Where I Go: L.A.’s Oldest Standing Black-Owned Bar

I Didn’t Know How to Make a Cadillac Margarita. The Living Room Still Offered Me a Job—And a Community

The Living Room is the oldest standing Black-owned bar in Los Angeles. Located in the heart of the West Adams district and previously known as Barry’s Cocktail Lounge, the bar has silently woven itself into the fabric of South L.A. since its founding in the 1940s.

Though I’ve lived in the same neighborhood as the Living Room my whole life, I didn’t learn of its existence until I was 30.

It began with a simple Yelp search.

That year, I decided to leave behind the inertia of my corporate career in hospitality to …

Our Favorite Essays of 2023 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Our Favorite Public Programs of 2023

It Was a Year of Hard-Hitting Conversations, a Traveling Public Square, and Even a Dance Party


It’s Zócalo’s 20th birthday, and we hit the two decade milestone running—we hosted 21 events in 2023 to fulfill our mission of connecting people to ideas and to each other.

At …

Announcing the 2024 Zócalo Book Prize Shortlist | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Announcing the 2024 Zócalo Book Prize Shortlist

Congratulations to Authors Greg Berman & Aubrey Fox, Myisha Cherry, Henry Grabar, Cameron McWhirter & Zusha Elinson, and Héctor Tobar

What do incremental change, forgiveness, parking, guns, and race have in common? They are all forces that strengthen and/or undermine human connectedness, social cohesion, and community—and the subjects of the …

Zahara Gómez Lucini holds a microphone with mouth open in mid-speak. She wears a green t-shirt and stands in a kitchen, with an oven behind her.

Photographer Zahara Gómez Lucini

I’d Serve the Aliens Aguachile

Zahara Gómez Lucini is a photographer focused on the victims of forced disappearance, forensic work, and clandestine graves in Latin America. She worked together with Las Rastreadoras del Fuerte in …

Finding a Good Society in the Mud of Burning Man

Humans Are Human—And Governments Need to Help Them Achieve Self-Reliance and Avoid Panic in the Face of Disaster

Since leaving Burning Man, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the role that principles play in a society, and what to do when people don’t live up to …

Making Pozole and Memorializing Mexico’s Disappeared

Food Reunites Families With Those Loved and Lost

“Food can be a strong place to talk about things we don’t want to talk about,” Zahara Gómez Lucini said at last night’s special Zócalo program, “Do We Need More …