Where Fools Fear to Tread — A Snapshot of Taiwan (Taipei & the East Coast)

MY TRIP — INTRODUCTION In August 2010 I went on a trip to Taiwan. Like most Americans, I had little knowledge of the island in East Asia. In school, we learned that Taiwan was formerly called Formosa (although I don’t believe it was mentioned by whom). Later it became Taiwan. The Nationalists (the “good guys” … Continue reading Where Fools Fear to Tread — A Snapshot of Taiwan (Taipei & the East Coast)

Greater Streets: Exploring the Walk of Fame — Heart of Hollywood

INTRODUCTION Although it continues to attract millions of tourists every year, there are few places in Los Angeles which locals avoid as deliberately as Downtown Hollywood‘s Walk of Fame. To put it bluntly, most Angelenos that I know would rather jostle with the crowded sidewalks along Alvarado in Westlake or spend a day in Skid … Continue reading Greater Streets: Exploring the Walk of Fame — Heart of Hollywood

Exodus shocker — the latest Hollywood Bible cartoon isn’t very realistic

The other day I found out that some people are outraged by the casting in a Hollywood film — in this case Ridley Scott‘s latest effort, Exodus: Days of Future Past (or whatever its full title is). They’re apparently so upset that they’re boycotting it, which is something I do with all but one or two Hollywood … Continue reading Exodus shocker — the latest Hollywood Bible cartoon isn’t very realistic

Taste of the Mideast Side — at the Los Angeles County Store

If there are regular readers of my column here on the Amoeblog, they’ve probably seen some of the hand-drawn and hand-painted maps which I include in my series of Southland explorations I call California Fool’s Gold. Right now a series of new maps are on display at the Los Angeles County Store in East Hollywood. None, … Continue reading Taste of the Mideast Side — at the Los Angeles County Store

California Fool’s Gold — Exploring North Hollywood, The Gateway to the Valley

INTRODUCTION  After focusing on eight Eastside neighborhoods whilst house-sitting in El Sereno, I’ve returned to the polls to determine where to explore. I’ve heard the vox populi and therefore visited North Hollywood — only my fourth piece on a San Fernando Valley community thus far. It was a hot, somewhat hazy, and thankfully breezy January day … Continue reading California Fool’s Gold — Exploring North Hollywood, The Gateway to the Valley

37 Years! Celebrating (or at least thinking about) VHS

The inaugural Cassette Store Day took place this past 7 September. On that day, over 50 audio cassettes were released by major musical acts like The Pastels, The Flaming Lips, and Suicidal Tendencies. Unfortunately for video cassette fans, Cassette Day was a strictly audio observance. For whatever reason, Cassette Culture (or the cassette underground), which … Continue reading 37 Years! Celebrating (or at least thinking about) VHS

California Fool’s Gold — Exploring East Pasadena

TO SEE MY HOME IN EAST PASADENA This neighborhood exploration is about tiny East Pasadena. Despite its name, East Pasadena is an independent community and no more a part of the city of Pasadena than are South Pasadena or Altadena. Historically it was a much larger community but through many annexations it has shrunk to … Continue reading California Fool’s Gold — Exploring East Pasadena

Pan-Asian Metropolis — East of the Eastside, the Far Eastside

All around the world large, multicultural cities often contain recognized, small, distinct ethnic enclaves. Los Angeles, by some measures the most diverse city in the universe, is no exception. These neighborhoods are often more ephemeral than others — coming and going in a reflection of changing patterns of immigration, marginalization, assimilation and development. In the … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — East of the Eastside, the Far Eastside

California Fool’s Gold — Exploring El Monte, the End of the Santa Fe Trail (or at least some trails)

INTRODUCTION TO EL MONTE El Monte is a city in the middle of the San Gabriel Valley. As of the last census (in 2010), its population was 113,475. It contains the neighborhoods of Arden Village, the Auto District, Downtown, Five Points, theFlair Business District, Hayes, Maxson, Mountain View, the Northwest Industrial District, Norwood Village, and … Continue reading California Fool’s Gold — Exploring El Monte, the End of the Santa Fe Trail (or at least some trails)