No Enclave — Exploring Indonesian Los Angeles

Diversity has long been part of the fabric of Los Angeles and Southern California. Humans first arrived here at least 13,000 years ago and more than twenty Native American nations made their home here before the Spanish Conquest. The Spanish pueblo of Los Angeles was itself founded by people of Native, African, European, and mixed ancestries and … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Indonesian Los Angeles

Where Fools Fear to Tread — Cruising the Mediterranean aboard the Boaty Weekender

In August I went on my first cruise, Belle & Sebastian‘s Boaty Weekender. I’d never been on a cruise before. I was, at best, ambivalent about cruises. On the one hand, I have something an anthropological curiosity which in the past has compelled me to check out renaissance faires, Civil War reenactments, a Star Trek convention, … Continue reading Where Fools Fear to Tread — Cruising the Mediterranean aboard the Boaty Weekender

No Enclave — Los Angeles’s International Markets

Last week, the Los Angeles Times published a piece by Frank Shyong about the imminent closure and relocation of two of Chinatown‘s last remaining Chinese markets. On the same day, Jared Cohee published a piece about Holland International Market in Bellflower for Eat the World LA. Both got me thinking a bit about the role international markets serve. … Continue reading No Enclave — Los Angeles’s International Markets

California Fools Gold — Exploring Newport Beach

INTRODUCTION I finally got around to exploring Newport Beach. I say “finally” because that particular coastal city in South Orange County has held the top spot in the California Fool’s Gold poll for more than a year. You’d be wrong if you assumed that my procrastination has anything to do with unfortunate (but typical) Angeleño bias against Orange … Continue reading California Fools Gold — Exploring Newport Beach

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Orange County’s Lost Chinatowns

INTRODUCTION TO ASIAN ORANGE COUNTY Today, Orange County is widely recognized for its prominent Asian-American population. There are significant numbers of of Vietnamese, Koreans, Taiwanese, Filipinos, Indians, Japanese, Cambodians, Chinese, Pakistanis, Thais, Indonesians, and Laotians living there, as well as many smaller groups. Metro Los Angeles (which includes Los Angeles and Orange counties) is in fact home … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Orange County’s Lost Chinatowns

California Fool’s Gold — Exploring Westwood

INTRODUCTION TO WESTWOOD Westwood is a neighborhood in Los Angeles’s Westside. It’s widely known for being home to the University of California, Los Angeles although locally it’s almost equally well known for its small shopping district, Westwood Village. People who’ve lived in Los Angeles longer than I are prone to speaking about Westwood with an elegiac tone normally … Continue reading California Fool’s Gold — Exploring Westwood

Greater Streets — Exploring Valley Boulevard

INTRODUCTION Normally when I write an account of one of my explorations, it’s after I’ve concluded it. Sometimes I work on them for months and when I can’t stand thinking about it anymore, I just publish it and figure I’ll correct the typos later. However, I began exploring and writing about Valley Boulevard more than a … Continue reading Greater Streets — Exploring Valley Boulevard

Where Fools Fear to Tread — A Snapshot of the Philippines (Metro Manila and the Calamian Islands)

This past June, Una and I visited the Philippines. While she was born and raised there, it was my first time in the country and only my second visit to Asia. We spent a week in Una’s homeland before taking off on the next leg of our vacation, to Korea. The following is a record of … Continue reading Where Fools Fear to Tread — A Snapshot of the Philippines (Metro Manila and the Calamian Islands)