April 14, 2013 |
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - When I told friends I was planning a trip to Birmingham, the reaction was universal. "Alabama?" one asked. "On purpose?" I shared their skepticism, viewing the travel literature with the jaundiced eye of a longtime Angeleno who puzzled over the concept of vacationing in the South. But I was flying here for a business meeting that had been scheduled for Presidents Day weekend, so why not take some extra time and look around? It's not the oldest or most storied city in the South.
April 5, 2013 |
The Sunset Canyon Amphitheatre, at the northwest corner of the UCLA campus, is not exactly the wilds. The bleachers overlook a recreation center's grassy knoll and a swimming pool in the distance. Still, the amphitheater is hidden away and, thanks to UCLA's parking militia, mildly inaccessible to the public. If that touch of trouble and remove helped make Sunset Canyon an enchanted, although challenging, venue Thursday night for Trisha Brown's "Astral Converted," it also helped remind us just how radically times have changed over the last two decades.
March 29, 2013 |
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s decision to violate an injunction forbidding him to pray, sing or march in public in Birmingham, Ala. On Good Friday 1963 (which fell on April 12 that year), King led a march from the 16th Street Baptist Church (where four black children would be killed in a bombing five months later), heading toward City Hall. He was almost immediately arrested, charged with violating a court order and taken to the Birmingham jail.
December 25, 2012 |
A Christmas Day tornado touched down west of downtown Mobile, Ala., on Tuesday afternoon, knocking down trees and power lines and damaging property. No injuries were immediately reported. Amateur video of the twister showed a funnel churning through the city, occasionally illuminated by exploding electrical transformers. The Mobile Fire Department said it had received reports of downed limbs, power lines, gas leaks and damage at Murphy High School inside the city . The department tweeted that it had not been "overwhelmed" by calls.
October 21, 2012 |
HONOLULU - Palace intrigue? Check. Royal rapscallions? Some. Kings and queens and gorgeous things? You'll find those too. You thought we were speaking of Britain, perhaps? Well, no, although Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee in June. Instead, we're turning to Hawaiian royalty, who ruled a kingdom now so popular that 7.3 million people visited last year. Royal watchers will find almost as many twists and turns in the story of the Hawaiian monarchs as they do among England's overlords.
August 9, 2012 |
Was Tuesday the perfect night at the Hollywood Bowl? The Los Angeles Philharmonic lineup was cellistYo-Yo Maand music director Gustavo Dudamel. The evening was enchantingly mild, with soft air serving as a beguiling musical conveyance. The program contained two Romantic era favorites: Schumann's Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony. The 18,000-seat amphitheater was sold out! Nothing is perfect, however, when it comes to outdoor concerts and this venue. All the usual irritants could be counted upon - Hollywood traffic, picnickers blithely crunching potato chips and toasting themselves while Ma and Dudamel poured out noble emotions, helicopter nuisance, the compromises of amplification.
June 20, 2012 |
Pick a fight with Stephen King? Roger McGuinn has no fear. Asked if he's a better writer than King is a musician, McGuinn - a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer with '60s Los Angeles band the Byrds - laughed, but didn't hesitate. "I think so," he says, speaking from a solo tour stop in Nashville. "That's not saying a whole lot, though. Stephen still needs to work on his F chord. " McGuinn and King, an amateur guitarist and singer, are sometimes-members of the Rock Bottom Remainders, a pickup band of mostly authors which for the last 20 years has played charity concerts of rock classics and a few originals.
June 20, 2012 |
LONDON — A Russian ship said to be carrying refurbished attack helicopters to Syria turned back after its cargo became known and a British company stripped the vessel of its insurance, the British foreign secretary said Tuesday. The insurer Standard Club reportedly canceled its coverage upon learning that the cargo ship Alaed was apparently carrying munitions to Syria. British news reports indicated the ship was off the coast of Scotland at the time, believed to be en route to Syria, when it changed course.
March 27, 2012 |
The U.S. entered the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament with high expectations. But it's going home empty-handed after Jaime Alas' goal in stoppage time lifted El Salvador to a 3-3 tie in the final game of group play Monday in Nashville, ending the Americans' Olympic soccer dreams. The U.S. was about a minute shy of the victory it needed to advance to the tournament semifinals as the winner of its group when Alas charged up the center of the American defense and uncorked a blast from 25 yards out that bounced once before eluding backup U.S. keeper Sean Johnson, who got a hand on the shot but couldn't stop it. That not only knocked the U.S. out of the tournament, but also it changed El Salvador's fortunes, with the Central Americans leaping from elimination to the top of the Group A standings ahead of Canada, which tied Cuba, 1-1, in Monday's first game and advances as the group runner-up.
September 11, 2011
I like to walk bridges. I've crossed the obvious: The Brooklyn Bridge, with its panorama of Manhattan, makes your heart soar. And I've strolled the obscure, including the Duke Ellington Bridge over Washington, D.C.'s Rock Creek. (In a world that generally names infrastructure after politicians, it's hard not to admire a span honoring a jazz musician.) Each bridge inspires. I'm awed by the engineering and the audacity to tame nature, or at least a tiny sliver of it. And I love the setting, suspended between water and sky. Yet none of this prepared me for the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. It's hardly the prettiest span: a 1940s-era bridge arching over the muddy Alabama River.