A Los Angeles Primer

A Los Angeles Primer: LAX

Vast, confusing, punctuated by curiosities neither beautiful nor ugly, and demanding of both endurance and optimism, Los Angeles' airport provides a tempting symbol for the city itself. But why only now has it felt the need to become "world class"?

About the Author

Colin Marshall hosts and produces the podcast Notebook on Cities and Culture. These columns present essays adapted from his book-in-progress, "A Los Angeles Primer: Mastering the Stateless City."
RSS icon

Recent Stories
A Los Angeles Primer: Old Pasadena

A Los Angeles Primer: Old Pasadena

Those bewildered and disoriented by Los Angeles can make a retreat to its satellite cities like Pasadena, and thus to a more traditional look, feel, and form they can readily compr ...
A Los Angeles Primer: Olvera Street

A Los Angeles Primer: Olvera Street

Noted architect and urbanist Jan Gehl endorses one piece of city-building advice in particular: "Make sure there's never quite enough room." Olvera Street, the Mexican simulacrum n ...
A Los Angeles Primer: The Fashion District

A Los Angeles Primer: The Fashion District

Head south on Alameda from downtown, watch the buildings drop in height and expand enormously in width, aim toward the American Apparel factory, and you'll find yourself in the Fas ...
A Los Angeles Primer: Los Feliz

A Los Angeles Primer: Los Feliz

Drawn over by names like Neutra, Schindler, and Lloyd Wright, the architectural tourist who descends from the hills will find the highly crafted by the throwaway, the once-glamorou ...
A Los Angeles Primer: Fourth Street

A Los Angeles Primer: Fourth Street

The daily cyclist in this supposedly "bike-unfriendly" city gains a command of quiet back streets like 4th, the backbone of so many of my own trips. The pace, rhythm, and perspecti ...
A Los Angeles Primer: Leimert Park

A Los Angeles Primer: Leimert Park

"The black Greenwich Village," "the Left Bank of early-90s underground hip-hop," and more grew from the unlikely origin of a predominantly white suburban community planned in the 1 ...
A Los Angeles Primer: the Original Farmers Market

A Los Angeles Primer: the Original Farmers Market

A private space that functions essentially like a public one, the venerable Farmers Market at the corner of 3rd and Fairfax provides a variety of specialized foods, a respite for p ...
A Los Angeles Primer: Boyle Heights

A Los Angeles Primer: Boyle Heights

Cross the river out of downtown, and you immediately find yourself in Boyle Heights, gateway to East Los Angeles. Often described as formerly Jewish (back when Cesar E. Chavez Aven ...
1 2 3 4 5 ... 6 7
All Articles Mapped