My name is Jim Gilbert and I publish this blog. A native Angeleno, I grew up in West Los Angeles, went to college in the Bay Area, grad school in LA and spent quite a few years living and working in Boston and Silicon Valley before moving to Irvine. After nine years in Orange County, my family and I relocated to Berkeley in August 2011, a move I wrote about in a September 22, 2011 post.
Although I have not lived in the City of Los Angeles for many years, my heart is in LA and that is where I spend a considerable amount of time. I’ve discovered that living away from Los Angeles has made me especially appreciative of the city where I grew up and has given me the opportunity to view it both as a native son and an outsider. I try to exploit this particular perspective as I write this blog.
Although I’m an urban planner by training, I haven’t worked in that field for over ten years. Instead, I’ve been doing the tech start-up thing, co-founding two software companies and working for several other technology related businesses.
Despite my professional absence from the world of architecture, urban design and planning policy development, my passion for all things urban remains strong. I love exploring cities – walking neighborhoods, trying new restaurants, talking with locals and learning about the region’s culture through both the performing and fine arts – and I’ve had the good fortune to travel to many great cities for work and pleasure, such as Mexico City, Paris, Athens, New York, Barcelona, Jerusalem, Boston, San Francisco, Venice, Stockholm, Tokyo, Brussels, London, Chicago and Rome.
During my travels and while living both in and away from Los Angeles, it became clear to me over the years that many people just don’t appreciate LA the way I do - and that got me thinking. Clichés about LA abound. But this teeming metropolis contains a multiplicity of worlds, sometimes overlapping and sometimes completely isolated, that confound, defy easy stereotypes and belie expectations. Through this blog, I want to share some of the many aspects of LA that fascinate me.
My intention is for this site to become an ever-expanding collection of information about the city that I love so much. I hope locals and visitors alike will learn something new about the people, places and cultures that define Los Angeles and be inspired to venture forth into this great metropolis. As this site develops, I look forward to gaining new insights about LA from you - so please share your knowledge, thoughts, observations, favorite places, etc. with me and the others who visit this site.
One final thought. While I am responsible for producing the majority of content on this site, I periodically share these pages with others who have something special to contribute. I think you’ll appreciate their insights, expertise and/or opinions. Any content created by others will be identified as such.