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."
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A Los Angeles Primer: Third Street Promenade

A Los Angeles Primer: Third Street Promenade

You may find the Third Street Promenade a bland retail experience, but you'll also hear a wider variety of languages spoken there than anywhere else in Los Angeles. A piece of Sout ...
A Los Angeles Primer: Thai Town

A Los Angeles Primer: Thai Town

Tourist guidebooks may direct Los Angeles' visitors from abroad to the Walk of Fame, but just two miles east on Hollywood Boulevard, they'll find a much more fruitful cultural expe ...
A Los Angeles Primer: The Arts District

A Los Angeles Primer: The Arts District

Contrary to what its name might lead you to expect, the Arts District does, in fact, contain art, and not just the murals on its disused warehouses and factories. Artists once repl ...
Art
A Los Angeles Primer: Silver Lake

A Los Angeles Primer: Silver Lake

Neither urban nor suburban, Silver Lake, with its namesake reservoir and surfeit of fascinating houses, has become a space for style, wellness, and artisanal retail. But should we ...
A Los Angeles Primer: MacArthur Park

A Los Angeles Primer: MacArthur Park

One of Los Angeles' many formerly wealthy enclaves, one immortalized in song by Richard Harris and Jimmy Webb, MacArthur Park's Art Deco mansions have long since given way to pupus ...
A Los Angeles Primer: Wilshire Boulevard By Bus

A Los Angeles Primer: Wilshire Boulevard By Bus

Traveling the nearly sixteen miles of the closest thing Los Angeles has to a a "main street" by bus reveals the boulevard's host of impressive parts, even seen standing at a smudge ...
A Los Angeles Primer: Little Ethiopia

A Los Angeles Primer: Little Ethiopia

An object of fascination for the writers of "When Harry Met Sally" to "The Simpsons", restaurant critics to Yelpers, Ethiopian cuisine has its Los Angeles center on a single block ...
A Los Angeles Primer: Spring Street

A Los Angeles Primer: Spring Street

The "Wall Street of the West" when downtown first functioned as the center of Los Angeles, architecturally venerable Spring Street offers a window onto the urban revival that may w ...
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