It's safe to say the guides from the Esotouric bus and walking adventures are obsessed with the past, offering their insights into the once-grand, frequently shadowy and even gruesome stories that shiny tourist brochures and star maps tend to omit. Among their favorite subjects are Black Dahlia conspiracies, Skid Row bars, Reyner Banham and Raymond Chandler, the patron saint of all things hard-boiled and zinger-packed. Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles: In a Lonely Place is one of Esotouric’s most popular tours among fans of the smoggy, noirish detective genre that he perfected: sexy, dangerous stories in which the city itself was always the real leading lady. The Los Angeles Athletic Club, Musso & Frank’s, the Hotel Van Nuys, Paramount Studio Ñ these and other landmarks of Chandler’s day not only featured in the author’s own life as a reporter and novelist but also form the backdrops for some of the most memorable scenes in the life of his most famous protagonist, private detective Philip Marlowe. This afternoon’s tour focuses on excavating what remains of the landscape that lives on in the books, shows and movies the Marlowe franchise spawned, viewing it through the double lens of the author and his creation. Los Angeles Athletic Club, 431 W. Seventh St., dwntwn.; Sat., Aug. 11, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; $58. (213) 915-8687, esotouric.com.
Sat., Aug. 11, 11 a.m., 2012