Native Intelligence

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

If you can't stand the heat...

SoCalEd outage map 7-13-20 - Copy.JPG What you need in the desert on the hottest day of the year during a stay-home pandemic is not a power outage.

Fired up

Sunset2 6-25-20 - Copy.jpg Smoky air + plus southeast winds = a brilliant desert sunset

Talk to me

One enemy of social justice is our inability to discuss race with each other.

'The Present'...and the fuzzy future of L.A. theater

the_present_photo.jpg The essence of theater is that we leave home and enter that intersection between live performers and live spectators -- in a public, physical locale. How is that going to happen until most audience members and artists are vaccinated?

The sea is dying, the art lives

Slab City2 5-14-20 - Copy.JPG Creative communities thrive hard by the moribund Salton Sea.

The company of one

nps marmot2.jpg 1 might be the loneliest number, but also the most salubrious.

Closing the social distance

Jewish Rye St. Patrick3 3-8-20 - Copy.jpg A holiday celebration for everybody who loves corned beef.

A haunting look back at the Weimar Republic

eurydice-dp.jpg Love in the time of Coronavirus. Love in the time of Presidential elections.

Panorama Tower

LAO_PanoramaTower.jpg Renovation of a former bank building into residences in Panorama City.

Harmonic convergence ...

Rancho Shalom3 2-20.jpg A mixed marriage thrives in the northern reaches of the Coachella Valley.

Year of the Rat

LAO_FirecrackerRace.jpg Gary in Chinatown for the 42nd annual Firecracker Run/Walk.

Meet Jane Doe...and '$5 Shakespeare'

HIS_0025.jpg Our columnist offers his thoughts on several plays currently running on Los Angeles-area stages.

Across from Disney Hall

LAO_HomelessBy-DisneyHall-.jpg Spotted downtown near Disney Hall.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures preview

AcadMusIris-geffentheatre.jpg The film academy gave the media in town for the Oscars a look around the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, scheduled to open at Wilshire and Fairfax perhaps later this year.

Breakouts from Kennedy Center to Disney Hall

mtt-dp.jpg LA's own Michael Tilson Thomas just became a Kennedy Center honoree in the most vibrant profile of the entire televised celebration, and is very visible these days at Disney Hall.

Winter white

snow-capped mtns3 12-26-19 - Copy.jpg It rained in the valley, it fogged in the hills, it snowed in the mountains. Everybody got a huge helping of winter in the desert.

'Tis the season...

holiday tuba player2 12-23-19 - Copy.jpg Holiday greetings from a brass section of one.

Don Shirley's theatrical highlights of 2019

2019_Eight_Nights_0074.jpg Looking for a New Year's resolution? Try seeing more LA theater in 2020.

Chaplin-esque opera, LA Phil party, a strange swan

Nadezhda-Batoeva&-Kimin-Kim.jpg Some recent performances on the LA stage.

Grounded at CTG but making a 'Great Leap' in Pasadena

2019_Great_Leap_0079-1.jpg Anyone who cares about LA theater should have read Charles McNulty's recent essay. But perhaps you missed a couple of subsequent developments.

Pink's turns 80

LAO_PinksTurns80.jpg The La Brea Avenue landmark celebrates a birthday.

Canyon Country Store

LAO_CanyonCountryStore.jpg Celebration of a Laurel Canyon landmark.

My Herald Examiner days

herex-so-long-la.jpg As alumni of the Herald gather today 30 years later, Joel Bellman remembers the day the paper shut down.

Red Car Pedestrian Bridge

LAO_RedCarBridge.jpg Gary checks out the new pedestrian bridge going over the Los Angeles River.

Randy's Donuts

LAO__Randy'sDonuts.jpg Installation in Downey.

Lost lives, living music and La Bohème

la-boheme-dp.jpg Jessye Norman, Martin Bernheimer, Plácido Domingo and more.

Lucas Museum

LAO__LucasMuseum.jpg Mayor Eric Garcetti with George Lucas and Mellody Hobson.

Beyond the bedroom scenes

mariachi-pro9.jpg You've heard of the old gimmick of beginning an ad (or an article) with the word "SEX" followed by the words "Now that I've got your attention..."

Goodbye, Downtown L.A.: One heck of a ride comes to an end

dtskyline-for-dtnews.jpg Jon Regardie's final column for the LA Downtown News if he had been allowed to run it.

Elizabeth Warren rally

LAO__ElizabethWarren_ShrineAud.jpg When the candidates come to town, Gary is there.

Coliseum restoration celebration

LAO__coliseum-ribboncutting .jpg Civic officials and USC unveiled the newly remodeled Memorial Coliseum.

Jury speaks loudly in Simers v. The Los Angeles Times

simers-register-pic.jpg Ellen Alperstein: After six years and two trials, the jury delivers a jaw-dropping verdict in former sports columnist T.J. Simers' lawsuit against the Los Angeles Times.

Book excerpt: The press and the Charles Manson murders

manson-eyes-cover.jpg Journalist Ivor Davis' new book, "Manson Exposed: A Reporter's 50-Year Journey into Madness and Murder," details his observations of the era that began with the August 1969 slaughter at the home of actress Sharon Tate.
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.