Sunday, March 18, 2007

L.A. Medley

The story of Hollywood
Gregory Paul Williams' illustrated history "follows Hollywood from its dusty origins to its glorious rise to stardom, from playground of stars to boulevard of broken dreams, including its eventual decline and urban renewal." Choppy writing, but the wealth of historic detail, and 800 illustrations, easily make up for it.

Who framed the 405?
Ever experienced the 405 glut? Dave Quick explains how the freeway was "framed" by entertainment honchos, who killed the original plans to distribute the load to Beverly Hills and Malibu.

The good, the bad & the ugly
"Yes, our apocalyptic phase went way too far, but the pendulum has swung dangerously toward petty boosterism," writes Matt Welch in his pro/anti Mike Davis op-ed about our beloved city.

This "Literary Journey through California's Inland Empire" is a fascinating collection of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and other literature on the Riverside and San Bernandino Counties, "a land of juxtapositions in geography, ethnic diversity and wealth, with a culture and a landscape of its own." Edited by Gayle Wattawa, with a great intro by Susan Straight. A must read to understand that lesser known region an hour from the mountains; the desert; the ocean; and Los Angeles.

Touring the L.A. River
LAist's Zach Behrens took the FoLAR River Tour. Great photo reportage. [more on the L.A. river here & here]
illustrations: 1. The Story of Hollywood/2. Harvey Schwartz/3. Book cover/4. Zach Behrens