“Where We Are” is about the place we call L.A. and the often avoided conversation Angeleños have about its past and its conflicted present. I believe places matter, but their intersection with our lives is often obscured or ignored. And if we reach out in longing, we grasp mostly clichés of a city that’s always painted in the colors of smog, that’s always seen from a height, from a seat in a descending jetliner, from a freeway overpass. From there, the city looks like a collection of absences: the absence of hierarchies, of a center, of any authenticity. Finally, we’re absent, too, displaced and wrapped in reveries of substitute cities more adequate to the demands of our desire. “Where We Are” questions, argues, reflects, and in other ways challenges these Los Angeles clichés. I’m not a historian. I don’t live in the City of Los Angeles. I don’t drive. My qualifications for writing about a place I love. ~ D.J. Waldie
Frequent returns to the smaller museums of Long Beach and north Orange County are a prerequisite for the "accidental" pleasures found at the Grand Central Art Center and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in downtown Santa Ana and the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton.
I spent Sunday afternoon in conversation about the making of places in Southern California. We met with a distinguished panel of experts, academics, and commentators at the Rancho Center on Bixby Hill in Long Beach.
Dr. Jane Pisano, who has led the the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for the past dozen years, asked me to say a few words at the start of the museum's anniversary day events on Wednesday.
Sal is a detective in the homicide division of South Los Angeles, one of the most infamous urban areas in the United States, where about 40% of the homicide activity in the city takes place -- despite the numbers being at a record low.
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