What County Fairs Are Good For

In a Relentlessly Changing California, They Offer up a Little Bit of Charming Continuity

I’m feeling guilty for having failed, as of this writing, to fulfill a central responsibility of California citizenship.

I haven’t been to my county’s fair this year.

The Los Angeles County Fair can be an ordeal. It is an event as sprawling and vast as L.A. itself, and parking is $15. The county insists on holding the fair in September, when the Pomona fairgrounds can feel like the hottest place on earth, and I feel a surge of competing life responsibilities.

But I feel I must go, before the fair closes this …

More In: Thinking L.A.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Fracking

The Oil Extraction Process Is Surrounded by Myths and Misconceptions, but How Will It Actually Impact the Environment?


In California, few environmental issues are as hotly debated as fracking. Short for “hydraulic fracturing,” fracking is a process of drilling for gas and oil by blasting a high-pressure …

Can Fracking Ever Be Good for the Environment?

Fossil Fuels Extracted by Hydraulic Fracturing Give Off Less Carbon Dioxide, But They Produce a Lot of Methane

Fracking is one of those words that pretty much everyone has heard. But not everyone knows what it’s all about.

In a nutshell, fracking is the popular term for “hydraulic …

L.A.’s Rampart District Gave Me the Life I Wanted to Lead

Novelist Judith Freeman Reflects on Her Three-Decades-Long Relationship With Her Neighborhood

When I first moved into the Rampart neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1986, the gunfire down the alley outside our bedroom often kept me awake at night—not just the pop-pop …

Keeping My L.A. Hood Together, One Baseball Bat at a Time

I've Lived on Lafayette Road My Entire Life and I Want to Keep it Safe

L.A.’s Mid-City area stretches roughly from Crenshaw Boulevard west to Robertson Boulevard and from Pico Boulevard south to the 10 Freeway. In the northeast corner of Mid-City, nestled between three …

Understanding the Meaning of Shopping Carts

I Photograph Them Because They Illustrate My Feelings of Loneliness and Displacement

In 2006, I started taking pictures of shopping carts. At the time, I would shoot them as if they were wild animals on safari. Not paying attention to shape, form, …