Native Intelligence

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

Racism on film, and in the street

kkk-display-joel-bellman.jpg Joel Bellman: As disappointing as "BlacKKKlansman" was, it triggered my curiosity about other films prominently featuring Klan storylines. There I discovered some interesting things.


LAO__GeoffPalmerDeconstruction.jpg Tear down at Temple and Beaudry downtown.

Chinatown at the Ace Hotel

LAO__RobertTowneChinatown.jpg Gary photographed "Chinatown" screenwriter Robert Towne.

The Theatricum and other summer hotspots

Coriolanus_0165.jpg It's the season for outdoor productions that are worth the effort to go see.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

LAO__Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez.jpg The Democratic congressional candidate from New York was at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

Trader Joe's crime scene

LAO__TraderJoes.jpg The scene in Silver Lake after the fatal shooting at Trader Joe's on Hyperion Avenue.

Why Jonathan Gold's body of work will be read by historians

jonathan-gold-truck.jpg Harold Meyerson: Jonathan spoke for the new American food, but ultimately, more importantly, for that new America itself.

Hollywood Bowl's summer scene and dance downtown

dancer.jpg Intimate big-screen close-ups and high-tech sonics at the Bowl, courtesy of the LA Philharmonic. Or the old-time glory of glittering Russian ballet downtown at the Chandler Pavilion.

Music Center staff

LAO__MusicCenterStaffPhoto.jpg The plaza at the Music Center under construction.

Marquez family cemetery dedication

LAO__PascualMarquezFamilyCemetery.jpg Ernie Marquez finally got to see the monument dedicated at his rancho family's cemetery in Santa Monica Canyon.

Now who do I root for? World Cup down to its final eight

world-cup-grab.jpg The FIFA World Cup has now been winnowed down to just eight teams. There are just seven matches left that...

Chief Michel Moore

LAO_ChiefMichelMooreSwearingIn.jpg The official swearing-in of LAPD Chief Michel Moore by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Harlan Ellison, dangerous visionary

harlan-ellison-site.png Joel Bellman: Ellison, who always bristled at being labeled a science fiction writer, died at age 84.

LA Plaza Cultura Village

LAO__LaPlazaVillage.jpg Gary spots some construction on North Broadway in Chinatown.

Mayor and the new police chief

LAO__EricGarcetti&ChiefMichaelMoore.jpg Gary catches the mayor and new LAPD chief-designate Michel Moore at Echo Park Lake.
CroatianKit-620x400.jpg Four years ago, I was writing an overly long World Cup preview on this site. And I included this passage:...

LA stories: 'Soft Power,' Bimini Baths

mexican-day-3.jpg For two weeks in May, two of CTG's three main stages were occupied by plays mostly set in or around the Los Angeles area.

Vivid memories of the Ambassador Hotel, RFK and Donald Trump

Ambassador_Hotel_main_entrance-lapl.jpg Stephen Sachs: Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of the shooting of Robert Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

A "Rigoletto" to revel in, plus Dudamel and Uchida

matthew-aucoin.jpg Just how many hats can an unencumbered contender wear? Ask Matthew Aucoin, for his answer.

Memorial Day

LAO__MemorialDay_Roybal.jpg Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard in Boyle Heights for the holiday.

David Freeman and Ted Lieu

LAO__FreemanLieu.jpg Gary attends the California Air Quality Awards.
villaraigosa-2018.jpg Joel Bellman: Are Democrats about to torch themselves yet again? It could happen.

Dodgers alumni game

LAO__Dodgers_AlumniGame.jpg Gary caught up with Sandy Koufax and friends at the stadium.

Night of the living scorpion

scorpion3 near Art Smith Tr. 5-18 - Copy.JPG Desert-dwelling scorpions are difficult to see by day, but at night, they shine.

Rights and wronged

copyright settlement2 5-18 - Copy.JPG It took 13 years, but publishers finally paid the writers they had ripped off.

From stage to screen with 'Baby' and 'Rock'

THE-BABY-DANCE---MIXED---4.jpg As a theater critic in a city famous for making movies, I sometimes meet new acquaintances who assume that I see a lot of movies and TV. Sorry, but no. Usually.

Late afternoon

LAO__2_OnBench.jpg Bus bench at Wilshire and Grand Avenue.

May Day street vendor

LAO__MayDayStreetVendor.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard runs weekly at LA Observed.

Mahler's celebrants raise high the roof beam

LADP_Yag_3_Erin-Baiano.jpg Performances from Tilson Thomas, Dudamel, LA Dance Project and more.

Concrete pour

LAO__ConcretePour.jpg Big high rise coming to Broadway in DTLA.

Mayor's State of the City

LAO__ChristopherHawthorne_StateOfState.jpg Christopher Hawthorne, the former Times architecture columnist, attends his first state of the city speech as a member of the Garcetti Administration.


saute pan2 4-18 - Copy.JPG Tips for cooking with fowl: don't.

Dodger Stadium announcement

LAO__2020AllStar.jpg The Dodgers and the stadium will host baseball's 2020 All-Star Game.
New at LA Observed

KCET control room
kcet-rehearsal-control.jpgA peek inside the TV station's Burbank studios.
Whitt's Wood Yard
whitts-wood-yard.jpgElon Musk wants to drill here at Pico and Sepulveda.
bcam-stairs.jpgThe Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA.
David Hockney at LACMA
hockney-arrives-lacma.jpgThe artist arrives to open his latest exhibit.
Mountain lion family
mountain-lion-family-martinez.jpgFrom Robert Martinez's trail cam in the San Gabriels.
The power of 'pluribus' plays
Allegiance-9-(1).jpgDon Shirley on theater in LA
Macy's winds down
mannequin-graveyard-macys.jpgThe store in Westside Pavilion has closed down.
Streetscape: Westwood
westwood-sky-lao.jpgWestwood Boulevard looking north and a little bit skyward.
Streetscape: East LA
la-luz-del-mundo.jpg Iglesia La Luz del Mundo, East 1st Street.
Sign from LA's past
loves-bbq-valley-relics.jpg Sign from an old Love's BBQ restaurant at the Valley Relics Museum in Chatsworth.
Visiting her old ballet costumes
melissa-barak-cost-iris.jpg Melissa Barak at LACMA Chagall exhibit with the artist's memorable designs.
Engine Co. 17
engine-co-17-side.jpg Inside the long-closed Arts District fire station on Santa Fe Avenue.
Wilshire Grand Center lobby
wilshire-grand-lobby-wall.jpg Visitors check out the wall-mounted sculpture by artist Do Ho Suh.
Barnsdall Park
barnsdall-park-trees.jpg Under the trees.
Inside Hollyhock House
hollyhock-columns.jpgPhoto taking was allowed for one weekend. So we did.
Streetscape: Lincoln Heights
el-milagro-market.jpgProductos Mexicanos at El Milagro Market on Avenue 18.
June 6, 1968
rfk-hearse-wide-lapl.jpgThe body of Robert F. Kennedy leaves Good Samaritan hospital. More pics
Streetscape: DTLA
spring-street-bike-lane.jpgSpring Street bike lane.
Palm weeds of Santa Susana
santa-susana-palm-weeds.jpgOak trees, sandstone ridges and fan palms? Ugh. More
Streetscape: West LA
405-at-smblvd.jpg405 North at Santa Monica Boulevard.
Hills turning brown
grman1.jpgThe hills above Gorman.
Arcana Books
arcana-books.jpgIn the Helms Bakery complex in Culver City.