Catching a Train—and Fragments of Poetry—at Union Station

An Experiment to Pour Art Into L.A.’s Great Monument to Transitory People

On September 2, actress and poet Melora Walters walked into the Traxx Bar at L.A.’s Union Station, in her hand a copy of Ted Hughes’ Birthday Letters, the powerful poems he wrote about the suicide of his first wife, Sylvia Plath. Walters sat down on one of the wooden stools around the tall bar table in front of a mic. The bar was nearly empty, a few drinkers nursing their glasses and staring up at the muted TV sets high up by the ceiling, with baseball highlights and football commercials …

More In: Connecting Los Angeles

I Dish Out the Food Your Supermarket Can’t Use

My Neighbors Were Going Hungry, So I Got My Local Trader Joe’s to Donate Carloads of Groceries

In the spring of 2009, my teenage daughter and I attended a memorial service in Pasadena, California, followed by a family-style luncheon. After the service, the retired clergyman who had …

The Afterlife of an El Sereno Post Office

This Shell of Former Civil Utilitarianism Makes a Terrific Art Studio

In 2011, after months of arduous searching, I happened upon a listing of a former U.S. Post Office for sale in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles. At the …

Letting Wildflowers Take Over My Front Lawn

I Volunteered to Tear Up the Grass and Turn My Home Into a Piece of Public Art

It is early July. As I look through my front window, I can see what’s left of the spring blooms that only months ago covered our front yard. The tall …

Shakespeare Would Have Loved L.A.

The Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival Puts on His Plays as the Bard Intended: Wild, Weird, and Outdoors

I spent the entire July Fourth holiday last year making a roast. Not one you’d ever want to eat—it was made of old tights wrapped around a bag of tiny …

Becoming a Valley Girl

I’ve Found a Great Arts Scene in the San Fernando Valley. Now I’m Helping Build a New Space for Artists to Come Together.

I live in the San Fernando Valley.

I never dreamed I would ever say these words. I grew up on the Westside of Los Angeles in the 1970s, and the part …