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June 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 


in-n-out-burger- LAX

By Bob Vickrey


It’s official. As of last week, In-N-Out Burger and I have called it quits. After more than 35 years, we have decided to go our separate ways.

The split did not just happen overnight. We have been seeing less and less of one another in recent years and connected only a couple of times in recent months. I cannot fully explain how we ultimately lost the magic in our long meaningful relationship.

But how do you go about breaking up with a veritable Southern California institution? Adults spend endless hours talking about their last meal at In-N-Out. It’s such a popular place that kids want its burgers to be served at their birthday parties. I can already tell that this is going to be a difficult separation. How do I explain to my friends that we’re through?

I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on the beauty that was—and is—an In-N-Out “Double-Double”—double meat, double cheese, accompanied by a fresh slice of garden tomato and crispy lettuce—all neatly wrapped in carefully folded wax-paper, alongside those crispy, dry, and salty French fries. How could I not have fallen in love? Throw in a perfectly blended strawberry shake and suddenly you found yourself a virtual slave to its magnetic appeal. Read more

Two Hills in Concord

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June 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 






BOTH PAINTINGS; Copyright 2015 Bob Layport



A multi-use trail that runs behind schools, houses and shopping malls from a road near the Delta at Bay Point down to Walnut Creek is a lesson in history. That history is camouflaged by the transformation of the East Bay by freeways, water and sewage systems, and intense real estate development.

To many Californians, the geography of that area is unknown. I have to start off with, “Go east from Oakland.” Most people know where Oakland is. Even those who know where Oakland is don’t know anything about the California Delta. Read more

Los Angeles Homeless Numbers Continue to Grow as Weak Recovery Enters Its Seventh Year

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June 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Flower n of Vernon 5-17-2015

Leslie Evans

There are 25,000 homeless people in the city of Los Angeles; 44,000 in the county. Those are the raw numbers found by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority from its late January three-day point-in-time nighttime count, in which 5,500 volunteers, this writer included, went out and covered every block of 89% of the census tracts in Los Angeles County. The bad news is that this is 12% more than were found two years ago.

The findings were presented by LAHSA’s Executive Director Peter Lynn at a well-attended May 11 meeting of its Commission at its Wilshire Blvd. headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. I  was one of those in the audience.

As Lynn expanded his report, the subpopulations showed worse damage. Those found to be unsheltered in the city in this year’s count, that is, living in the streets, were 17,687, up 18.6% from two years ago. The rest on the nights of the count were in various public and charity homeless shelters. And of those on the streets, there was an incredible 85% increase in people living in tents, under plastic tarps, in RVs, and automobiles. Read more

Umberto Tosi’s ’60s Yarn Continues With Chapter 13; Shotgun Psychos

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June 1, 2015 · Posted in Our Own Kind - Umberto Tosi · Comment 


(Umberto Tosi, author of Ophelia Rising, was an editor and staff writer for the Los Angeles Times from 1959-1971.)

Detective Sergeant Jacob Imhoff was just another burned out cop, tough-but-fair, maybe a decent guy, hard to read. Roy could see all that – and knew what else.

They sit opposite each other in a booth at the back of Clifton’s Cafeteria on Broadway near Sixth Street, a place with a history, catering to mixed downtown clientele of drifters, downtown workers and tourists. It’s unfrequented by cops or newsmen, which makes it a good spot to meet. Roy examines Imhoff’s fleshy face for clues. With his graying crew cut and massive shoulders, Imhoff resembles an ICBM emerging from its silo. Imhoff plays off of his bulk and a striking homeliness that he’s made into an asset, alternating between King Kong and the Jolly Green Giant, menacing or jovial, always imposing. Read more

Chapter 24 Of “Exit From Eden” By Mary Reinholz

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June 1, 2015 · Posted in Exit From Eden -Mary Reinholz · Comment 





About an hour before the meeting with Ted Katz , I got a call from Jason Slade at my new sublet near the Chelsea Hotel, saying he was having problems with my magazine piece on runaway girls in the East Village.

“It has some holes in it, Ryder,” he grumbled. “You should try to interview more pimps who take those little girls in from the cold and then turn them out as street prostitutes. You just have one quote. I want to nail those guys. ”

“I’ve only seen a few small time pimps in the Village,” I told him. “They look pretty down and out themselves.”
“I’m thinking of someone known as Midtown Slim, a flashy pimp,” Slade said. “I hear he generally dresses to the dimes in a three- piece suit and carries around JP Donleavy’s cult novel, ‘The Gingerman,’ He might tell you about his fellow gents of leisure.” Read more

Artist Yuri Elvin: Golden Under a Solar Deity: A Profile By Anna Broome

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May 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 


photo credit: ding ya lan


A star in his own universe this California born kinetic, pornographic, cultivated painter explores, sets down in reds, yellows, black and white every aspect of savage warriors, mind-soiled thinkers, war-torn, machine-gun-carrying prostitutes, cloned parishioners and excess-driven dictators. Yes, the work has an apocalyptic style but one from the perception of an enthusiast there as much for the ride he creates for himself as the viewer.

 The work is controlled as Elvin seems free working from within his mind as he expels characters and scenes.

 Elvin begins painting as a young child with few memories only evidences of sleep-created art work. “I would wake up with drawings all around me. I wouldn’t remember any of it.”

Elvin’s artistic talent is a birthright of sorts as both his mother and father are accomplished artists. “My Mother didn’t start painting until she was 40, but my Father was always an artist, renegade of sorts.” Read more

AN ANNA BROOME PROFILE: Ghosts of the Low Country: New EP by Tawny Ellis

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May 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 



 Tawny Ellis, Los Angeles based musician, singer, songwriter “unlocks and elevates the many mysteries of life” through her new Muscle Shoals inspired and recorded EP Ghosts of the Low Country. For Ellis this EP is a way she takes a glimpse of, senses a connection with people from the close to her heart South.

 Mining influences as varied as Patsy Cline, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, and Willie Nelson, the Los Angeles-based songstress channels that dynamic into an intricately textured blend of folk, rock, and alt-country that’s intense and masterful but irresistibly intimate.

Ghosts Of The Low Country is due for release in summer of 2015 and brings to life the real sounds of its indigenous title.  The four tracks making the EP include collaborations with her long time partner, Gio Loria as well as members from Athens band Five Eight and bassist Peter Hamilton.

Read more

ANNA BROOME Talks About A Fundraising Gala

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May 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

imgresBy Anna C. Broome

 Art Share LA, a community art center located in Arts District Little Tokyo has been the home and gallery of emerging artists since 1997. Cheyanne Sauter, The Center’s Director of Operations, sees Art Share LA as a place for emerging artists to find their voices, styles, concepts without judgement or discrimination. Sauter’s tagline for the community center is “Creation not curation”, which describes perfectly Art Share’s devotion to the early stages of development for artists ranging from musicians to painters, sculptors to writers, dramatists to dancers.

 As in the case of any quality non-profit centers, Art Share LA depends largely on donations and contributions to keep it thriving and evolving.

 After almost two years of bringing Art Share LA above par financially, Cheyanne Sauter now looks to the future for Art Share LA.as a creative art center with global reach. The center houses artists and community residents with more than 90% of renters being artists. It is the lone wolf resident destination for an every growing and rent increasing district. This shows the importance of a place like Art Share LA that not only offers a gallery, theatre, work spaces, classrooms and classes accessible financially for almost anyone wanting to extend or learn art forms but also a residence in the very location where artists create and thrive off one another. Read more

Unlocking The Secrets Of That Incredible Flameneco Music

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May 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 


Conde, rehearsing with mezzo Soprano Kindra Scharich


  When I was not yet quite a teenager, I spent a few years studying the classical guitar under Dorothy De Goede. She was a strikingly beautiful woman who had been a student of Andre Segovia. I was, of course, in love with her even though I was barely a decade old. I then wanted to study flamenco, so my parents sent me to Carlos Montoya.  I loved flamenco but Montoya’s best and most patient coaxing did not teach me how to unfurl my right hand with that particular flamenco sweep.   I should have had some genetic disposition. My dad was half German-Jewish and the other half Portuguese-Jewish. His mother grew up speaking Ladino in Seattle. The few remaining Ladino speakers lived in Seattle at that time–La dino is a combination of Hebrew and Spanish.

Yiddish is Hebrew and German. Appropriately my father, a scholarly judge by profession, loved the classical guitar, an instrument whose popularity really began with Segovia. The guitar, like a piano, can be a whole orchestra. My father also loved lutes, and we regularly went to the lute club. My dad loved to play the guitar in his heavily wooded paneled study where he also smoked his fine cigars. Maybe that was the Iberian in him, and I got a bit of it too, by osmosis if not genetics. In retirement, my dad spent a lot of time in Spain and Portugal, acquiring more guitars. Read more


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May 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 



The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West By Michelle Goldberg 352 pages hardcover Knopf $26.96 June 2015


I grew up around some of the biggest name in Yoga, yet never was much attracted to it. My uncle, violinist Yehudi Menuhin, one of the very greatest if not the greatest violinist of the last century, has been credited with bringing Yoga to the West. In 1953 the image of him in various esoteric positions occupied a number of pages in Life Magazine. In those days, millions of people read Life.

This led to my mother, Yaltah Menuhin (also a child prodigy musician, a pianist), getting a call from Marlon Brando. My mom reared me so I saw few movies or television in my earliest years. She thought both were pernicious. She always said that the day a television entered the house, she would walk.

But she made an exception for Marlon Brando. She had just taken me to see Brando’s “Teahouse of the August Moon.” She took me to a couple of other movies as well—“The Red Balloon,” and a series of the classic Greek dramas produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Company.  My mother had known queens and kings and great musicians and writers of all kinds. She used to join the Queen at dinner in Buckingham Palace regularly. She never was overly impressed. But Marlon Brando was different. Read more

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