Building a Bulwark for Boyle Heights

How We’re Making Sure That the Low-Income Renters Who Kept This Neighborhood Vibrant Don’t Get Pushed Out

My father’s heart is failing. It is deeply surreal to trail an ambulance with its sirens blaring and know that the man most responsible for your commitment to fight for the underdog, for your unlikely Ivy League pedigree, and for the fact you are an Eastsider, is the patient being transported with such speed.

Miguel Z. Cabildo came to Los Angeles from Mexico in 1954. As a tailor, he made his living in Beverly Hills, measuring and altering clothing for movie stars and other wealthy patrons. From his hospital bed, he …

Your Dad’s in Prison, Too?

After Being Married to a Man Behind Bars, I Started a Club for Kids With Loved Ones in the System

In 1992, I began raising my new husband’s pre-teen daughters. The girls were blond and blue-eyed, slender and elegant—if occasionally awkward as they headed into their teens. They looked like …

My Superhero’s Got a Green Card

Why I Created El Verde, a Factory Worker Who Moonlights as a Crusader

My childhood revolved around two things: television and superheroes. I always looked forward to coming home from school to watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and …

Sipping Espresso After the Big One

How I’ve Prepared My Family and Neighbors for the Inevitable Disaster

As a native Californian, I’ve always accepted earthquakes as part of life here. So I didn’t use to think about them too much. When the Northridge earthquake hit in 1994, …

My Delightful, Non-Depressing Scandinavian Film Festival

As a Kid, I Took a Crazy Leap Off a Roof. As an Adult, I Took an Even Crazier Leap Into Nordic Cinema.

When I was in the first grade, I so believed in the moving images I saw in cartoons that I once jumped off the top of our garage with an …

Singing Hallelujah with Hundreds of Angelenos

Why You’ll Find me at the Claremont Sing-Along Messiah on Sunday (For the 32nd Year in a Row)

On Sunday, the wood-paneled concert hall at Pomona College will be filled with people from Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties singing George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.” I’ve taken …