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

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Public Sculpture, Monuments, and Memorials in Los Angeles

Public art, by its definition, is only public when located in an open public space. Increasingly, corporate plazas patrolled by security guards are what often pass for public space and private organizations determine what hours of what days the public are allowed to view "public art" which in many cases could be considered "plop art," the sort of … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Public Sculpture, Monuments, and Memorials in Los Angeles

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Asian Statuary in Los Angeles

Even though I'm more "no money" than "new money," I share the latter's collective love of statuary. When wondering through the city or suburbs I'm pleased by the presence of garden gnomes or bodhisattva or fast food mascots. Nothing churches up a home like a yard full of tiny replicas of Michelangelo's David. This being Asian Pacific … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Asian Statuary in 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, Long Beach, and Lennox … Continue reading No Enclave — Exploring Tongan Los Angeles

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Los Angeles’s Asian Temples

Most of the world’s major religions — and many minor — were born in Asia. The Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Bahá’í, Druze, Samaritanism, and Bábism), were all born in West Asia; Iranian religions include Zoroastrianism, Yazdânism, Ætsæg Din, Ahl-e Haqq, Mandaeism, and Manichaeism; South Asia gave birth to the Dharmic religions of Hinduism, Jainism, … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Los Angeles’s Asian Temples

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

Pan-Asian Metropolis — Asian-American Murals in Los Angeles

The landscape of Los Angeles is full of murals. Occupying as they do public rather than private space, their creators have to assume at their creation that their existence is temporary. They’re rarely respected by artless taggers and once sufficiently damaged, graffiti removers usually obliterate them with their own artless paint jobs. Increasing they’re annihilated … Continue reading Pan-Asian Metropolis — Asian-American Murals in Los Angeles