Tag Archives: Shannen Doherty

The 90210 Pilot Church

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A few days ago I sent Mike, from MovieShotsLA, a screen capture of the church featured in the pilot episode of Beverly Hills, 90210.  I had a hunch he might know where it was located – and, sure enough, he did!  He immediately called me and said “That’s the Spiderman  church!” as it was also used in the filming of Spiderman 3.  🙂  God, he’s good!  St. Brendan Church – or as Mike and I like to call it, the “pilot church” – was built in 1927 by Los Angeles area architect Emmett Martin. 

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In the pilot episode of 90210, Brenda, not wanting her new twenty-something boyfriend Jason to know that she is only sixteen years old and still living at home with her parents, lies and says that she is attending UCLA and living in a sorority house named Sigma Rho Tau.  After their first date, Jason drops Brenda off in front of her fake sorority house, which just happens to be located next door to a church.  That church is St. Brendan and that sorority house is not really a sorority house at all, but the church rectory.   As you can see in the above screen captures, all the producers had to do was add a sign with the sorority’s name to the outside of the rectory and cover up the stained glass window with a bulletin board – and voila, they had themselves a sorority house!

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While researching St. Brendan Church earlier today I remembered something very ironic from my past.  I can’t even believe I’m admitting to this – in a public forum no less – but you only live once, so here goes!  When I was in high school I receieved the Sacrament of Confirmation.  At the time I was fifteen years old and deep in the throws of my 90210  obsession.  So much so in fact, that I chose Brendan, after St. Brendan, as my confirmation name.  In the Catholic faith, when ones receives the Sacrament of Confirmation, they are to adopt the name of a patron saint who is said to then guide and protect them.  Confirmation candidates are supposed to study the history of the saints and find one that represents the type of Christian they want to become.  But for me the choice was easy.  Once I found out there was a saint named Brendan, that was it for me!  Of course, the female version of the name Brendan is Brenda.  🙂  Yes, I was THAT obsessed.  LOL  Being that my mother wanted to kill me when she found out the saint name I chose, this little episode of my life has been a long running joke in my family.  LOL  So earlier today when I found out that St. Brendan was the name of the 90210 church, I just about fell out of my chair.    

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St. Brendan actually has quite a rich filming history.  Besides the pilot episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, the church was also featured in Armageddon as the location of Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler’s wedding.  You can watch the wedding scene here.

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It was the location of Stephanie Seymor and Axl Rose’s wedding in the Guns N’ Roses music video for the song “November Rain”.    On a side note – I must say that I absolutely LOVE Stephanie Seymour’s wedding dress from the video (pictured above).  I am gonna have to get me one of those for my wedding!  LOL  As if!!  🙂  You can watch the “November Rain” music video here.

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In the Season Four episode of  CSI: Miami entitled “From the Grave”, my fave Horatio Caine confessed his sins at Saint Brendan.  The church was also featured in the 1953 version of War of the Worlds (as the location where the residents of L.A. gather during the final scenes of the movie),  Spiderman 3 (the interior is where Topher Grace prayed for God to kill Peter Parker), Fight Club (Edward Norton’s cancer support group was held there), and an episode of Unsolved Mysteries.  You can see interior pics of the church on the Saint Brendan website.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Beverly Hills, 90210  pilot church, aka St. Brendan, is located at 310 South Van Ness Avenue in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles.

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Casa Walsh

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Last Friday, Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and I set out to do a little Pasadena stalking.  Who knew that our day would hold the stalking adventure to end all stalking adventures!  Even as I sit here, days later, writing these words, I am pinching myself, unsure if the whole thing even really happened.  But since I have the photographs, I guess it really did.  🙂 

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On Friday afternoon, after stalking a few Pasadena locations, Mike and I stopped off at our old staple, the 90210  house, aka Casa Walsh.  Even though Mike and I had stalked this home countless times before, we had to return yet again as it is one location that we just never grow tired of.  On this particular trip, though, the stalking gods must have been smiling down on us because the owner of the home pulled up in his car right when we arrived.  So of course, we got to talking with him.  🙂

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The owner, whose name is Jack, could NOT have been a nicer guy!  He stood and talked with us in the Walsh driveway for about 45 minutes, sharing all sorts of 90210  stories and behind the scenes info.  For instance, he told us that on one occasion when they filmed at his house, producers cleared out all of his living room furniture and built a soundstage of Kelly’s bedroom in the vacant room!  LOL  He also told us that some of the camping scenes from the Season 2 episode entitled “Camping Trip” were actually filmed in his backyard!  And – my personal favorite story of the many Jack shared with us – one day he got home from work to find a message on his answering machine from a woman who said “Hi this is Emily Valentine and I wanted to let you know that I just got out of the asylum.”  LOL  Jack even told us of a few other 90210  filming locations that he knew about.  🙂  Now, this is where the story gets REALLY exciting.  After talking with us for a bit in his driveway, Jack invited us into his backyard to take some photos.

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Numerous events in the Walsh twins’ lives took place in Jack’s backyard,  including Cindy and Jim’s 20th wedding anniversary, Jackie Taylor and Mel Silver’s wedding, the painting of the gang’s homecoming float which was later doused with gasoline by Emily Valentine, and – my personal favorite – one of the first times Brenda lays eyes on Dylan. 

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In that episode, entitled “Isn’t It Romantic”, Dylan and Brandon are working on Brandon’s car Mondale in the Walsh backyard.  In the meantime, while speaking with Kelly on the phone, Brenda walks outside onto a little balcony to admire Dylan from afar, but he notices her and turns around to give her that cute Dylan smile that I was so in love with.  🙂  LOVE THAT SHOW!  Anyway, Brenda’s balcony is really a part of the Altadena home and I could not have been more excited to see it in person!  I believe it was at this point in our Casa Walsh tour, as Mike and I stood there snapping pictures like crazy and screaming like little schoolgirls, that Jack told us we both had way too much time on our hands.  LOL  🙂

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After seeing us go a bit crazy over being in the actual 90210  backyard, Jack (wait, are you sitting down for this???) INVITED US TO SEE THE INSIDE OF THE HOUSE!!!!  Yes, you read that right – HE INVITED US INSIDE THE HOUSE!  THE 90210 HOUSE!  BRANDON AND BRENDA’S HOUSE!  WE GOT TO GO INSIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Mike and I both just about keeled over and died at this proposition and I am surprised we didn’t knock poor Jack to the floor as we made a running b-line for the house.  🙂  LOL  While inside, Jack first showed us some scrapbooks he had made with photographs and articles from his house’s filming days.   The scrapbooks included all sorts of photographs and memorabilia from the 90210  days, including photos of his kids with the stars and the original contract he signed allowing the production company to use his home for filming.  I couldn’t help but smile as I read one clause in the contract which stated that a basketball hoop would be added to the exterior of Jack’s garage.  🙂  That basketball hoop is now gone as Jack is in the middle of remodeling his garage (say it ain’t so!).  There were actually two different basketball hoops used during the filming of 90210 and when the series ended, Jack got to keep both of them.  Many years later he ended up giving both of those hoops away to 90210  fans who had stopped by his house to take pictures.  Like I said – what an amazingly nice guy!  Mike was extremely bummed that he wasn’t the lucky recipient of one of those basketball hoops, but we should consider ourselves lucky as Jack said that Mike and I were the first two fans he had ever invited inside the house.  🙂

The most surreal moment of the day for me happened when my phone rang while I was standing in the 90210  kitchen.  You see, my ring tone is, and always has been, the 90210  theme song.  I kid you not.  So there I was standing in Casa Walsh when the familiar strains of “Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh” came pouring out of my phone.  LOL  After looking at Jack’s 90210  scrapbooks, he took us on a mini-tour of the downstairs of his home.  I was in utter shock not only at the fact that he would invite us into his home, but also that I WAS ACTUALLY STANDING INSIDE THE 90210  HOUSE!  I had dreamed of seeing the inside of that home for YEARS and the only thing I can imagine that would have been more satisfying to a stalker like myself would be to have visited the studio set of the Walsh home during filming.  I had read that the set of Casa Walsh was based on the real interiors of the Altadena home and on Friday I saw for myself that that was sort of true.  While the kitchen area looks nothing like Cindy Walsh’s kitchen, the entryway, living room and dining room are all very similar to what we saw on TV.  When walking inside the house it was like worlds were colliding inside my head as the image I knew of the interior sets meshed with reality.  It was surreal and almost as if my brain couldn’t accept both images at the same time.  LOL

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The dining room area, which was just re-painted and therefore has no furniture in it, is very reminiscent of the Walsh dining room.

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The living room is also quite similar to its television counterpart, except that it is longer and not quite as deep as the Walsh living room.  In real life it is also missing the Walsh’s built-in bookshelves.

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The area of the home I was most excited to see was the entryway/stairwell, as the Walsh’s entryway/stairwell was shown so often on the show.  In reality, the stairway is situated like a mirrior image of how it appeared on 90210.  The stairs run from the left to the right, while the Walsh stairway went from right to left.  I asked Jack why he thinks they made this change for the studio set and he said he thinks that it worked better for camera angles that way.  Aside from the stairway running the opposite direction, the real entryway looks very similar to the Walsh entryway and I still cannot believe I got to see it with my own two eyes!

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Of course, we just had to take a picture with Jack in the entryway to document our time spent at Casa Walsh.  On our way out, after giving Jack our phone numbers and telling him that if he ever needed ANYTHING to give us a call :), Mike told him that if he ever decided to sell Casa Walsh he wanted to be the first to know.  🙂 

I still can hardly believe this whole thing even happened!!  Mike and I seem to have a lot of luck when it comes to stalking 90210  locations, and I think I need to bring him with me on all of my stalking adventures from now on.  🙂 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Casa Walsh is located at 1675 E. Altadena Drive, in Altadena.  We got really lucky being let inside the house, but please don’t bother the owner to do this yourself as it is not his common practice.

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The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa

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While stalking in Pasadena a few weeks ago I stopped into the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa to snap some pics.  The Langham has long been a Pasadena institution and it is an absolutely gorgeous place to spend an afternoon or grab an evening cocktail.  It is also an oft-used Pasadena filming location and celeb hang out.  🙂

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The Langham Hotel was originally built in 1907 and was known as the Wentworth.  Never gaining much popularity under its original ownership, the property was sold to Henry E. Huntington in 1911, who hired renowned L.A. area architect Myron Hunt to renovate, expand, and improve the hotel. Three years later, in 1914, the Wentworth was reopened under its new name – the Huntington Hotel.   Architect Myron Hunt is also known for designing the Rose Bowl, Occidental College, the California Institute of Technology, and Henry Huntington’s private home, which later became the museum known as the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens.  After Myron’s renovations, the Huntington Hotel became an overnight success and it remained that way for more than seven decades.   But in 1985, while under the ownership of the Sheraton Corporation, the Huntington had to be closed due to earthquake code violations.  In 1987, the Ritz-Carlton Corporation purchased the property and, with a $100 million upgrade, brought it up to code.  In 1990, the new Huntington Ritz-Carlton Hotel & Spa opened its doors to the public.  Just this year, the hotel was sold yet again – this time to Great Eagle Holdings who renamed it the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa.  Even with all of the ownership changes, the Huntington remains the finest hotel in the Pasadena area.  It also remains a favorite of both celebrities and location scouts alike.  

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The interior of the Langham stood in for the Stratford Hotel in the 1998 Lindsay Lohan remake of The Parent Trap.  The exterior of the Stratford, however, was a different location altogether.  For that producers used the Administration Building on Treasure Island in Northern California, located a few hundred miles away from the Langham.  The Langham also appeared in Beverly Hills Ninja  where it stood in for the Beverly Hills Hotel.  The hotel was also featured in Seabsicut, America’s Next Top Model, Charlie Wilson’s War, and Brothers and Sisters.  And just a brief list of the hotel’s past celebrity guests: Teddy Roosevelt, Bill Clinton (shortly after winning the ’92 election), Albert Einstein, the Dalai Lama, Prince Philip of England, musician Pete Townsend, Salyma Hayek, Bachelorette Trista Rehn, and Judd Hirsch.  Marcia Cross’ wedding reception was held there, as was the wedding for Taboo from The Black-Eyed Peas.  Shannen Doherty is a reported frequent guest of the hotel, and especially loves their premiere restaurant, The Grill, and their piano bar.  I actually saw Shannen once during one of my many visits the to the Langham.  She was doing some press for her former reality show Breaking-Up With Shannen Doherty.  Shannen was super tiny in person and seemed very sweet, although I did not go up to her. 

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The Langham is an absolutely beautiful resort, with sprawling lawns, meandering pathways, koi ponds, a dark wood paneled bar, and excellent food.  I had the pleasure of staying at the hotel a while back, when it was still owned by the Ritz-Carlton.  The service at the time was impeccable.  One night at the bar I ordered my fave soda, Dr. Pepper.  The bartender told me that while Dr. Pepper isn’t served at the hotel, he thought there might be a vending machine in the employee break room that had some.  Despite my protests, he ran downstairs to the breakroom and returned a few minutes later – Dr. Pepper in hand!  I also attended the Ritz-Carlton employee Christmas party a few years ago with a friend who used to work for the hotel and it was one of the best parties I’ve ever been to! 

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I highly recommend stalking the Ritz and grabbing a nightcap in their piano bar.  Time and time again it is mentioned as one of the most romantic places in Pasadena. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Langham is located at 1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue in Pasadena.  You can visit their website here.  Rooms start at $269 per night.

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The 90210 Halloween Party House

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Mike, from MovieShotsLA, has done it yet again!  I really think I need to name my first born after him or something.  🙂  One of my very favorite episodes in 90210  history was the Season 2 episode entitled “Halloween”, in which the whole gang dresses up and attends a Halloween bash in a humongous, spooky mansion.  I’m not sure why I loved that particular episode so much – most likely because Halloween is my favorite holiday and also because I absolutely LOVED Brenda and Dylan’s Bonnie and Clyde costumes.  Ever since October of 1991, when the “Halloween” episode aired I have wanted to dress just like Brenda and Dylan did for Halloween!  🙂  Anyway, ever since moving to L.A. eight years ago I have been on the lookout for that Halloween party house, but was always unable to locate it.  Then, during October’s Haunted Halloween theme, I got Mike in on the hunt, but even with our two heads put together we just could not find the house!!    Until yesterday!!!   

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Ironically enough, Mike was looking for another movie location in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles when he ran across this article  and immediately recognized the home in the picture!  Mike called me and I just happened to be IN Hancock Park at that time, so I immediately drove myself right over to the house.   And sure enough it was the “Halloween” house!!!!!!!!  YAY!  I could not have been more excited to see this home in person.  It was a stalking adventure eight years in the making! 

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 90210  featured both the interior and the exterior of the house during the filming of the “Halloween” episode.  The front porch area was also featured quite prominently.  It is on the front porch that Steve tells Kelly that he still loves her, right after she is rescued by both Dylan and Steve after almost being raped by a fellow party guest.  Besides 90210, the home also appeared in Willard, Ben, Witchboard, The Addams Family Halloween Special, Mae West, Inner Sanctum II, Night Walker, Secret Games 3, Life Without Dick, Out on a Limb, and Masked and Anonymous.  Sadly, according to the article Mike found, the owners have since “retired” the home from filming.  😦

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The house, which is known as the Higgins-Verbeck-Hirsch Mansion, has an interesting real life history, as well.  The 9,918 square foot, 32 room home was built by renowned L.A. area architect John Austin in 1902 for a wealthy grain merchant named Hirman Higgins and his family.  The mansion was originally located on three lots on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Rampart Boulevard.  In 1919, the Higgins family sold the home to the Verbecks, who were forced to actually relocate the mansion a few years later.  As strange as that sounds, apparently it was quite commonplace at the time.  Due to the commercialization of Wilshire Boulevard and the widening of many Los Angeles streets, homeowners were forced to either move their homes or lose them to the wrecking ball.  The Verbecks chose the former and bought a parcel of land 2.5 miles away, on Lucerne Boulevard in Hancock Park.  On June 28, 1924 at 1 O’clock in the morning, house-mover George Kress split the Queen Anne mansion into two pieces, and using TWELVE trucks, moved it to its current location.  Apparently the Verbecks decided to mark the occasion with a party and invited the mayor and over 100 of their closest friends to hang out in the house during its 2.5 mile, four hour drive down Wilshire Boulevard.  From the 30s to the mid 80s, after many subsequent owners, the mansion suffered from severe neglect, until it was purchased by current residents Peggy and Perry Hirsch in 1986.  The couple spent the next few years painstakingly restoring the home to its original beauty and grandeur.  In 1988, it was designated a Los Angeles cultural historical monument.  

The house is absolutely HUMONGOUS in person – much larger than I had expected it to be – and absolutely beautiful.  I highly recommend stalking it, even for the rare few of you out there who aren’t 90210  fans.  🙂 

Big thank you to Mike, as always, for finding the location and for providing the screen caps!

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Stalk It: The 90210  Halloween party house is located at 637 S. Lucerne Boulevard in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles.

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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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We’ll Always Have Paris

Once again I am indebted to Mike over at MovieShotsLA  for finding yet another location that had eluded me – a location I had been searching for for close to 16 years!  During Season 3 of the original 90210, Brenda and Donna spend their summer in Paris.  In the episode entitled “Shooting Star/An American In Paris” Brenda meets a tall, dark and handsome college student named Rick in a beautiful French garden.  Later on in the episode the two walk underneath a curved rose-covered trellis and it is that trellis that I have been searching for ever since that episode aired way back in August of 1992.  A few years after that episode aired, my parents took me on a trip to Europe as a present for my high school graduation.  Our first stop was France and I remember walking around the streets of Paris carrying a small picture of Brenda and Rick under that trellis, stopping every native French person I could find to ask if they knew where it was located.  Yes, I really am that blonde!  🙂  My naive 18 year old self truly believed that Shannen Doherty and Tori Spelling had actually flown to France to film their Paris scenes.  That reality was shattered this past summer when I took the Universal Studios tour  and discovered that most of “Paris” was actually filmed at the Universal backlot.   Not filmed at Universal, though, were the garden scenes.  So I still had no idea where Brenda and Rick’s trellis was located.  Knowing how obsessed I was with finding Brenda’s garden, Mike stayed up very late one night this week and located it for me and I was able to actually stalk it yesterday!!  Let me tell you, I could not have been more excited!!

Mike and I were fairly certain that Brenda’s garden was located in one of the three main botanical gardens in LA, and since I had stalked the Arcadia Arboretum on Sunday  without finding it, Mike set his sights on the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.  He stayed up late one night searching Google images until he finally located Brenda’s trellis in the Rose Garden area of the Huntington, a good 5,000 miles from Paris, France.  THANKS MIKE!!!!  So yesterday, I dragged my dad out to the Huntington, in 103 degree heat no less, to do some 90210  stalking. 

The Huntington shows up three times in the “Shooting Star/An American in Paris” episode.  We first see it in the scene when Brenda and Rick first meet.  In that scene, Brenda is sitting on a circular bench underneath a large oak tree.  Sadly, that circular bench was removed long ago and the tree Brenda sat under is now surrounded by foliage, so the area looks very different.  But there was a similar bench located just a few yards away, so I had to take a picture sitting on that.  🙂

The area where Brenda actually sat sixteen years ago is located on the very Southeast corner of the North Vista lawn, pictured above.  The path Rick walks through when he first comes upon Brenda is now gone and filled in with foliage.  Such a bummer!!!!   

This same tree and bench area also show up in the episode following “Shooting Star/An American in Paris”, which is entitled “Castles In The Sand”.  It is shown in the scene when Brenda dreams about Rick on her plane flight home to LA

The next location I dragged my dad to stalk was the white flowered trellis Brenda and Rick walk under on their last night in Paris together.  This is the location where “Reek” tells Brenda that if she were truly in love with Dylan she wouldn’t be standing there with him and then the two share their final Paris kiss.  This particular trellis is located in the Rose Garden area of the Huntington, just off of the Tea Room. 

This same location also shows up in the Hil D. movie A Cinderella Story.  In the movie Hilary attends a masquerade ball at the Huntington.  The exteriors of the ball location were filmed outside of the Huntington Gallery building (the interiors were actually filmed at a theatre in Downtown LA).  During the ball, Chad Michael Murray takes Hil on a walk under the same trellises Rick and Brenda walked under 12 years before.  After walking under the trellises, Chad leads Hilary to a gazebo where the two share a moonlit dance.  That gazebo was brought in by producers and put in the Brown Garden especially for the filming and was removed when the three day shoot was complete.

Next up was the site I was most excited about seeing in person, the location I had wandered the streets of Paris trying to find – the curved rose-covered trellis Brenda and Rick walk beneath during their tour of Paris.  Even sixteen years later, I could not have been more excited to see this location in person.  🙂  I truly felt like a high school girl all over again!  The trellis appeared in the scene where Brenda takes Rick on a walking tour of Paris and I am happy to report that it looks EXACTLY the same as it did when it appeared on 90210, except that due to the time of year, the flowers usually covering it were not in full bloom yesterday.  This trellis is also located in the Huntington’s Rose Garden; it covers the path which leads to the Japanese Garden area.

Interestingly enough, this very same location showed up on 90210  some years later as the location where Steve and Janet tie the knot.  Producers added some black street lights to the site which are not normally there.  Otherwise it looks much the same as it did when it first appeared on 90210

 

The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens was originally the private home of Central Pacific Railroad owner Henry E. Huntington and his wife Arabella.  Originally called the San Marino Ranch, Henry and his wife purchased the property in 1902 and began creating a truly incredible botanical garden in their backyard.  Throughout his lifetime, Henry also collected fine art and books and today it is his art, library and gardens that make up the Huntington.  The 207 acre property is an absolutely beautiful place to spend an afternoon.  I am usually not big on museums, but the Huntington is simply breathtaking.  The gardens alone cover over 120 acres and consist of painstakingly maintained landscapes from different areas of the world. It really takes more than one visit to discover all of this amazing place.  The grounds are serene and peaceful and when visiting, you will feel a million miles away from Los Angeles.  The Rose Garden is exquisite, the Bonzai Court and Zen Garden are truly unique, the Japanese Garden is incredible with its winding koi ponds and bamboo forests, and the newly built Chinese Garden with its enormous lake is absolutely gorgeous.  This is one location that is a must-see, not just for stalkers, but for anyone visiting the Los Angeles area. 

Besides 90210  and A Cinderella Story, The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens has appeared in countless movie and television productions, including First Daughter, Be Cool, Legally Blonde 2, The Bachelor  reality show, The Wedding Planner, Beverly Hills Ninja, The West Wing, American Wedding, Monster in Law, Charlie’s Angels, as well as hundreds of others.  It was also the location of Robert and Anna’s wedding on the soap opera General Hospital.  Anytime you see a garden popping up on one of your favorite television shows or movies, chances are it was filmed at the Huntington. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens is located at 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino.  You can visit their website here.  You can also visit their filming website here.

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Break Out The Clicquot!

This is a post I’ve been itching to do for almost two weeks now, but had to keep mum on!  Two weeks ago I was interviewed by Washington Post travel correspondent Andrea Sachs, who, based on the major hype of the upcoming 90210  v. 2.0, was sent out to the West Coast to do a travel piece on the world’s most famous zip code.  Andrea contacted me to do an interview about the iconic TV series and also a little BH stalking.  The article was finally published today and I could not be more excited!!  My family and I just got back from celebrating with a little champagne.  🙂  You can read the article here.

When I first received Andrea’s email asking if I would have time to chat about my fave TV show for a newspaper article, I have to admit I thought someone was playing a joke on me.  The name Andrea Sachs seemed extremely familiar and after doing a little Google research, I realized that I recognized it from the movie The Devil Wears Prada  where it was the name of Anne Hathaway’s character.  Besides sharing a name, the two also share a profession.  In the movie Andrea Sachs is a budding newspaper journalist.  So I was completely convinced someone was pulling my leg.  But, it turns out that there is, in fact, a real life Andrea Sachs who is, in fact, a reporter for the Washington Post.  And I was happy to discover that the real Andrea is much cooler and a hundred times more funny than her silver screen counterpart.  🙂    

Andrea and I decided to meet up for a “power lunch” at the legendary Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel (where we spotted a very large Rob Reiner – I had no idea he was such a big man!) and we wound up spending the entire afternoon stalking.  Andrea’s assignment – to report on both the Hills of Beverly and the legendary television show – had a built in challenge for me.  Andrea was required to stay in the 90210 zip code and, ironically, there isn’t one filming location from the TV show actually located in Beverly Hills.  So I had to think a bit outside the box for this one.  🙂  During our adventure we hit up Aaron Spelling’s manse (which is currently for sale for a reported $150 million!!!), the Playboy Mansion, the home where Shannen Doherty attacked then-boyfriend Dean Factor, and Brad and Jen’s former Beverly Hills love nest. 

The last stop on our Beverly Hills stalking tour was Andrea’s inspired idea – the real Beverly Hills High School, upon which 90210’s fictional West Beverly High was loosely based, but of course where no actual filming took place.  Producers had originally wanted to film at the real Beverly Hills High, but the school board was having none of that.  So producers created the fictional West Beverly Hills High School and set out for Torrance High School  in the South Bay to film.  Torrance High will also be featured once again in the new 90210  series.

Even though BHHS shied away from being featured in the 90210 series, it has been used in several other Hollywood productions including Anywhere But Here, The Beverly Hillbillies, Less Than Zero, the Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, Taggat, Whatever It Takes, and the videos for Nickelback’s Rockstar  and NLT’s That Girl.  In the Christmas classic It’s A Wonderful Life, the school’s “Swim Gym” (pictured above) which features a basketball court that slides open to reveal a swimming pool underneath, was prominently featured. 

Andrea had read about Beverly High’s “Hall of Fame”- a wall display featuring headshots of BHHS’ famous alumni and I was absolutely dying to see it!  The display actually ended up bringing us full circle in our stalking adventure when we spotted Rob Reiner’s photo on the wall.  Andrea took one look at Rob’s photo and said “You really didn’t realize he was a large man???”  LOL   As excited as we both were to see the Hall of Fame, it proved to be pretty anti-climatic.  Sadly many of the most famous names were strangely missing from the display.  BHHS’ famous alumni include Angelina Jolie, Tori Spelling, both Ephron sisters, Albert Brooks, 80s heartthrob Steve Burton, Cari Fisher, Bonnie Franklin, Gina Gershon, Nicolas Cage, Shaun Cassidy, Jennifer Grey’s father Joel, Brady mom Florence Henderson, Lenny Kravitz, Monica Lewinsky (LOL!), the Menendez Brothers, Gossip Girl’s  Leighton Meister, Pauly Shore, Antonio Sabato Jr., Alicia Silverstone, and countless, countless others.  I was most looking forward to seeing BHHS alumni David Schwimmer’s photo on the wall, but like many others it was absent.  I mean, hello – where’s the Friends’  love? 

                        

In person the school has minimal resemblance to how West Beverly High was portrayed onscreen.  For being located in the world’s most exclusive zip code, the school is actually quite unremarkable and ordinary.  I really expected much more from BHHS.  In reality the school looks pretty much like every other American high school I have ever seen.  The interior leaves much to be desired, as well, and, in truth, looked pretty run down.  Andrea and I were cracking up at the sad state of the hallway’s ceiling tiles (pictured above).  I am happy to report, though, that both the students and faculty of BHHS could not have been friendlier to us as we wandered the halls.  But all I kept thinking was how young the students looked compared with what was portrayed on 90210.  I mean, there wasn’t a Luke Perry style receding hairline in the bunch!

I truly had a BLAST stalking with Andrea all afternoon and I cannot wait for her next West Coast adventure as I’d love to hang out again.  And the article turned out fabulous – I really could not be more excited!  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂
Stalk It: Beverly Hills High School is located at 241 Moreno Drive in Beverly Hills.  You can read the Washington Post article here.
 
 
 
 

 

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