Those Useless Trees — The Southern California Black Walnut

One of the most iconic trees of Southern California is the Juglans californica, commonly known as the Southern California black walnut. As trees go, it is fairly small, usually reaching a height and radius that tops out around fifteen meters. It could, alternately, be described as a large shrub -- as many specimens have up … Continue reading Those Useless Trees — The Southern California Black Walnut

Greater Streets — Visiting Silver Lake’s Sunset Triangle Plaza

It’s the tenth anniversary of Silver Lake’s Sunset Triangle Plaza. In its first decade, Silver Lake’s first (and thus far, only) street-to-plaza conversion has truly emerged as one of the primary hubs of the community. That's no small feet when the actual center of the neighborhood is a giant, fenced-off reservoir and none of the … Continue reading Greater Streets — Visiting Silver Lake’s Sunset Triangle Plaza

Homes Fit for Heroes — Motel-Style Apartments

Metro Los Angeles boasts numerous varieties of apartments and other multi-tenant housing types. Bungalow courts and garden apartments all have always enjoyed a healthy following. I'm sure I'm not the only Angeleno who loves a nice courtyard apartment or those hotel-style mid-rises topped with neon signs that are found throughout Midtown and Westlake. Even the … Continue reading Homes Fit for Heroes — Motel-Style Apartments

Swinging Doors — Los Angeles Mead and Meaderies

Happy Mead Day! Yes, 6 August is Mead Day -- not that I expect anyone to know that. Nor did I know it until I searched up "mead day" a couple of weeks ago and discovered that it was already coming up. Why this date? I don't know. There are certainly other days more associated … Continue reading Swinging Doors — Los Angeles Mead and Meaderies

Greater Streets — Street Vacations: When Streets Get Taken Away

About a month ago, following the introduction of a car-free section of Griffith Park Drive in Griffith Park, I wrote a piece celebrating ten Los Angeles streets that have been reclaimed from automobiles over the past century. After that, I wrote about open streets events, like CicLAvia, that have for 20 years provided tantalizing if … Continue reading Greater Streets — Street Vacations: When Streets Get Taken Away

Homes Fit For Heroes — Visiting Riverside’s Mission Inn

In April, when many transit agencies were free in recognition of Earth Day, I rode Metrolink to and from four of Southern California's county seats. I called it The Great Metrolink Four Counties Ride. It was my first time really exploring San Bernardino and Riverside. Downtown San Bernardino was concerning -- although I would love … Continue reading Homes Fit For Heroes — Visiting Riverside’s Mission Inn

Take ’em to the Bridge — Visiting the 6th Street Viaduct

On Sunday, my friend and frequent exploration companion Mike Morgan and I visited the newly opened 6th Street Viaduct -- which replaces the old 6th Street Viaduct. The 6th Street Viaduct, also known as the 6th Street Bridge, is, as the name suggests, a viaduct bridge. For those that don't know, a viaduct is a … Continue reading Take ’em to the Bridge — Visiting the 6th Street Viaduct

Nobody Drives in LA — Los Angeles’s Open Streets

For decades since the introduction of the automobile to Los Angeles, the trend was to accommodate them more and more. Sidewalks were shaved away to all for more cars. Beautiful historic buildings were leveled and replace with surface parking lots. Interstate freeways were allowed not just to connect states but to slice through working class … Continue reading Nobody Drives in LA — Los Angeles’s Open Streets

Nobody Drives in LA — Re-Claiming Los Angeles’s Streets

GRIFFITH PARK DRIVE CLOSURE IN GRIFFITH PARK A map of Griffith Park with the less-than-one-mile stretch of Griffith Park Drive closed to cars highlighted in red On 27 June, a small stretch of Griffith Park Drive is being closed to cars as part of a pilot program [UPDATE: It's permanent now]. Inevitably, there were the … Continue reading Nobody Drives in LA — Re-Claiming Los Angeles’s Streets

Thoughts on Interactive Fiction and Fantasy Cartography on the Anniversary of the Publication of the First Gamebook

Edward Packard's Sugarcane Island, is largely credited with kicking off the 1980s gamebook craze, exemplified by the beloved Choose Your Own Adventure series. Gamebooks, along with other forms of interactive fiction (including text-based computer games, fantasy cartography, and fantasy role-playing games) all flourished during my formative years and had a profound influence on my choice … Continue reading Thoughts on Interactive Fiction and Fantasy Cartography on the Anniversary of the Publication of the First Gamebook