Native Intelligence

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

Shepard Fairey

LAO_Shepard-Fairey.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard appears weekly at LA Observed.

Visualizing Language

LAO_LAPL_OaxacaLA_Intallationl.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard appears each week at LA Observed.

Why the LA Times' new theater column needs a new name

daca-mented.jpg I'm glad the Times has returned to its long tradition of including theater coverage every Friday, but the new column would benefit from a clarification of how it operates.
wecanhelp-sh1.jpg Steve Harvey's Only in LA column originated in the Los Angeles Times and now appears occasionally at LA Observed.

Chinatown Branch Library

LAO_Mike-&WandaFong.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard runs each week at LA Observed.

Go Topless Day at Venice Boardwalk

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

Dancer Melissa Barak visits her Chagall costumes at LACMA

melissa-barak-cost-iris.jpg " I can look back and see how amazing it was," the LA choreographer says of dancing in "The Firebird" with the New York City Ballet.

What I learned from my trip to the solar eclipse

eclipse-iris-stars.jpg Failing to plan is planning to fail. Don't hurry home. Be grateful you made the effort.

Dick Gregory

LAO_DickGregory.jpg Political activist and comedian Dick Gregory died on August 19 at age 84.

Sometimes the experience doesn't have to be televised

There was the solar eclipse, and there's the Dodgers having the most fun season since 1974.

As the L.A. Times turns ...

A subscriber's wish list for the new L.A. Times regime.

Pop Sixties

LAO_DonnaLoren.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard runs each week at LA Observed.

'Hamilton' in LA in the time of Trump

Hamilton-Company-standing-Joan-Marcus.jpg Don Shirley wonders how Donald Trump's white power allies would feel about the casting of black actors as Washington and Jefferson. He also writes that "Hamilton" is no "kumbaya version of how happy we'll all be if we can just get along."

Traction Avenue

LAO_Nancyuyenura-.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed.

A Tchaikovsky cartoon (or not) and a Sondheim show stopper

sondheim-show-dp.jpg Will the real Tchaikovsky please stand up? The one who wrote transcendent music that stormed the heavens.

A bout last night

fight3 Lomachenko Marriaga judge 8-5-17 - Copy (2).JPG Seeing professional boxing live for the first time affirms that it embraces the best, the worst and the goofiest of humankind.

Al Gore and Garcetti

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

Anthony Quinn's handprints

LAO_MayorGarcetti@lChineseTheatre.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard runs weekly at LA Observed.

Covina Bowl

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

Now on stage, the apocalypse

onstage-jb.jpg In dark times, is the role of the artist to expose? To comment, to criticize, to amuse? Since last fall, it's been all of the above onstage in Los Angeles.

Kent Twitchell

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

Peter Shire

LAO_PeterShire.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard appears weekly at LA Observed.
Solea-Pfeiffer,-Emmy-Raver-Lampman-&-Amber-Iman---HAMILTON-National-Tour-(c)-Joan-Marcus.jpg I didn't want to be less acquainted with "Hamilton" than so many other people who also haven't seen it. So I embarked on a pre-"Hamilton" syllabus.

Off-Ramp finale

LAO_OffRampFinale.jpg John Rabe prepares his final "Off-Ramp" show for KPCC.

A new team of Yuja and Gustavo

yuja-wang-salle-des-combins-verbier-nicolas-brodard.jpg Yuja Wang is that singular pianist. Plus Bartok and Schubert, and choreographer Matthew Bourne

First paying customer at Wilshire Grand

1st-paying-customer.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard runs every week at LA Observed

Pray for us

Cathedral City Date Palm and Ramon 6-15-17 - Copy.JPG When it's hotter than hell, everyone needs a savior.

Sure, there's a misanthrope or two in every community

mar-vista-netxdoor-grab.jpg baits us, like Facebook and Twitter do, into indulging the lesser angels of our nature.

His British invasion - and ours

myBI-crop.jpg I was delighted when my old Rhino Records boss, Harold Bronson, recently published "My British Invasion," his personal paean to an era some of us never stopped loving.

Low and slow all for show

justin-favela-pinata.jpg Las Vegas artists created a life-size lowrider pinata — based on the iconic Gypsy Rose, a 1964 Impala — for an upcoming exhibition at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Jerry Sullivan - LABJ editor

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

Lizard crossing

Joshua Tree suburbs4 Bdway and Sunfair 6-17 - Copy.JPG Traffic is light in the eastern suburbs of Joshua Tree, population 7,400-ish.

Sebastião Salgado on a life in photography

salgado-ZoeGroup.jpg "Today there are very few photographers. But there are a lot of people with cameras."
New at LA Observed

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.
Streetscape: Melvil Street
melvil-street.jpgWall on Industry Cafe and Jazz in Culver City. Bigger
No casting (or emial)
not-casting-spnb.jpgFormer Security-First bank on Wilshire near LaBrea.
ciclavia-mar-vista.jpgCicLAvia at Venice and Centinela in Mar Vista.
Still life
bike-slipper-vdt.jpgSpotted in Solstice Canyon. Must be a story there.
Streetscape: Myers St.
tracks-boyle-heights.jpgRailroad siding beside the river in Boyle Heights, looking downstream toward the 4th Street bridge. Bigger.
Streetscape: West 2nd St.
broad-line-sunday.jpg A weekend line outside the Broad Contemporary Art Museum.
Chinatown queue
hwlngraslne.jpgThe line on a Sunday at Far East Plaza for Howling Ray's chicken.
First raptor of 2017
malibu-raptor-vdk.jpgVeronique de Turenne at her Here in Malibu blog.
First day of 2017
mt-wilson-cam1117.jpgMt. Wilson cam. Always on, sometimes dark.
Melrose Streetscape
melrose-church.jpgUkrainian Orthodox Church of St Vladimir, Melrose Avenue.
Merry LA Christmas
xmas-mtn-view-jg.jpgA home in Mar Vista really gets into the lawn decorations. Photo by Judy Graeme.
Yule season on piñata row
pinata-xmas.jpgBusy time in the downtown piñata district.
Media streetscape
bzzfeed-clsed.jpgBuzzFeed offices on Beverly Boulevard.
Art Friday
del-toro-lacma-friday.jpgThe day after Thanksgiving was jumping at LACMA.