In all the years I’ve visited and lived near Los Angeles, I still find that I don’t know everything about it. I’m always finding new areas I’ve never been, great restaurants I’ve never tried, and hidden historical spots I never knew existed.
The Cobb Estate is one such historical place. I was directed to the place at the corner of East Loma Alta Drive and Lake Avenue in Altadena because of a were-animal photo shoot. Such is my odd life sometimes; I accompanied a group of my friends, who were in makeup as animal changelings, up into the foothills. All this was put on by The Scream Team, a Halloween latex mask company that routinely makes the monsters that haunt the dreams of the innocent.
The entrance to the old Cobb Estate is an elaborate and intriguing wrought iron gate, of which I’m annoyed that I didn’t get a photo. Not much is left of the original architecture, as the supposedly impressive house was torn down in the 1950’s, but there are still traces of what was probably a large setup. The remnants of winding driveways and garden walls are present, marking the present hiking trail along the way.
Trekking part of the way up with cat-humans and an eagle-man must have been a strange site indeed, but I was more distracted by the sound of children laughing. I’ve heard some speculation that that particular area of the foothills is haunted (the “haunted forest”, as I’ve heard it called), and since there were no children around that I could see, I was wary.
As the photographer snapped photo after photo, I hiked a little bit further up the dilapidated driveway, in search of a family picnicking, or any evidence of the children I heard. I found none, however, and still heard the young laughter. Since I was the only one that had decided to wander off, I didn’t want to go too far in fear that the monsters would forget about me and leave. I headed back to the photo shoot before too long, without any evidence of either real children or ghosts.
Later on, I found out that the land had briefly been owned by the Marx brothers, a tidbit that was more or less irrelevant, but that I found interesting. Now, the Cobb Estate is a shell of its former self, being taken back over by the nature of the Angeles National Forest. It remains a historical piece of land, and a small but interesting piece of greater Los Angeles that I didn’t know existed until a bunch of monsters showed it to me. I never found out if there were children there that day, but I don’t think I’ll be heading up there after the sun sets anytime soon.
I recently saw the movie version of Eat, Pray, Love with my good friend Barbara of The Scream Team.
I read the book a few months back at Barbara’s suggestion, and quickly realized that I am a sort of younger version of Liz Gilbert, a woman in search of herself. While I can’t exactly spend a year traveling around the world (“can’t” is such a debilitating word, isn’t it?), I feel as my love of all things travel will eventually take me down that path. Plus, she’s totally awkward!
This movie could have been bad. It could have been really bad. It got a poor review from some of my friends, so maybe I give it a good review due to my bias of relating to much to the main character. Julia Roberts, however, did good. She was the perfect blend of lovely, relate-able, and vulnerable, without being annoying. I’ll admit, sometimes during the book I wanted to slap Liz Gilbert like Cher does Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck and tell her to “snap out of it”, but I didn’t get that at all in the movie.
Some will say that it was too long, some that it was too boring, but for me in this stage of my life, it was perfect.