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Free Lo(t)s Angeles!

Free Lo(t)s Angeles!

Dilapidated buildings and vacant lots typically bring up perceptions of urban blight; this does not have to be the case, however.
Remembering Amiri Baraka

Remembering Amiri Baraka

This week L.A. Letters celebrates one of the greatest to ever pick up a pen, write a play or rip a poem. Long live Leroi Jones.
This Year in L.A. Letters: Part 1

This Year in L.A. Letters: Part 1

Books and love for Los Angeles form the backbone of this column, along with California history, urban studies, architecture, and poetry with some selected fiction. This week L.A. L ...
A Los Angeles Primer: Watts

A Los Angeles Primer: Watts

Since its riots nearly 50 years ago, troubled Watts has drawn the pens Clive James, Jan Morris, Reyner Banham, and Thomas Pynchon. But even these astute observers had to contend wi ...
The Pirates of Los Angeles: Music, Technology, And Counterculture in Southern California

The Pirates of Los Angeles: Music, Technology, And Counterculture in Southern California

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, pirates in Los Angeles provided a window into the tensions over access to music that besets the difficult relationship that exists between ar ...
A Los Angeles Primer: The Blue Line

A Los Angeles Primer: The Blue Line

The first line in Los Angeles' modern rail system, which Reyner Banham called "socially necessary," opened 23 years ago to great fanfare. A lot of people ride it today, but has it ...