Saturday, January 24, 2015

Urban Legend #1 The Three Nuns

I've always been a fan of ghost stories and urban legends, perhaps you have seen my other post which involve some sort of intriguing urban legend like the Downey Asylum story.

So as I made my weekend getaway trip to Santa Barbara, I visited a few historical landmarks and made my way to the Chumash Casino. As we were driving back to head home on the 101 my friend began talking about the ghost sighting of the tres hermanas (the three sisters) As you drive down Ortega Ridge Road in Montecito, three nuns stand, arms crossed, dressed in black and try to hitchhike a ride back to the Santa Barbara Mission

Urban Legend says, that these three sisters were supposedly tortured and killed by the Chumash Indians in the 1840's. These Native Americans had rebelled against the Spanish Missionaries and created their villages in Montecito to stay as far away from the mission possible.  These three nuns had left the mission to spread religion  and provide supplies as a peace offering to the Native Americans. The story became an urban legend as  Native Americans from that village began seeing the nuns years after they had been murdered.

A lot of people from the area are familiar with the story and people say you can find these three nuns at Highways 101 and 192.

Picture from check them out for more pictures and other cool and interesting CA stories

Monday, January 19, 2015

Historical Landmark #15 Mission Santa Barbara

 2201 Laguna St.
Santa Barbara, California 93105
California Historical Landmark #309

On my first road trip of 2015. I decided to go with my group of friends up north to Santa Barbara. After visiting State St by night , we decided to go on a historical landmark visit so we went to the Santa Barbara Mission.

Founded on December 4th, 1786, it was the tenth of 21 missions in California.  Padre Junipero Serra, who founded the first nine missions, had died 2 years earlier but had planned to build the mission by the presidio (A Spanish military installing) of Santa Barbara. It was Padre Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, his successor, who raided the cross here in 1782.

Prior to the Spanish arrival, the Chumash inhabited the area from Malibu to San Luis Obispo. (I even had the opportunity to go the Chumash Casino during this trip)

The original purpose of the mission (which is something you learned in 4th grade if you lived in California)  was the Christianization of the Chumash Indians. According to the missions history this was considered accomplished by the early 1930's. Soon after the mission was secularized and turned into a school. In 1846 the Governor of California confiscated the land and sold it, however in 1865 President Abraham Lincoln order the land and mission to return to Catholic Church. 

The mission has gone through restoration projects due to Earthquakes but still kept that 1786 glow.

Overall its a nice historical landmark to explore full of nice architecture, gardens and tourist taking pictures. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Who Knew #15 The First Latinos in Professional Sports

Sports in the United States  have served as ambassadors to politics and movements in society. We all know that Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in an all white professional baseball team. However, not a lot of people know when Latinos broke the barrier, so in this post I want to take the time to write about the first Latinos in Professional sports.


Latin American Baseball players dominate the sport of Baseball, players like Yasiel Puig (Cuba), David Ortiz (Dominican Republic), Victor Martinez (Venezuela) are among the greatest in the game today.

 The first Latin American player in the modern era of MLB was Luis Castro also known as Lou Castro who played for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1902

Although, Lou Castro was no a superstar, he became popular as he became the first Latin American player to play professional baseball.  Lou Castro brought in many controversies about his nationality. There are many theories about his come ups but one theory was that he could have been the son of General Cipriano Castro, president of Venezuela, who sent his son to attend college in New York, and became a baseball player. According to theories in order to hide his activities from his father, he changed his nationality on the school records and told everyone he was from Colombia.

 First MLB player from Mexico: Mel Alameda (1933)
 First MLB player from Dominican Republic: Ozzie Virgil (1956)

Alfred "Butch" Lee with the Los Angeles Lakers 

 The first Latino to play in the NBA was Alfred "Butch" Lee, who signed with the Atlanta Hawks in 1978 after starring at Marquette University. Butch Lee was born in Puerto Rico and raise in New York. Not only did he become the first Latino to play professional basketball, but he was also the #1 draft pick of the 1978 season.  Lee only played for 2 years but won a championship ring with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Horacio Llamas was the first Mexican born player to ever play in the NBA in 1996, he only played for two years.

The NBA currently lacks Latino basketball players, According to the 2013 NBA rosters, there are only 18 foreign-born Latino players and six U.S.-born players of Latino heritage.


Ignacio Saturnino (Lou) Molinet  was the first professional football player of Hispanic descent to play in the National Football League in 1927. Molinet was from Cuba and only played for one season with the Frankford Yellow Jackets.

Lou Molinet's contract is in the NFL Hall of Fame as he became the first Latino Player to ever play in the NFL    

 Mexican in the NFL: Sergio Albert in 1974 who was a Kicker and only played one season.

As you can the first Latinos did not have successful careers, they weren't any Jackie Robinson comparisons but these athletes led the pathways to other Latino players. Baseball has the most players with Latino heritage but there also more baseball players than Basketball players.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hiking Adventure #4 Bronson Cave Trail

Address: Canyon Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Elevation Change: 55 feet

Distance: 0.66 miles 

In the vicinity of Griffith Park, Bronson Cave trail is a very easy short trail that leads to a nice scene and man made caves. Bronson Cave is one of Hollywood’s favorite filming locations since the 1920's.

 History of the Cave

In 1903 the Union Rock Company used this canyon (known back then as Brush Canyon) for excavation of crushed rock to construct the City of Los Angeles which was rapidly expanding into a modern city.

After vacating the area, all that was left behind were man made caves which through out the years  became known as the Bronson Cave after a nearby street.

The Cave in Films

The cave became a popular filming location since the 1920's, a few silent films were shot here. The cave became known to many as the Batcave as the cave was used for the popular Batman television series of the 60's. Other films that have been shot here , include the Wild Wild West which features Will Smith, The Scorpion King with The Rock, and horror film Cabin Fever (2002)

Screenshot of the Batmobile leaving the Bronson Cave. Batman television series of the 1960's

Really nice view of the Hollywood sign from outside of the Bronson Cave
One side of the Bronson Cave, this is the side in which the Batmoblie use to come out in the Batman series

The entrance of the cave from far away

Inside the Cave (Picture taken 1.1.2015)
To get to the trailhead:  be on  Canyon Drive  and drive 1.4 miles to the end of the road at top of Bronson Canyon Park. There is a small parking area on the left, and a larger lot a tenth of a mile south of the trailhead on the right. Make sure you arrive early for easy access to parking. The trail to Bronson Cave can be very confusing, the trail  begins from the fire road on the right at the end of the road. If you continue going up you can get a trail that leads to the Hollywood Sign and the Griffith Park Observatory