California Fool’s Gold — The 10th Anniversary

2017 marks the tenth anniversary of my explorations of the neighborhoods and communities of Los Angeles and Southern California. In the past decade, I managed, although not planned, to explore and write about exactly 100 communities for my California Fool’s Gold series. When I began writing about Los Angeles neighborhoods, there were a few others … Continue reading California Fool’s Gold — The 10th Anniversary

Mini-Mallism — Los Angeles’s Asian Malls

I assume that for most Americans, thoughts of the mall evoke the 1980s or an earlier era, when certain classes of young teenagers longed to spend their free time eating at places like Sbarro or Orange Julius, shopping at Banana Republic or the Limited, watching Hollywood blockbusters at the multiplex, and feeding tokens to machines at … Continue reading Mini-Mallism — Los Angeles’s Asian Malls

Swinging Doors — Asian Bars of Los Angeles

I’ve heard Vietnamese and Koreans friends talk about how much Koreans and Vietnamese drink. More than once have I found myself drinking more than I should, egged on by Thai friends, Filipino family, and in one case a Japanese salaryman. No one drinks like Europeans, though, and European nations predictably occupy the top ten rankings of alcohol consumption … Continue reading Swinging Doors — Asian Bars of 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 — Southern California Night Markets

One of the great things about traveling is seeing things in other countries that it would be nice to have at home, things like arts funding, betel nut beauties, caning, compulsory voting, developed cycling infrastructure, elevenses, free state colleges, green roofs, gun control, pub culture, universal healthcare, pot cafés, salted licorice, and trains that travel faster than mobility … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Southern California Night Markets

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

No Enclave — Exploring Hmong Los Angeles

HMONG LOS ANGELES The Hmong are a stateless people who mostly live in Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Approximately 281,000 Hmong lived in the US, as of the 2010 census, and the state with the largest population is California. While most California Hmong live in either Fresno or Sacramento Country, several thousand live in Southern California, … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Hmong Los Angeles

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Vegetarian Asian Restaurants in Los Angeles

Eater LA just published a piece titled Essential Los Angeles Vegetarian Restaurants. As a vegetarian I read it with interest but was left a bit unsatisfied. I’ve eaten at seven of the seventeen restaurants on Eater’s list and have enjoyed the dining experience at each, but I do have a few quibbles: Mohawk Bend isn’t a vegetarian … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Vegetarian Asian Restaurants in Los Angeles

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Los Angeles’s Asian Supermarkets

Supermarkets are wonderful places. My old landlord, a friendless and frankly unlikeable person, told me that Gelson’s was her favorite place to spend Thanksgiving (alone). Joe Strummer wrote of getting lost in one, an experience apparently so traumatic that he required Mick Jones to sing his lyrics. The group Supermarket recorded just one song, called “Supermarket,” the lyrics of which consisted … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Los Angeles’s Asian Supermarkets