"Chinatown" communities across the United States (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco) are undergoing a shift in linguistic identity, as recent immigrants are more likely to natively speak Mandarin (the official spoken language of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan,) instead of Cantonese. [more inside]
Inside America's most dangerous national forest.
A short documentary on John Nese: Soda pop obsessive. His store Galco's in Los Angeles sells more than two-hundred kinds of soda pop, particularly favoring small-label, glass-bottled and cane-sweetened fare. Yay. [more inside]
He lives somewhere in LA, looks like Michael Jackson and Barack Obama, loves rap, chess, nachos, movies and pizza, has some comic books to sell, and wants to meet white, Asian and Latina Ladies with big butts to give him money, be his sex slaves, or just help him with Things. Performance art project or genuine kook?
An expose of non-vegan ingredients in pancakes at LA Vegan Thai inspired the QuarryGirl.Com writers to conduct their own extremely thorough investigation of LA vegan restaurants, testing their meals for traces of casein, egg, and shellfish. Over $1000 and a chain of interviews up to Taiwan later, they find that half the restaurants aren't as vegan as they claim, with half registering Positive or High and one registering Overload. Some restaurants vowed to conduct their own tests or requested further assistance; one banned them from the establishment.
Los Angeles is home to approximately 3.8 million people in 498.3 square miles (1,290.6 km2). There are plenty of reasons to hate LA, but there are also reasons to love the City of Angels. Hidden Los Angeles is a treasure map to the second largest city in the US, charting upcoming events, local trends, and in-depth features. [via mefi projects]
Five galleries of candid and behind-the-scenes production photos of the Star Trek cast, crew, sets, and soundstages in and around Los Angeles, circa late 1960s. I particularly like this one. And this one.
Plastic bags are bad for the environment, right? Not according to the Plastic Bag Coalition, which created savetheplasticbag.com in order to help stop the demonization of the supermarket staple. Taking a firm stance, they have recently threatened to sue the city of Santa Monica for passing an ordnance banning plastic bags. This isn't the first time they've sued. [more inside]
Real L.A. Noir. (Video/audio auto-plays). Los Angeles Times reporter Paul Lieberman has been chronicling the era of the LAPD Gangster Squad, a secret division of the department that tried to combat the mobs of Jack Dragna and Mickey Cohen in the 1940s and '50s. (Keep the cast of characters straight with this handy chart.)
NextBus uses GPS to tell you the predicted time of the next bus. Google maps show buses in real time, and you can get updates on your phone/PDA. The coverage is limited to certain agencies within the US, so these other sites might be useful: Hopstop covers subways and buses in NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and more. (mobile version) Google Transit has many US metro areas in addition to Canada, Europe, and Japan. (previously) Many more locations inside. [more inside]
Why do Asian-American students achieve higher grades than Latino-American students? Despite the fact that the students come from the same socioeconomic background (median annual household incomes below $50,000 in working-class Los Angeles neighborhoods), Asian-American students disproportionately get better grades, attend AP courses, and go to college than their Latino-American counterparts. Students at Lincoln High School sit down for a frank discussion of why that is.
Kristin's List. There are plenty of events guides in Los Angeles, but none has as personal a voice, as finely honed an aesthetic (the Neutra font is an inspired touch) or as discerning an eye as Kristin's. Her weekly emails and web listings are one woman's recommended sampling of the most interesting music, film, architecture, food, fashion, literary and unquantifiable events across the megalopolis. And so far, it's completely ad-free.
myopenbar.com (Chicago link) is a dandy little site that lets you know where to score free and/or cheap eats and/or drinks on any given night in your area (assuming 'your area' = NYC, SF, LA, Honolulu, Miami, or the aforementioned Chi-town). The places are rated, and visited personally by the website's bloggers, but who cares? It's free booze. [more inside]
Drive-through trees, Olvera Street, Knott's Berry Farm, and lots of other images and postcards of California at Image Archaeology.
Los Angeles-based photographer Andrew Bush mounts a camera on the side of his car to capture freeway drivers in the southwestern United States. [more inside]
The world's largest ball pit? 400,000 black plastic balls, one reservoir, thousands of happy goths. Other unusual things being filled with balls: the Spanish Steps, Rome, a co-worker's cube, San Francisco. (videos)
Tent cities spring up in L.A. With foreclosures rates still rising, shantytowns have started springing up in Los Angeles.
On Skid Row is a five part video series about Skid Row in Los Angeles from GOOD Magazine. Introduction, Kids, Drugs, God, Afterword via y2karl's earlier via
Opening a restaurant is not an easy way to get rich, but for 36 year old Lovie Yancey, an African American woman living in Southern Califoria in 1947, the gamble paid off. As founder of the Fatburger chain (warning - audio), Lovie is remembered as the creator of arguably the greatest hamburger in a nation obsessed with hamburgers. Lovie passed away Jan 26, at 96 years of age, and even if you're not a fan of her burgers, take a moment in tribute to a remarkable woman.
Meet The Crazy Robertson. The newest sensation at the center of Hollywood's fashion scene isn't a famous designer or starlet. It's a 56-year-old homeless man who spends his days dancing on roller skates. Check out his website, Myspace, and some of his sweet dance moves. There are some that find this not so cool.
Los Angeles Uber Alles. A passionate argument (by mefi's own bldblog, no less) for why Los Angeles is the greatest city in America. Dissenters, please see the more inside: [more inside]
Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital, formerly knows as King/Drew and forever known as Killer King, has shut its emergency room and will close in a week due to feds pulling its funding. The hospital near the Watts section of LA, best known for its incompetent staff and meaningless deaths was profiled here a few months ago. Local residents see the hospital as a symbol of freedom and don't want to see it go. (UpdateFilter)
Crazy 4 Cult is a new exhibit coming to Gallery 1988, the Los Angeles art gallery that hosts the annual (and always great) IAm8Bit exhibit. Just as IAm8Bit uses videogames of the 1980s as the theme for the artists, Crazy 4 Cult is using Cult movies. For fun, the exhbit poster features a huge number of movie references - can you catch them all? Via.
Imagine being the mayor of Los Angeles, and after months (years, really) of rumored infidelity with an unknown woman, you finally decide to go public with news that you and your wife are officially separating. So you might ask yourself, as mayor, "How can I spin this story so as to minimize the damage to my reputation?" And it seems a good start would be to allow only one television network to cover your press conference live - hopefully, a network that is sympathetic to your political causes, and has a strong voice that will speak to your voting base as favorably as possible. So all was good in mid-June, when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa asked Telemundo to exclusively air the somewhat disastrous, but fairly well-contained, announcement of separation - which included a request for privacy, and a plea to respect the line that separates personal from political life. And that's when the proverbial shit hits the fan. A month later, Villaraigosa admits that the woman that anchors the 6 o'clock news on Telemundo - and announced the break-up to a national audience - is the woman he's being cheating with. Fox News also reports, and in keeping up with tradition, fucks up the pronunciation of his last name.
A pedophile among us. Jack McClellan told us he's mapping out Southland events where little girls attend then posting them on his website. "Is that part of what drew you here to Los Angeles [...] the number of children?" "Yes." McClellan recently moved here from Washington state, having run a site called Seattle-Tacoma-Everett Girl Love for years, which offered tips on how to track children down and how to avoid getting caught by the police. He has never been arrested for a sex crime, so he is free to attend public events with children present, and live next to a school. It is currently not illegal to post a minor's personal information online. "I can understand the fear," he added. "I hope that what I'm doing is setting myself up as an example that it is possible to have these attractions and not be out of control." His site is hosted by the Canadian ISP Epifora. Here it is. [more inside]
Yesterday, Design*Sponge added a city guide for Toronto to their small but growing list of Guides. The list also includes a Letter Press Guide, an Affordable Art Guide, a Gift Guide (2006), and guides for Brooklyn and LA.
Re-imagining Los Angeles public transit: The ambitious vision of these transit advocates and amateur cartographers for an East-Coast style rail network in Los Angeles may seem too idealistic, but the map is still fun to look at. More on the history of LA public transport from the Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library.
Charles Phoenix's Disneyland Tour of Downtown Los Angeles... featuring Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Feel like taking your own walking tour of Downtown? Here you go. But hey, why not stop and gorge yourself on a giant pancake breakfast at The Pantry first, just because? Open 24 hours a day, it hasn't closed since 1924 so the doors don't even have locks. Just like Disneyland!
Burn Hollywood Burn. Some striking photos (from the BBC) of the conflagration that came a little too close for comfort to the iconic hillside sign. Some more details here.
Blue Heaven: a tribute to Dodgertown. [ESPN link via]. Dodgertown in Vero Beach, FL became the spring training headquarters for the Dodgers and their many minor league teams in 1948. The site, which prepares the Dodger major and minor league clubs for the season, is being abandoned by the Dodgers for presumably less green pastures in Arizona. Voiceover narration is a bit maudlin, but the photographs are excellent.
A woman escaped injury when her car crashed through a fence and into a swimming pool on February 24, 2007 in Woodland Hills. (flickr. Via). Not the first time it happened either
This gem got me thinking: Songs about a place. Some are more evocative of the geography, some of a tangential longing merely rooted in a place and others -- while about a place -- are really rooted more in a time. Some places immortalized in song you want to visit, others you don't , and others don't really exist at all, though we may know somewhere like it. But near or far, border to border, coast-to-coast (from the west side* to the east side and somewhere in the middle as well, there's musical pins all over the map. [links go to videos] *no direct link, second entry
The Homicide Report, by Jill Leovy: An L.A. Times blog built on the list of homicide victims reported to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office each week.
"We're offering a fan amenity. Fans can elect to choose it or not choose it. We are offering basic ballpark fare that most fans enjoy." An all-you-can eat section at the Dodger stadium for the coming baseball season. Quintessentially American.
was there just a second ago... Cop Watch LA, a police watchdog group, posted the video on YouTube, said organizer Joaquin Cienfuegos. Cienfuegos said the video was shot by a neighbor of Cardenas with a cell phone camera. The neighbor gave it to Cardenas' family, who then gave it to Cop Watch, according to Cienfuegos.
"Punk rock today is like Happy Days or Civil War re-enactment.” LA Weekly is sponsoring "14 and Shooting," an exhibit of west coast punk photos taken by Jennifer Finch, former bassist for L7.
Art of Bleeding: The first time Mr. Outerspace died, it was to serve the greater good of cleaning the Cacophony Society's gutters of useless hangers-on and lazybones. The second time, it seemed to serve no purpose at all. Some of us are hoping the third time will be the charm. You might not think you know his art, but you do. RIP Peter Geiberger, 1979-2006.
2 years ago I FPP'd FlavorPill, a company that sends out permission-based emails for books (Boldtype), music (Earplug), and fashion (the JC Report). They've since added ArtKrush (it's art, stupid! - nsfw) and Activate (world events) to their aresenal. In addition to the topic-specific mailing lists, they offer city-specific lists for London, New York, SF, LA, and Chicago. Sample issues are archived on the site.
Tourists coming to Los Angeles usually visit the standard few spots; but there are some amazing urban ruins that even the locals are rarely aware of. From the original site of the Los Angeles zoo (abandonded cages & rock facades now) to the remains of the Sunken City, to the inexorably rusting hull of the 44 year old shipwrecked Greek freighter Dominator, L.A.'s forgotten places are tourist destinations for the intrepid, local & visitor alike. A PDF guide to how to find many of the best (including the Echo Mountain House & The Bridge To Nowhere) can be found here. Many links & inspiration via
Los Angeles in the 1900s is a collection of newspaper articles & photographs documenting life in L.A. from 1900 to 1909. Some of the articles are funny, some tragic, all informative about what life in the very young city was like prior to the explosive growth caused by Mullholland, the Film Industry, & the freeways.
"If I allow the fact that I am a Negro to checkmate my will to do, now, I will inevitably form the habit of being defeated".
The Jackie Robinson of architecture. An orphaned African American boy from downtown Los Angeles, Paul Revere Williams wanted to be an architect, and when he mentioned his career goal the high school guidance counselor ”stared at me with as much astonishment as he would have had I proposed a rocket flight to Mars... Whoever heard of a Negro being an architect?”. Therefore, Williams learned to read and draw upside down -- he knew that white clients would not sit next to him -- graduated from USC and in 1924 became the first certified African American architect west of the Mississippi. In a 50-year long extraordinary career, he designed landmarks like the Theme restaurant at Los Angeles International Airport (with Welton Becket), the LA County Courthouse, the Hollywood YMCA, Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, restored the Beverly Hills Hotel. Some of his most interesting buildings, like the La Concha Motel in Las Vegas have either been razed to the ground or, like the "Batman house", aka 160 S San Rafael mansion in Pasadena, have been destroyed by fire. Now, Williams' historic Morris Landau House has been cut into 21 separate pieces and sits in a Santa Clarita storage yard, rotting away. More inside.
San Andreas primed to "explode." Growing up in SoCal, we constantly practiced earthquake drills in anticipation of the "Big One." Now, new evidence suggests that the Big One will be even worse than we all feared. At the moment, everything looks calm though. People say we're crazy for living in either San Francisco or Los Angeles, of course we think living in New Orleans is crazy too. But cities are rebuilt. And no matter where you go, you really can't escape natural disasters. Besides, some of the biggest earthquakes in the United States were in Missouri! In any case, Forbes compiled a list of the safest and least safest places to live in the U.S. in regards to natural disasters. Apparently... we should all move to Hawaii!
Before I was even aware that such a plan existed, the FAA has put the brakes on a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office plan to purchase a fleet of 20 camera-equipped unmanned spy drone planes (only $30,000 apiece) to fly over my city and monitor civilian behavior round the clock. Sadly, the plan is not permanently kiboshed, but merely on hold until authorization can be obtained.
Save the 76 Ball. "ConocoPhillips is removing the iconic 76 Balls and replacing them with boring rectangular signs that aren't even orange!" Related story in the Los Angeles Times. Will you help rescue the balls from their sad fate?
FOVICKS - Friends Of Vast Industrial Concrete Kafkaesque Structures - a photo essay on the concrete geometries of the Los Angeles River flood control channels. [via inhabitat]