Arts & Culture, Zocalo Public Square »

Why does Wisconsin get all the monsters?

Posted January 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
PJ Nelson Werewolf

The Pine Barrens of New Jersey may reverberate with the fetid screams of the cloven-hooved demon known as the Jersey Devil. The redwood forests of the Pacific Northwest may shake from the footfalls of the 9-foot, fur-covered primate known as Sasquatch, and America’s Southern swamps may teem with scaly, web-fingered lizard men. But my home state of Wisconsin is as well-known for sightings of …

economy, Zocalo Public Square »

Inglewood isn’t what you think it is

Posted January 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Space Shuttle Endeavour Move (201210120012HQ) 
Space shuttle Endeavour is seen next to the Randy’s Donuts landmark in Inglewood, Calif.
Photo: NASA

To live in Inglewood is to have people make assumptions about you. Recently, people have been making assumptions about what a new pro football stadium, proposed by the owner of the NFL’s Rams, would mean for us. One such assumption now prevalent in the media is that we’ll embrace it, because we’re assumed to be economically desperate—because Inglewood is “over 90 percent minority” (L.A. …

Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

Think big, California!

Posted January 21, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
San Jacinto Mountains and San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm
Photo by Chuck Coker/CC/Flickr

In today’s California, we set big, ambitious goals for improving energy efficiency, fighting climate change, and, well, not much else.
Governor Jerry Brown’s inaugural address this month was a case in point. The governor again expressed his famous skepticism of big plans and big spending, then made an exception for energy and climate change, proposing three ambitious goals for the next 15 years: to derive …

News, Zocalo Public Square »

‘I had strong feelings for my Ralphs’: A supermarket love story

Posted January 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
2A

I have a life-long affinity for markets. Before I was born and then when I was a small child, mom-and-pop grocery stores supported all my relatives. My paternal grandfather owned a small market in Chicago where his sons, my father and two uncles worked with him. My maternal grandfather owned Witmer Quality Market in Los Angeles where his two sons (more of my uncles) …

Arts & Culture, Zocalo Public Square »

Celebrity, scandal and a 1922 murder

Posted January 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
William Desmond Taylor directing the silent film Top of New York (1921), several months before his death. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

I was 9 years old when I first learned about the murder of 1920s movie director William Desmond Taylor. Taylor’s killing was one of several scandals—others included the “Fatty” Arbuckle trial, and the drug-related death of Wallace Reid—that led to a backlash against Hollywood and the beginning, in the early 1930s, of decades of film censorship. Of course, the cultural impact of the case …

Commentary, economy, Zocalo Public Square »

What is the ‘California Dream’?

Posted January 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Venice Beach Sunset photo by Graham/Flickr/CC

Today’s California dream is not your grandfather’s California dream.
So why do we keep telling ourselves that we’re still seeking the same California dream? “California dream” has become a verbal tic in speeches, a graffiti we scrawl on signs and headlines without thinking about its meaning. Democrats and Republicans alike, as they assumed new offices this month, pledged to defend the supposedly enduring California dream. …

Commentary, Education, News, Zocalo Public Square »

Undocumented, and riding shotgun

Posted January 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo via Flickr/CC/Jared eberhardt

Up until my early 20s, I rode shotgun. With my high school and college sweetheart, I flipped through the soft sleeves of our shared CD binder in search of the right music. I double-checked our drive-through orders for extra ketchup. I pointed out the sights only I caught in time.
In 1991, my family left the Philippines for California, where my aunt had been living …

Commentary, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Does pretending to be homeless make a politician better?

Posted January 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Screengrab: California gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari spent a week trying to learn what it's like to be homeless.

In the mythology of ancient Greece, Odysseus, King of Ithaca, disguises himself as a beggar to gain an advantage over his enemies. In Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” a relative masquerading as a vagabond helps shift the monarch’s sympathies toward the disadvantaged.
The past year marked a new trend in the electoral cycle: politicians “going native,” spending the night in homeless shelters or sleeping on the streets …

Zocalo Public Square »

Inside the senile mind of an elderly dog

Posted January 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo via Flickr/cc/Artur Staszewski

Zeigfield waddled, rather than walked, into my examination room. I had been seeing this obese Dachshund at my veterinary hospital for most of his 17 years, treating many of the common ailments of the breed: back problems, mild skin disease, and regular episodes of what veterinarians tactfully refer to as “dietary indiscretion” (in Zeigfield’s case, eating a batch of chocolate chip cookies, part of …

Commentary, News, Zocalo Public Square »

In California, sainthood is not for the saintly

Posted January 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
César Chávez visits colegio César Chávez in 1974 / Wikipedia

Let’s say your New Year’s resolution is to be not just a better Californian, but a truly great one. You seek to be a secular California saint, so revered that people put your name on parks and squares and schools. What should be your path?
As it happens, three of the best books I read last year were biographies of such secular California saints—the bestselling …

Zocalo Public Square »

Discovering the sublime at Griffith Park

Posted January 6, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Griffith Park by Doug Kerr/CC/Flickr

If there’s anything in Los Angeles that remains inexpensive and underrated, it’s Griffith Park.
I’ve experienced a few area codes around here. After growing up in the 818, high schooling from 310, working in 213, shackin’ up at 323, and eventually getting my own place in 626, the majesty of L.A. living had left me nonplussed. But then in April 2001, far too late in …

economy, News, Zocalo Public Square »

What California can learn from the Rose Parade

Posted January 1, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
Photo via Flickr by Prayitno / Creative Commons

It’s not just how nice it’d be to have all the surfaces in Capitol offices covered in flowers (legislators produce enough manure to make such a project sustainable). Or how much more fun it would be to visit government offices if you could bring a barbecue and camp out the night before your appointment (imagine the change at the DMV). It’s that the Rose …

Health Care, Zocalo Public Square »

What’s behind LA’s health tourism?

Posted December 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo: LA Farmer's Market by k lachshand/Flickr/ Creative Commons

The historical record is full of such stories: He moved to Los Angeles “for health reasons.” She relocated to Southern California “for her health.” Booster rhymes of the late nineteenth and early 20th century tripped off the tongue: come to Los Angeles for health and for wealth.
And come they did, especially following the arrival of the railroads in the 1870s and 1880s, amidst the pathos of …

economy, Education, Environment, Zocalo Public Square »

How to keep John Muir’s legacy alive

Posted December 23, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
John Muir Trail, Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx. Photo by Kristine Paulus/ CC/ Flickr.

The pioneering environmentalist John Muir was no great fan of cities. In 1868, he hightailed it out of San Francisco as fast as he could for the Sierra Nevada. He later referred to Los Angeles as “that handsome conceited little town” and similarly skedaddled away pronto to the San Gabriel Mountains. Yet it was in Los Angeles, on Christmas Eve 100 years ago, that …

economy, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Attack on Hollywood; what’s next?

Posted December 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

The FBI confirmed today that North Korea was behind the crippling cyberattack that prompted Sony Pictures to cancel the release of “The Interview,” and President Obama says the nation would respond.
Obama said of the people behind the hack: “they caused a lot of damage, and we will respond.”
While the president didn’t provide specifics, he did say that he thought Sony had “made a mistake” by canceling the movie’s …

Arts & Culture, Zocalo Public Square »

Were postcards America’s first social media?

Posted December 19, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
05.012Gifford

My great-grandmother, who was born in the 1880s, passed away when I was about 11 years old. Looking back, it is fairly obvious now that she was a hoarder on a colossal scale, but since this predated reality television, we tended just to say she was a packrat. As we cleaned out her house in rural Missouri, there was something special waiting: two boxes …

Arts & Culture, Commentary, economy, Zocalo Public Square »

A better, cheaper Disneyland?

Posted December 16, 2014 by | 16 Comments | ]
Photo via Flickr by Glen Scarborough / Creative Commons

On Christmas Eve, it felt like the park was all ours.
When I was growing up in the 1980s, Disneyland was so reliably empty on the day before Christmas that my family often spent December 24 in the “Happiest Place on Earth.” We rode every attraction in the park. Tickets got more expensive each year, but they didn’t break the bank; in 1989, adult admissions …

Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

Why shutting down the freeway was the perfect way to protest Ferguson

Posted December 15, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
Photo by Craig Dietrich 
#HANDSUP! Justice for Ezell Ford and Solidarity With Ferguson

After grand juries in New York and Missouri failed to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men, protestors across the nation vented their outrage by shutting down roads. In our own freeway metropolis, marchers temporarily shut down the 110 and 101 freeways, blocking two of Los Angeles’ central arteries.
Why freeways? Why not buses, streetcars, parks, lunch counters, or other ordinary spaces that have …

Arts & Culture, News, Zocalo Public Square »

Hunting for Merced’s cultural treasures

Posted December 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Grupo Folklorico Juan Colorado performing dances from Jalisco.2

A wall of sound often emanates from an open classroom at the Merced Lao Family Community Center. It’s bagpipe-like and pulsating—the sound of a half-dozen boys practicing the qeej (pronounced gheng), a bamboo reed mouth organ played at Hmong funerals, other ceremonies, and social events.
At Hmong New Year, these young musicians will perform traditional songs on the qeej, the music coming into harmony with …

Issues, News, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Protests and policing – marching ahead

Posted December 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

Protests continue across the country and here in California against high-profile police killings of unarmed black men and boys.
The decisions by grand juries not to indict the officers who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner on Staten Island in New York, have touched off a heated debate about police-community relations.
There have been some violent confrontations and arrests in Los Angeles and the Bay Area over the …

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

BROUGHT TO YOU BY