Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Talk and Articles About Los Angeles

Here are some wonderful articles about our city, most worthy of your attention.

But first, an upcoming event: Were the '90s L.A.'s Golden Age?  On April 26, 7 p.m., at the Museum of Contemporary Art at 250 S.Grand. Parking is $9 but it looks like that's all you'll have to pay.

So here are articles about different aspects of Los Angeles through the ages:

  • A discussion of the First Photo Ever Taken of Los Angeles!  Nathan Masters writes the most interesting pieces about L.A.'s history, and this one is about a photo taken in the early 1860s. What does it tells us and who might have taken it? It shows the Plaza, but Masters points out how spread out Los Angeles was, even then. I mentioned this article last Monday, but if you haven't read it yet, go treat yourself.

  • PBS just debuted a show: "10 Homes that Changed America," and it features two houses in Los Angeles County: the Gamble House in Pasadena, and a Charles and Ray Eames home in Pacific Palisades. LA Curbed has the backstory and everything you need to know about these two structures and their environment, in a piece titled "Watch How Two LA Homes Changed America." Then you'll be ready for the PBS show--online at

  • It's not quite L.A., but close: a pictorial display of a Palm Springs house that was beautifully decorated when it was built in 1969 and has not changed since. LAist presented this a few weeks ago when the house was on sale for $850k. There's probably a house near you for that amount of money, or a condo . . . but nothing can touch this one for style.

    • How about a story of cleaning up the Valley of Little Smokes smog in the early 70s? A Zocalo feature, "How Angelenos Beat Back Smog" by Mary D. Nichols, describes a serious change in our air quality that Boomers remember well. I don't think kids today have many smog alerts, but they were a part of life in the Southland for many years. This 1968 photo of an October day in Downtown is from the LA Library's photo collection.

    • Finally, here is a headline I might have dreamed of seeing: "Tracking the Decline of L.A.'s Black Widows," except for one thing . . . they're being replaced by brown widows. No less creepy to me, though actually less aggressive, this is a 21st century phenomenon and the data comes from those Natural History Museum programs that ask folks to bring spiders from home in to the museum to be identified. My daughter did that. She was a grown-up at the time. I modeled one behavior toward spiders for her during her formative years: scream and run. She didn't listen.

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