Native Intelligence

Observations on Los Angeles and beyond by LA Observed authors and invited guests
Occupy LAFerranoGetty viewBruce Lisker

Cutting remarks

SitStill salon sign4 10-22-14 - Copy.JPG Sex, lies and a little off the side at the Sit Still Salon

Shooting Muhammad Ali: An interview with Al Satterwhite

ali-satterwhite-smiles.jpg Photographer Al Satterwhite shot Ali in Miami during his training sessions for both the Jerry Quarry and Joe Frazier fights. Now based in Redondo Beach, Satterwhite is facing a Kickstarter deadline to publish a book of photographs of Ali from that time, many never seen before.

Australians bring a feather-free 'Swan Lake,' plus Mahler's Fifth

swan-lake-dp.jpg The Australian Ballet provided plenty of entertainment, but the "white" scenes were not so white. Our critic, however, was "gobsmacked" by the LA Phil's Mahler.

LA Observed interview: Toni Ann Johnson

toniannjohnson.jpg LA Observed interviews Inglewood resident Toni Ann Johnson about her debut novel, Remedy for a Broken Angel.

The dreams of a normal man

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-sketch.jpg Martinez observes a normal moment in a world of chaotic uncertainties. He sees no advancing terrorists in his yard or tanks rolling down suburban streets. It feels good. It feels normal.

Remembering his days at the Bay Guardian

bay-guardian-dan-white-cover.jpg The death of any newspaper is a sad occasion. But it was personal when I learned that the plug had finally been pulled on the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Lewis MacAdams 70th birthday

LAO_LewisMacAdams copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed.

Prop 1: What's in it for Los Angeles?

prop1.JPG A long awaited state water bond will finally be decided on November 4th. LA could benefit significantly if Proposition 1 passes and the region acts as one to ensure it gets a fair share.

Andrew Friedman is exactly what Dodgers need

The Dodgers have hired baseball's best GM, says Phil Wallace, who used to work for the Tampa Bay Rays.
hunter-ds.jpg Five current SoCal productions in which the writers freshened material with surprising what-if twists, while not falling into unconvincing fantasylands.

Pop-up Broadway

LAO_OrpheumPoem copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed.

Beer and poker: the last conversation

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-sketch.jpg Martinez writes about poker, the prostate gland, Annabelle and the dreaded male "halfer" that haunts old age.

Advice for the Dodgers in 2015

Thumbnail image for dodger-caps-mannequins.jpg As the Dodgers end another season with a disappointing playoff loss to the Cardinals, Phil Wallace looks at what they should do for next year.

Chapter 14. The Sovereign Nation of Betschart

veronica.jpg This was the night when Betschart invited all residents of Los Angeles to visit any of his storefronts and declare citizenship.

How hot is it?

Baker thermometer1 10-2-14 - Copy.JPG Los Angeles baked, but Baker was balmy.

Heal the Bay's new leader has a familiar face

alix-for-web-press-release.jpg It's a classic mail room to corner office story. Alix Hobbs worked her way up at Heal the Bay after first volunteering at a beach cleanup in 1993.

The autumn of my rabies

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-sketch.jpg What do human drool and the beauty of an autumn day have in common? Well, a column for one thing. You'll just have to decide for yourself, but it won't be easy. Trust me.

LAO__Riordan copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed.

A Southern California freeway series must pass through Missouri

A Freeway Series. It could happen.

Chapter 13. You Know I Don't Have All Day

veronica.jpg James considered himself a boxer when it came to words--he wasn't always eloquent, but he knew how to cut off the ring.

Gentrification of Grand Central Market

gcm-limes-iris.jpg As the market's owner shifts to attract more upscale downtowners, lower-end vendors and their customers lose out.

Why I love LA and the Bay Area

christensen_alma.jpeg In an interview with the Northern California magazine Bay Nature, Jon Christensen has the pleasure of talking about why he loves the Bay Area and LA.

Imagine there's no 99-seat plan (apologies to John Lennon)

tempestpro6.jpg The minimum wage discussion has spread into the realm of Los Angeles theater, where many actors and actors are paid far less than even the current minimum. Questions are being raised about the future of the 99-Seat Theater Plan, formerly known as Equity Waiver.

Honoring James Hahn

LAO__Hahn copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed.

A blow dry, a brew and a bosom

salon sign1 Venice 9-24-14 - Copy.JPG The Sit Still salon appeals to a certain consumer market.

Admiring the unproduced written word

rick-kayla-iris.jpg More than 300 fans of the written word, Hollywood-style, packed the Ricardo Montalban Theater on Vine Street Saturday night for the latest performance presented by The Blacklist.
Engine 23
engine-23-5th-street.jpg 5th Street in Downtown LA.
Church of Type
church-of-type-pico-sm.jpg Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica.
Garden envy
garden-envy-vdt.jpgVeronique de Turenne has a case. Here in Malibu
Wilshire Royale
royale-wilshire-mccollister.jpgAnother sweet LA street image from Kevin McCollister. East of West LA
Honor for Hahn
garcetti-hahns-meg.jpgCity Hall East is now named for former mayor James Hahn. Read
Academy museum
academy-museum-ball.jpgOscar statue may take over iconic corner. More
Yosemite fire cam
Wildfire smoke over Half Dome, viewed from Sentinel Dome. Bigger. Yosemite Conservancy.
Made in America scene
jay-beyonce-garcetti-aoki.jpgMayor Garcetti with Jay-Z, Beyonce and Steve Aoki at the music festival in Grand Park. Photo on Aoki's Instagram feed.
Giant floating ducky
duck-tall-ships-meg.jpgThe big rubber duck was the most photographed thing about the tall ships festival recently held in San Pedro. Photo: Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Ridiculous palm weeds
palm-weed-family.jpgIt's almost as if the three fan palm young 'uns have come to visit the palm tree zoo. Or a jailed parent. Bigger
City of LA historical photos
lachs-baldwin-hills.jpgMen on a storm drain project near the Baldwin Hills in the Depression. More images from newly digitized collection
La chambre photographique
la-chambre-sb-600.jpgSanta Barbara. Click to enlarge.
Dancers audition
barak-audition.jpgTryouts for LA's Barak Ballet. Photo by Judy Graeme
Weird Pacific summer
Velellas-htb.jpgCool, strange jellies are washing up on on LA beaches. Fauna
Take our picture Gary Leonard
gary-crowd-at-lapl.jpg Gary Leonard photo of the audience at his Central Library conversation with Kevin Roderick. Bigger
Curator's guide to Huntington
Learn about the redone gallery of American art. Native Intelligence
Voices of LA
voices-of-la-iris.jpgKamau Daáood recites poetry backed by a klezmer jazz ensemble at Breed Street Shul. Iris Schneider
Scythed chariot
Second Street, Santa Monica Place3 8-14 - Copy.JPGSpotted in Santa Monica by Ellen Alperstein. More
Streetscape | Sawtelle
street-art-sawtelle-pregnan.jpg No pressure. LAO photo.
Fans at KCON
kpop-emoting.jpg Fans swoon at LA's big Korean music festival. More photos by Iris Schneider
La Crescenta
lion-sign-lacrescenta.jpg What else is there to say? The sign is true.
Engine Co. 39
lafd-engine-39-diag.jpgWe like this old fire station in Van Nuys. Pics and backstory.