bikini Bar, where we hung out all night, is fabulous with its large firepits and ultra-comfy lounge chairs.   While there we ran into 90s actor Jeff Prettyman, who is currently retired and living in Palm Springs.  Jeff acted in the movies Young Guns  and Cheerleader Camp, so of course I had to take a pic with him.  🙂

The following morning, I was reading a Palm Springs magazine in our hotel room and I happened to spot a photograph of Marilyn Monroe posing at the Racquet Club of Palm Springs (pictured above), a place I had never heard of.  So, of course, on our way out of town I had to drag my boyfriend to stalk it.

 But unfortunately, when we arrived there wasn’t much to see as the area is currently a large constuction zone.  The once legendary resort and Hollywood playground is currently closed and undergoing a $50 million rennovation with the surrounding land being turned into luxury condominiums and lofts.  That was the plan, anyway.  In 2004, architect Van Scott Jones and financial handler Michael Mueller purchased the land with big plans to restore the resort to its former grandeur.  However, just a few days ago the property went into forclosure and the fate of the Racquet Club is now left up in the air.  I truly hope someone comes in to rescue this piece of Hollywood and Palm Springs history.  Oddly enough, for some reason the construction area was not entirely fenced in, and since there weren’t any “no trespassing” signs posted, my boyfriend and I ventured in for a little looksie. 

It was very, very cool to be walking around a piece of property that holds so much history.  While there, I could just imagine the screen legends of the day lounging poolside under the desert sun.  You can see the now empty pool behind me in the above photograph.     

The Palm Springs Racquet Club was opened up on Christmas Day of 1933 by actors Ralph Bellamy and Charlie Farrell, who wanted a place in the desert where they could play tennis.  The resort became enormously popular with the celebs of the day – a playground to the stars, compete with tennis courts, a large swimming pool and a legendary bar named the Bamboo Lounge.  The bloody mary cocktail was actually first concocted in that lounge.  Apparently, Racquet Club guests needed a little “hair of the dog” each morning to cure their budding hangovers, so the Lounge chefs mixed together a few ingredients and, voila, the bloody mary was born.  The owners of a New York bar named the 21 Club often stayed at the Racquet Club and fell in love with the new cocktail.  They ended up bringing the drink back to their New York bar and the rest, as they say, is history.  The Racquet Club didn’t fare quite as well as the cocktail created there, though, and due to dwindling profits, it was sold several times and quickly fell into dilapidation and disarray.  

Among the stars who hung out at the Racquet Club in its heyday – Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Jane Russell, Bob Hope, Jayne Mansfield, Gregory Peck, Errol Flynn, John Kennedy, Bing Crosby, Lana Turner, Frank Sinatra, Spencer Tracy, Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day, Ronald Regan, and, of course, my girl Marilyn Monroe, who spent New Years of 1948 there with her agent Johnny Hyde (pictured above).  Rumor has it that Marilyn was actually discovered by photographer Bruno Bernard while lounging poolside at the Club, but I am not sure how true that story is. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Raquet Club of Palm Springs is located at 2743 North Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.  The Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Spa is located at 1600 North Indian Canyon Drive, also in Palm Springs.  If you need your hair styled like Marilyn – or if you just need a new ‘do in general – you can visit Martina Maina at T-Birds Salon, located at 1808 West Olive Avenue in Burbank.  You can visit T-Birds website here.  T-Birds is located right across the street from an oft used filming location – the Safari Inn – which was featured in True Romance  and Apollo 13 .

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Happy Halloween!

Happy, Happy, Happy Halloween, everybody!  As I have mentioned many times before, Halloween is my favorite holiday, so today I thought I’d post some pics of one of my favorite Halloweens ever – the year my boyfriend and I dressed up like Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. 

This was back in 2005, the same year that Britters wore the now famous “I Have the Golden Ticket” tank top over her pregnant belly to the Willy Wonka  premiere.  Of course, I became totally obsessed with that tank top and got to scouring Ebay, where I found an exact replica and also some urban loungewear (yes, it’s actually called that!) a la KFed’s wedding ensemble.  And voila – a costume was born.  🙂  For my pregnancy “bump” I just stuck a  semi-blown up beach ball under my shirt.  And it was so realistic that a lady in the bar I was at on Halloween night actually yelled at me for drinking while pregnant.  LOL!!!!  🙂

Today I decided to stalk the house where Miss Spears and Mr. Federline tied the knot back on September 18, 2004.  I realize that tying this location in with my Haunted Hollywood theme is a bit of a stretch, but I can justify it by saying that the union of Britney Jean Spears and Kevin Earl Federline was downright scary.  🙂  After watching BritBrit and Kevin interact with each other on their  Chaotic  reality TV series, I absolutely could not believe that two such complete morons managed to find each other.  It’s almost as if they were tailor-made for each other.  I’m actually really surprised the marriage didn’t last!!  Anyway, I decided I just HAD to stalk the home where their marriage took place.

On September 18, 2004 Britney and Kevin invited 25 of their closest friends and family members to an impromptu wedding ceremony at the Studio City home of their wedding planner, Alyson Fox.  The couple had planned on getting married at Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara, but due to the media frenzy surrounding the event, they decided to celebrate their union at this modest home in Studio City a few weeks earlier than expected.  Stalking this location proved to be a tough one, though, as the only info I had on the house was the owner’s name and the general location.  But thanks to master stalker E.J. over at the Movieland Directory, who offered me his help, I was able to located the address of the house and yesterday I ran right out to stalk it.  🙂   Thanks, E.J.!  (The above scan was taken from the 2004 issue of People Magazine  that covered BritBrit and KFed’s union.)

The home where Brit and KFed got married is a super cute, very picturesque, but also very normal looking house.  Not at all the type of place I’d envision the pop princess tying the knot.  But I also could have never pictured her walking into a gas station bathroom sans shoes – so go figure!  Anyway, after doing some cyber-stalking yesterday, I discovered that Brit’s wedding house is currently for sale!  For a mere $1,999,950, you can have the priveledge of owning the home where this blessed ceremony took place.  🙂  You can see interior pics of the home here.

Until next time, Happy Stalking and Happy Halloween!  🙂

Stalk It: Britney and Kevin’s wedding house is located at 4053 Farmdale Avenue in Studio City.

 

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Haunted Hollywood Tour Takes a Detour to SF!

When I was in high school my good friend Dana and I were absolutely obsessed with a real life haunted house located close to where we lived.  Every Friday afternoon like clockwork the two of us would make an after-school pilgrimage to the abandoned house known as the Carolands Mansion before stopping by a local cafe for our ubiquitous weekly frozen lattes.  I have no idea why the two of us were so obsessed with this particular mansion and, in fact, I asked Dana today what it was that started our obsession and she couldn’t remember, either.  LOL  Whatever the reason, ever Friday afternoon without fail Dana and I would make our weekly visit to the abandoned property and drive around the perimeter once or twice for a little looksie.  So this weekend when I went up north to attend my friend Nat’s annual weekend-before-Halloween murder mystery party I asked her to drive me by the house so I could do some stalking.

I hadn’t driven by the Carolands in over a decade and I was absolutely shocked to see how much the mansion had changed.  The once abandoned house had been purchased and refurbished in my absence and it is no longer the haunted house of my high school memories.  It was so strange to see the once dilapidated and spooky property post-facelift and I almost didn’t recognize the place.  Gone are the broken, boarded-up windows, the yellowing, dead lawn and the decaying, overgrown foliage.  But even after a complete remodel, the house has definitely retained some of its spookiness.  I am not sure if it is the sheer size of the mansion (68,000 square feet makes it the largest enclosed space in a private house in the entire United States – it’s even bigger than the Spelling Chateau!) or its tragic history that evokes a creepy feeling.  But either way, the house has a haunted feel to it, so it fits in perfectly with my Haunted Hollywood theme.

The Carolands Mansion was built from 1914 to 1916 for Harriet Pullman Carolan, heir to a vast railroad fortune.  Harriet, a true diva of her day, had the chateau built on a 544 acre parcel of land at the highest elevation point possible so that she could literally  “look down on the Hearsts”.  LOL  The home was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by French architect Ernest Sanson for a cost of $3,000,000 (and we’re talking 1914 money!).  The mansion stands at over eighty feet tall and boasts almost one hundred rooms, including 25 servants quarters, a flower arranging room, and even a secret floor hidden in between the second and third levels.    In 1950 a Countess named Lillian Remillard Dandini purchased the home from Harriet and lived in it for the next 23 years.  Upon her death she bequeathed the home to the City of Hillsborough, hoping it would become a cultural center.  The city, however, could not afford the upkeep on the massive property, and after several subsequent owners, the home fell into serious disrepair and was left vacant and abandoned.  During the Roosevelt Administration and again during the Kennedy Administration the US government considered purchasing the home and making it the “White House of the West”, but both times plans fell through.  After decades of abandonment and neglect, Franklin Templeton heir Charles Johnson purchased the home in 1998 and spent the next few years and many millions of dollars restoring it to its former grandeur.   But no face lift can fully erase the mansion’s tragic history.

When I was a little girl, my uncle used to tell me stories about visiting the Carolands with his high school buddies late at night and getting tours from the security guards hired to guard the home.  Back then it was commonplace for area high schoolers to grab a six pack, hop the chain link fence surrounding the property, and slip a security guard a $20 for an interior tour of the mansion.  Everyone did it.  But that all changed one tragic night in 1985 when two teen-aged girls getting a tour of the mansion were raped and stabbed by a security guard named David Allen Raley.  After torturing them for hours in the mansion, he put them in the trunk of his car and drove to his parents house where he ate a meal and played a game of monopoly with his family.  He then dumped the two girls in a ravine and left them for dead.  But one of the girls managed to crawl out of the ravine on her hands and knees and flagged down a passerby who rescued her and her friend.  Sadly, though, while the girl survived, her friend later passed away on an operating room table.  The case became very famous in the sleepy town of San Mateo where I grew up.  I am not sure why the case garnered so much attention – perhaps because the crime was so heinous, or maybe because there was a survivor, or because the house had long carried the reputation of being haunted or perhaps most likely because up until that point it had been so common for teenagers to use the Carolands grounds as their high school hang out.  It literally could have happened to anyone.  Whatever the reason, the murders remain a stain on the memory of the once beautiful mansion.

Although not a true filming location, the house did appear in the 1992 pornographic film entitled All American Girls.   The mansion was also the subject of the 2006 award winning documentary film entitled Three Woman and a Chateau.  A book named Carolands was also written about the property.  Although currently a private residence, the Carolands is sometimes opened up for events and fund raisers.  The Republican National Commitee hosted an event there in January of this year and George W. Bush was in attendance.   The Carolands is truly a marvel of a home and I highly recommend stalking this real life haunted house.  Seeing it in person, it’s almost unbelievable how big it is.   

Side note – while flying home from SF, who should be on our plane but actress/model Mariel Heminway.  I snapped a quick pic of her in baggage claim, but it did not come out very well!  I would so make a terrible paparazzi!  LOL  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Carolands Mansion is located at 565 Remilard Drive in Hillsborough.  After seeing the front of the mansion, follow Remillard to Ralston Avenue and make a right.  Make another right on Craig’s Road and follow it past the bend for a nice view of the back of the house.   

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More Halloween!

Last year, during our annual Haunted Halloween tour, I dragged my boyfriend to the two houses where Jamie Lee Curtis and her friend babysit in the movie Halloween.  The final action sequence in the movie takes place at these two houses, which are located across the street from each other.  Even though I had never seen the movie Halloween, being that it was the season, I just had to stalk it.  🙂   I seriously need to rent this movie!

The first house I dragged my boyfriend to was the Doyle Family home where Jamie Lee Curtis babysits Tommy and Lindsay Doyle at the end of the movie.  The Doyle home is a very cute house and it actually looks like it should be located in the Pasadena area.  Being that the majority of the filming of Halloween  actually took place in Pasadena, I am very surprised that the producers didn’t just find a home there to use.  These location decisions always fascinate me and I would love to find out the reasoning behind them!  Someday I really need to sit down with a location scout to pick their brain!

Anyway, the next house we stalked is located directly across the street from the Doyle house.  It is the house where Jamie Lee’s best friend Annie babysits and also where she meets her untimely end.  From what I can tell from the screen captures, this house looks very different from how it appeared in Halloween.   While the front porch area is still recognizable from the movie, it appears that the home was somewhat modernized in recent years and a side garage was added.  I so hate it when movie homes are remodeled!  Filming locations should really be designated historical landmarks so that the exteriors are protected and forced to remain the same for eternity.  🙂  I mean I think I would seriously cry if anyone ever remodeled the 90210  house!  LOL

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂

Stalk It: The home where Jamie Lee Curtis babysits is located at 1530 North Orange Grove Avenue in Hollywood.  The house where her friend Annie babysits is located directly across the street at 1537 North Orange Grove.

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Ray’s Pumpkins

Last week, thanks to Mike over at MovieShotsLA, I was able to stalk the pumpkin patch that was owned by Ray Pruit’s family on the original Beverly Hills, 90210.   I was shocked when Mike told me that the property where filming took place is the location of an actual pumpkin patch in real life.  I had been convinced that producers just dressed an empty lot for the filming of 90210, but in reality they rented out a real pumpkin patch that has occupied the same corner in Sherman Oaks for over fifteen years. 

When I drove up to the patch I just about keeled over with excitement as there was a large sign out front which read “Ray’s Pumpkins”.  I naively thought the owner named the patch after Ray Pruit because of the filming that took place there, but it turns out that the actual owner’s name is Ray!  How cool is that! 

Ray really could not have been nicer and spoke to me about the filming of 90210  for a good 15 minutes.  He said that everyone on the cast and crew was very nice and very professional.  Even though the pumpkin patch scene lasted only about four minutes and was shown in only one episode (the Season 5 episode entitled “Homecoming”), the filming took a full two days to complete.  Ray told me that during the filming, some construction was being done on an apartment building located across the street from the patch.  At one point the construction noise got too loud, so the producers of 90210  actually paid to have all construction shut down for the remainder of the shoot!  LOL  The cast and crew of 90210  returned to Ray’s later that same year and the real Ray’s Christmas tree lot stood in for the one owned by the Pruit Family in a Christmas episode of the show.  Ray said there is always some sort of filming taking place at the patch.  He couldn’t remember all of the productions that had filmed there, but he did say that Dancing With The Stars  featured the patch in a brief segment last year. 

Ray’s Pumpkin’s is a very cool pumpkin patch and I highly recommend stalking it.  There are hundreds upon hundreds of pumpkins to choose from and tons of cute Halloween merchandise and decorations for sale.  Ray told me that he also gets quite a few Valley celebs visiting his patch each year, so you just might get to rub elbows with the stars while pumpkin shopping.  🙂  Unfortunately I visited Ray’s after it was already dark outside, so my pics didn’t turn out very well and don’t really do the patch justice.  But a BIG THANK YOU to Mike for providing the top pic.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Ray’s Pumpkins is located at the corner of Hazeltine Avenue and Moorpark Street in Sherman Oaks.  Ray also owns the Peterson Ranch Fruit Stand located at 3402 Los Angeles Avenue in Somis, CA. The fruit stand is also a frequent filming location.  It is most often used in commercials and was featured recently in a car ad.

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Halloween

Hi, my name is Lindsay Blake and I have never seen the movie Halloween.  I know, I know – it’s like sacrilege or something, especially since Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I’ve also never seen any of the Friday, the 13th  movies.  But I’ve always been kind of a scaredy cat, so as a teenager I was way too afraid to watch any sort of horror flick.   I fully intend to rent and finally watch them this Halloween season, though.  In the meantime, even though I have yet to see the movie, I did some Halloween  stalking this past weekend.   Halloween  supposedly takes place in Haddonfield, Illinois, but in reality all of the filming was done in the L.A. area. 

        

   

This weekend I set out to stalk Jamie Lee Curtis’ house from the movie, which is actually located in South Pasadena, not far from Michael Meyer’s childhood home  and the Pretty In Pink house.   In the movie, pretty much only a side view of the house is shown, so when we first drove up I didn’t recognize it at all.  I actually thought we were in the wrong place, until I rounded the corner and saw the side of the house, which I am happy to report looks exactly the same as it did thirty years ago when filming took place. 

       

    

The front of the home actually looks completely different than the side.   The front of the house is a very cute, very typical South Pasadena style Craftsman home.  The side of the house does not have any Craftsman features at all.  It has more of a traditional American feel to it, so it was odd to see. 

       

 

The next Halloween  location I set out to stalk  – the street where Jamie Lee Curtis and her friends walk home from school and Michael Meyes drives by in his station wagon – is also located in South Pasadena.  The most recognizable part of the street where the girls walk is a large stone pillared half-wall located on a corner, which amazingly also looks EXACTLY the same thirty years later.  Very cool!!!  🙂 

Big THANKS to Mike from MovieShotsLA  for the above screen captures!  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 

Stalk It: Jamie Lee Curtis’ house is located at 1115 Oxley Street, at the corner of Oxley Street and Fairview Avenue, in South Pasadena.  The stone wall the girls walk by is located on the corner of Fairview Avenue and Highland Street, also in South Pasadena, just around the corner from Lady Heather’s house on CSI.

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Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch

I cannot tell you how excited I am that October is finally here!  Halloween has always been my very favorite holiday, most probably because I love nothing more than to dress up in costume.  For the past three years during the month of October and in honor of Halloween, I have dragged my boyfriend out on my very own “Haunted Hollywood Tour”.  Our tour consists of visiting houses from famous scary movies, sites of famous Hollywood deaths, and rumored haunted hot spots in the L.A. area.  Since I have accumulated a fairly large list of scary spots from these yearly tours, last night I decided that, in honor of my favorite holiday, I would blog about all things spooky in Hollywood from now until October 31st. 

But I can’t very well do that without first writing about my fave Halloween location – Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch.  I dragged my boyfriend out to Mr. Bones last October after seeing the West Hollywood patch appear countless times in US Magazine.  For those of you who don’t read US, during the month of October Mr. Bones is THE place to be seen in L.A. and literally anyone who’s anyone makes an appearance at the famous patch.  Last year Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Marky Mark, Tobey McGuire and his jewelry designer wife Jennifer Meyer, Sarah Gilbert, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, Lisa Rinna, Corey Feldman, and Lindsay Lohan all got their pumpkin on at Mr. Bones.  It is literally the Les Deux of pumpkin patches.  So, of course, I had to stalk it!       

   Last year, as my boyfriend and I walked up to Mr. Bones, I was floored to see at least forty paparazzi standing around the perimeter of the fenced in patch, long lense cameras in hand.  The paps were going absolutely agro – some standing on top of cars or on ladders trying to see over the patch’s high fences for the perfect photo op.

Due to the sheer amount of photogs stationed around the patch, I was absolutely convinced that TomKat and Suri or BritBrit and her kids were inside.  But it turns out the paps were actually snapping photographs of Heidi Klum and Seal and their three children.   This was actually Heidi and Seal’s second trip to Mr. Bones in less than a week and the two hung out at the patch with their kids and nanny for over an hour.  They definitely seemed to be enjoying all of the attention, too, and were most certainly hamming it up for the cameras – kissing and hugging and what not.  I could not have been more excited!  🙂

Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch, which has been a family-owned and operated business for over 15 years,  is the perfect place to get you in the mood for Halloween.  I highly recommend stalking the patch as much for the celeb sightings as for the Halloween festivities.  There are pony rides, face painting, great food, a Halloween store, and, of course, lots and lots of pumpkins.  It is pricey, though.  The pumpkins cost far more than they would at other local pumpkin patches – and there’s a cover charge!  Yes, you read that right.  Only in L.A., I swear!  You will have to cough up $2 per person just to gain entry to the legendary pumpkin patch.  But the entry fee can be applied to any pumpkin or Halloween merchandise purchase while there, so it’s not all bad.  What you’re mostly paying for, though, are the Halloween spirit and atmosphere – which Mr. Bones definitely has in droves.  You’ll love it!   It’s the perfect place to get into the Halloween spirit.  🙂 

And, of course, I just had to take a pic of me in front of all the paps.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch is located at 702 N. Doheny Drive in West Hollywood.  This year Mr. Bones opens for business this upcoming Friday, October 10th, and they will remain open through Halloween day.  Their hours are from 9am to 8pm daily.  You can visit their website here.  Another great place to get into the Halloween spirit is Lombardi’s Ranch.  They are located at 29527 Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus, near Santa Clarita.  Their pumpkin patch is currently open for business.  You can visit their website here.  Lombardi’s has live music, a petting zoo, awesome pumpkin pie, a sunflower patch, and acres upon acres of pumpkins.  It is a great place to spend a day with kids, though you probably won’t spot any celebs.

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