Reimagining L.A. Rail

subway-150x150

While I am an advocate of public transportation, I have written several times against the Wilshire subway, arguing that a single East-West line with nearly no connections to other train lines would be virtually useless. So instead of my usual…

Photos: L.A. Dingbats

dingbat-2-150x150

If you think “dingbat” is just a cruel nickname for Edith Bunker, then you obviously do not live in Los Angeles. Here, the dingbat is a small, two-story multi-unit apartment building with parking in front underneath the elevated building. They…

Photos: L.A. Motels

saharan-150x150

You can stay at the fancy shmancy W Hotel or Four Seasons when you visit Los Angeles. Or you might choose the classic Beverly Hills Hotel or Chateau Marmont. Sure, you’ll get great service and a luxurious room. But you…

Photos: L.A. Liquor Stores

liquor-150x150

There really is no need for liquor stores in Los Angeles; after all, supermarkets sell booze at reasonable prices. But thank heavens there are liquor stores here because without them, we would not have some really cool signs dotting the…

Photos: L.A. Supermarkets

superior2-150x150

Among the great things about Los Angeles are the mid-century and Googie-style buildings that dot our landscape. There used to be more of them, but many of these architectural gems have met with the wrecking ball over the years. Many…

Tom Bergin’s Closing!

Legendary Los Angeles Irish bar/restaurant Tom Bergin’s abruptly announced Wednesday night that it is closing its doors for good on Sunday. How is this possible? Without giving a reason for the closure, the restaurant posted on its Facebook page: We…

What Does this Sign Mean?!

There are many things about transportation in Los Angeles that are puzzling — the lack of left turn lights at major intersections, unnecessary parking restrictions, the Subway-to-the-Sea that does not reach the sea — but this sign I stumbled upon on…

Photos: Sontag Drug Store

Just like movies have a taglines (classic example, “Weekend at Bernie’s — He’s the Life of the Party… Well, Almost), the tagline for Los Angeles should be “Out with the Old, in with the New,” and I’m not referring to…

Photos: Before Park La Brea

I was recently standing on a balcony at LACMA looking North when my friend said “Yuck, so ugly” She was referring to Park La Brea. I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment, but there is no argument that the facility’s…

The LACMA Travesty

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a travesty, architecturally speaking, that is. It is a random collection of buildings that have no relation to each other. But it wasn’t always this way, and it doesn’t have to be…

Video: Johnie’s on TV

I’ve written before about Johnie’s, the Googie masterpiece on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax. It is one of the few mid-century coffee shops in Los Angeles that has avoided the wrecking ball. It closed its doors to diners in 2000…

Video: Vintage LA War Film

In addition to being a great time-waster, YouTube is a treasure trove of old videos about Los Angeles. I will be featuring them from time to time. This one is a World War II era film called “Our Town Today,” highlighting…

Top 10 Things in LA

A couple of years ago Los Angeles magazine held an NCAA-like bracket competition to determine what readers thought the best thing about Los Angeles was. In a brilliant marketing move, Amoeba Records basically hijacked the contest and urged people to…