So you think you know L.A. Have you been to the Banana Museum? How about the Tower of Pallets, or that kitchen in Santa Monica that is entirely covered in tiny glass beads?
And if you've never stopped by Hollywood Cemetery to admire Carl Bigsby's tombstone--an exact marble replica of an Atlas missile--then you just haven't lived.
Concerned that too many Angelenos take the city and its eccentricities for granted, photographer Alexander Vertikoff and historian Robert Winter set out to create a guide to places we don't know.
Their new book, "Hidden L.A." (Gibbs-Smith), brings together the images and stories behind some of the city's least-known "monuments to uniqueness." There is the extraordinary Japanese garden at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant--just across from the sewage treatment vats. And along the concrete channel of Tujunga Wash in North Hollywood, there is an ambitious mural depicting the rich history of California, as interpreted by artistic members of local street gangs.
"The central theme is diversity, but it is not chaos," Winter and Vertikoff assure readers.