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Tour Under-The-Radar Neighborhoods With Local Experts For Free This Weekend

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CBS Radford Artwalk from Found LA 2013 (via Facebook)
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This weekend you can explore the secret histories of various L.A. neighborhoods on tours led by local artists, historians and writers.

The 5th annual Found L.A.: Festival of Neighborhoods will take place this Saturday and Sunday, offering free public tours across L.A., exploring little-known aspects of the city's geography, history, and culture. From a bike ride exploring murals and wildlife to a historic walk through one of the city's oldest cemeteries, the tours offer a range of cool and off-the-beaten path portraits of the city. The tours are led by local artists, residents, and enthusiasts of L.A., and there's even one hosted by new L.A. City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson.

Each year, the Festival of Neighborhoods tours have centered around a particular theme, including the L.A. River or the Mayor’s ‘Great Streets’ program. This year the tours take their cue from the recently published book LAtitiudes: An Angeleno's Atlas, in which local writers worked with a cartographer to look closely at the intersections between the city’s geography, history, and culture. The Found L.A.: Festival Of Neighborhoods tours are hosted by the non-profit L.A. Commons, which uses community-based arts programs to connect people to the culture and history of L.A.

“LAtitudes immediately caught my attention with each of these great local authors’ takes on their personal mapping of the vast area we call L.A.,” say Karen Mack, Executive Director of L.A. Commons. “Connecting Angelenos to the people and places that make up the city is central to LA Commons’ mission, and our annual Found L.A. tours embody that."

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While the tickets are going fast for many of the tours and some have sold out, several are still available for this weekend. Some of the remaining ones include Riding A Map of the River: Ballona Creek Trail, a bike tour exploring art and nature; Revolution/Evolution: The University Park Neighborhood Near USC, which looks at the history of LGBTQ faith communities in L.A.; and Bovid Metropolis : Seeing L.A.'s Rancho Past, which looks at the region's ranching history and restored native habitats.

Tickets for the tours can be ordered online, where you can learn about all the tours and other upcoming events.