Native Intelligence

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

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.

Dodger Stadium unveiling

LAO__Dodger_AllSrar.jpg Vin Scully and Mayor Eric Garcetti helped the Dodgers unveil the logo for next year's All-Star game to be held in Los Angeles.

Four great American adventures, on stage

Boats-B.jpg I've recently seen four productions around LA that succeed as great American adventure stories.

Triple header: Royal Ballet with LA Phil and Thomas Adès

inferno-dp.jpg Donna Perlmutter: It was balletic and beyond. Bodies speaking with eloquence. All of it gorgeous.

Toni Morrison in 2008

LAO_Toni-Morrison.jpg Gary brought his portrait out of the archives after Morrison died last week.

World Naked Bike Ride

LAO__NakedBike.jpg Gary was there.

Parker Center

LAO__ParkerCenter.jpg The old police headquarters, denuded.

Seeing 'Indecent', 'Happy Days' and 'Dana H.'

indecent.jpg Women's voices dominate Center Theatre Group's June offerings -- but with a twist.

WWII veteran Jack Nagano

LAO__EvergreenJackNagano101.jpg Marking his 101st birthday at Evergreen Memorial Park.

Jackie Goldberg swearing in

LAO__JackieGoldbergSwearingIn.jpg The former Los Angeles City Council member and state legislator returns to the LA school board.

Celebrating Betty Garrett on her 100th

betty-garrett-crop.jpg Ron Rapoport: Betty would have turned 100 Wednesday and I plan to celebrate by watching "On The Town" with some of her friends at Theatre West in the Valley.

We neighbors owed Angelica more

angelicas-house-molly-selvin.jpg Molly Selvin: Of course, my regret is about me too, whether my neighbors will offer a bit of help when my husband or I need it.

The stars come out: Nureyev and Domingo, and Kopatchinskaja

Kopatchinskaja.jpg A ballet movie, an opera and lots more going on around town.

25th story concrete pour

LAO__ConcretePour_LuisAvelar.jpg High-rise construction at 4th Street and Broadway in the heart of downtown.

Digital media lab

LAO__TViThucHa_librarian.jpg Vi Thuc Ha, librarian at Central Library.

Getting into sheep shape in La Quinta

Dead Indian Canyon bighorn6 12-12-16 - Copy.JPG After several years and 21 dead animals, the city of La Quinta finally agreed to erect a barrier to keep bighorn sheep off the golf courses and away from human danger.

Tom Bradley plaque

LAO__TomBradleyPlaque.jpg They honored the late mayor with a plaque at the Coliseum.
falsettos-handout.jpg The LAT's home-turf focus hasn't filtered down to its coverage of the topic that professionally interests me the most -- Southern California's vast and lively theater scene.

What if the gun owners in America were also the liberals?

stephanie-alison-walker-iris.jpg "Friends with Guns" at the Road Theater in North Hollywood may challenge some of your core beliefs.

Chuck Levin birthday

LAO__ChuckLevin72.jpg Gary photographs activist Chuck Levin and City Councilman Paul Koretz in Chinatown

How to escape social grit and grime: hear the music, see the dance

venezuela-ascaf.jpg Our world can seem more simplistic and superficial, but not if you seek refuge in the right places.

Ed Ruscha and Kent Twitchell

LAO__EdRuschaKentTwitchell-2.jpg Artists Ed Ruscha and Kent Twitchell in front of the latter's mural of the former in the Arts District downtown.

Fallen tree

LAO__OlveraFigTree.jpg One of the last 150-year-old Moreton Bay fig trees in the Old Plaza downtown fell after the rains this winter.

Why aren't LA's blocks in CTG's 'Block Party'?

america-adjacent-5.jpg I'd like to propose a challenge to Center Theatre Group as it begins to consider which productions might make up the 2020 Block Party.

Partner practice makes perfect

Cenzano HP3 3-19 - Copy.JPG Ellen Alperstein: A tiny group of hard-hitting unknowns help the top tennis players in the world sharpen their game at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Their compensation? A sandwich and a pat on the back.

The Grand (Parcel Q)

LAO__GrandProjectGroundbreaking.jpg Big turnout for the groundbreaking at the new high-rise project across Grand Avenue from the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
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.