My father was introduced to the Fashion District by his gay cousin, Napoleon Garcia, who would drag him to get yards of fabric at wholesale stores downtown. "Tito Nap," as I used to call him, was a fabulous man who was as fun as his colorful fashions.
83 year old Chicano author John Rechy (City Of Night, The Sexual Outlaw, Rushes) talks to Lambda Literary about gay assimilation, being mistaken for white, melding truth and fiction, the post-Stonewall peroid, and hating the word 'queer.'
The Mar Vista Tract in West Los Angeles, California was designed by Gregory Ain in 1947, in collaboration with Joseph Johnson and Alfred Day. Ain was a significant "second generation" modernist architect who had worked with and was influenced by the first generation of California Modern masters - European immigrants Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler. Ain believed in bringing good design to the masses; he belonged to the school of thought that espoused architecture's potential to shape a more egalitarian world. He is credited as being the first architect to design a house that did not contemplate servants. A lot of Ain’s ideals were achieved in the "Modernique Homes" development, the name under which the Mar Vista Tract was marketed in 1948. The intent of the Mar Vista Tract was to create a housing development that provided cost efficient housing while advancing the cause of Modern architectural design. [more inside]
Actress and writer Melissa Hunter's Youtube channel is worth a look for her Adult Wednesday Addams series in which the grown-up Addams explores life in contemporary LA. Bonus: 1-800 Adopt A Dude
The shoe company Vans has just released several episodes of a documentary series called Living Off The Wall that follows teens (including Nekro, the singer from skacore band Proyekto Makabro) who are active in the energetic (and storied) East LA backyard punk scene. [more inside]
Yo La Tengo are once again playing requests for pledges beginning at 9pm US EST TONIGHT on WFMU. Every year, Yo La Tengo perform requests live on-air in exchange for pledges, to help keep freeform noncommercial radio station WFMU (91.1 FM in Jersey City, NJ) on the air. This year is no exception. They will begin playing at 9pm US EST tonight, and will be playing listener requests for several more hours.
Vintage Los Angeles is Alison Martino's YouTube channel featuring a look back at Los Angeles during the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. There's an accompanying blog and a facebook page, too.
The Best of L.A. Taco: L.A. Taco looks back at the best tacos, art, music and people celebrating the taco lifestyle. [more inside]
The Go Go's bill themselves as "The Most Successful all female rock band of all time." Unfortunately, they've had some bumps in the road recently when bassist Kathy Valentine filed a lawsuit against the rest of the band. There is analysis and a band rebuttal. The Go Go's also had a controversial party video come to light within the past few years (NSFW) And, what happened to Jane Weidlin?
Splitsider presents - The Top Eleven Sketch Comedy Groups On The Internet, featuring many Metafilter favorites. [more inside]
In the early eighties, Orson Welles was a fixture at L.A.’s Ma Maison, where Wolfgang Puck was the chef before he moved on to Spago. Nearing 70, and 40-plus years removed from Citizen Kane, which he made when he was just 25, Welles was fat and famously difficult, no longer a viable star but still a sort of Hollywood royalty—a very certain sort. The younger director Henry Jaglom was one of many aspiring auteurs who admired him but possibly the only one who taped their conversations. These took place in 1983 over lunch at the restaurant.
Yo Dodger Blue (L.A. Loves You) (SLYT) "It's no surprise [Harry] Nilsson was a Dodger fan. They were both Brooklyn born, and both eventually relocated to Los Angeles. In the late 80s and early 90s, when Harry was doing little in terms of his "career," he was still actively writing songs and still coming up with ideas like this to amuse his creativity. These unreleased recordings probably come from 1990. The first version is a studio recording (musicians unknown) while the second version comes from KABC in Los Angeles, where Harry personally showed up to premiere the sing along. It's a catchy, rousing stadium chant that coulda/shoulda worked, though it was never officially adopted by the team." Links to both downloadable versions can be found at the blog For The Love of Harry Nillson. (via) [more inside]
A former LAPD detective gives commentary on the 1940s LAPD simulator, L.A. Noire (previously, previously, and so)
On April 3, 1988, the Los Angeles Times Magazine published a 25-year look ahead to 2013.
Google and MPEG LA come to an Agreement, putting to rest (for the most part in the current patent atmosphere) fears that VP8 isn't really royalty free.
Auxiliofaux is the photography Tumblr of Richard Auxilio, a Los Angeles-based photog whose current project is symmetrical double exposures.
Anne Helen Petersen, the voice behind "Scandals Of Classic Hollywood" (previously) and "doctor of celebrity gossip" gives us an academic rundown of the hows and whys of the last hundred years of Hollywood Star Making, celebrity, PR, marketing, fandom, and scandal management.
The story of a guy who went to LA with one goal in mind, get somebody from his party into Contestants Row on The Price is Right.
In 1980, director David Jove created New Wave Theatre, an L.A.-based music show showcasing live performances by California hardcore punk rock bands. [more inside]
Up through Los Angeles came a bubblin' crude: Southern California was the Kuwait of the Jazz Age, turning a religious piano teacher into an oil baroness
"In 1925, California supplied [much] of the world’s oil (Google quickview, original PDF) and much of it came from pumps in the Southland (quickview, PDF). To date, around 9 billion barrels of oil have been produced in the Los Angeles area. There are still over 30,000 active wells here pumping around 230 million barrels of oil a year, making Los Angeles County the second most productive oil county in California (although the quality of the oil here is somewhat low by today’s standards). There are 55 known oil fields in the Los Angeles area and 11 of them are located in a very urban context. This setting makes the oil extraction process in Los Angeles unique." Things to do in LA: Urban Oil Wells In Los Angeles, Part I and Part II. [more inside]
Time-lapse video of space shuttle Endeavour's journey through Los Angeles from the Los Angeles Times.
After months of rumors and frustration, it appears that Dwight Howard has been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team trade. Here is Bill Simmons rapid reaction.
Moises Kaufman can kiss my a** The La Jolla Playhouse production of Broadway-bound "The Nightingale", about the Emperor of feudal China, will boast zero actors of Chinese descent. Actress Erin Quill responds.
Driving down the street in LA, you may notice coffee shops, gas stations or motels with bright primary colors, sweeping lines, bold angles and a retrofuture feel: Googie - Architecture of the Space Age [more inside]
" America was never innocent. We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrets.....You can’t lose what you lacked at conception."
When divorced mother Jean Hilliker was discovered murdered under lurid circumstances in 1958, it came as no surprise that her young son James grew up a bit disturbed. Sent to live with his alcoholic accountant father, a man with "a 12 (to 16) inch schvantz " who had purportedly once "poured the pork to Rita Hayworth", James Ellroy became obsessed with his mother's murder. Some of this obsession was transferred to police procedure, detective novels and especially the spectacularly grisly murder case of Elizabeth Short, also known as the Black Dahlia. [more inside]
Rodney King, victim of a 1991 police brutality incident that became the catalyst for civil unrest and rioting a year later, was found dead by his fiancee at the bottom of his swimming pool. He was 47. [more inside]
Empire of the Bun: Today, burgers. Tomorrow, the world. The casual-dining revolution of Adam Fleischman and his Umami Group. 'In 2009, with $40,000 in his pocket from selling his stake in BottleRock, Fleischman decided to open a restaurant centered on the umami flavor. He knew that an umami-focused menu would attract a burgeoning breed of foodies who had been weaned on the Food Network and had developed a sort of teenybopper crush on the heady flavors of pork, organ meats, West Coast IPAs, and superripe cheeses.' [more inside]
The Château de Marqueyssac is a 17th century chateau and gardens located at Vézac, in France. The chateau was built at the end of the 17th century on cliffs overlooking the Dordogne Valley. The original garden à la française featured terraces, alleys, and a kitchen garden surrounding the chateau. In the 1860s, the new owner, began to plant thousands of boxwood trees - today there are over 150,000 - and had them carved in fantastic shapes, many in groups of rounded shapes like flocks of sheep. [more inside]
Emerging surrealist artist Margo Selski, known for her Modern Subcultures-and-Flemish fusion inspired theatrical portraiture, has opened a new exhibit that prominently features and celebrates her shy 12-year old son Theo, who attended the opening gala in a beautiful red velvet gown, pearls, and black lace opera gloves. [more inside]
“I truly believe that when men and women think about parking, their mental capacity reverts to the reptilian cortex of the brain,”
ink&paper A short film about the last paper shop, and the last letterpress, in Los Angeles. "There are days go by that there can be absolutely no business at all."
Of the hundreds of species of palm trees you might find in southern California, only one is native to the state, and that shaggy specimen is naturally found around springs and arroyos in the desert southwest, not lined along beach community parks and streets. How did a desert tree become an icon of fruitful turn of the twentieth century Los Angeles, the former garden city? KCET writer Nathan Masters provides a brief history of palm trees in southern California. [more inside]
"The good, the bad, and the ugly of LA." Ice Cube nerds out about the Eames, brought to you by Pacific Standard Time.
"Imagine 12 men in a dorm all in diapers and sitting in their own feces," he says. "It smelled like a combination of what people had for lunch that day and pus from people's open wounds. I've been in a wheelchair now for three years, and the jail is by far the worst place I've ever seen for a disabled person." -- L.A. Weekly on "Wheelchair Hell" in the L.A. County Men's Jail
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times celebrated the 130th anniversary of its first issue, and marked the occasion with 130 photos from Los Angeles history, as well as a gallery of historic front pages.
For millennia, man has yearned to block the sun (with black plastic balls). If an un-covered public water reservoir contains bromide, sunlight will combine the bromide with the chlorine used for reducing bacteria -- thus poisoning the water with carcinogenic bromate. Blocking the sunlight is the answer, but building a permanent cover for a huge reservoir is very costly. The solution for LA-area reservoirs, a few years ago: cover the entire water surface with millions of floating "bird balls", in effect turning the reservoir into a 10+ acre ball pit. [more inside]
"Offstage, with his Fleshlight in his hand, 'D-Bone', who will be flown to Austin to compete in the Air Sex finals next month, didn't break character. 'I feel fantastic,' he said. 'It's always a pleasure to be the best air-fucker in the city. I'm going to have tons of chicks over at my place tonight, with lots of cocaine and drugs.'"--L.A. Weekly covers the Air Sex (Regional) World Championships (kinda NSFW)
"In the last few years, the rise of free online porn — content-rich sites that tease viewers to subscribe for more — and pay-site juggernauts like Brazzers have put the L.A.-based adult-video industry against the ropes. Its answer, in part, has been the high-dollar parody, designed to attract ComicCon nerds, science fiction fans and other pop culture aficionados who must collect everything within their target oeuvre." -- The troubled US economy affects pornstars too, so "Porn Defends The Money Shot" (NSFW) [more inside]
Throughout the world, El Mac's grand spraypaint portraits combine with RETNA's cryptic, hieroglyphic language to create stunning murals.
Babies by nobody and for nobody are an institution in France and a hundred-thousand+ dollar illegal commodity in LA. [more inside]
LA Light is a hauntingly beautiful multiple angle time lapse short of LA by night. Shot over six months by Colin Rich, whose high altitude Pacific Star balloon imagery has featured previously on the blue.
In commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the release of Wet Hot American Summer, Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles is presenting an exhibition of artwork inspired by the movie. Gallery (2) [more inside]