October 16, 2013 |
California can be proprietary about earthquakes. Northridge , Loma Prieta, the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 : These are the building blocks of our cultural identity, part of the heritage of the state. And yet, it's an abiding ironies of seismicity that the largest earthquakes ever recorded in the continental United States took place not in California but near the small town of New Madrid, in the Missouri territory, between Dec. 16, 1811 and Feb. 7, 1812. These quakes are fascinating both because of their size and frequency - three temblors, all between 7.0 and 8.1 in magnitude, in less than two months - and also because they are what University of Massachusetts professor Conevery Bolton Valencius describes in “The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes” (University of Chicago Press: 460 pp., $35)
April 26, 1993 |
"L.A. Real" is a performance work that explores the early Mexican/Mestizo history of Los Angeles and how it is now remembered by those related to this history as well as by the public-at-large. The five-person interdisciplinary ensemble piece deals with the documented history of the Californio rancheros of the 18th and 19th centuries and of the 18th-, 19th- and 20th-Century Gabrielino (Los Angeles-area Native Indian). My family has lived in L.A. since 1771 and is one of its founding families.
May 2, 2004 |
More than 300 years before the first installment of "Star Wars" took special effects into hyperspace, the Pope and his minions were up to something not too much different. That's the thesis of "The Vatican to Vegas: A History of Special Effects," the latest tome from Norman Klein, CalArts professor, author and cultural historian. Klein finds f/x not only in movies and cyberspace, but in theme parks, casinos, malls, urban developments and Baroque churches.
September 30, 1998 |
Los Angeles and its artists are being showcased at two Claremont colleges. Sharon Ryan and Sarah Seager are seen separately in the galleries of Claremont Graduate University. "L.A. Stories: Engaging the City" occupies Pomona College's Montgomery Gallery. The latter, a complex theme show curated by Rebecca McGrew, presents nine rather dystopian views of life in the central city.
April 25, 1999 |
Editor's Note: Is there a Los Angeles literature? And, if so, what are the factors (sense of place, climate, speech, character) that define it? Or, to put it another way, we perhaps know what we mean when we speak of Nathanael West, Raymond Chandler and Joan Didion, but does the Los Angeles they so well described (and which is now so well established in the popular imagination), any longer exist?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 2004 |
In its heyday 60 years ago, the Belmont Tunnel was a prime passageway into Los Angeles, an early experiment in using a subway to move people across the city. Thousands of Red Car trolley passengers traversed it daily in their journey between downtown and Hollywood. Today, the darkened tunnel set into a hill just west of downtown's gleaming skyscrapers is an outpost of urban decay. The ground is littered with garbage and spray-paint cans.
July 17, 2005 |
The announcement last week that architect Frank O. Gehry has been asked to design a 40- to 50-story skyscraper, to be built in the space next to his Disney Hall as part of downtown Los Angeles' $1.8-billion Grand Avenue project, offers a new opportunity for the city to focus on the park that will be created in the Gehry building's shadows. Running from City Hall to the top of Bunker Hill, the 16-acre space will be "the new front lawn of the city," its proponents say -- "our Central Park."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 2004 |
Before the bus even rolled out of the Art Center campus in Pasadena a little past 9 on a recent Saturday morning, local urban theorist Norman Klein began giving the 10 students on board lesson No. 1 on understanding Los Angeles: The most prevalent visions the world has of this megalopolis -- the tourist play land, the capital of celebrity -- are manufactured myths. "So what is this place?" Klein asked through the bus microphone. "How do you begin to see things?