Seth Kugel, The New York Times' Frugal Traveler, recently set out to spend one week in Los Angeles on $100 per day. To meet this objective, he had to forgo renting a car and instead got around by bike and public transportation. He also saved money by staying in an inexpensive Santa Monica hostel.
If you missed Andrew Gilbert's most recent Los Angeles Times article, which appeared in today's Arts & Books Section (p. E12), check it out if you enjoy live Jazz. Andy profiles three drummer-bandleaders (Brian Blade, Steve Smith and Allison Miller) who will perform in and around Los Angeles in the coming weeks.
Updated on Friday, November 5, 2010 at 12:41PM by Jim Gilbert
Updated on Friday, December 3, 2010 at 2:30PM by Jim Gilbert
If you're looking for things to do this weekend, I have three suggestions.
1. Attend the California State Parks 2nd Annual Film Series
2. Participate in Strolling on 7th Street
3. Experience Let Them Eat LACMA
Monday, November 1st marks the premier of a new documentary on Turner Classic Movies called Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood. While I have not seen this seven part series myself, writer and producer Jon Wilkman is a highly regarded LA based documentary filmmaker who along with his wife, Nancy Wilkman, have produced a number of award winning films and written two excellent pictorial histories of Los Angeles, Picturing Los Angeles and Los Angeles: A Pictorial Celebration. You can find both books in the photography section of my online store - ShopLA.
I spent this past Saturday at the 5th Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar, which was sponsored by LA as SUBJECT and held in the Doheny Library on the USC campus. While the event was free and open to the public, by my estimation the majority of attendees were local archivists, as well as students and faculty from a cross section of southern California colleges and universities.
When Charlie Haden was growing up in the rural Midwest, images of the big city filled his thoughts. It was the early 1950s, the waning flicker of the Hollywood studio dream factory, and Haden found himself obsessed with the sights and sounds of Los Angeles filtered through a smoky film noir lens.
Not that the bucolic life was boring. During his childhood in Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska, Haden came of age surrounded by country music's biggest stars as the youngest member of his family’s country western band. But early on the lure of Los Angeles took hold of his imagination and haunted his grade school consciousness. Even after decades as one of jazz’s most innovative bassists and bandleaders, Haden has continued to mine the dark, doomed, romantic imagery that lured him to Los Angeles as a teenager. His cinematically inspired Quartet West has turned into a singularly evocative excavation of LA’s mythic past, a history built from Raymond Chandler’s acid prose, moody Hollywood scores, and Haden’s own experiences in the jazz underground.
I have always admired the ease with which the people of Los Angeles embrace change and look to the future. And yet, I know this attribute has led to much destruction of what came before, the obliteration of our past and at times, the elimination of existing communities that were seemingly invisible to those with the power to impose change for their own benefit.
During the last century, we lost once vibrant neighborhoods such as Bunker Hill, Chavez Ravine, and the old Chinatown. We also lost numerous architecturally and/or historically significant buildings, such as the Brown Derby restaurant, the Columbia Savings Building, the Ambassador Hotel, Welton Becket and Associates office building and the Hollywood Star Lanes bowling alley, just to name a few.
I recently finished reading L.A. Requiem by Robert Crais, the eighth book in his Elvis Cole crime novel series. The title caught my eye as I browsed a local bookstore looking for something to read on my summer vacation. Based on the jacket copy and critical praise found on the first few pages, it sounded like a good read, particularly since I always enjoy stories set in LA. Little did I know I had stumbled upon an extraordinary crime novel and a book that many consider to be one of Robert Crais’s finest works.