Category Archives: Sites

Naming Rights For A Rock

Creative flair is everywhere in the City of Angels and Angles,          and never has a city been more worthy of the saying, “Art is in the eye of the beholder.”

Wall murals, site-specific theatre, competing orchestras, random cows statues, otherworldly art installations, roaming, slow-motion mud characters, buskers, web series, TV series, above ground art walks, underground art exhibits, open mics,  closed screenings, L.A., has it all – good, bad, memorable and forgettable.

And rarely can you get two people to agree what merits applause or a closing sign.

True, one person’s artistic pleasure is another’s pain, and even if you’re not into that kind of thing, you can understand the foolishness that comes with trying to get people to agree if something is good art or bad art or even art at all.

I generally try to stay out of art arguments because paint gets everywhere and in the end no one is ever fully right,  especially, when it comes to big bucks museum acquisitions, where, perhaps, the more appropriate saying might be “Art is in the eye of the check holder.”

But I do have a thought about how art is named. Yes, named.

Which brings me to the giant rock currently floating outside at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art –LACMA.

Floating, as the hype around it purports that if you view “Levitated Mass” at just the right angle, you’ll believe it hovers in the air.

Continue reading Naming Rights For A Rock

Subway? L.A.? No Way.

When they bulldozed under the Hollywood Hills fifteen years ago and extended the Red Line subway from downtown across a large swath of the basin and all the way to the San Fernando Valley, many squawked.

What about an earthquake?

No will ride the damn thing! It’s L.A. man, we dig our cars.

Why the hell would I want to take a train to the Valley?

Turns out, they were wrong, again, just as they’d been about earlier subway lines that were regularly being used in Los Angeles.   But this one was different because it symbolically and realistically brought together the two sides of Los Angeles – the basin and the valley.

Car-obsessed Angelenos took to that 2000 iteration of the underground big time.  And it wasn’t just early adopters, Universal employees and NoHo actors celebrating the arrival of high-tech trainery.  The generally nonplussed populace rallied behind it in big numbers either as riders or, at least, boosters. Continue reading Subway? L.A.? No Way.

Nothing Lost in Translation

Little Tokyo I  kod441_1You

Southpark, it’s not you.  You’re wonderful, really…it’s just that I’ve met a new neighborhood and I’m going to be spending more time there, but we can still be friends…right?

While downtown continues its mega-march toward urban greatness, and likely will as long as the promised retailers arrive to support an impressive number of newbies flocking to the city center – and only then if our hard-to-find Mayor finally addresses the city’s enormous homeless dilemma – there is one area of Los Angeles in which your pulse will immediately slow to a restful state.

I’m talking, of course, about the quieter, cleaner, more relaxed and, frankly, what feels like, more pride-filled area of downtown known as Little Tokyo.   Its attractiveness and flair are a league above most of the rest of downtown, not that those other #dtla areas appear to be in any grand pursuit of equaling Little Tokyo’s balance of urban comfort and style in the first place.

The noise, poor city services and random acts of madness that still plague much the new downtown – even as developer money pours in like a Brinks convention – seems to stop at the border of Little Tokyo.

Why? Continue reading Nothing Lost in Translation

It’s 3:00 A.M., I’ve got $3, I’m hungry. Where do I go?

We’ve all been there in the City of Angels:  the all-night shoot downtown wrapped early, the sharks at Hollywood Park casino decimated your stack, or your emoticon girlfriend just dumped you at the virtual club…and dammit, you’re hungry!

Hungry for tacos!

The food-serving angels on La Brea will soothe you, even though every restaurant along the curvy section south of San Vicente is long closed for the night.  And it’s not brick and mortar grub you’re craving anyway…it’s the allure and strange comfort of the taco trucks.

They won’t disappoint and they’ll be happy to present you with three delicious south of the border delectables for the three bucks you have crumpled in your hand.  Don’t even think about a credit card.

You’ll know you’ve found them by the sudden bursts of neon color and the buzz of bodies huddled together placing their orders.  It’s 3:00 A.M. and yet truck after truck, corner after corner is alive with electricity.  They park, some permanently, at several intersections – four-wheel-full-time residents at their preferred spots, and they soothe you with slurp it down, delicious, greasy, perfect one-dollar morsels.

Movie stars, truck drivers, partiers, insomniacs and cops dine together on two legs  – all as one in the City of Angels.  Anyone can find a pricy food truck during the day.  It takes commitment and a desire for what the night may bring to draw you out only hours before sunrise.  That and four quarters.

El Chato Taco Truck – Olympic and La Brea

Tacos Leo – Venice and La Brea