Interviews, News »

The ever-evolving Passover haggadah

Posted April 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
A page from the classic 1940 Haggadah made by Polish artist Arthur Szyk.

Jews mark the first two nights of Passover with a seder, a ritual meal that recalls the Jewish people’s freedom from slavery in Egypt. The word “seder” means order, and while there is a general order to the songs and prayers that precede the feast, these days you’ll find a wide variety of seders to meet your needs.
For example, take Ashley Sullivan, a recent …

Arts & Culture, News »

As the Arts District turns: The rapid transformation of a once-sleepy neighborhood

Posted April 1, 2015 by | 4 Comments | ]
Photo by Melissa Richardson Banks

With the news over the last few weeks that Soho House and other high-profile tenants are snapping up property in the Arts District, a hue and cry has erupted (at least in some media outposts) that the once-gritty neighborhood is done–at least for artists.
I met up with long-time resident, photographer and neighborhood activist Melissa Richardson Banks to hear her take. She drove me around the 52-block area late last Saturday …

Bad Driving, economy, Environment, Issues, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: LA’s decelerating car culture?

Posted March 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

Gas prices have been on a roller coaster ride in Southern California the past few weeks.

From rock-bottom lows at the start of the year because of an abundant global supply, to a quick rise of a dollar or more per gallon because of a new summer gasoline blend that’s being produced and a refinery explosion in Torrance. There’s no shortage of complaints. And, of …

Leaving LA »

Michele Mandle: ‘I don’t honk anymore’

Posted March 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Michele and her son in front of their home, which they could never have afforded in Los Angeles.

Michele Mandle
Wilmington, North Carolina.
“I got a Dodger’s cap as a birthday present that I asked for. I’m totally a California person.”
Michele Mandle had spent a total of 24 years in L.A. County before finally settling in Wilmington North Carolina.
“We moved for a lot of reasons, but I think the biggest reason is that we felt like we couldn’t have a home that was …

Leaving LA, News »

Nichole Joor: ‘Alaska feels totally wild and woolly’

Posted March 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Nichole Joor left L.A. about a month ago to live in Anchorage, A

Nichole Joor
Eagle River, Alaska
“This is definitely so drastic and new that I feel like if and when the time is right I will be ready to come back to California.”
If California isn’t the final frontier anymore, Alaska is. That’s what Nichole Joor discovered when she moved to Eagle River, a suburb of Anchorage to live with a friend and unwind for a while.
Life …

Leaving LA »

Simran Bajaj: ‘I don’t miss the smog’

Posted March 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Sim - portrait

 
Simran Bajaj
Seattle, Washington
“I love the air here. I love that you can drink water out of the tap. I love that everything is green.”
For some it’s housing prices, but for Sim, the decision to leave L.A. was prompted by a breakup. A relationship tying her to L.A. had ended and she decided to move to Seattle.
She described Seattle as a small city, where it’s easy to walk …

Leaving LA, News »

Joel Wilson: ‘I couldn’t afford a mailbox in LA’

Posted March 9, 2015 by | 4 Comments | ]
Joel Wilson in his new hometown.

Joel Wilson, Bentonville, Arkansas
“This is boom town I feel like I’m on you know the gold rush. There is construction going on all over the place.”
Joel Wilson lived in Long Beach most of his life, but finally packed up and moved to rural Arkansas to be closer to his daughter and her family. “I actually thought I was going to live and die there,” Wilson …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Oscar Goes Outdoors: Hollywood and the Santa Monica Mountains

Posted February 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
2014-11-25-11-51-59-am

On this Valentine’s Day weekend, if you love movies as much as your significant other, you might want to check out some Hollywood history.
“Oscar Goes Outdoors!” is an event this Sunday that’ll give local film fanatics a chance to see some classic Hollywood settings within a short drive of L.A., from “Gone with the Wind” to “American Sniper.”
The event will be at King Gillette Ranch, …

Arts & Culture, Zocalo Public Square »

Photos: Unearthing L.A.’s improvised past

Posted February 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo: Lynell George

For some time now, I’ve been thinking and talking about Los Angeles in the past tense. Not in a nostalgic way—rather, my memory of place had become an overlay, filtering the way I see and move through the here-and-now city.
Vanished landmarks are still active points on my personal map of the city where I was born and raised—touchstones I remember from the ’60s, ’70s …

Arts & Culture, News »

A new opera takes on immigration reform

Posted January 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Craig Colclough and Greta Baldwin as Paul and Roxanne Conti. Photo: Jennifer Babcock

President Obama’s recent executive action made it more likely that millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States will have a path to citizenship. But Republicans in Congress call the changes “executive overreach” and are pushing back.
Also this month, for the first time, undocumented immigrants in California will be able to get drivers’ licenses.
This weekend, the debate over immigration reform is moving to an …

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 …

Arts & Culture, economy, News »

Playing Santa to total strangers

Posted December 23, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
IMG_4516

Where do all those letters that kids write to Santa go?  For over 100 years, the US Postal Service has made it possible for people to “adopt” letters from the neediest kids, based on their zip codes–and fulfill their Christmas wishes.
In Los Angeles, ground zero for Operation Santa is the massive postal processing facility on Central Avenue.  Weeks before the holiday, people stream in …

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 …

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 …

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

The true-life (insect) cannibals and murderers of LA

Posted November 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Pseudacteon amuletum. Photo credit: Phyllis Sun/ Natural History Museum of LA

As you get into your car in the parking lot of the Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake, you might just be within arm’s reach of cannibals. Not the human kind – but the insect variety.
Inside a wasp that is buzzing around a nearby bush dwells a bug known as the twisted wing parasite. These tiny insects are genetically close to flies and resemble nothing …

economy, Issues, News, Warren Olney »

Will LA crackdown on Airbnb?

Posted November 12, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
Pictured: Joel Mandelkorn and Mandee Johnson's living room in their Del Rey apartment. The couple rents their second bedroom out on AirBnB.

Vacationing in Los Angeles can be pricey. Hotel rooms can cost hundreds of dollars, and living conditions at hostels — long the dominion of young backpackers– don’t appeal to all travelers.
Airbnb seems to offer a solution. The social networking site, which connects vacationers with short-term rentals, has exploded in popularity. There are 14,000 listings currently available in LA, up from 4,000 just two years ago.
But current laws governing the hospitality business are …

Arts & Culture, Dogs of LA, economy, Environment, Health Care, Interviews, News »

Rethinking the future of Auschwitz

Posted November 6, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
"Thinking the Future of Auschwitz" | IDEA Office | www.ideaoffice.net

The word “Auschwitz” has come to mean more than just the concentration camp in Poland. It’s shorthand for the horrors of the Holocaust, and proof of man’s capacity for extreme inhumanity to man.
But nearly 70 years after the Second World War ended, there’s an ongoing debate among historians, architects and archaeologists about how to properly preserve the site of the atrocities, specifically the neighboring …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News, Sports »

After Chivas USA disbands, new MLS franchise emerges in Los Angeles

Posted October 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Soccer balls were distributed to reporters to celebrate LA's new soccer team.

Major League Soccer officials have announced that a new franchise will begin playing in Los Angeles in 2017. The team replaces Chivas USA, which disbanded this week after a difficult 10 years.

For now, the new L.A. team is known simply as Los Angeles Football Club (the “working title,” in Hollywood parlance). The league said it wants fans to help pick the name, logo and …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

The obsessive collectors of Southern California

Posted October 24, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
David Boulé, California orange enthusiast. Photo by Gary Leonard

Sometimes collecting becomes more than a hobby. A new series of short films called Monomania L.A. profiles people who’ve obsessively collected everything related to a single aspect of Los Angeles history, from the California orange to the Santa Monica beach.

Call them “monomaniacs.” People like David Boulé, who for some reason, buy one thing, and then another thing like it.
“I have the collectors gene,” Boulé …

News »

Dancing pallbearers at Boyd Funeral Home

Posted October 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Sharply-dressed employees of Boyd Funeral Home of Los Angeles. Photo by Avishay Artsy

In a tough part of South Los Angeles, where gang violence is commonplace and the homicide rate is high, Boyd Funeral Home is changing the way death is marked. Music blares from the hearse, and pallbearers dressed in top hats and tails dance the casket down the church aisle.
Freelance radio producer Kathy Tu recently went to a funeral service conducted by Boyd Funeral Home, …

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