The actual locations where TV's "This is Us" was shot.
Kate's Fat Camp
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Kate, who has battled a weight problem for most of her life, had
originally planned to lose weight quickly via a gastric bypass
operation. But when her boyfriend, Toby, has a heart attack and almost
dies, it scares Kate out of the idea of undergoing surgery herself.
Instead, in Episode 13, she decides to go to "fat camp" (as she puts it –
her doctor calls it "an immersive weight loss experience") to lose the weight.
The camp, in the
Adirondacks, turns out to be a rather beautiful spot, a rustic, upscale
retreat in the forest, and far less strict & regimented than Kate
While she's there, and away from her fiancé, she gets hit-on by an
aggressive creep named Duke, who, It seems, routinely takes advantage
of the obese, lonely women at the camp to score some easy action. When she rejects him, she finds out his parents own the place, and she is tossed out of the camp.
This unique spot is located at
14400 Sunset Blvd, in Pacific Palisades, CA.
But no, this is not a fat camp in real life,
or any other kind of commercial center.
So what is it?
I had expected it to be another 'movie ranch' location, or perhaps Griffith Park,
but this place turns out to be a private home, a sort of rustic compound
made up of several residential structures on a large woodsy lot.
And it's a home with a very intriguing history behind it, a surprising
story that involves a classic American rock & roll band, a beloved
humorist, and one of the darkest, most sinister characters in U.S.
You can't see much of the property from Sunset,
due to a high wall and trees, only the wooden front gate.
So here is an aerial photograph of the compound:
It's a three-acre parcel, which is relatively huge compared to most
residential lots. The main house has 7,900 square feet, with an
estimated value of $13 million.
It's located right across the street from the much-larger Will Rogers Ranch
(which is now a historic park), where Sunset Boulevard snakes its way
west through the foothills of Pacific Palisades on its way to the
Pacific Ocean a few miles away.
Tucked between Brentwood on the east, Santa Monica on the south, and
Malibu on the northwest, Pacific Palisades is a pricey part of Los
Angeles, with the average home going for almost $3 million. This
particular area is known as lower Rustic Canyon.
(Remember, this is a private home, not a public space,
so don't trespass or do anything to bother the current residents.)
As I said, there is a lot of history here.
The main log-cabin-like home on this estate was built in 1923 by none
other than Will Rogers, a folksy wit who, back in the 1920s and '30s,
was the most populzr man in the United States, appearing on stage, acting in
movies, hosting a radio show, and he was even serving as the honorary mayor of Beverly Hills.
Forty five years later, in 1968, this estate became the
home of the Beach Boys' drummer Dennis Wilson.
Dennis liked sex, drugs & rock & roll a little too much.
One day, he gave a lift to two girls hitchhiking on Sunset,
and they turned out to be followers of the soon-to-be
mass-murderer, Charles Manson.
this was a year before those infamous 1969 murders, so at the time
Manson was assumed to be just an eccentric, wannabe musician, or perhaps some kind of New Age guru. Wilson, having recently returned from a trip to India with the Beatles to study with the Maharishi, and no doubt attracted to Manson's bevy of young, female groupies (and their available drugs), let the group move into his compound on Sunset for the summer, while Dennis & Charlie wrote songs together and Dennis introduced Manson to the likes of Neil Young,who thought he had real musical talent.
But the odd relationship didn't last long. By August, Manson had threatened the safety of Dennis's children by giving him a bullet, so Dennis beat him up and threw him out.
(Will Rogers was famous for saying "I never met a man I didn't like." But Will Rogers obviously never met Charles Manson.)
was too late. Along the way, Manson met a few celebrities at
Wilson's parties, such as the daughter of Dean Martin, and the son of
Doris Day, Terry Melcher, who had become a record producer. In
1969, when Manson felt slighted by Melcher, he and his gang went
he thought was Melcher's house in the Hollywood Hills, and murdered
everyone they found there.
Manson didn't know that Melcher had moved, and that the house now belonged to director Roman Polanski.
the people Charlie and his gang killed there was Polanski's wife, a
young. upcoming actress named Sharon Tate, who was 8 months pregnant.
She wasn't very well know nat the time, but the media latched on to the Hollywood
connection, and the fact that it was with the bloody slaughter of a house full of rich
people in a normally safe neighborhood, the Manson Murders became the biggest news story around.
(To clarify, the murders didn't happen at this home in Pacific Palisades. They happened in another home about five miles to the northeast, in the Hollywood hills.)
Oh yes, before I forget, there was one part of Kate's fat camp experience that wasn't shot there: the scene below where Kate's group went hiking in the woods.
The compound on Sunset is big, but it's not that big.
The photo above is Griffith Park, the Cedar Grove redwoods section.
The This is Us screenshots from the show & all related characters &
elements are trademarks of and © NBC.
All other photos & text are Copyright © 2017-Gary Wayne
and may not be used without written permission.
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