Weird Los Angeles

I've been living in L.A. for about 7 months now, and I haven't explored the region nearly as much as I'd like. The obvious excuse for this is that I'm a writer, which involves being inside, on my computer, writing and pitching and researching and holding phone interviews. I'm an introvert, so it's very easy to stay in this pattern. 

But it's dangerous to become too insular, both as a writer and as a human. After all, how will I find things to write about when I spend too much time in my house and/or neighborhood haunts? The best ideas usually come up when you're not looking for them. Plus, I never feel more alive than when I'm exploring a new place. I have to work to convince myself that I should leave the house and put up with hot weather and L.A. traffic and seasonal allergies and other people, but once I've overcome that barrier, I rarely look back.

I recently turned to one of my favorite websites, Atlas Obscura, to make a list of 100 weird/strange/offbeat things I'd like to see or do in the L.A. region. I'd love to visit every Atlas Obscura site in L.A. (aside from any permanently closed locations), but I'll start with the more achievable goal of 100 places. As of this posting, I've already visited 20 sites on the list. 

Here's my full list of the first 100 destinations. 

Just today, I checked Necromance off the list. Necromance is a great natural history/curiosities store in downtown L.A. Pete and I visited the La Brea tar pits with some friends who are in town for the weekend, then we all went to check out the bones for sale at this Melrose Ave. shop. 

A skeletal cat painted on the wall outside Necromance.

A skeletal cat painted on the wall outside Necromance.

When I lived in Phoenix, I used to visit a similar store called Curious Nature, especially on pay day. That's where I got such treasures as my raccoon skull, the owl pellet I dissected, and the preserved sheep's heart that was a Valentine's Day present from Pete.

Necromance was equally great, and seems like it will be equally terrible for my now-tighter budget, so I'll have to keep visits to a minimum. Still, it was a lot of fun to browse, especially with my visiting friends, one of whom is a veterinarian. They left with a bobcat jaw, bobcat atlas, and a beetle in a small glass tube. 

My own haul only came out to $8: a beetle inside a marble and four large snake vertebra.