Swinging Doors — Los Angeles Sake History & Culture

Los Angeles has a long and rich history of alcoholic beverage production and consumption. Wine was introduced by the Spanish as an integral aspect of their mission project. Los Angeles was, in fact, historically the largest wine-producing region in the US. Beer arrived later, its popularity largely dependent on immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe … Continue reading Swinging Doors — Los Angeles Sake History & Culture

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Vietnamese Cabarets of North Orange County

INTRODUCTION I've been aware of the Vietnamese American music scene based in North Orange County since at least the early 2000s. I had no idea just how big it was, though, until I stumbled across singer Thiên Phú's blog, VietCeleb, which has profiles of about 400 Vietnamese artists, with a large percentage of them associated … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Vietnamese Cabarets of North Orange County

No Enclave — Arab Los Angeles

INTRODUCTION For years, there here have been efforts to designate April a month observing Arab American heritage although they have so far not born fruit. In 2017, Democratic congresswoman Debbie Dingell introduced to the House of Representatives a resolution to proclaim National Arab American Heritage Month. A similar bill was introduced in 2020 but so … Continue reading No Enclave — Arab Los Angeles

Eric Brightwell for Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Region 6 Representative

ABOUT ME My name is Eric Brightwell. I was born in Iowa City but mostly grew up in the country, outside of Columbia, Missouri. I first visited Los Angeles in 1998, during a road trip across Western US. At the time "knowing" Los Angeles only through distorted media representations and tired stereotypes, I had almost … Continue reading Eric Brightwell for Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Region 6 Representative

No Enclave — Irish Los Angeles

INTRODUCTION I have Ireland on the brain today. Oh right, it's Saint Patrick's Day. I wondered whether or not I, like so many observant Christians, should temporarily set aside my abstinence from alcohol but then I'm not even Christian so I wouldn't feel so much like I was pulling one over on the Creator as … Continue reading No Enclave — Irish Los Angeles

A Guide to African Cinema

INTRODUCTION One might think that defining African Cinema would be an easy enough task. Spend a little time in the attempt, however, and the difficulty in doing so definitively soon becomes evident. A film set in Africa, shot in Africa by an African crew, and starring an African cast is certainly an example of African … Continue reading A Guide to African Cinema

No Enclave — Exploring Belizean Los Angeles

INTRODUCTION Earlier this week, a reader suggested that I devote a No Enclave to Belizean Los Angeles. I had come across some Belizean businesses here and there when traversing the Westside of South Los Angeles but had no idea just how big the Belizean community of Los Angeles is. In fact, not only is Metro … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Belizean Los Angeles

Los Angeles’s Neighborhood Councils

In 1999, the City of Los Angeles established DONE (which stands for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment -- municipal types love an acronym). DONE, in turn, established the neighborhood council system "to promote more citizen participation in government and thus, ideally, make government more responsive to local needs." This year I'm running in the Silver … Continue reading Los Angeles’s Neighborhood Councils

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Robert Kinoshita & his Remarkable Robots

I've been a fan of science-fiction ever since I was a toddler. Well, to be more precise, I was more of a fan of a certain sort of space opera than proper science-fiction. I wasn't exactly reading Stanislaw Lem at that age. Lem has his spaceships but nearly enough shiny robots or laser battles to … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Robert Kinoshita & his Remarkable Robots

No Enclave — Exploring Somali Los Angeles

SOMALI AMERICANS Although the first Somalis in the US arrived as sailors on British vessels in the 19th century, the vast majority of Somali Americans arrived as refugees from the Somali Civil War, which broke out in the late 1980s and resulted in the collapse of the Somali government in 1991. The largest community of … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Somali Los Angeles