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SoCal Focus
SoCal Focus is a blog about the people, places, and issues in and around Southern California.
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A circa 1935 postcard of downtown Los Angeles. Courtesy of the Werner von Boltenstern Postcard Collection, Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.

Best of 2015: Los Angeles History

See our most popular history articles from 2015, and the stories that link some of L.A.'s milestones this year to the Southland's rich past.
The Oil Can restaurant in Montebello, 1928. Courtesy of the USC Libraries - Dick Whittington Photography Collection.

A Diner Shaped Like an Oil Can? It Happened in Montebello

There are greasy spoons, and then there was The Oil Can.

At the Autry, Looking for the West

I went the other day to the Autry National Center in Griffith Park with a group of about 18 college students from Japan. They went to the Autry to look for the West

Making the Public Realm Unwelcoming in Santa Monica, Lancaster

Guess which wins in the contest for public space: aesthetic interest, comfort, or fear?
At a National Moment of Silence event in New Orleans on August 14, 2014.

We Are All Michael Brown

Ferguson has taken us back to necessary, if overly familiar, discussions about relations between black people and police.
Sea lions, intertwined. | Photo: Courtesy Steve Munch

Images of Ventura County's Coast Trigger Something Deeper

The right photograph takes you back, and whisks you forward and places you firmly in the present. Time travel exists.

Measuring Satisfaction With Where We Live

Not only are most Americans mostly okay with where they call home, they generally think that their place has stayed pretty much the same.

The Paradoxes That Keep Some L.A. Neighborhoods 'Park Poor'

With good reason, nature appears to be available everywhere in Los Angeles. Who needs to set aside a park in Eden?

The Ruling Party: Scenes From George McKenna's Winning Night

After months of intense campaigning, George McKenna's faithful gathered last week to celebrate a historic win against a better-funded opponent, Alex Johnson.

Passages, Passings, and the Last Sight of Fathers

My father died behind a well-made wooden bathroom door late on the evening of August 15, 1982 (and the feast day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary).
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