I grew up in Whittier in the house my great grandfather built. On hot summer nights when the windows slept wide open you could hear the rumble of traffic from the boulevard to the south and the howl of coyotes in the foothills to the north. The stench of skunk often drowned it all out. On clear days you could see the L.A. skyline west. The jagged silhouette of skyscrapers like a geometric mountain ridge, majestic even through the vellum of smoggy distance. Read more...


You see it like a dream: the man falls down on the slick pavement, you almost expect a splash but there is none, only the pounding of the sky. He turns from a human into a huddled mass, a hardly decipherable lump in the dark, wet night. Streetlights glance off the shining road, looking like a water color painting abandoned by an expressionist suddenly struck by another idea. Did the artist intend to paint this man? This man, standing? This man, mouth opened in a silent scream? This man, taking long unsteady gaits on shaking legs? This man, falling to the ground? And not getting up again. He doesn’t get up again. Read more...


Anyone can think what they want about a place from afar. Read more...


We live in a constant state of making and being made by the places we find ourselves. In those terms, Los Angeles has always been the force at work in how that process felt in my family. We just didn't realize it. Read more...