September 4, 2012
And now a pop quiz, in honor of the 231st birthday of the city of Los Angeles: What's the oldest building in the city? Is it Mission San Gabriel Arcangel? It's true that this is the spot from which the Pobladores set out in 1781 to establish their city (the padres had earlier built their mission near what is now Montebello but later abandoned the site as unsuitable). Each Labor Day weekend, dignitaries, descendants of the founders and other celebrants retrace those early steps as best they can by walking from the mission southwest on Mission Road, Alhambra Avenue and Valley Boulevard, past Lincoln Park, over the river and to the plaza near Olvera Street.
September 3, 2009 |
One of the best films ever made about Los Angeles is also one of the hardest to see, so it's a pleasure to report that Thom Andersen's exceptional documentary, a two hour and 49 minute essay-meditation and labor of love on how this city has been depicted on the screen, is showing this weekend. Smart, insightful, unapologetically idiosyncratic and bristling with provocative ideas, "Los Angeles" serves up segments from more than 200 films, from 1913's "A Muddy Romance" to "Chinatown" and beyond.
June 21, 2009 |
In the late 1960s, a tall and ungainly Englishman named Peter Reyner Banham brought his shaggy beard and wonky teeth to Los Angeles and declared that he loved the city with a passion. It helped that, as a visiting architecture professor (Banham was teaching at USC), he was given some pretty fancy digs: He stayed in Greene & Greene's Gamble house in Pasadena, one of the most beautiful and romantic houses in America. So Banham had a privileged base from which to explore.
June 13, 2013 |
With condo buildings sprouting from vacant lots and talk of lifting height restrictions on its high-rises, Hollywood offers one of the best illustrations of Los Angeles' push toward population density. In the heart of this quickly changing neighborhood, in an appropriately tiny storefront gallery, two exhibitions show the direction of L.A. through studies of micro apartments and multifamily apartments. "How Small Is Too Small" and "By-Right/By-Design," running until Aug. 4 at the WuHo Gallery, examine a future that, the exhibits propose, is already partially here.
March 11, 2011 |
Before we begin, a moment of silence please for all the brick and mortar that made the ultimate sacrifice for "Battle: Los Angeles. " Sob. Let me just grab a tissue. Sorry. Let us not forget the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air either. The pyrotechnics are patriotic, sizable, and clearly the star of "Battle: Los Angeles," so don't let the tight shots of Aaron Eckhart's chiseled jaw and cleft chin fool you. The movie, directed by Jonathan Liebesman, is very much in the tradition of those old World War II films you find on late-night cable with rickety fighter planes engaged in long skirmishes that you can't follow all that well except you know a few good men are trying to save the day. But with less story and instead of Germans or Japanese for hostiles, we get hordes of vengeful aliens, their monstrous UFOs choking the L.A. skies like rush hour on the 405. Chris Bertolini's script is totally predictable from the first few moments when Eckhart's Marine staff sergeant signs his discharge papers only to have them put on hold.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2013 |
They say one of the best things about California is you can snowboard, surf, hike a mountain and walk in a desert all in one day. But on the other end of the spectrum, you can also sit idling in your car for an hour trying to accomplish all those things. In what will come as a surprise to virtually no Southern California commuter, Los Angeles has once again earned the dubious distinction of having the worst traffic in the United States, according to an annual congestion scorecard.
March 29, 2012
Trails Café, 2333 Fern Dell Drive, Los Angeles; (323) 871-2102, www.thetrailslosfeliz.com . $ Griffith Observatory, 2800 E. Observatory Road, Los Angeles; (213) 473-0800, www.griffithobservatory.org . Lamill Coffee Boutique, 1636 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 663-4441, www.lamillcoffee.com. Architecture Tours L.A., various meeting points in the area of specific tour; (323) 464-7868, www.architecturetoursla.com. Neutra VDL Studio and Residences, 2300 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles; no public phone, www.neutra-vdl.org . Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., Los Angeles; (323)