Photos: Top of City Hall

There were two good things about my recent jury duty service — I was dismissed after one day and during lunch I checked out the view from the observation deck at City Hall. Yes, there is an observation deck at…

Riding the Expo Line

Readers of this blog (there are one or two) know that I often write about transportation issues, including mass transit. So I thought it was a bit odd that I never, ever rode public transportation in all of my time…

Reimagining L.A. Rail

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…

Rams Coming Back to L.A.?

Will there be a homecoming between the St. Louis Rams and Los Angeles (well, Inglewood, actually)? Rams owner Stan Kroenke has bought a 60-acre plot of land between now-closed Hollywood Park and the Forum. “We have yet to decide what…

Photos: L.A. Dingbats

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. Random Signs

Lately I have been posting photos of cool signs that I have stumbled upon around town, including those from bowling alleys, liquor stores and motels. Here are a random few that do not fit into any particular category:

Photos: L.A. Motels

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…

Staggered Left Turn Lanes

From the transportation files of “good idea in theory, bad in practice” comes the staggered left turn lanes. Not only are they a bad idea, they are potentially dangerous. Most intersections are symmetrical; the left turn lanes are exactly in…

Photos: L.A. Liquor Stores

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. Bowling Alleys

There was a time when bowling was one of the great American pastimes. That is no longer the case, and little by little those palaces built for the sport in the 50s and 60s are going away. Many of the…

Photos: L.A. Supermarkets

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…

LAX Creates Ghost Town

I read an article recently in the Los Angeles Times about a neighborhood called Manchester Square that the good folks over at nearby LAX have turned into a virtual “ghost town.” A ghost town in the middle of Los Angeles?…

NLCS at Dodger Stadium

How is it possible that I have had this blog for three years and have not written about Dodger Stadium, one of my favorite things about Los Angeles? Probably because I hadn’t been there for four years. I kept saying,…

Mmm: Top Round Roast Beef

I was driving up La Brea last week when I spotted something on the otherwise forgettable corner of Olympic — a food stand called “Top Round Roast Beef.” I did not remember seeing it before. Now, I will not soon…

Video: “Los Angeles Plays Itself”

I had heard about the somewhat notorious film “Los Angeles Plays Itself” for some time now. It explores how our fair city has been depicted on film, using movie clips from said films. However, the movie was never released because…

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…

Doing Bicycle Lanes Right

I think it is great that a bicycling wave is hitting Los Angeles; after all, our weather is perfect for year-round cycling as a way of commuting. The city has responded by installing miles and miles of bike lanes. However,…

Henry’s Tacos to Close

I don’t venture into the Valley very often; I mean, what’s there to see? But I did go on Friday to pay my respects to Henry’s Tacos, which is set to close on December 31. Henry’s and its Googie sign…

LACMA Rock Succumbs to Rain

The boulder at the center of LACMA’s “Levitated Mass” was billed as the largest thing transported since, like, medieval times or whatever they said. At 340-tons it is indestructible. Unless it rains a little, of course. Would-be visitors to the…

Photos: Los Angeles from Above

When you are booking one of those $9 Spirit Airlines flights from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, you can’t pick your seat unless you want to pay an additional $5. I refuse to do this for moral reasons (read, cheap),…

NFL: We Want Dodger Stadium

With all the momentum gaining towards construction of an NFL stadium in Downtown Los Angeles, the league is now saying it prefers Dodger Stadium as the ideal home for one or two football teams. CBSSports.com reports that at a league…

Photo: LACMA Lawn Before Rock

In the fall of 2010, LACMA opened the Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, complete with a  lush lawn behind it. Just a few short months later, crews began ripping up the lawn to prepare for the arrival of Levitated Mass. It was…

Ugliest Building in Los Angeles?

I nominate this building as the ugliest building in Los Angeles. This monstrosity sits on Wilshire Blvd., just west of Fairfax. If features lovely black permanent scaffolding. I guess they assumed the building would always need constant work. Then there…

Wilshire Subway is Coming!

The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday approved the final environmental impact report for the first 3.9 miles of what used to be called the “Subway to the Sea” but what is now called the Westside Subway Extension…

Photos: L.A.’s Amazing Sudden Growth

LACMA flung open its doors on Saturday for the final weekend of Pacific Standard Time. It’s entry into the massive 60+ museum and gallery show was called “California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way,” featuring mid-century furniture, artifacts, photos,…

Magic Johnson Group to Buy Dodgers

The group headed by Lakers legend Magic Johnson has been chosen to buy the Dodgers, multiple reports said Tuesday night. Guggenheim Partners — headed by Johnson and long-time baseball executive Stan Kasten — will reportedly pay $2 billion for the…

LACMA’s Rock has Arrived!

Under the cover of darkness early Saturday morning, a giant rig carrying an equally giant rock finally made its way to LACMA — only seven months behind schedule; not bad by Los Angeles standards. And in a few (alleged) short…

LACMA Rock Begins to Roll

After a more than six-month delay, the giant boulder that will be the centerpiece of a likely very permanent art installation at LACMA began its journey to the museum Tuesday night. The 21-foot high, 340-ton boulder that has spent the…

Photos: L.A. Car Washes

Way back when, when they decided for better or for worse that the car would be king in Los Angeles, the need arose for places to clean the smoggy filth off of those cars. As was the style in the…

Five Guys Burgers to Open 2/14

Can’t get a dinner reservation for Valentine’s Day? Then grab your lucky date by the hand and run, don’t walk, to Five Guys Burgers at 5550 Wilshire. Sources tell I Love Los Angeles, But… that the burger joint will have…

When is Tom Bergin’s Reopening?

Where have I been?! I only noticed a couple of week’s ago that legendary Irish bar Tom Bergin’s is closed for renovations — since July! So, when will the Guinness be flowing again? Well, initially it was supposed to reopen…

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…

Shame on Los Angeles!

If you drive around Los Angeles, and all of us who live here spend plenty of time doing that, you will see that the landscape is dotted with empty lots and abandoned buildings waiting for the wrecking ball. It is…

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…

Five Guys Burgers to 5550 Wilshire?

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, the hurricane and earthquake-ravaged East Coast’s attempt at being In-N-Out, is invading the turf of its inspiration, with a location in Culver City and one coming to Downtown (there were reports earlier this year that…

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: Miracle Mile Under Construction

There has been a lot of buzz recently in the Los Angeles blogging world about Allison Martino’s excellent  “Lost” Angeles Time Table website, which features tons of old pictures of L.A., focusing on Googie and mid-century signs and buildings. She…

A Tale of Two Buildings

There are two white skyscrapers on Miracle Mile. As a fan of architecture, one meets all of my criteria for a building that I would like, and the other has all of characteristics of a building that I would not…

Video: Reyner Banham Tours LA

Reyner Banham’s 1971 book “Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies” should be required reading for all residents of our fair city. I will write about him at length soon, but in brief, Banham was a Brit who first visited…

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…

Transportation Proposal #4

How many times have you driven down a narrow one-way street here in Los Angeles when another car comes barrelling down the street towards you, you begin to pull over, but the other driver doesn’t seem to be slowing down, and…

Fixing Wilshire Blvd

After living for more than four years behind the iron bars of the Palazzo West, I was very happy to be moving to a  regular, less secure building on Miracle Mile, where I would actually have a relationship with the…

Transportation Proposal #3

This transportation proposal is dedicated to left turns. Now, left turns are a good thing — in fact in a recent survey it was voted the second favorite turn among drivers, just trailing the venerable right turn. However, a city has to…

Photos: “Miracle Mile” the Movie

I recently became aware of the 1988 movie “Miracle Mile.” It’s about  a nuclear attack on the U.S. with our own Miracle Mile on Wilshire as ground zero. I don’t know what Hollywood has against this neighborhood. First it was bombed…

Illustrating My Parking Point

My Transportation Proposal #2 dealt with parking (you mean you didn’t read it?!). One of my issues was that parking restrictions are bad for business. I have a little parking story to illustrate that point. Last Saturday I wanted to go…

Photos: Rainbows Over Los Angeles

Sure the rain has been miserable, what with the mudslides and the flooding and the wet shoes. But when it all ended Wednesday afternoon, it left behind a double rainbow. The first, brighter arc of light seemed to begin at Hollywood…

Video: Final Years of Street Cars

Electric street cars criss-crossed Los Angeles for decades until 1963 when the last line was retired. That ushered in an era of gridlock that exists to this day. Here is some great video of the final years of the street…

Transportation Proposal #1

For a city that revolves around the automobile, it can be very difficult to get around town by car — and I’m not even talking about the traffic. I’m talking about decisions (or lack of them) made by our transportation…

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…

Photos: Before & After on Wilshire

As a guy who likes history and architecture, I love before and after photos, seeing how areas have changed over the years. I found this really great website called Yesterday LA, which promises “a tour of LA through vintage postcards.”…

Food Truck Battle on Wilshire

One of the first things I noticed about my new Miracle Mile neighborhood when I moved here in June was all of the food trucks that lined Wilshire Boulevard at lunchtime. There were at least ten every day. It was…

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…

Video: Monorail in the LA River

As I mentioned in my previous post about a monorail system for Los Angeles, connecting the Valley to the system is crucial. I found this video that advocates building a monorail in the Los Angeles River. It sounds ridiculous, but…