I don't want to come off like your friend on facebook or instagram who posts a picture of their trip to Bora Bora with the caption "Having the best time ever!" all while you're slogging away in a dank office while the rain beats against your window pane (if you're lucky enough to have a window). So when you see the sun and blue skies in my pictures, just know that there must have been something wrong with my camera that made it look this beautiful. And it wasn't really 80 degrees the whole time. You wouldn't have enjoyed this trip at all.
PILOT; GRIFFITH PARK OBSERVATORY
The observatory is up on a mountain that provides a great view of LA and the Hollywood sign. A lot of shows and movies have been filmed here, including the climatic scene in one of my favorite movies, The Rocketeer.
EVERY TIME SHE SMILES; GRIFFITH PARK MERRY GO ROUND
The Griffith Park Merry Go Round is where Walt Disney dreamed up Disneyland while sitting on a park bench watching his children ride the carousel. I'd still say that Every Time She Smiles has a greater cultural legacy (e.g. the debut of Penny Parker, the memorable "a trac--tor" quote), but Disneyland is a close second.
THE PROMETHEUS SYNDROME; FIRE STATION
We stayed in the car here because there was a funeral going on.
SEASON 2 LOFT
Sometimes Hollywood starlets wear the same dress to the Academy Awards, and sometimes secret agents wear the same Phoenix Foundation t-shirt to MacGyver's Season 2 loft.
THE PRODIGAL MANSION
Smile for the camera! You need to listen to the Phoenix Foundation podcast to understand that reference.
DEATHLOCK; GREYSTONE MANSION
The Greystone Mansion and its gardens were a great place to walk around and also afforded a great view of the city. Not pictured: a nice moment where Patrick, likely inspired by MacGyver and Danny's rescue of the golden eagle in Eagles, saved a newborn bird from being trampled on the sidewalk by scooping him up with a credit card and putting him down off the beaten path.
SEASON 1 FEDERAL BUILDING
SEASON 7 HOME
This street was very busy, much busier than it looks on tv. On the podcast I say that being there felt like Port-au-Prince which is funny because at the time I wasn't even thinking about the neighborhood being called Little Haiti in the show.
SEASON 1 APARTMENT; VENICE BEACH
Seeing the Season 1 apartment and the Venice Beach boardwalk felt a bit like seeing the Roman Colosseum: both are currently in decline, but take a deep breath and close your eyes and you're instantly transported back to a golden age. In the Colosseum's case, it was 2000 years ago. In MacGyver's case, it was 1985.
Venice Beach is now an overcrowded spot with a fair share of crazies and no parking in sight, save for a $20 "valet" service where they make you park your own car. As for MacGyver's building, it doesn't have a restaurant anymore, and it sorely needs a few coats of paint. But pop in the beginning of The Prodigal and look at that beautiful beach as MacGyver in his mustard Minnesota sweatshirt tosses out junk mail from the giant secret factory that keeps printing it, all while listening to the glorious Randy Edelman score, and go back to the golden age.
THE HEIST; HILTON UNIVERSAL CITY
THIEF OF BUDAPEST; EXPOSITION PARK
I can't begin to tell you how many times on this trip I was approached by people who mistook me for MacGyver. All of the attention got to be kind of a burden, actually.
PHOENIX FOUNDATION SEASON 2; LONG BEACH
TO BE A MAN; VASQUEZ ROCKS
This rock park has appeared in countless movies and tv shows as a barren landscape or a far-off planet. It's very near the airfield in Last Stand which sadly was closed when I drove up to it. I even had my HELP coffee cup all ready to go. Oh well, maybe next time.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER STEPHEN DOWNING! SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES...