Native Intelligence

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

'Chinatown' revisited

chinatown1.jpg Our modern water systems have made it not only possible, but virtually inevitable, that we should forget where our water comes from and the responsibilities it carries. Myth and art may be our best ways back into that understanding.

The silence of the bells

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-photo.jpg A judge's ruling that declares capital punishment unconstitutional in California causes Martinez to wonder if we are beginning to weary of the savagery and he hopes for the dawning of a new day of compassion.

Mayor Villaraigosa and Banc of California

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

A classic LA summer - from Shakespeare to Queen

TWELFTH-NIGHT-ds.jpg The outdoors venues in Los Angeles this summer constitute one of America's largest Shakespearean hotspots. Let Don Shirley be your guide.

The News

veronica.jpg Their voices were cutting in and out as they followed Marisol's path up the hillside. Hot dogs wouldn't hurt. Hot dogs to fight a curse.

The LA River: A cabinet of wonders

unfinished1.jpg Natural history museums grew out of the "Wunderkammer"--a device for cultivating wonder in the face of the amazing diversity and weirdness of the world, but also for discovery, of the new, the unknown, of patterns, and laws. The LA River has become a kind of cabinet of wonders for Los Angeles: a site for thinking about and making sense of nature and culture in the city.

Dodgers shouldn't pay a high Price

The Dodgers do need help in the back of their rotation. But giving up a top prospect for an ace like David Price would be a huge mistake.

Make it hot and sweet, mama

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-photo.jpg Martinez lies abed craving a hot, sweet thing right then and there, but Cinelli who lies next to him can always figure him out and suggests that he might just relax and think of puppies instead.

Is anyone home at Google? Hello?

citadel-logo-transparent-tag6-web.jpg Yahoo finally changed its incorrect info on his client -- after he tweeted CEO Marissa Mayer -- but Google still lists the wrong name, address and industry. "Google plainly does not care," says our guest blogger.

Lost Lakers

carlos-boozer.jpg Without a coach or a competitive roster, the Lakers seem to have no vision for the future.

Farmers Market anniversary

LAO__80thfarmersmarket copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed.


veronica.jpg "Veronica Street" is a new novel of Los Angeles by Jenny Burman, serialized each week at LA Observed. Today: In bed Ayla and Caleb were in sync, but upright they existed in different dimensions of time and space.

Kimono exhibit at LACMA

kimono-undulate.jpg "Kimono for a Modern Age" at LACMA presents more than 30 of the traditional Japanese garments. Curator Sharon S. Takeda walks us through.

LA River archive opens at historic modernist barn

barn.jpg Finding an unassuming historical barn in the midst of Century City's bluster is a strange enough anomaly. But when you enter the plain white building on Santa Monica Boulevard just a block from the Westfield mall, a study in even more beautiful juxtapositions opens up.

Splendor in (Ripping Out) the Grass

nhmla1.jpg You will probably want to know what to do after you rip out your lawn. And that's important, said the experts at a summer series on water at the Natural History Museum of LA County. Even more important, though, is what happens when our public spaces get less water.

'Release me,' growls the bard of LA

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-photo.jpg Martinez turns his snarling wrath against doctors who just won't let him get the hell out of the hospital. Wasn't saving his life enough?

Marijuana farmers market

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

Have We Met?

veronica-street-1.jpg "Veronica Street" is a new novel of Los Angeles by Jenny Burman. It will be serialized here weekly.

A good walk spoiled... by overwatering 18 holes

Rancho Park Golf Course.jpg In which longtime environmental advocate Mark Gold confesses his soft spot for golf, while sloshing through far too many unintended water hazards at local LA links.
Thumbnail image for 640px-WC-2014-Brasil.svg.png The World Cup is down to its Final Four, all of them powerhouses. The finale could be an All-American affair.

The Shower Lady says: 'But not down there'

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-photo.jpg Martinez is back, obsessed with nudity and cleanliness and a shower lady named Mahlita who will scrub him thoroughly, but not down there.

Bringing back Broadway

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

Tuesday. In the Month of Trees

veronica-street-1.jpg Veronica Street is a new novel of Los Angeles by Jenny Burman. It will be serialized here weekly, starting today.

The Fringe binge continues

latest dance craze.jpg After five years of Hollywood Fringe, Shirley doesn't care how many newcomers it attracts to LA. He likes the Fringe for the structure it provides established LA artists to develop their work.

New girl in town

janie-taylor-fabric-iris.jpg Janie Taylor has retired as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet (at 33) and moved to Los Angeles. She talks about shifting her life and continuing to grow as a designer.

Just add water: Summer evening conversations at the Natural History Museum

waterglass2.JPG We talk a lot about water here. This summer you can join the conversation on Thursday evenings at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Sign of the print apocalypse?
newsbox-apocalypse.jpgNews boxes on Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana. Bigger
Kimono exhibit at LACMA
kimono-panel.jpg "Kimono for a Modern Age" presents more than 30 of the traditional garments. Curator Sharon S. Takeda walks us through.
DTLA strand
On a pleasant summer Friday, the fountain in Grand Park becomes a concrete beach. See bigger / Joel Sappell
Blue on blue
Mono Lake on July 4 — no sign of the drought. More bigger photos
Mazursky's table at Farmers Market
mazursky-table.jpgLots and lots of dick jokes. Watch
Eastern Sierra
mammoth-parade-flag.jpgAnticipation builds for 4th of July parade in Mammoth Lakes.
New girl in town
janie-taylor-sitting-iris.jpgJanie Taylor retired as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet this year and moved to Los Angeles. Native Intelligence
Route 66 at the Autry
rte-66-Dixon.jpgThe story of Route 66 could not be more mixed in with the story of Los Angeles. Some highlights
Oral history of The Palomino
willie-nelson-palomino-lamag.jpgWillie Nelson and everybody else played at the Lankershim Blvd. club. Story
Stairs behind the Orpheum
stairs-behind-orpheum.jpgThe view from behind Broadway's Orpheum Theatre. Bigger
At home with Olivia Munn
olivia-munn-vogue-grab.jpgFast answers to 73 questions from Vogue magazine. Video
Olive trees at BCAM
bcam-olive-trees.jpgA grove of century-old Northern California olive trees was transplanted on Bunker Hill. Read
Stanley Cup at Dodger Stadium
cup-alec-martinez-dodgers.jpgAnother Stanley Cup summer begins with Vin Scully. Pics
Arts District wall
nate-starkman-wall.jpgNate Starkman & Sons. LAO photo.
Streetscape: Sawtelle Boulevard
giant-robot-sawtelle.jpg Roof line of Giant Robot 2 in the Sawtelle district. View bigger
KCRW breaks ground
KCRW-Rendering-Reception.jpgNew Santa Monica studios would free the station from its longtime basement. Story
Oxnard Street
gasoline-storage-no-smoking.jpgNo, really — no smoking at the gasoline storage place in Van Nuys. Please.
Kings take Cup to the beach
kings-cup-on-beach.jpgThe first tweet of the summer from the keeper of the Stanley Cup is a Kings family photo on the beach in South Bay. Bigger
Streetscape: Burbank

West Magnolia Boulevard. LAO.

Union Station at 75
union-station-construction-acp.jpgPalm trees were planted even before the 1939 opening. Story and photos
Palm Springs heat
palm-springs-design-district.jpgThe desert is hip again. Or maybe it always was. Story
Van Nuys Boulevard, 1972
van-nuys-blvd-mack-girls.jpgClub night cruising photos we haven't seen before. Take a look