Forget your troubles, come on get dizzy. That’s what I did last weekend on a hike from Topanga Canyon area through Red Rock Canyon to the top of Calabasas Peak. The hike was about 4.5 miles, pretty short as the crow flies, but there was a lot of climbing (up to 2,000+ feet) and zig-zagging, plus we took some rock scrambling side trips, so it was challenging. One highlight of the hike was the rocky terrain, consisting of numerous sandstone outcroppings. At times I thought I was in Zion National Park, not the Santa Monica Mountains just minutes from L.A. Many of these rocks are tilted at Titanic angles, and it’s mind-boggling to think that they were once under sea, and how it has taken them millions of years to get to this point. There were even seashell fossils in some of the rocks, as the picture after the jump indicates.
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Staffwriter Hector Becerra spends all of the front page article in today’s Los Angeles Times and plenty more after the jump building the implication that the Dodgers were the primary reason for the Chavez Ravine disgrace, including this patently disingenuous paragraph:
“But the removal of more than 1,000 mostly Mexican-American families from Chavez Ravine to make way for the stadium is a dark note in LA’s history.”
What a surprisingly reprehensible and negligent generalization that is.
I was relieved when Becerra eventually explained that the public housing debacle by the city’s leadership years before Los Angeles was even a gleam in Walter O’Malley’s eye was the true catalyst for the evictions. And he finally contradicts his previous fallacy by mentioning there were only a few families remaining — not “more than 1,000″ — in 1959.
But it is shameful and irresponsible that Becerra and his editors failed to reference those previous events higher up in the article and instead of qualification opted for false simplification in the form of an inaccurate chronological order to the dreadful sequence of events that destroyed the entire community, not just the handful of brave families who fought eviction to that bitter end.
I shall read any words appearing under Becerra’s byline now with a far more skeptical eye.
Update after the jump.
Spotted at 10:35 am, there’s a serious plume of black, black smoke just outside my office window near the border of Northridge/Chatsworth. There’s already a
ghetto bird police helicopter overhead.
Anyone know what happened?
Update: NBC Los Angeles is on the story.
Update 2: About 20 minutes after the plume first appeared, the fire seems to have been successfully extinguished. Go LAFD!
This promises to be an interesting event this coming Saturday on the steps of City Hall in Pasadena. The folks at Clean Vehicle Rebate Project and the city of Pasadena are sponsoring the fair and it is free and open to everyone.
The EV Fair will feature a number of vehicles for test drives and on static display. As of now I have confirmed that a Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Toyota Prius Plug-In and CODA will be available for attendees to experience at the event. (
Unfortunately Ford dealerships have not quite received the all-electric Focus so the dealers will not be participating. They are, however, working with Ford to provide a Focus EV for the event). UPDATE 3/29 Ford will have a new Focus EV at the event. They will also have a number of electric vehicle charging equipment providers at the event displaying products and providing information on home installation). Read the rest of this entry →
March 23, 2012, 10AM, LA City Hall Steps, 200 N Spring Street, Los Angeles
Congresswoman Judy Chu and API will be speaking on the steps of City Hall before they meet to discuss the “Formula Retail” motion in front of City Council for a vote tomorrow. Show up and show your support for Congresswoman Chu who is working to support the preservation of China Town.
“Formula Retail” is a motion to prevent Walmart and other big boxes from coming in and changing the character of Chinatown. Its about preserving the character of the community and its businesses. Its about preventing the big boxes from coming in and running the existing shops out of business.
After the jump is a copy of the motion for “Formula Retail”, if after you have read it and believe in its purpose please contact your City Council Person and ask them to vote for it. Read the rest of this entry →
Proof that I can be two places at once, I bring you two perspectives of yesterday’s Los Angeles Marathon. This first is my obligatory timelapse of the thundering herd at the race’s seventh mile on Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake, as seen weirdly from a low-res cam literally duct-taped to the eyepiece of a 20X spotting scope:
Next I captured the street-level perspective of the event having gone down to cheer my neighbor Dean on who was running the race in support of and to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. When I got down there with my wife Susan I found another neighbor Ralph had brought his drum (and a killer St. Patty’s Day-green dye job to his goatee), so Susan went back and got my drum and together we banged on them as the parade of participants pranced past:
Not happy with the LA Times decision to set up a paywall limiting you to content on the LA Times Web? Blogger and ever diligent lover of all things LA has a way for you to overcome the paywall limits and is explained entirely in his post HERE. Happy reading.
LA may not be the first city you think of when it comes to Irish-Catholic heritage, but that doesn’t mean there are no Angelenos interested in celebrating the man who single-handedly drove snakes from the Emerald Isle. Vox Femina LA, a women’s choral ensemble “dedicated to the performance of quality choral literature from a world perspective with an emphasis on music by women composers,” is celebrating St Pat’s day in style with music inspired by some old playwright from England. Here’s some info from the press release:
Vox Femina Los Angeles, the almost 40-member women’s choral ensemble, continues its 15th anniversary season with From Shakespeare to Shamrocks, a spring concert celebration that brings the English and Irish together in song on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2012 at the Zipper Concert Hall in the Colburn School of Music in Downtown LA.
In this bi-cultural evening, Vox Femina will unite classic Shakespeare sonnets with authentic Irish music sung in Gaelic. From classical works to folk songs, traditions new and old from England, Scotland and Ireland will be celebrated at the event.
On the final day of its journey from Riverside County to its new home at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, I opted to bike down to South Los Angeles with my friend Joni because we’re a couple of those kook types who thought it would be da schist to pull a literal all-night “boulder dash” and follow the 340-ton rock along the entire length of the last 10.5 miles to the museum. Call it Levitated Mass Transit.
Your enthusiasm may vary, but the trek was a total once-in-a-dozen-lifetimes blast. And while its moment of arrival in front of LACMA at 4:30 a.m. was cause for celebration among the hundreds gathered in attendance, for me the most dramatic moment happened above in Exposition Park at the bend in Figueroa Street just south of Exposition Boulevard when the 200-foot long, three-lane-wide transport vehicle had to negotiate its first turn of the night, and its right front corner came within what looked to be less than an inch of making contact with a speed limit sign. As the spotter says to me at the end, “If you’ve got a half-inch, you’ve got a mile.”
Gneissly and successfully avoided.
If I’m getting redundant in my topics — maps, cycling, birds, maps — file your complaint with the other contributors here who have far better things to do than post. In the meantime, I just keep plugging away in this lonely place — this time with another historic map from Big Map Blog — and just in time for that local trade association’s annual function known as the Academy Awards this Sunday. If I were giving out the Oscars, Big Map Blog would get one for bringing all us little people out there in the dark this awesome and timely 1937 addition to its collection of cartrography: Hollywood Starland, at right (moderately embiggenable if clicked).
Sure the artist misspells Katharine Hepburn’s name, and strangely enough the then 14-year-old Hollywoodland sign isn’t anywhere to be found. But don’t let those oversights keep you from clicking on over and marveling at the full-size version of this otherwise meticulously glorious representation of a bygone era in celebrity worship so bitingly chronicled just a couple years later in Nathanael West’s “Day of the Locust.”
The 2012 edition of my Watts Happening Ride took place this past picture-perfect Saturday, and it was my complete pleasure to share the following landmark people, places and events I’ve discovered there with the 28 cyclists who joined me:
- The last residence of jazz great Jelly Roll Morton
- The childhood home of Nobel Prize Winner Ralph Bunche
- The location of the 1969 Black Panthers shootout
- The Hotel Dunbar, centerpiece of the Historic Central Avenue Jazz Corridor
- The location of the 1974 SLA shootout
- The actual fictional location of the Sanford and Son Salvage Yard
- The Watts Towers of Simon Rodia
- The location of the incident setting off the 1965 Watts Riots
- The home of Eula Love, killed by police in 1979 as a result of a past-due gas bill dispute
- The motel where legendary singer Sam Cooke was killed
- The flashpoint of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots
- The location of Wrigley Field, demolished in 1966.
Unfortunately, the above annotated timelapse video abruptly ends at the third-to-last location we visited, leaving me to discover that I need to get a bigger memory card if I want to capture the entire 33-mile, six-hour tour on camera the next time — and there will be a next time. I hope you’ll join me.
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt sentenced some 120,000 Japanese-Americans to prison for the duration of World War II. Today, on the 70th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, Los Angeles County is marking the occasion with its first Day of Remembrance, which in turn made me remember my visit to Manazanar 4.5 years ago that I wrote about on November 13, 2007, here at Blogging.la:
Coincidental to Jason Burns’ November 9 post in which he referenced Manzanar in response to the disconcerting news of LAPD plans to
targetmap Muslim enclaves in the city, two days later (returning from Death Valley’s Eureka Dunes) my wife Susan and I paid a somber and sobering first visit to the infamous place (on Highway 395 a few miles south of the ironically named town of Independence), referred to all politely as an “internment camp” or a “war relocation center,” or “reception center,” but with eight guard towers erected around the barbed-wired perimeter staffed with military police manning machine guns trained on the 11,000 men, women and children kept here against their will (more than 90% of whom were from the Los Angeles area), I’m in the mood to call it what it was: a prison. One that should forever be remembered as a testament to the freedom-destroying power of fear and an abominable insult to the United States Constitution and the civil liberties it guarantees us as citizens of this country. Pardon my righteous indignation.
The rest of my recollection is after the jump.
I have sung the praises of the Big Map Blog in the past, most recently in December when a 1932 map of Los Angeles was added to its extensive cartographical collection. And here I go again, because they just posted another jaw-dropper in the form of H.B. Elliott’s birds-eye viewpoint of our town when the population was only 65,000 back in 1891 — one that looks like the artist drew inspiration for it from an imagined vantage point aloft above what is now Elysian Park.
What makes this document so exquisite is not just the map itself, but the detailed representations of both exteriors and interiors of some of the commercial and civic landmarks of that time, most of which are long gone. Click the above image to biggify it. But better yet, got here on Big Map Blog and click the full size download link and get yourself the 157″ x 111″ version to marvel at available there for free.
After my recent Hollyhock House tour, I met a friend from out of town at the Figueroa Hotel for a drink. At the bar by the pool, we met a woman named Rachel who said she was holding a meetup for the local Atlas Obscura chapter. My friend got all excited at the mention. I thought, what the hell is Atlas Obscura? Turns out, it’s a bit like blogging.la.