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GOOD Book Club: Take a Reyner Banham Field Trip GOOD Book Club: Take a Reyner Banham Field Trip

GOOD Book Club: Take a Reyner Banham Field Trip

by Alissa Walker
February 20, 2011

Earlier this month we announced Reyner Banham's Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies as the next book we're reading for the GOOD Book Club. We chose this book for two good reasons: one, because the upcoming issue of our magazine is all about L.A., and, two, so we could read along with Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, who has embarked upon a year-long (and much more ambitious) book club where he's reading two books about L.A. every month.

Whether you've tackled the entire book, or just paged through the introduction (or even if you only plan to watch the movie), those of you living in L.A. can see the book come to life. The cultural adventure club Esotouric, which leads tours inspired by local literary greats like Charles Bukowski and John Fante, has a series dedicated to Banham's book. Richard Schave, who leads the tours, was a student of Banham's when he taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and will be passing along his urbanist wisdom in five upcoming tours, starting this weekend.

Esotourists can choose among five itineraries that are geographically diverse, ranging from South Los Angeles to Route 66. The tours will visit historically significant places like the oldest adobe in L.A. (located in a trailer park, no kidding), and pop-cultural locations like Googie diners that saw a new age of appreciation thanks to Banham. The downtown tour stops for a snack at Clifton's Cafeteria, the theme restaurant that inspired Disneyland. And of course, there will be plenty of journeying through "Autopia," the endless freeways that Banham so loved. Tickets available at Esotouric.

If you're reading Banham's book along at home, stay tuned for very exciting news about a chance to discuss the book both here online and at a very cool real-life book club event in L.A.

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