The Old Plaza at El Pueblo de Los Angeles from “90210”Sep 22nd, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: 90210 & Beverly Hills, 90210 Filming Locations
Last week, after reading my post on the Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank in which I mentioned that I had actually stalked the iconic restaurant way back in November, fellow stalker Chas, from the It’sFilmedThere website, sent me a text asking, “If you did not stalk ever again, how many blogs could you write before you ran out?” My response, “I don’t know . . . but A LOT!” If I had to guess I would say there are at least 200 locales stored away in my stalking back log. In fact, there are still quite a few spots from my trip to the Pacific Northwest last May that I have yet to post. So not to worry – even if I were to never stalk again, I would still be cranking out posts for a very long time to come! Anyway, Chas’ text got me to thinking about all of the locations that I have pushed to the back burner in recent months – one of which was The Old Plaza at El Pueblo de Los Angeles, which appeared in the Season 3 episode of fave show 90210 titled “The Enchanted Donkey” and which I had dragged the Grim Cheaper out to stalk back in July. Speaking of 90210, I would just like to state here, for the record, that I am NOT AT ALL happy about the latest developments in the “Lannie” saga. But I digress.
El Pueblo de Los Angeles, or the Los Angeles Plaza Historic District as it is also called, is the oldest surviving section of the city and serves as a monument to L.A.’s September 4th, 1781 founding. On that day, at a site located along the L.A. River just northeast of the Plaza, eleven families, consisting of 22 adults and 22 children, arrived from the Gulf of Mexico and established a small pueblo with mud huts and a village square. In 1815, a flood washed away that original settlement and it was later rebuilt in 1825 at its current location, which sits on higher ground. The Plaza immediately became the social, commercial, and cultural center of Los Angeles and remained that way throughout most of the 19th Century. By the 1920s, the area had sadly fallen into serious disrepair and was set to be largely demolished to make way for a railway station. Thankfully, a woman named Christine Sterling came along in 1926 and, with help from Harry Chandler and several local businesses, transformed the site into a bustling marketplace and popular tourist attraction. Today, the 44-acre property, which is considered to be the “birthplace of Los Angeles” and is a State Historic Monument and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, consists of five separate museums, a church dating back to 1861, the Mexican marketplace known as Olvera Street, 27 historic buildings, including L.A.’s oldest firehouse, and a central plaza, aka The Old Plaza.
In “The Enchanted Donkey” episode of 90210, The Old Plaza stood in for the supposed-Cabo-San-Lucas-area marketplace that Annie Wilson (aka Shenae Grimes) and Liam Court (aka my love, Matt Lanter – sigh! ) visited while in Mexico during Spring Break. It is there that Annie gets bitten by a rabid monkey which lands her in the hospital. Because the BEST Mexican restaurants in all of Southern California can be found there, the GC and I have visited El Pueblo de Los Angeles countless times over the years. So when The Old Plaza popped up on 90210, I recognized the place immediately.
In “The Enchanted Donkey” episode, the rock that the monkey is sitting on is located in the northern-most section of The Old Plaza, under one of the site’s four historic Moreton Bay Fig trees. Ironically enough, as you can see above, that rock bears a plaque which reads “Los Angeles Plaza”, which, being that the scene was supposed to have taken place in Mexico, explains why it was covered over with a blanket for the filming, . Ah, the magic of Hollywood!
While watching the scene, I also immediately recognized the leather clip that Annie was wearing in her hair as being from Murillo Leather, a store that is located about twenty feet from the Old Plaza and that I mentioned in my post about Olvera Street way back in May of 2009. I have visited the shop, which is owned and operated by Armando Murillo, who made all of the purses and belts worn by Jessica Simpson in the movie The Dukes of Hazzard, countless times over the years and even have a belt that was made by the second-generation leather craftsman.
So while we were there I just had to stop by to ask Armando if my hunch about Annie’s barrette had been correct. He confirmed for me that not only did his hand-crafted hair clip appear in the episode, but that Shenae Grimes herself had come into his shop to pick it out. I was literally drooling hearing Armando talk about meeting Shenae and how incredibly sweet she was. (This was before I was fortunate enough to meet the actress myself this past August.) And while I SO wanted to buy a Shenae-style hair clip while we were there, the GC immediately ixnayed the idea, noting that my hair was far too short to ever be able to get any use out of it. Hmph!
As I mentioned in my post about Olvera Street back in May 2009, The Old Plaza was also featured in Lethal Weapon 3 as the spot where Martin Riggs (aka Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (aka Danny Glover) were assigned to work patrol after being demoted for blowing up a building. It is there that Riggs and Murtaugh threaten to shoot a man for jaywalking and also witness an armored-car robbery.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Old Plaza at El Pueblo de Los Angeles, from “The Enchanted Donkey” episode of 90210, is located at 1 Olvera Street, across from Union Station, in Los Angeles. In the episode, Annie and Liam stood in front of the large rock located under the huge Moreton bay fig tree in the northern-most section of The Old Plaza, in the area depicted with a pink arrow in the above aerial view. Murillo Leather, where Annie’s hair clip was made, is located just up the street from The Old Plaza at 6 Olvera Street in Los Angeles.