Life, cultures, architecture, geography, neighborhoods, history, demographics, urbanism, nature, the environment. And anything else.

In the Sawtelle district, a name change that makes sense

sawtelle-hide-sushi.jpg Designating Sawtelle Japantown has more local authenticity than Little Osaka or West LA.

Ride & Prejudice

compton-cowboy.jpg A new film is raising funds on Kickstarter to document the story of the Compton Cowboys, black cowboys who have been a South LA tradition since the 19th Century.

A portrait of the ecologist as an old misanthrope

12monkeys300.jpg It's still shocking to see that for some environmentalists, a love of other living beings goes hand in hand with a hatred for their fellow human beings.

O California: A New Yorker poem

palms-cuyama.jpg Sarah Holland-Batt, an Australian poet, has a poem of California in this issue of the New Yorker.

Gentrification map of Los Angeles since 2000

generification-map-la-governing.jpg Cities aren’t gentrifying by master plan, but because young people with money to spend want to live there.

HistoricPlacesLA website is ready for you now

griffith-obs-hpla.jpg The site provides information on and mapping of hundreds of City Hall-designated historic-cultural monuments and other places that might be designated someday.

Nordstrom leaving Westside Pavilion for Century City

nordstrom-westside.jpg Just as the Expo Line will be arriving, Nordstrom will be relocating to a much bigger space a few miles east.

LA Times partners with Jose Antonio Vargas on new race section

jose-antonio-vargas-cnn.jpg Journalist who is famously undocumented will create a new section of the LAT website on race, immigration and multiculturalism.

Sneak peek inside the Broad Museum space

bcam-couple-iris.jpg The downtown museum-to-be opened its doors on Sunday for a public viewing. Photos inside.

CaliParks: A new way to discover and share your parks

CaliParks300.jpg Parks and technology -- for some park lovers never the twain shall meet. Parks are where you go to escape from technology. But for many others, technology is a way to discover, enjoy, and share experiences and a love for parks.

Russ Parsons moves from LAT food editor to columnist

russ-parsons-juggles.jpg Move has been in the works for awhile, he says. Amy Scattergood slides up to food editor.

Welcome to Christopher Hawthorne's Third Los Angeles

hawthorne-garcetti-oxy.jpg LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne has a grand narrative. And he's not just a chronicler of the Los Angeles story. He's a cheerleader. A goad. And a protagonist now.

The remains of Bunker Hill

bill-300.jpg A walk through the remains of Bunker Hill showed how a colorful old L.A. neighborhood was left barren but rich.

The story behind Hollywood's yellow location signs

crew-parking.jpg In the age of smartphones, GPS and Waze, the directional signs remain a staple of Hollywood shoots.

Two sides of the gentrification conversation in LA

gentrification-law-ziegler.jpg The latest issue of LA Weekly takes an interesting approach to the hot topic.

San Francisco got zero January rain, but here comes some water

driest-jan-norcal-nws.jpg A very wet "atmospheric river event" is pointed at Northern California with an estimated arrival of later this week. Hey, we'll take it.

Village Books razed but not forgotten

Village-Books-Demolition-Jan-2015.jpg The block in Pacific Palisades is being torn down for Rick Caruso's newest shopping area. But Bob Vickrey remembers.

Broadway theaters and free museum day a hit

globe-marquee-lao.jpg Saturday was one of those pretty cool LA days. Museums were free and packed, and thousands cruised Broadway on foot.

Producer Megan Ellison, Annapurna Pictures step up to save Vidiots

vidiots-annapurna.jpg The producer of "Zero Dark Thirty" and "American Hustle" loves her video store, I guess.

Joe Morgenstern mourns the news about Vidiots

vidiots-v-annex.jpg Feels like an impending death in the family of film lovers, says the Wall Street Journal and KCRW film critic.

TV reporter praises Rashida Jones for her tan (video)

rashida-jones-sag-grab.jpg Maybe not everyone watching would know that Jones is biracial, but TNT's reporter and producers should have.

Vidiots in Santa Monica to close

vidiots-smmirror.jpg Video store on Pico has amassed a collection of 50,000 titles over three decades.

Clifton's Cafeteria facade gets new neon sign

cliftons-sign-install-by.jpg The former Broadway landmark has been closed since 2011, so this is progress.

Jonathan Gold: Pretense of anonymity ends today

goldpulitzer.jpg With a documentary on him debuting at Sundance, the restaurant reviewer says he will no longer pretend that no one knows it's him.

When Martin Luther King spoke in Los Angeles

MLK-ucla-janss-steps.jpg Three more of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches in the Los Angeles area are in the news this MLK Day.

La Cienega Norms display cases: empty

norms-display-case-vla.jpg City Cultural Heritage Commission votes to take Norms status under advisement.

Demo permit issued for Norms La Cienega

norms-la-cienega.jpg An exuberant example of the California coffee shop type and an expressive Googie masterwork by Armet & Davis, the LA Conservancy says.

Just where is downtown Los Angeles anyway?

traffic-pattern-map.jpg Defining the borders of downtown remains an uncertain task, writes KCET's Nathan Masters.

OR7 goes Rogue, gets wolf pack status

or7-oregonfw.jpg The gray wolf that roamed Northern California and his pack of a mate and cubs now have a federal designation.

1939 Los Angeles County org chart*

county-org-chart-1939.jpg Los Angeles County was a much different place in 1939. Boy was it.

Meet the man trying to fix LA's zoning

skyline-from-getty.jpg Tom Rothmann is the senior city planner overseeing Re:code LA, which could rein in some of the confusion and excesses of LA's protection of neighborhoods.

Is the gang era in Los Angeles ending?

gangs-sam-quinones-ps.jpg Journalist Sam Quinones writes that street gangs have been retreating from public view all over Southern California for a few years now.

Inglewood is Curbed's LA 'neighborhood of the year'

randys-donuts-640.jpg Sure, it's a whole city, but Inglewood is on the rise. So it counts.

Harbor Patrol officer on Catalina killed in windstorm*

catalina-scene-web.jpg The officer was killed last night when he was trapped between a loose boat and rocks near the Green Pleasure Pier.

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.

UCLA prof says freeways are a fitting place for protesters

bruins-close-405.jpg Is protesting on the freeway "historically appropriate," as the professor argues, or "insanity," as then-LAPD chief Bill Bratton quipped. Here's the argument.

Night on Broadway
los-angeles-theatre-iris.jpgMovie palaces were packed on open house night. Photos by Iris Schneider
Bob Hope compound on the market
bob-hope-estate-google.jpgEstate in Toluca Lake is yours for $23 million. Peek inside
New year at the pier
SM Pacific Park1 1-1-15 - Copy.JPG Santa Monica has a New Year's parade too, in a way. Ellen Alperstein
A word Angelenos should know
rainshadow3.jpgPetrichor: The scent of rain on a dry land. Christensen & Gold
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.
Ridiculous palm weeds
palm-weed-family.jpgIt's almost as if the three fan palm young 'uns have come to visit the palm tree zoo. Or a jailed parent. Bigger
Sky and palm
sky-and-palm.jpgGreat skies we had one day. #DTLA. Bigger on Facebook
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
Scythed chariot
Second Street, Santa Monica Place3 8-14 - Copy.JPGSpotted in Santa Monica by Ellen Alperstein. More
Fans at KCON
kpop-emoting.jpg Fans swoon at LA's big Korean music festival. More photos by Iris Schneider
Sylmar ranchette
rancho-temblor-sylmar.jpgSylmar ranch still evokes the disaster of 1971.
Under the 405
under-405-parthenia.jpgHomeless' belongings parked in the shade under the freeway on Parthenia Street in North Hills. LA Observed photo
DTLA strand
On a pleasant summer Friday, the fountain in Grand Park becomes a concrete beach. See bigger / Joel Sappell
Mazursky's table at Farmers Market
mazursky-table.jpgLots and lots of dick jokes. Watch
Mental health 'emergency' on Skid Row
deon-joseph-dtla.jpgSenior lead officer Deon Joseph has seen it bad. But not like this. Post
The Warwick
the-warwick.jpgCirca 1928 residential building on North Sycamore Avenue.
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.
La Placita
Front door of Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles on a Saturday morning. LA Observed.
alphacast-foundry-santa-fe-.jpgAlpha Cast Foundry casts molten metal about 200 feet from the DTLA hipsters at Stumptown Coffee on Santa Fe Avenue. LAO.
Streetscape: Stoner Avenue
Stoner Avenue in West Los Angeles.
Stained glass
stained-glass-eave.jpgWhen on Wilshire, remember to look up. At Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. LA Observed photo.
Arts District color
color-jg-hewitt-street.jpgSpatters of color on the sidewalk outside the former Al's Bar on Hewitt Street. Judy Graeme/click the pic to enlarge.
Mission Road in Boyle Heights
Mission Road, Boyle Heights. See bigger.
La Brea Avenue
labrea-shop-dino.jpgDinosaur head next to the sidewalk in a shop on La Brea Avenue. See larger.
Exposition Park lawn
expo-park-friday-eve-lao.jpgNice light on a Friday evening in front of the Memorial Coliseum. LA Observed photo.
Sidewalk art
cat-san-vicente.jpgSan Vicente Boulevard, West Hollywood. LA Observed photo.
Streetscape: DTLA
streetscape-6thstreet.jpgEast 6th Street in downtown Los Angeles. LA Observed photo.