ESOTOURISM

Esotouric are not you average bus tour. The tours are the brainchild of Kim Cooper who, along with partner, co-host and husband Richard Schave,  have been sharing their overriding passion for the City of Angels with all its foibles, since 2007.

In a town with more personalities than a schizophrenic starlet, it’s no surprise that Schave, kicks off with, “LA is not the city you think it is.” What is surprising is, that most of the passengers on board are native Angelenos, many are regulars and, it’s also the last time Schave adheres closely to a script.

“Coop” is a third generation Angeleno. When she isn't entertaining busloads of curious guests she combs old newspapers for clues on the city’s scandalous past, edits both; Scram “a journal of unpopular culture” and the crime-a-day blog www.1947project.com plus, authors books like Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Lost in the Grooves and a history of the cult band Neutral Milk Hotel.

Encompassing everything from faith to rock and roll, hard-boiled crime details, bizarre trivia, neglected suburbs and fond nostalgia, Schave and Cooper go someway in connecting the dots between the city’s unbounded social history, seedy underbelly and cultural fringes.


From artist studio's and downtown backstreets to the dumpling shops in the San Gabriel Valley -an area Kim refers to as, “a place of eccentricity, imagination and occasionally, absolute abject horror”- Esotouric re-introduce LA in a way and sometimes via places where other bus tours fear to lay their tread.

With onscreen presentations featuring historic movie footage, documentaries and newspaper clippings as a backdrop, Richard peels back the palm trees, baby blue skies and car dealerships to create a sense of place and time reminiscent of the noir fiction of Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy or the deadbeat blues of Tom Waits and Charles Bukowski.

Esotouric rides most often feature celebrity guides, from shopping guru Christine Silvestri to James Ellroy himself. They even run a tour in honour of their former teacher, mentor and the man who inspired them both to re-imagine their city. It’s called “Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles.”
Check out www.esotouric.com

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