los angeles

Posts Tagged ‘los angeles’


You Can Check Out Anytime You Want, But…

Los Angeles.

Over ten years ago, I was told by my family that we were moving to LA. I wasn’t very happy about this. Aside from not wanting to leave my home, to leave it for Los Angeles? I’m not even sure what preconceptions I had about the city, I just knew I definitely did not want to live there.

Once I arrived, all I thought about was leaving. Aside from just missing my home (and native) land, every other city I visited seemed cooler. Seattle, Chicago, Vancouver… they all have so much character. And not just character, but pride! Every resident of those cities radiates such love for their home. The same can be said for Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans, and just try to shut a New Yorker up about how incredible the Five Boroughs are.

The question is, who feels proud to live in LA? Who defends it? Southern California has an abundance of beautiful locations, but not many of them fall in Los Angeles County. We’ve got unbreathable air, a sun-blindedly bland sky, a sprawling cityscape, and quite possibly the most clinical downtown skyline imaginable. Insult LA all you want and you won’t find much of a fight. Fake? We agree. Corporate? We agree. Artless? We agree.

So why is it that I never want to leave?

The more time you spend in LA, what you begin to realize is that you aren’t the only one that doesn’t belong here. No one belongs here. That’s what we all have in common. New Yahkers can brag about their city all they want, but you know what? It’s easy to feel at home in New York. Feeling at home in LA is a challenge. You have to work to find your place here. You have to struggle through the depression of our unchanging seasons and achingly monotonous architecture. And that bonds all of us far more than living in an obviously “cool” city could.

I love Los Angeles. It’s gorgeous. It’s atmospheric. It’s one of the most truly and originally American places you’ll ever find. You won’t gasp how beautiful it is while your plane is touching down like you might in a typical tourist trap city. No, with LA, you have to get to know it.

Once you do, you can never leave.

Sax Bomb

i’m never gonna dance again
guilty feet have got no rhythm
though it’s easy to pretend
i know you’re not a fool

should’ve known better than to cheat a friend
and waste the chance that i’ve been given
so i’m never gonna dance again
the way i danced with you

A (Concrete) River Runs Through It

Los Angeles takes a lot of flak for any number of things that we don’t much need to delve into here. More than most any other city I can think of, L.A. is maligned by people who have never even set foot in any of its innumerable boroughs. Los Angeles is that ubiquitous. With so many haters, the onus is on just about anyone to play defense. Randy, the Red Hots, and even The Atlantic have done some legwork. It’s Goodosphere’s turn. We like a challenge, so we’ll go for defending the mighty sinuous Los Angeles River.

Flickrer kla4067

People talk smack about L.A.’s river. They go, “It’s concrete like that song!” “It’s barren like warm apple pie.” “It’s unsightly like Gibraltar.” Maybe it is those things, sometimes. But when the whipping boy isn’t being flogged, it’s busy saving its city’s ass from infrequent, though fully possible floods.

The river is also a critical part of Los Angeles’ history. Before the concrete was poured and the tags were tagged, the banks were natural and the river united an ever-expanding metropolis. The concrete may have enabled people to think of the artery as a canvas, dumpster, or chicken court, but some folks still put up the good fight to remind us.

Recently, said pugilists scored a big win. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, back in 2008, the Army Corps of Engineers was “preparing to adopt new regulations that would have stripped much of the L.A. River watershed of Clean Water Act protections.” When resident engineer Heather Wylie heard of the Corps’ plans, she leaked some incriminating docs and took to the World Wide Web to conduct some research. She found out that if navigable, a body of water qualifies for special protections. When there’s a Wylie, there’s a way.

She contacted one George Wolfe, the eventual founder of L.A. River Expeditions. Together, they began planning a three-day kayaking trip through the Los Angeles River. I know what you’re thinking. Did they bring enough water to fill the river, first?

It turns out, the river flows, “Only on a couple of stretches was it necessary to carry their kayaks. On some stretches, they zipped through the narrow, two-foot-deep low-flow channel, which felt a bit like a ride at Disneyland.”

It really felt like Disneyland once the EPA caught wind of the flotilla. Two weeks ago, the federal appendage ruled the Los Angeles river “traditional navigable waters.” Ergo, the river is now entitled to a series of protections under the Clean Water Act.

To celebrate, California’s governor took to the river with a cunning teen for an elaborate game of cat and mouse (click for motion):

Bourne to Run

Yesterday, LAPD attempted to capture one Brian Alexik in his ‘high-rise Los Angeles penthouse’ but were unsuccessful. Why, you ask? In the words of Deputy Chief Mike Downing, LAPD Counter-terrorism Bureau, Mr. Alexik “escaped like Jason Bourne“.

Photo of fugitive Brian Alexik courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Fleeing the scene with duffel bags in tow, Mr. Alexik left behind sophisticated counterfeiting equipment, stacks of realistic counterfeit bills, several passports under different aliases, a cache of AK-47s, and a telescope pointed at the nearby Federal Reserve building in Los Angeles.

Most sinisterly, Alexik is said to be from New Jersey.

Read the full story at KTLA.