Editor's note

Pre-vacation news and notes: Monday 9.22.14

egg-pan-rabe.jpg I'm getting ready to head out for a couple of weeks of lighter than usual posting. But first: some news notes and items to get off the desk.
Observing Los Angeles

LA is a city of 'dickheads,' says Brit observer

farmersdaughter-motel.jpg The British novelist and journalist Will Self dropped in to our fair city this summer and collected a fresh set of outsider observations about LA — and you know how we all love reading those.

What's up with the anchor chairs on KCAL 9 news?

kcal-chairs-3.jpg We mean the actual chairs. In the screen grabs from Friday night's news, watch just the height of the seat backs behind Leyna Nguyen and Sylvia Lopez.

A telling "Traviata" opens LA Opera season

traviata-mathews.jpg Verdi's "La Traviata" can withstand almost anything. It's nearly indestructible, and sometimes irresistible.
Native Intelligence

On safari at the L.A. Zoo

Audrey and Alicia Mooradian LA Zoo1 9-20-14 - Copy.JPG Members of the L.A. Zoo Safari Society needn't trek to Africa to pet an Angolan python.
Christensen and Gold

Altered landscapes offer hope in the Anthropocene

stringfellowsaltonsea.jpg Two California lakes: the Salton Sea, a festering manmade disaster in the desert, and Tulare Lake, a phantom lake, dried up by agriculture in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Not the first places one might expect to find hope in the Anthropocene.
Veronica Street

Chapter 12. Botanica

veronica.jpg It's a separate misfortune to attract harm to other people, and Marisol knew it, but she had made her decision.

LA Weekly says 'rumors' are LA Register may close*

la-register-ad-grab.jpg Passing along without comment or anything to add: "We now understand that many [staff reporters] were expecting L.A. Register to go belly up by today's end."

Friday news and notes: 9.19.14

valley-relics-banner-grab.jpg Valley days in the media. Why City Hall may like even-year elections. Mismanaging the VA in West LA. Black elders denounce Daniele Watts. Plus more.
shelton-stefani-fallon.jpg Assuming you like Stefani, Shelton or Fallon. You don't even have to like all three.
Al Martinez on Everything Else

Walking a lonesome road

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-sketch.jpg Martinez walks a lonely road once crowded with friends and colleagues such as John Wiebusch. Time has diminished the crowd and left only shards of memory.

rick-kayla-iris.jpg Admiring the written word
Nathan Fillion, Alison Brie and Justin Bartha read for The Blacklist. Iris Schneider has more: Native Intelligence
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A blast from the 3-D past
garden-of-allah-model.jpgGarden of Allah model hits the market again. Details
Harvey House gets a future
fred-harvey-franklin-ave.jpgCedd Moses will take over Union Station's vacant diner space. Story
How hot was it?
bear-in-pool-monrovia.jpgWhy, it was bear in the swimming pool hot. Bigger
Don Shirley on CTG's new season
Paul_Oakley_Stovall-ctg.jpg Once again our columnist has to ask: where is LA in the upcoming schedule of the Center Theatre Group? Native Intelligence
Aon tower
aon-tower.jpgWilshire and Hope, downtown Los Angeles. Once known as the First Interstate Bank tower.
LAO__bookworm copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard appears weekly at LA Observed. Click on the photo to see it bigger. Gary's archive.

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Engine 23
engine-23-5th-street.jpg 5th Street in Downtown LA.
Church of Type
church-of-type-pico-sm.jpg Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica.
Garden envy
garden-envy-vdt.jpgVeronique de Turenne has a case. Here in Malibu
Wilshire Royale
royale-wilshire-mccollister.jpgAnother sweet LA street image from Kevin McCollister. East of West LA
Honor for Hahn
garcetti-hahns-meg.jpgCity Hall East is now named for former mayor James Hahn. Read
Academy museum
academy-museum-ball.jpgOscar statue may take over iconic corner. More
Yosemite fire cam
Wildfire smoke over Half Dome, viewed from Sentinel Dome. Bigger. Yosemite Conservancy.
Made in America scene
jay-beyonce-garcetti-aoki.jpgMayor Garcetti with Jay-Z, Beyonce and Steve Aoki at the music festival in Grand Park. Photo on Aoki's Instagram feed.
Giant floating ducky
duck-tall-ships-meg.jpgThe big rubber duck was the most photographed thing about the tall ships festival recently held in San Pedro. Photo: Mayor Eric Garcetti.