Native Intelligence

Observations on Los Angeles and beyond by LA Observed authors and occasional guests

Walking through 4,000 photographs with Annie Leibovitz

annie-leibovitz-at-show-iris-schneider.jpg A "river" of the photographer's work, starting with the early Rolling Stone years, is on view at Hauser & Wirth in the Arts District.

The death of Lyndon LaRouche and lessons unlearned

lyndon-larouche.jpg Joel Bellman: We laugh at the comically deranged LaRouche because "it can't happen here." It already has.

Green New Deal

LAO__GreenNewDeal_MayorGarcetti.jpg Mayor Eric Garcetti's press conference announcing his decision not to upgrade three natural gas-burning power plants the city operates along the coast.

Pianists in 'Ragtime' and 'Green Book' make history

greenbook-4.jpg "Ragtime" at the Pasadena Playhouse is, among other distinctions, a great way to observe Black History Month.

Climate change in the Coachella Valley

Coachella Valley Preserve4 2-8-19 - Copy.JPG Heavy desert rain this month is pushing Nature into a bipolar mood.

Madeleine Albright

LAO__MadeleineAlbright.jpg The Secretary of State for President Bill Clinton was in Culver City.

Olde-time L.A. journalism

la_star_front.jpg Susan La Tempa: The free-wheeling, deeply divisive newspapers of L.A.'s early days.

Skid Row

LAO__SkidRowMan&Sign-3.jpg Spotted on San Julian Street in downtown's Skid Row district

Rorschach and Rashomon on the Washington Mall

washington-mall-video-grab.jpg Joel Bellman: The recent media blowup over the Covington Catholic kids and the tribal drummer at the Lincoln Memorial may have been too much ado, but it was about something.

Where there's smoke...

Sunday fire13 1-27-19 - Copy.JPG The car seemed to spontaneously combust. The fire brigade was prompt, effective and kept the neighbors safe.

Molly Barnes

LAO__MollyBarnes.jpg Gary caught up with the curator at the West Los Angeles College Gallery.

Phishing season

Jury-duty-fraud.jpg The jury duty phishing scam isn't new. That doesn't make it easy to detect.

Kosher Nostra reunites: Music makers in all their unfaded glory

zubin-mehta-wilfried-hosl.jpg As a finale to the packed LA Philharmonic centennial, Zubin Mehta and other celebrated virtuosos of an earlier era came to Disney Hall.

March for public education

LAO__UTLA_Rally.jpg A UTLA rally downtown during the run-up to the teachers strike.

Red Hot Chili Peppers and Santa

LAO__ChilliPeppers&Santa-2.jpg Gary and the band outside his studio in DTLA

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

LAO__Sheriff Alex Villanueva.jpg At the swearing-in ceremony for newly elected Sheriff Alex Villanueva, held at East Los Angeles College.

Don Shirley's theatrical highlights of 2018

Crucible-girls-ian-flanders.jpg Here are some of my personal favorites from 2018. But first my usual caveat. I've seen 155 productions in greater LA, fewer than half of those that were available.

Pickle Works Building

LAO__DT-Pickle-Works_Fire.jpg A landmark of the downtown Arts District burns.

Joe Frank, somewhere out there

JoeFrank_SomewhereOutThere.jpg A documentary on the late KCRW radio storyteller premieres at this weekend's New Filmmakers Los Angeles DocuSlate program in DTLA.

Jose Huizar and Nate Hayward

LAO__JoseHuizar&NateHayward.jpg Community celebration in Little Tokyo.

Gandhi and Glass, Shakespeare and Prokofiev brought to life

1-Bulle_Sargsyan_Alejandro_Cerrudo-ModernMoves.jpg Observing and enjoying some downtown shows.

Maria del Socorro Olea de Siqueiros

LAO__Francesco&Mom99-.jpg 99th birthday photo by Gary Leonard.

Maria Elena Durazo

LAO__MariaElenaDurazo.jpg The former Los Angeles County labor leader celebrated her election to the state Senate.

Photos: Joni Mitchell tribute concert downtown

joni-mitchell-on-stage-iris-schneider.jpg The big finale featured Mitchell herself coming out on stage and receiving a birthday cake.

Down the digital rabbit hole in two CTG productions

Dear_Evan_Hansen._Photo_by_Matthew_Murphy._2018.jpg 'Dear Evan Hansen' and 'Quack' show the power - and the problems -- of viral social media in two otherwise very different productions.

Michael Bloomberg

gary-bloomberg-at-griffith-observatory.jpg The media mogul and former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg at the observatory in Griffith Park. Click on...

Rite of passage

religious symbols.png Forging connection after the mass shooting in Pittsburgh.

Can talk therapy cure LA's civic malaise?

future-of-cities-crop.jpg Joel Bellman: I've been asking myself that question after attending not one, but two civic conversations this month dealing with the future of cities.

Kwame Anthony Appiah

LAO__Kwame-Anthony-Appiah-.jpg Gary caught up with Kwame Anthony Appiah, the philosopher, cultural theorist, and novelist, outside the Central Library.

Sounds of silence

orbit2 - Copy.jpg The art of NASA is music to our ears.

Framing House Design

LAO__PhilipFrameHouse-.jpg Both photos by Gary Leonard.

LA Phil 100 celebration

LAO__LulaWashingtonDancer.jpg The Lula Washington Dance Theatre performed as part of the LA Philharmonic's 100th birthday celebration.
WDCH-Refik-by-DD-9986.jpg Verdi's words remain relevant in these political times. Plus: Refik Anadol's electronic kaleidoscope of Philharmonic moments.
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