Hargobind Singh’s Walking Tours of Hollywoodland

July 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

Hargobind Singh/Hope Anderson Productions

I first noticed Hargobind Singh several months ago, climbing the historic stairs near my house. As many people use the stairs, it wasn’t until I saw him several times in a single weekend that I realized he was leading a tour group. 

The vast majority of tourists who come to Beachwood Canyon do so by car or bus, getting out only to photograph one another with the Hollywood Sign in the background. Not surprisingly, they don’t see much. In contrast, Hargo’s groups discover the neighborhood via its network of historic stairs, seeing places they otherwise wouldn’t see.
 
Intrigued, I invited Hargo to be interviewed for Under the Hollywood Sign
 
What drew you to being a tour guide?
 
I have always been into the outdoors, and when people would come visit I would take them around to see some of LA’s natural beauty in the Santa Monica Mountains and to explore unique neighborhoods around LA. My guests would have such a great time that they said that their trip to LA was one of the best vacations they have ever had. Several of my friends and relatives suggested that I start a tour company so that I could share this experience with others. So 3 years ago I started my company LA Active Adventures.
 
How did you promote your business?
 
When I first started, the economy just started to go down so it was slow going at first. I started off going to hotels and informed the concierge about my tour company and my unique tours.  I even took a few concierges on my tours. I had my big break last December when I contacted Living Social and offered to list my Hollywood Sign Adventure with them.  I wasn’t expecting much, since I had 3 years of slow business. I ended up selling about 1700 of that one tour.  It has been mostly locals that purchased the deal.  Now I am getting referrals from people that have done my tours.
 
How long have you been guiding tours of Hollywoodland?
 
After discovering this neighborhood last May, I thought it would be a good addition. Since I did the deal with Living Social, I have been doing the Hollywoodland tour almost every day since December 9th.
 
What are your plans for the future?
 
My plans for the future are to continue to share this unique experience with locals and visitors.
 
For further information, go to www.laactiveadventures.com
 
 
 
 
 
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The 3rd Annual Big Parade, May 21-22

May 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

Laurel and Hardy at the Music Box Stairs in Silverlake, one of the stops on the Big Parade/www.ipakway@wordpress.com

The Big Parade, a 2-day walking tour that begins downtown at Angels Flight and ends at the Hollywood Sign, will be held next weekend. For details and registration, go to http://www.bigparadela.com/route-tt-howto/route-tt-howto-2011-main.html

Beachwood Canyon from Above, Circa 1925

December 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library, Security Pacific Collection

This aerial photograph shows Beachwood and the original Hollywood Sign, along with its searchlight–the dot below it. Taken around 1925, it shows a canyon in transition. While houses are plentiful in lower Beachwood, the Hollywoodland tract is still being built, with only a few houses visible. The roads have been cut and are the same roads we use today. Though not obvious, the network of retaining walls and steps are moving towards completion. Within four years, Southern California’s first hillside tract community will boast scores of new houses, its own country club and a distinct identity.

The biggest surprise in the photo is Burbank, stretching beyond Mt. Lee. Still largely farmland, it shows little sign of its future as a studio town and densely populated suburb.

The H to the left of the Hollywood Sign is not, as an English visitor assumed, a spare for the H in the Sign. It was placed on the hillside by Hollywood High School, and vanished long ago.

The Big Parade’s Final Leg in Hollywoodland

July 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

Though running 1 1/2 hours late, thirty to forty intrepid walkers finally reached the Belden Steps sometime after 7:30pm, where I was waiting with water and an overview of Beachwood’s landmarks and history. Then they took off for the Hollywood Sign, which they reached in darkness.

The Belden Stairs

The Belden Stairs/Hope Anderson Productions

Big Paraders

Big Paraders/Hope Anderson Productions

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