Astrid Kircherr was out with some friends in her native Hamburg one night in 1960 when they stepped into the Kaiserkeller and came face to face with rock n’ roll personified. In the next four years Kircherr documented the transformation of the original line-up of the Beatles from five to the Fab Four, from cherub-faced rockabilly youth to the centerpiece of probably the most viral explosion of global youth culture ever seen. The pictures she took in those days — before the Beatles were the Beatles — might as well be from a different world. In a way they are from a different world, though one whose orbit paralleled ours before “She Loves You” awakened some dormant spirit in the teenage mass and a new course put some drift between us. The Early Beatles Collection, including rarely seen photos taken by Kircherr between 1960-1964, opened today at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles and is up for a bit, stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.

Astrid Kircherr was out with some friends in her native Hamburg one night in 1960 when they stepped into the Kaiserkeller and came face to face with rock n’ roll personified. In the next four years Kircherr documented the transformation of the original line-up of the Beatles from five to the Fab Four, from cherub-faced rockabilly youth to the centerpiece of probably the most viral explosion of global youth culture ever seen. The pictures she took in those days — before the Beatles were the Beatles — might as well be from a different world. In a way they are from a different world, though one whose orbit paralleled ours before “She Loves You” awakened some dormant spirit in the teenage mass and a new course put some drift between us. The Early Beatles Collection, including rarely seen photos taken by Kircherr between 1960-1964, opened today at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles and is up for a bit, stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.


While under the spell of a cotija-dusted puffy taco at Chef Josef Centeno’s Bar Ama our minds’ eye takes a culinary-cum-Tree-of-Life style journey through foodways and space-time, into a place where corn is a giver of life, not a syrup for bonding disparate particles into pockets of infinite shelflife. In this dream-Eden, bell peppers swell like Dizzy Gillespie’s cheeks beneath a canopy of trees and oceans eddy with forests of kelp and untold schools of fish, unencumbered on their rounds by lost cities of PET. And when we touch back down in our seat back at Bar Ama the dream seems within reach.    

While under the spell of a cotija-dusted puffy taco at Chef Josef Centeno’s Bar Ama our minds’ eye takes a culinary-cum-Tree-of-Life style journey through foodways and space-time, into a place where corn is a giver of life, not a syrup for bonding disparate particles into pockets of infinite shelflife. In this dream-Eden, bell peppers swell like Dizzy Gillespie’s cheeks beneath a canopy of trees and oceans eddy with forests of kelp and untold schools of fish, unencumbered on their rounds by lost cities of PET. And when we touch back down in our seat back at Bar Ama the dream seems within reach.    


Photo by Lucas Jackson for Reuters
About a month ago President Obama took the podium in a couple small Midwestern towns and said that the “growing inequality” in America “isn’t just morally wrong, it’s bad economics.” He pledged to spend the rest of his term trying to right that situation and we wish him the best in that endeavor. The elevator to the American Dream has gotten so top heavy lately that for millions locked in the basement there’s no way up without a shiv. So for the Los Angeles area fast food workers walking out today, we quote Ralph Ellison who said “the truth is the light and light is the truth.” Godspeed. You have a posse.

Photo by Lucas Jackson for Reuters

About a month ago President Obama took the podium in a couple small Midwestern towns and said that the “growing inequality” in America “isn’t just morally wrong, it’s bad economics.” He pledged to spend the rest of his term trying to right that situation and we wish him the best in that endeavor. The elevator to the American Dream has gotten so top heavy lately that for millions locked in the basement there’s no way up without a shiv. So for the Los Angeles area fast food workers walking out today, we quote Ralph Ellison who said “the truth is the light and light is the truth.” Godspeed. You have a posse.


United Artists Theater — the site of the soon-to-be Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles — during a parade photographed for the cover of the 1936 Los Angeles City Planning Commission Report. On the marquis, Piccadilly Jim starring Robert Montgomery, Madge Evans and Frank Morgan, and Star For a Night with Claire Trevor.

United Artists Theater — the site of the soon-to-be Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles — during a parade photographed for the cover of the 1936 Los Angeles City Planning Commission Report. On the marquis, Piccadilly Jim starring Robert Montgomery, Madge Evans and Frank Morgan, and Star For a Night with Claire Trevor.


The house known as The Castle doesn’t haunt Downtown LA in corporeal form these days, but if you look up, and you’re prone to daydream, maybe you’ll see a faint outline through the summer haze. The sprawling Victorian mansion — a backdrop for noir films like Kiss Me Deadly and Criss Cross — was one of the last holdouts of the fated Bunker Hill neighborhood that disappeared in the 60s, when the Hill was flattened so the saw teeth of progress could jut skyward from the urban plain. But long before the Community Redevelopment Agency doomed Bunker Hill the Castle was believed to be haunted, possibly by one of several residents that met untimely ends. Scheduled at one point for demolition, the Castle was saved by public outcry, and moved whole, only to be destroyed by arson. Our theory is that the ghosts of Bunker Hill still wander the corridors of Downtown LA. 

The house known as The Castle doesn’t haunt Downtown LA in corporeal form these days, but if you look up, and you’re prone to daydream, maybe you’ll see a faint outline through the summer haze. The sprawling Victorian mansion — a backdrop for noir films like Kiss Me Deadly and Criss Cross — was one of the last holdouts of the fated Bunker Hill neighborhood that disappeared in the 60s, when the Hill was flattened so the saw teeth of progress could jut skyward from the urban plain. But long before the Community Redevelopment Agency doomed Bunker Hill the Castle was believed to be haunted, possibly by one of several residents that met untimely ends. Scheduled at one point for demolition, the Castle was saved by public outcry, and moved whole, only to be destroyed by arson. Our theory is that the ghosts of Bunker Hill still wander the corridors of Downtown LA. 


Sashiko needlecraft is but one of a bajillion wonderful things about Japanese culture celebrated during Nisei Week, an annual exaltation of the contributions of the Japanese community in Los Angeles. The festival’s roots go back to its first incarnation in 1934 in the Little Tokyo district, historically one of the largest hubs of the Japanese-American community on the American mainland.
This weekend you can explore authentic Japanese art forms at a series of free workshops in Kimekomi Dolls, Nanpu Kai Bonsai and traditional Japanese brush painting Saturday and Sunday at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. While you’re there make sure to check out an exhibit of photographs by Tōyō Miyatake — who documented the tragedy faced by Little Tokyo during WWII, as well as the community’s strength, determination and survival. There’s a host of other events around town, like a Shōchū tasting, Kendo tournament and Ondo dance parade. So get out there and spread the Wa.

Sashiko needlecraft is but one of a bajillion wonderful things about Japanese culture celebrated during Nisei Week, an annual exaltation of the contributions of the Japanese community in Los Angeles. The festival’s roots go back to its first incarnation in 1934 in the Little Tokyo district, historically one of the largest hubs of the Japanese-American community on the American mainland.

This weekend you can explore authentic Japanese art forms at a series of free workshops in Kimekomi Dolls, Nanpu Kai Bonsai and traditional Japanese brush painting Saturday and Sunday at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. While you’re there make sure to check out an exhibit of photographs by Tōyō Miyatake — who documented the tragedy faced by Little Tokyo during WWII, as well as the community’s strength, determination and survival. There’s a host of other events around town, like a Shōchū tasting, Kendo tournament and Ondo dance parade. So get out there and spread the Wa.


We lift our mugs to Johnie’s Coffee Shop on Wilshire and Fairfax in the heart of LA on being nominated as a local landmark by the Los Angeles Conservancy. With your sloping, candy-striped roof, rock columns and miles of neon, you’re already a landmark in our moonage daydreams. Hey, is that Andre the Giant?

We lift our mugs to Johnie’s Coffee Shop on Wilshire and Fairfax in the heart of LA on being nominated as a local landmark by the Los Angeles Conservancy. With your sloping, candy-striped roof, rock columns and miles of neon, you’re already a landmark in our moonage daydreams. Hey, is that Andre the Giant?


Shepard Fairey and some other people you may have heard of are looking for a logo for their campaign to re-awaken the latent beauty of the LA River. The Greenway 2020 project by the LA River Corp aims to create a continuous Greenway along the LA River by the year 2020, revitalizing an artery of the city as a linear hub for nature and recreation. As Shepard puts it, “I’ve always enjoyed the graffiti as a bit of flavor along the river, but few would call the LA River a scenic destination. That is about to change!” This is where you come in — they need a logo. But the deadline for submissions is today at 5pm Pacific. So drop everything, look at the specifications and signify. If your logo is chosen by Shepard and friends you score 2020 bones and get to be the proud creator of a symbol for change. 

Shepard Fairey and some other people you may have heard of are looking for a logo for their campaign to re-awaken the latent beauty of the LA River. The Greenway 2020 project by the LA River Corp aims to create a continuous Greenway along the LA River by the year 2020, revitalizing an artery of the city as a linear hub for nature and recreation. As Shepard puts it, “I’ve always enjoyed the graffiti as a bit of flavor along the river, but few would call the LA River a scenic destination. That is about to change!” This is where you come in — they need a logo. But the deadline for submissions is today at 5pm Pacific. So drop everything, look at the specifications and signify. If your logo is chosen by Shepard and friends you score 2020 bones and get to be the proud creator of a symbol for change. 


Carlton Davis signs copies of his book The Art Dockuments: Tales of the Art Dock: The Drive-by Gallery in the Art Walk Lounge during Thursday’s Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk. The book tells the history of the influential early 80s drive-by gallery Davis founded at a loading dock in the Citizens Warehouse aka the Pickle Factory in the Arts District. It’s an insightful, humorous memoir of the times, and of being an artist on the ever-elusive fringe.

Carlton Davis signs copies of his book The Art Dockuments: Tales of the Art Dock: The Drive-by Gallery in the Art Walk Lounge during Thursday’s Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk. The book tells the history of the influential early 80s drive-by gallery Davis founded at a loading dock in the Citizens Warehouse aka the Pickle Factory in the Arts District. It’s an insightful, humorous memoir of the times, and of being an artist on the ever-elusive fringe.


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