Urban Rambles – Exploring Bronzeville with Maya and Michael

2017 is my tenth year of exploring and writing about Los Angeles communities. In 2007 I explored Granada Hills, Montebello, and Alhambra, and titled my series California Fool’s Gold in homage to Huell Howser‘s California’s Gold (1991-2012). In 2014 I spun off a related series, Urban Rambles, in which I undertake short, small, loosely structured walks of various corners of Southern California. … Continue reading Urban Rambles – Exploring Bronzeville with Maya and Michael

No Enclave — Exploring Canadian Los Angeles

Canadian-Americans are a largely overlooked minority in the vast landscape of Los Angeles‘s diversity. Los Angeles, after all, has no Little Toronto nor an Historic Canuck Town. Whereas immigrants from south of the Rio Grande are celebrated, vilified, romanticized, ignored, and pandered to; those from north of the 49th Parallel are practically invisible. To be fair, Mexican-Americans comprise … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Canadian Los Angeles

No Enclave — Exploring Tongan Los Angeles

As of the 2010 census, there were 57,183 Tongans living in the US, making them the fourth largest Pacific Islander group after Hawaiians, Samoans, and Chamorros. 22,893 Tongans then lived in California, with 6,489 calling the Inland Empire, Orange, or Los Angeles County home. In Los Angeles, the communities of Carson, Hawthorne, Ingelwood, Long Beach, Lennox, … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Tongan Los Angeles

Pan-Asian Metropolis

Los Angeles is the world’s great Pan-Asian Metropolis. In Los Angeles, Asians and Pacific Islanders together comprise more than 15% of the population. They are the most numerous racial minority and the fastest growing. Recognized Asian ethnic enclaves include Cambodia Town, Chinatown, Filipinotown, Koreatown, Little Bangladesh, Little India, Little Osaka, Little Saigon, Little Seoul, Little Tokyo, and Thai Town. Metro Los Angeles … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Asian Angeleno Musicians

A comprehensive playlist of the music of Los Angeles would have to include film scores, cool jazz, surf bands, frat rock, folk-rock, Sunset Strip psychedelia, Chicano soul, country rock, hardcore punk, Paisley Underground, hair metal, gangsta rap, and G-funk. Lists of performers and bands associated with Los Angeles invariably include plenty rock groups, soul singers, and rappers. Inevitably, most are … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Asian Angeleno Musicians

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Pioneering Asian-American Architects in Los Angeles

There were Asian-American architects working outside of Los Angeles. Thomas S. Rockrise (né Iwahiko Tsumanuma) joined the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1921, toward the end of his career. Yasuo Matsui followed in 1927. In the mid-20th century, there Asian-American architects active in other parts of the country, as well, including Edith Leong Yang, Pu Hu Shao, … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Pioneering Asian-American Architects in Los Angeles

No Enclave — Exploring Malaysian Los Angeles

According to the 2010 census, there were 26,179 Americans of Malaysian background. Malaysian-Americans consist of people of a variety of ethnic origins, including Malay, Malaysian Chinese, Tamil, Banjar, Minangkabau, Indonesian, Iban, Filipino, Nepali, Tausūg, and Dusun. The state with the largest population of Malaysian-Americans is California; smaller populations live in New York, Texas, Illinois, Virginia, and Hawaii. In Los Angeles … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Malaysian Los Angeles

Those Useless Trees — The Aoyama Tree

Although not native, many Moreton Bay Figs (Ficus macrophylla) dot the Southern California landscape. The oldest of these Australian immigrants might be those planted by agriculturalist Elijah Hook Workman on the Los Angeles Plaza in 1875. Around that same time, one was planted in Anaheim which later served as the model for the Disneyland‘s Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. One planted … Continue reading Those Useless Trees — The Aoyama Tree