The city of Los Angeles is in a constant state of expansion. Its population grows along with its buildings, structures change rapidly and people are traveling in and out of it constantly. But in between all the change, a few gems proud of their past remain. There are locations where Angelinos can attempt to catch the muses of famous writers and perhaps feel the energy left within the bars and libraries they frequented. Following are five places where you can channel the literary genius of authors who once made our city their home.
Musso and Frank Grill
6667 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Standing at this location since the 1920s, Musso and Frank Grill used to have a bar in the back where great writers liked to congregate. Big names like William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe and others liked to relax in the room that in the 1950s, was moved next door to the space that used to be the Stanley Rose Bookstore. The “new room” contains some original items from the old “back room” and is one of the most satisfying literary landmarks in Los Angeles to visit.
Los Angeles Central Library
630 W. 5th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Charles Bukowski’s books became a window into life in Los Angeles with novels like “Women and Hollywood” and “Post Office.” He was raised in Los Angeles, worked as a postal worker at the Post Office Terminal Annex in downtown and was for several years a financially struggling writer who liked to spend his days in the library’s reading room. He wrote about his love for the Philosophy Room where he found peace between thousands of books that reminded him that solitude has its benefits.
Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
1218 Glendon Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
You can pay a respectful visit to the great writers who rest at this cemetery. The list includes the author of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “In Cold Blood,” Truman Capote; Iranian poet Nader Naderpour, the author of “The Bishop’s Wife;” TV writer (“I Dream of Jeannie” and “Hart to Hart”) and novelist Sidney Sheldon; and the recently deceased author of “Fahrenheit 451,” Ray Douglas Bradbury.
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The ground floor bar at the Roosevelt Hotel saw the famous William Faulkner often, as it is no secret that he enjoyed his drinks. “A William Faulkner Encyclopedia” says he could be seen here reciting Shakespeare with his buddy Edmund Kohn. The Roosevelt Hotel has a “haunted” reputation. Many stars in the old days spent their hours here and people keep on “seeing” them today in the hallways or reflected on mirrors. The most popular sighting is the beautiful Marilyn Monroe.
UCLA’s Powell Library
46 Powell Library Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095-=
It was in a study room at the Powell Library that Ray Douglas Bradbury wrote a 25,000-words-long story he called “The Fireman.” After adding 25,000 more words, the story was published under the name “Fahrenheit 451.” It is said that the novel cost him just under $10 which he used here to pay for the typewriters’ rental fee of 20 cents per hour.
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Dena Burroughs is a freelance writer living in Azusa, CA. She is a CSULA graduate with specialties in Creative Writing and Communications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.