11. The Beverly Center used to be an amusement park
Sprawling across a busy Mid-City block, the big brown behemoth known as the Beverly Center is the mall we love to hate (except for the brand-new Uniqlo store -- that can stay). Long before it became the site of LA's most poorly designed parking lot, though, it was the year-round home of two beloved, family-run amusement parks: the Beverly Park carnival, and Ponyland -- which enabled city kids to saddle up, don cowboy hats, and ride Shetland and Welsh ponies ‘round a ring. Both were opened in 1945, but by 1974 rising real estate prices pushed out Beverly Park (which left most of its rides rusting here for years), and then in 1978, the pint-size equines were trotted off to Angels Camp in the Sierras.
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Travel & lifestyle writer Melanie Wynne has lived in LA since 1993, and can’t get enough of discovering random, wackadoodle stuff in the City of Angels and around the world. Follow her on Twitter @wynnewin.