Native Intelligence

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

Chapter 9. The News Travels

veronica.jpg Ayla was a revved up little engine, narcissistic, and brutal.

Surf's up. Sort of

SM Beach lifeguard high surf1 8-14 - Copy.JPG Unlike the south-facing beaches, the sand at Santa Monica was relatively undisturbed by the high-wave action courtesy Hurricane Marie. But lifeguards were on high alert.

Arts window: Dance audition

barak-audition.jpg Melissa Barak concentrates during an audition Sunday for the Barak Ballet, at the Westside School of Ballet.

The butterflies of Griffith Park: A tale of extinction and survival

cloudy tailed-copper.jpg "A Hollywood drama of butterfly extirpation and persistence over a century of urbanization," reads the headline on a recent scientific study in the Journal of Insect Conservation. The story that unfolds offers glimmers of hope for the rich biological diversity that lives amongst us in Los Angeles.

Always leave them laughing

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-sketch.jpg Martinez learns how to laugh and how to cry as he observes, and later becomes, one of those people with tubes up their noses and oxygen canisters slung over their shoulders.

Have you driven the Ford lately?

ford-theatre-daylight.jpg Plans for the Ford Theatre in Cahuenga Pass could turn into "the most important new theater/dance-specific venue in LA since the construction of LATC three decades ago."

Plaza firehouse

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

Chapter 8. How To Get Rid of Henrik

veronica.jpg Caleb returned to Ayla unconditionally.

Ballot box buffoonery

city-hall-lat-etc.jpg Using a lottery to bribe people to vote is beneath our dignity.

Curator's guide: The Huntington expands on American art

Thumbnail image for lao-smith-august.jpg Jessica Todd Smith talks with Karen Wada about what you should know and see while visiting the newly expanded American art galleries at the Huntington.

"To Be or Not to Be," that was Williams' question

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-sketch.jpg The suicide of Robin Williams was as much due to his success as to his failure. He was America's clown, not its Hamlet, and the inability to truly cross over haunted him.

Water rationing in California has a long, tough history

cascades-in-spray.jpg Southern Californians may like their lawns, but the State Water Board's new fines for a host of wasteful practices are long overdue. History tells us so, Josh Sides writes.

Fin Fest

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

Chapter 7. Wednesday. Henrik Washes the Old Mercedes

veronica.jpg What did Caleb know about slavery, she asked.

Where does a scythed chariot park? Wherever it wants

Second Street, Santa Monica Place3 8-14 - Copy.JPG Street parking in downtown Santa Monica is tough. Some drivers have an unfair advantage.

Only in LA: Letter imperfect

likelike.jpg Steve Harvey's column of observations, photos and more from around the Los Angeles sphere of influence (and sometimes beyond.)

At KCON, it's all about the K-pop

kpop-crowd.jpg Fans ignored the heat to watch their favorite Korean pop stars chat and mingle at KCON, billed as the largest North American event dedicated to "all things hallyu."

Time to say goodbye to a climate of ease in LA?

justaddwater5_300.jpg Los Angeles was designed and marketed around a climate of ease, says LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne. Is that all over? "Just Add Water: The Discussions" at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County contemplated the future of a hotter, drier LA, on a lovely recent and, we dare say, easy evening.

Writing about talking, talking about writing

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-sketch.jpg There are writers and there are Writers; those who actually write and those who only talk about writing. Both species exist in Topanga, and their numbers are increasing.

Mitch O'Farrell, kayaker

LAO__Mitch O'Farrell copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed.

Chapter 6. Into His Arms

veronica.jpg She hadn't taken the time to consider what it meant to be coupled with Caleb.

Dudamel does melodrama, National Ballet of Canada does downtown

Dudamel-bowl-dp.jpg It's time to add Gustavo Dudamel to the opera conductor pantheon, writes Donna Perlmutter after catching a performance at the Hollywood Bowl.

What's trust got to do with it?

justaddwater4.jpg The latest session of "Just Add Water: The Discussions" at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County focused on "water wars" and the people and struggles that have made our water systems cleaner, healthier, and safer for all, from Mono Lake to East LA and Santa Monica Bay. We didn't foresee the turn the conversation would take.

Fire in the sky, blood on the sand

al-martinez-sketch.jpg Martinez relives days of fire and thunder throughout Northern Mexico on a vacation turned dangerous. Segueing from the lightning of Hermosillo to the beach at Venice, he talks about a young boy killed by the fire from the sky, still wondering about life and questioning fate to the very end.

Toy Factory Lofts

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

Chapter 5. Frank

veronica.jpg The Cossack had bought his property, as well as the house he lived in, with dirty money.
La chambre photographique
la-chambre-sb-600.jpgSanta Barbara. Click to enlare. LAO photo.
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
Voices of LA
voices-of-la-iris.jpgKamau DaƔood 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.
Sylmar ranchette
rancho-temblor-sylmar.jpgSylmar ranch still evokes the disaster of 1971.
Awesome video over downtown
quadcopter-dtla-easterncol.jpgEvery familiar building, landmark, roofline and mural, photographed via quadcopter by Ian Wood. Watch
Under the 405
under-405-parthenia.jpgHomeless' belongings parked in the shade under the freeway on Parthenia Street in North Hills. LA Observed photo
Industrial palms
palm-street-calvert-vn.jpgCalvert Street in Van Nuys.
Sign of the print apocalypse?
newsbox-apocalypse.jpgNews boxes on Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana. Bigger
Mazursky's table at Farmers Market
mazursky-table.jpgLots and lots of dick jokes. Watch
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.