Native Intelligence

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

Only in LA: The great ideas issue

fooding-sh.jpg Steve Harvey's occasional observations from around Los Angeles and beyond.

He knew Ernie Banks as thoughtful, reflective, complicated

ernie-banks-medal-of-freedom.jpg Ron Rapoport spent a lot of time with Banks in the final years of his life, often in Marina del Rey.

Overheard: Sapporo sushi restaurant, Santa Monica

fingernails - Copy.jpg Overheard in the next booth.

Shaker spirituals and Frances McDormand at Redcat

shakers-redcat-iris.jpg Wooster Group production exposes something profound about the life and lives of Shaker women.

Target eyesore in Hollywood: blame Garcetti

target-hollywood-iris.jpg I understand Mayor Garcetti's desire to create more pedestrian-friendly development in Hollywood, but that's not what happened.

La Mirada and Melrose musicals: 'Billy Elliot' and 'Serrano'

serrano-ds.jpg One of two musicals that opened over the weekend lives up to the expression "gotta sing, gotta dance."

Norms La Cienega

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

Local water use to be cut 20 percent in two years

InSapphoWeTrust 15th St Santa Monica2.jpg The water conservation battle is joined! Santa Monica has pledged to reduce citywide water use 20 percent by December 31, 2016. As you may recall, Mayor Garcetti has already set a Los Angeles goal for a 20 percent reduction by January 2017.

Jose Huizar re-election campaign kickoff

LAO_Huizar_kickoff.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed. Gary's archive....

Corporate head

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

Chapter 22. The word for Henrik

veronica.jpg 'Veronica Street' is a novel of Los Angeles by Jenny Burman, serialized here at LA Observed.

New Year, meet the Pacific

SM Pacific Park1 1-1-15 - Copy.JPG Some people celebrate the new year with a bellowing Rose Bowl crowd. We prefer the sound of the waves.

25 highlights of LA theater in 2014

ABBAMEMNON-ds.jpg The ephemeral art of theater deserves an annual recap of the year's highlights. Of the 225 productions in greater LA I saw this year, here are 25 of the best.

Ringing out with music: The Philharmonic, LA Opera, cabaret and film

James-Gaffigan-Festival-de-Saint-Denis.jpg Donna Perlmutter's year-end roundup of some of the notable performances she saw in 2014.

Hipster Replacements

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

How are we doing?

edwardconde2.jpg At the beginning of 2014, we took "a sober look at the environment" in LA and California, made 10 predictions, and promised to hold ourselves accountable to you, our readers, at the end of the year. So here we go: what really happened in 2014 and what we can look forward to in 2015 and beyond.

An uncomfortable visit to Mariachi Plaza

mariachi-plaza-hotel-view.jpg The plaza, like Boyle Heights itself, is in a fragile moment in time. Was the shopkeeper being rude, or did she just not understand?

What will you pack for 2015?

Malcolm.jpg On the 40th anniversary of Heyday--an independent, nonprofit publisher dedicated to promoting California's many cultures, landscapes, and boundary-breaking ideas--Jon Christensen asks publisher Malcolm Margolin what he would pack for the future of California.

Die in

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

Chapter 21. Waiting

veronica.jpg He was lucky to be white.

Only in LA: The jailhouse edition

Criminal_justice_wall-sh.jpg Steve Harvey collects signs and observations from around Southern California.

A rally for the 'California 12'

hanlines-iris.jpg Outside City Hall, friends and family of California inmates identified as innocent by the California Innocence Project pleaded for Governor Brown to commute their sentences for the holidays.

CTG grapples with branding, the British and a baby

luna-gale-ctg.jpg More than once, I've asked publicly how Center Theatre Group can possibly justify branding itself as 'LA's Theatre Company.' So I was fascinated when Diane Rodriguez, one of CTG's three associate artistic directors, raised the subject in an interview. Plus: Current stage reviews.
New at LA Observed
Shaker spitiruals
shaker-spirituals-iris.jpgFrances McDormand sings at Redcat. Iris Schneider
Streetscape | Stan the man
bench-stan-the-man-balboa.jpgIf he does say so himself. Balboa Boulevard, Granada Hills.
Playa Vista
playa-vista-hangar.jpgThe hangar where Howard Hughes built his Spruce Goose seaplane.
Streetscape | Recession over
crane-2nd-sanpedro.jpgConstruction cranes, like the one in Little Tokyo, are all across downtown LA these days.
Homicide detective retires
sal-labarbera-law-castro.jpgSal LaBarbera might be the LAPD's most prolific tweeter. More
Snowy grapevines
temecula-vineyard-snow.jpgNice photo from Temecula to go with recent cold weather. Inside
Streetscape | Pico-Robertson

sidewalk-art-pico.jpgSidewalk art on Pico Boulevard, attributed to street artist Thrashbird.

Hall of Justice
hall-of-justice-480.jpgSpiffed up to be occupied again. With palm tree.
Harpsichord haven
lao-berak-rucker.jpgCurtis Berak's basement in industrial downtown. Karen Wada
Photography masters
wales-bruce-davidson.jpgAn LA exhibit pairs photographers Bruce Davidson and Paul Caponigro for the first time. Examples and video.
Streetscape | Sunset@Alvarado
LA-Express-box-Sunset-alvar.jpgPorn must be affected by the print apocalypse too. Earlier spotting
Streetscape | Santa Monica Boulevard
smblvd-swap-meet.jpgBy Santa Monica Swap Meet, they mean East Hollywood.
Arts window | Hollywood costumes
Hollywood-Costumes-mayco-iris.jpgThis costume exhibit could be more wearable. Iris Schneider
Millard Sheets mural
millard-sheets-mural-crop.jpgArtist's work goes from home to the Huntington.
The Warwick
the-warwick.jpgCirca 1928 residential building on North Sycamore Avenue.
Day of the Dead

day-of-dead-2014-iris.jpgFestivities at Hollywood Forever cemetery. Iris Schneider

Little Tokyo
1st-street-little-tokyo.jpgA weekend on 1st Street.
Ficus vs sidewalk
sidewalk-eaten-by-tree.jpgTree wins on Ben Lomond Place in Los Feliz.
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