Tag Archives: Pasadena

CSI: Pasadena

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My dad is not a big fan of Hollywood.  And by Hollywood I mean the industry, not the town.  He can’t stand all of the overindulged, self-absorbed actors, even though his own daughter is one (minus the overindulged, self-absorbed part, of course).  🙂  He just barely tolerates my stalking and often asks me why I care so much about celebrities.  But there is one actor and one show that my dad absolutely loves – and that’s loves with a capital L-O-V-E-S.  That show is CSI: Miami and that actor is David Caruso.  My dad often walks around the house randomly quoting characters from the show saying “H is on it!”, he nicknamed his Harley Davidson “H”, and he has so many CSI: Miami reruns saved up on TiVo that he often burns through all of the memory causing my mom’s shows not to record.  Yes, my dad loves himself some Horatio Caine.   When we were in New York this past December, my boyfriend and I just had to snap the above photo of Horatio Street for my dad.  🙂

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So when I found out that CSI: Miami would be filming in Pasadena last Wednesday, I just had to drag my dad out to stalk it.  Except truth be told, there really wasn’t much dragging involved.  My dad, who normally hates stalking with me, was more than a willing participant this time around.  He was absolutely floored at the possibility of meeting his TV idol.  And so was I.  CSI: Miami has always been my favorite CSI and I, too, love me some Horatio Caine.  I also love me some Emily Procter.  I am absolutely obsessed with her cute little Southern accent – I want one just like it.  🙂  So on Wednesday morning, bright and early, we showed up at the Pasadena location where where they were filming.  And I have to say that it was an absolute dream day!

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The crew truly could NOT have been nicer to us.  When we arrived and told them we were big fans of the show, they welcomed us with open arms and invited us to take a seat to watch the crew setting up the scene.  One of the A.D.’s told us that David Caruso would arrive on the set within 45 minutes and that he was very fan friendly and would most likely take a photograph with us.  Let me tell you we were floored!  And I have to say that watching the crew set up for the scene was almost as exciting as watching the actual filming.  It was amazing to compare the real life overcast grey sky that was above our heads with the orange and pink sky that appeared on the filming monitors. It turns out that a special filter is placed on top of the cameras during filming to make the sky look more bright, sunny, and “Miami-like”.  It was eerie to see.

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Just before actual filming was to begin, a large water truck came by and sprayed water all over the street.  I had known from watching a director’s commentary on DVD a while back that streets are often wetted down prior to a film shoot – for some reason, wet streets look better on camera than dry streets – but I had no idea how it was done.  So that was very cool to see.  If you’ve never noticed this phenomenon before, you will now.  🙂   Start looking at streets in the background of your favorite television shows and movies – nine times out of ten they will be soaking wet.  One of the crew members was joking that while you never see it rain on CSI: Miami, miraculously somehow the streets are always wet.  LOL

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After the street was sprayed, a white van pulled up and out stepped David Caruso.  And I just about died.  There he was, Horatio Caine, in the flesh, aviator sunglasses and all.  He immediately waved to us and said “Hi guys!” while a make-up artist put the finishing touches on his face and hair.  Then he called us over and introduced himself.  It was unbelievable!   Last October, when my dad and I got to watch The Closer  be filmed, not one cast member came over to talk to us.  So this was quite a surprise!  And when my dad handed over his CSI: Miami  Season One DVDs to be signed, David seemed genuinely touched and told us how appreciative he was to meet fans of the show.  He also gave us little autographed pictures of himself.  Then the A.D. called him over to begin filming and David gave both my dad and me a hug!  🙂  A few minutes later while they were setting something up for the shot, David walked over to us once again and asked if we wanted to take a picture with him.  He really could not have been sweeter and I can honestly say that out of all the actors I’ve met in my eight years living in L.A., David Caruso was by far the nicest.  A crew member told us that on one occasion when they were filming in Long Beach, a large tour bus filled with 75 German tourists pulled up, and got very excited that David Caruso was there.  David stopped filming and proceeded to sign autographs and take pictures with each and every person on that bus!!!  My dad kept saying “I just knew  he’d be nice!”  🙂  I hope that when I become a successful, famous actress that I will be that nice!  🙂 

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After our pics, we got to watch David film a scene with Elizabeth Berkley (of Saved by the Bell  and Showgirls  fame), who play’s H’s ex-wife Julia on CSI: Miami.  I cannot even tell you how amazing it was to be standing less than five feet away from David Caruso as he filmed a scene.  And I just about died when he did his trademark putting-on-sunglasses-and-staring-off-into-the-distance move.  It was the coolest thing ever!  I was very impressed with how quickly filming moved, too.  I’d say David filmed his scene in less than forty minutes, which in Hollywood time is almost unheard of!  What I was most impressed with, though, was how happy the cast and crew seemed to be.  There was a lot of joking around between takes and A LOT of laughter in the air.  Everyone seemed to be really enjoying their jobs and like they were just happy to be there.

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When David was wrapped for the day he had a crew member ask for my address as he had some CSI  memorabilia in his trailer that he wanted to give us.  How nice is that!  Then, as we were leaving the set, one of the crew members told us to stop back by later in the afternoon when the rest of the cast would be there filming a different scene.  So, of course, a few hours later my dad and I headed back to the set.  🙂  As soon as we arrived, one of the A.D.’s ran over to us and handed me a large envelope from David Caruso.  Inside was the memorabilia he had planned to send me, including several photographs autographed to both me and my dad, a Horatio Caine bobble head, and some CSI: Miami postcards and buttons.  That was just such a nice thing to do, we couldn’t even believe it!!!  My dad was especially excited about the bobble head which is now sitting on his desk.  🙂 

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As if all that wasn’t enough, a few minutes later the same A.D. walked over with Rex Linn who plays Detective Frank Tripp on the show.  Rex introduced himself and, like David, seemed genuinely happy to be speaking with fans of CSI:Miami.  Rex signed my dad’s DVD’s, posed for pictures with us, and even let me hold his prop gun.  🙂  Like David, Rex could NOT have been nicer or more outgoingly friendly to us. 

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While we were speaking with Rex, Eva La Rue came out of the house where they were filming and Rex took us over to meet her!  Eva was also completely friendly and super down to earth.  And gorgeous in person – much prettier than she even appears on television.

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Then the most amazing thing happened.  Are you sitting down for this??  Rex asked if we wanted to go inside the house to watch a few scenes be filmed.  Did we want to go inside and watch filming with Detective Frank Tripp as our personal tourguide?????  Is he crazy?  Of course we did!  Rex then took us through the backyard of the house where a scene was being filmed, introduced us to virtually every crew member on set, explained what all sorts of equipment was, and what was happening during the filming.  Rex is an amazing man and I could not believe he was taking time out of his busy day to give us a tour of the set.  I mean stuff like this just doesn’t happen in real life! 

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Once filming began, Rex led us over to the monitors and pulled out Emily Procter’s directors chair for me to sit in.  I was like WHAT?  I can’t sit in her chair!!!!  LOL 

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After we watched a bit of the filming that was taking place in the backyard, Rex was called inside to finish up a scene he was filming in the house with Eva La Rue.  He told us we could come inside to watch, so we, of course, followed him.  That scene was especially exciting for us because we got to watch firsthand as Eva administered one of the flashlight tests that the CSI  shows are so famous for.   SO COOL!  After that scene, Rex was wrapped for the day, but he told us we could go back outside to watch more of the filming in the backyard. 

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Which we, of course, did. 🙂  And that is when we got to meet both Megalyn Echikunwoke, who plays the new medical examiner on the show and who was very sweet . . .

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. . . and my fave, Emily Procter.  Emily was a total sweetheart and she really does have Calleigh Duquesne’s cute little Southern accent in real life.  I love it!  Emily was wrapped for lunch at that time and we ended up walking out of the house behind her.  On her way outside she made it a point to stop to thank the L.A. County policemen who were on duty and she gave both of them autographed pictures of herself.  I was completely amazed at this.  Not just Emily, but the entire cast seemed to be just so appreciative, thankful, and friendly.  It was so heartening to see.  And it just made me love the show even more than I already did.  What a truly amazing group of people!  

Sitting back and looking at these pictures of me on the set of my favorite TV show makes me think about how much I love L.A.  As much as I say I want to move to New York, it’s days like this one when I realize I am right where I am supposed to be.  🙂  More importantly, though, being on the set was a truly extraordinary experience for my dad.  Especially since he just recently got out of the hospital and has been sick on and off for the past few years.   I believe having such a memorable encounter with the cast of his favorite television show brought him some much needed healing in a form he never would have found in a hospital or a doctor’s office.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂

Stalk It: CSI: Miami  was filmed at 887 El Campo Drive in Pasadena, right around the corner from the Brothers and Sisters  House.  Look for the episode to air sometime in March.

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Donna Martin, Rose Princess

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When I first moved to Los Angeles about eight years ago, one of the very first items on my stalking agenda was to visit the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Headquarters.  I wanted to sign up for their annual Rose Court Pageant just like Donna Martin did in the Season 6 episode of 90210 entitled  “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”.  🙂  I was absolutely flabbergasted when after asking for an application the receptionist explained to me that in order to apply for the Rose Court I had to currently be in high school or in my first year of college (at the time I had just graduated from college).  I calmly told him that that simply wasn’t true as Donna was in her third year of college when she entered the pageant on 90210, to which he replied “Yes, but that was a TV show!”  LOL  I cannot believe 90210 decieved me like that!!  Anyway, even though my attempts at becoming Rose Queen were thwarted even before they began, I still loved being at the Tournament House and seeing where 90210 had filmed.  🙂

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The Tournament House was originally built for the Wrigley Family – yes, Wrigley as in the spearmint gum.  Construction on the home took over eight years and was finally completed in 1914.  At the time Orange Grove Boulevard was known as “Millionaires’ Row” due to the countless opulent mansions lining both sides of the street.  Sadly, most of those mansions are now long gone, torn down many years ago to make room for apartment complexes and smaller homes.  But the Tournament House remains.  When Mrs. Wrigley passed away in 1958, she deeded the home to the City of Pasadena with the specific instruction that it was to be used as the Tournament of Roses Headquarters, which it has remained ever since.

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The Tournament House, which sits on over 4 1/2 acres of beautifully manicured rose gardens, is absolutely beautiful in person.  The interior of the mansion is supposedly incredibly beautiful, as well, although I have never seen it.  Free tours of the House are offered every Thursday between 2pm and 4pm during the months of February through August and I think I am definitely going to have to partake in one soon.  🙂

The Rose Queen tradition began in 1905 and continues to this day.  It is so named because the Rose Queen reigns over Pasadena’s Annual Tournament of Roses Parade each New Years, riding on a special float.  Each year over 1,000 girls compete for the Rose Queen title, in a process that takes a month to complete.  Out of those thousand, one girl will become the Rose Queen and six others will become Rose Princesses in her Royal Court.  An interesting side note – actress Sophia Bush (of One Tree Hill  fame) won the Rose Queen title in the year 2000.  🙂  You can see a photograph of Sophia with her Court here.

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Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Tournament of Roses House is located at 391 South Orange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena.

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The Largest Home in Pasadena!

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If you thought the Benson mansion  was huge, you ain’t seen nothing yet!  🙂  Just down the street is another immense mansion – one that actually has the distinction of being the LARGEST home in Pasadena!!!   The 31,415 square foot home has 15 bedrooms, 19 bathrooms!!!!!, and sits on close to five acres.  I mean, come on, does any one person honestly need that much room????  19 bathrooms????  LOL  When I first moved to Southern California, in the year 2000, this mansion was actually under construction.  (There are some differing reports which state the mansion was built in 1991, but when I visited the property in 2000 and in subsequent years, it was still undergoing construction.)  The building was finally completed about two years ago and the home has sat empty ever since.  So strange! 

From what I heard from a real estate agent, in 1997 the owners actually purchased three different neighboring mansions on South Oakland Avenue in Pasadena only to completely knock them all down and build the monstrosity that stands there today.  Sadly, one of the homes that was demolished was a mansion that formerly stood at 1284 S. Oakland that was featured as the Clampbett’s new upscale digs in the 1993 movie The Beverly Hillbillies.  Such a bummer!!!

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However, all is not lost, as the newly built mansion has a Hollywood resume of its own.  Besides being featured in an LG commercial, the property showed up in the Season 4 episode of CSI: Miami  entitled “Driven”.  In the episode, a group of rich women are robbed at gunpoint at an upscale hotel spa.  The mansion stood in for the hotel and spa in the episode.  It’s easy to see why producers chose to use this home as the hotel, the mansion and surrounding property are so unbelievably huge and ornate that they could easily pass for a resort. 

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From what I understand the mansion has never been lived in and has been on the market for the past two years for the meager asking price of $52 million.  You can take a look at its now-defunt real estate website here.  According to this article, the mansion is one of the ten most expensive homes in the United States!   And this article  has some great pics of the unbelievable mansion and its five acre property. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The largest home in Pasadena is located at 1288 South Oakland Avenue.

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The Benson House

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A few weeks ago while out stalking in Pasadena I stopped to take some pics of the mansion that was used as the home of Governor Gatling in the 1979 television series  Benson.  I had actually stalked this mansion eight years before when I first moved to Southern California, but had yet to blog about it.  So here goes.  🙂  Growing up, Benson  was one of my very favorite shows, but to tell you the truth it’s been so long, I barely even remember what it was about now!  But I sure do remember loving it as a kid.  🙂  The series, which ran from 1979 to 1986, was a spin-off of the show Soap.  Jerry Seinfeld’s very first acting gig was actually on Benson, where he played a character named Frankie.  According to IMDB, Jerry was unknowingly fired from the show after three episodes.  He apparently showed up to work one morning only to find out that he no longer had a job and that producers had forgotten to let him know!  LOL  Sounds like a plotline straight out of Seinfeld.  🙂

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In reality, the Benson  mansion is known as the Bundy House, named for its original owner, Harlow E. Bundy, inventor of the time clock.  Harlow, a resident of Endicott, New York built the mansion in 1914 after deciding he wanted to retire to Pasadena.  After retiring to the West Coast in 1915, he became involved (surprise, surprise) in the motion picture industry.   Sadly, though, he passed away in 1916, a brief year after moving into his Pasadena mansion.  The Bundy House is absolutely HUGE – almost unbelievably so!   According to Zillow, the ten bedroom, ten bathroom home is a whopping 15,878 square feet and sits on an 87, 070 square foot lot.  I highly recommend stalking the place as pictures just simply don’t do it justice. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!

Stalk It: The Benson  house is located at 1365 S. Oakland Avenue in Pasadena.

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Dots Cupcakes!

Last week, on a whim, I ventured into Dots Cupcakes in Pasadena to buy some Halloween cupcakes for my boyfriend.  While waiting in line I noticed a framed InStyle Magazine  article sitting on a shelf in the tiny shop.  The article detailed the June 2007 wedding of Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell, who rather than serving the traditional wedding cake at their nuptials, opted instead for country apple and red velvet mini-cupcakes from none other than the very bakery I was standing in!  So of course I had to ask Dots owner and founder, Hyo Kwan, a few questions.  🙂

Kwan told me that she had no idea who the cupcakes were for until she arrived at the couple’s Calabasas ranch the day of the ceremony and met Rebecca Romijn.  A few days later she had reporters from TMZ swarming her shop asking all sorts of questions about the celeb nuptials.  She actually thought I worked for TMZ, too, with all the questions I was asking, and I had to convince her that I was actually just a stalker.  🙂   Since the InStyle  spread, Kwan has been featured in several bridal and food magazines and I couldn’t help but think to myself how much I’d like to have her bake cupcakes for my wedding.  🙂  Dots will also be providing the desserts for Rebecca Romijn’s upcoming baby shower.  Besides the O’Connells, other celebrity fans of the small shop include my fave Shannen Doherty, the Black-Eyed Peas, and Oscar De La Hoya- at least I think Kwan said Oscar De La Hoya frequents the shop.  She mentioned some sports star with a multi-word last name, but once someone starts talking sports, I pretty much just tune out.  LOL  But celebs?  Celebs I remember.  🙂  Kwan said that when Shannen Doherty stopped in, the shop was actually completely sold out of cupcakes!  Shannen was very gracious, though, and did not throw any sort of hissy fit about not getting her cupcake fix.  See, I knew she was nice!!!  🙂

Hyo, a former events manager for the L.A. Dodgers, was only 29 years old when she opened up Dots with virtually no baking experience whatsoever – just a love of cupcakes.  An endeavor that began in her kitchen with a borrowed mixer has grown into a 5,000 cupcake-a-day business.  And, after only a year and a half, Kwan is ready to branch out and will be opening up a second Dots location in Old Town Pasadena early next year.  Kwan really could not have been nicer, entertaining me for a good 15 minutes with stories about her adventures baking for celebs.  She even introduced me to a reporter for Pasadena Weekly Newspaper  while I was there and told her about my blog.  🙂  You can read more of Hwan’s story here.

Dots cupcakes are FABULOUS and I HIGHLY recommend stalking the tiny shop!  I have long been a fan of Magnolia Bakery in New York City – even though I am diabetic!  LOL – so when the gourmet cupcake craze hit L.A. last year, I could not have been more excited.  I swear I hit up every single cupcake shop in the greater L.A. area hoping to find a brand that could hold its own against my beloved Magnolia.  Sadly, not a one of them was any good.  Celeb favorite Sprinkles (pictured above), Yummy Cupcakes, Le Cupcake – they were all just mediocre.  But on Thursday, as I bit into a Dots cupcake for the first time, I was floored!  They are FABULOUSLY YUMMY and rank a very close second to Magnolia.  I’ll definitely be satisfying my cupcake cravings there from now on when I can’t get to the East Coast.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Dots is located at 400 S. Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena.  You can visit their website here.  The bakery is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 7pm.  They are closed on Sundays.  Dots new store will be opening up in the next few months on Fair Oaks Avenue in Old Town Pasadena, right next door to J. Crew. 

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Lady Heather’s House

 

On the second season of CSI: Las Vegas  we were introduced to a character whom Grissom later became very fond of named Lady Heather.  On the show Lady Heather, who was played by The O.C.’s  Melinda Clarke, owns an S&M fetish club in Sin City which she runs out of her extraordinary home.  Lady Heather first appeared as a guest star in an episode entitled “Slaves of Las Vegas” and has since reappeared on four separate occasions, becoming something of a cult favorite for CSI  fans.  Her unique home also appeared in all five of the “Lady Heather” episodes and, being that it is a pretty spooky house and fits in with my Haunted Hollywood theme for this month, I dragged my dad right out to stalk it.

Lady Heather’s house is an absolutely ginormous mansion (13,393 square feet according to Zillow!!) located on a large corner lot in South Pasadena.  I found the home thanks to Scott’s LA Audio Driving Tour of Pasadena, which lists many great Pasadena filming locations.  It is easy to see why producers chose to use this house for the filming of CSI, as it has a very looming and dark presence, most likely due to its sheer size.  For the filming of CSI, producers brought in many Gothic decorations, like large candelabras,  to create a more dark and spooky atmosphere.  But when you see the home in person, it becomes obvious that not much had to be done in preparation for filming due to its naturally ominous look.  In person, the home looks like it could be a real life haunted house.  And it actually looks like it belongs on a bayou in New Orleans rather than in the middle of Suburban Pasadena.  Unfortunately I don’t own CSI  on DVD, so I couldn’t get very good screen captures of the home.

In the various Lady Heather episodes, the exterior of the home is shown numerous times, especially the front door and front porch area (which unfortunately I do not have any screen captures of).

 A back porch area is also shown in a special 90 minute episode from Season 3 entitled “Lady Heather’s Box”.  It is the location where Grissom and the dominatrix sit down for a cup of tea.

Lady Heather’s house is a very cool place to see in person.  I highly recommend stalking it if you are at all a fan of CSI  or if you want to conduct your own Haunted Halloween tour.  🙂 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Lady’s Heather’s house is located at 929 Buena Vista St., at the corner of Buena Vista and Meridian Avenue, in South Pasadena.

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Stalk Me If You Can

            

I have been head over heels for Leonardo DiCaprio for what feels like pretty much my whole life – since long before Titanic, and even before the Growing Pains  days.  Yes, I actually sat through his first flick Critters 3.  I do love me some Leo!  One of my fave Leo movies (besides Titanic, of course!) is Catch Me If You Can, so a few years ago, when I found out that scenes from that movie were filmed at a house on California Boulevard in Pasadena, I ran right out to stalk it.  The Pasadena house shows up towards the second half of the movie, as the home where Leo’s mom lives after she divorces Christopher Walken’s character.

The first scene where the house is featured is the scene when Tom Hanks and two other FBI agents pay a visit to Frank Abagnale Jr’s (Leo’s character) mom to dig up some information on the con man.  In the scene, Frank’s mom naively offers to “write a check” for the money Frank has stolen until Tom Hank informs her the amount owed is about $1.3 million.  🙂   

 

Towards the end of the movie, the house is featured yet again in the scene when Leo arrives at his mother’s home on Christmas Eve only to discover that she now has a whole new family.  A few minutes later, Tom Hanks shows up with a calvary of police cars to arrest him.  Not a very Merry Christmas for Leo!  You can watch the (ultra depressing) Christmas scene here.

The Catch Me If You Can  house looks pretty much exactly the same in person as it does in the movie.  It is interesting to note, though, that there are hundreds of homes in Pasadena that look almost exactly like this one.  There is truly nothing different or spectacular about it to distinguish it from the countless other white clapboard homes in the area.  So it absolutely fascinates to contemplate what it was about this home that made producers choose it over the others.  The only reason I can come up with is that this home has a very large front yard area, which was necessary for the scene when Leo is arrested, as there needed to be enough room for six police cars to drive up onto the front lawn.  These location decisions always fascinate me, though, and I would love to sit down and talk with a location scout someday to find out what exactly their thought processes are in determining locations.    

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Catch Me If You Can  house is located at 3077 E. California Boulevard in Pasadena.  I also just found out that Martin Sheen’s New Orleans house in the movie is actually located in Altadena, so it looks like I have some more Catch Me If You Can  stalking to do!  🙂

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The Brothers and Sisters House

               

Got a challenge  last week from Britney  who wanted me to do some stalking of the house used in the ABC series Brothers and Sisters.  I’d actually gotten this challenge once before, but since I had never really watched the show, I hadn’t put much effort into stalking it.  But then I saw the house on Tony’s Los Angeles Filming Locations Flickr page and he directed me to this link on The Movieland Directory, which listed the address of the Walker Family home from the series.  So, for Britney’s sake, I ran right out to stalk it. 🙂  

    

The Walker home is located in a gorgeous neighborhood in the eastern section of Pasadena.  It’s funny because from the bits and pieces I had seen of Brothers and Sisters  over the years, I had a feeling the house was located in Pasadena.  It just looks like a very Pasadena style home.  In person, the Walker house is very beautiful and absolutely humongous!  It almost has a New Orleansean feel to it, as well.  It wasn’t very recognizable in person though, as from what I can tell, it seems that producers usually shoot only one section of the house, not the whole thing.  But once I went back and watched some clips of B&S  on YouTube, I could definitely see that it was the right house.  I highly recommend stalking the place, even if you are not a fan of the show, as it is just beautiful.  I need to keep my eyes peeled, too, because I am sure B&S  is not the only production the home has been used for. 

      

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It:The Brothers and Sisters house is located at 1640 Lombardy Road in Pasadena.  According to the Movieland Directory, the former Ritz Carlton (now the Langham Hotel) at 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave. in Pasadena, was also featured in Brothers and Sisters, but I am not sure which episode was filmed there.

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JLo Has Left the Building!

OK, so while I know that this is old news and that I have blogged about this location once before, I just had to do a little post on JLo’s (former) restaurant, Madres.  Way back in early July, I dragged my boyfriend out to Madre’s to grab a bite to eat as this stalker had yet to dine there since the restaurant’s 2002 opening.  Apparently I was about four days too late, because there was a sign out front stating that on July 1st Madres had closed its doors for good.   I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised at the news as I had always heard that the food there was pretty terrible and way overpriced. 

My boyfriend and I ventured across the street so that I could ask one of the local merchants about the closing of the restaurant and she told me that Madres hadn’t been doing well for quite some time.  In the early years, though, the place was quite a hit and was even named Best Celebrity Owned Restaurant by City Search.  Madres opened up in April 2002 to quite a bit of fanfare and hoopla.  JLo hosted a star-studded grand-opening party for the restaurant, with guests Ben Affleck, Nicole Kidman, Jay Leno, Dave Navarro, Carmen Electra, Kobe Bryant and Christian Slater.  I actually lived just a few blocks from Madres at the time and had NO idea JLo was opening up a restaurant.  When I read about the grand opening party in the Pasadena Star News the following morning I was literally kicking myself for not having stalked it!  😦  The restaurant was first run by Jen’s ex-husband Ojani Noa, but she fired him after only seven months, and put her father, David Lopez, in charge.  Despite the initial hoopla, the restaurant seemed pretty deserted in recent years.  But even with the rumored bad food, I am still pretty bummed that I never got to eat there.  😦

Since JLo’s lease is not up for a few more years, she is apparently trying to sub-lease the entire place (furniture and fixtures included) for a new restaurant to come in.  Right before I left on my vacation to Hawaii I happened to cut through the (former) Madres parking lot while doing some Lake Avenue shopping and noticed that all of the plants outside the restaurant were completely dead.  So I immediately called up my dad and begged him to drive out and meet me there to snap some pics.  🙂  I was pretty surprised to see the place looking so run down, what with JLo trying to lease the space out.  I mean, hello – where’s the curb appeal?  🙂

 Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It (while you still can): Madres restaurant is located at 897 Granite Drive, just off Lake Avenue, in Pasadena.

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That Thing You Stalk!

That Thing You Do  has always been one of my very favorite movies.  Liv Tyler could not have been more adorable in that movie!  The scene where she is running down the street screaming with joy while listening to the Oneders song on the radio for the first time is one of my favorite scenes in all of moviedom!  And I do love me some Tom Everett Scott, too.  🙂  So when I read on Pasadena’s Filming Website  that a house on Prospect Boulevard in Pasadena was used in That Thing You Do, I, of course, ran right out to stalk it.

I must say that working backwards, or stalking backwards I should say, ie. trying to find the scene in a movie where a certain home or place was featured, proved to be almost as difficult as normal stalking.   I had to fast-forward through That Thing You Do  twice before I spotted the house in a scene.  In actuality only the garage of the home was used, and it was only used briefly in the very beginning of the movie.  The home was featured in the scene when Guy Patterson practices with the rest of the band for the first time.  It is in this scene that Liv Tyler comes up with the name for the band – “The Oneders”.  

I actually had to go back and stalk this house a second time, as the first time I stalked it I didn’t get a photo of the garage, which was the only part of the house used in the movie.  The front of the home is never actually shown.  The clapboard-style residence is super cute in person and was very reminiscent of the Father of the Bride  house, but on a slightly smaller scale.  I am actually very surprised the front of the house was not shown in the movie.  You’d think that since they were already there filming in the garage, they would have taken some stock footage of the front of the house to use in the movie.

The Prospect Historic District of Pasadena, where the That Thing You Do  home is located, is a beautiful neighborhood with absolutely gorgeous homes on tree covered streets.  The neighborhood, which was started in the year 1906, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.  One of the homes on Prospect, number 657, is known as the Bentz House and was built by the famous architects Greene & Greene, with whom Craftsman style architecture is most commonly associated.  Greene & Greene built the Bentz House in 1906 and it still stands today.  Jennifer Lopez’ dream house from the movie Enough  can also be found in the Prospect Historic District.  It is pictured to the left.  According to Pasadena’s Filming Website the Enough  house was also used in That Thing You Do, but I never saw it.  Quite possibly only the interior of the house was used, and therefore I didn’t recognize it, or, also quite possible, the Pasadena website just got it wrong.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The That Thing You Do  house is located at 490 Prospect Boulevard.  The garage that was used in the movie is to the left rear of the house and is very visible from the street.  JLo’s house from Enough  is located right around the corner at 445 Prospect Square.  The most famous Greene & Greene home, the Gamble House, is located just off of Prospect Square at 4 Westmoreland Place.   The Gamble House was used as Doc Brown’s home in the movie Back to the Future, but I’ll save that one for a future post.  🙂

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