Coming of Age Under a Flying Fortress

Being a Teenager in L.A. During World War II Meant Blackouts, Rations, and B-17 Bombers

That Sunday, as on most Sundays, the family was gathered around the kitchen table listening to the radio. It was too early in the day for drama and comedy programs so we listened to a music show. The date was December 7, 1941. I was 11 years old.

“We interrupt this program to bring you this important news bulletin, ‘The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor by air, the White House announces!’”

The world war that followed was not a faraway event. It became ever present here in …

The Man Who Brought Flying Purple People Eaters to Life

Bob Baker Earned L.A.’s Love with Magical Marionettes and Ice Cream after Every Puppet Show

In the last decade, I’ve led dozens of tour groups on my Disneyland tour of downtown Los Angeles. We explore the heart and soul of the city as if it’s …

Where Would L.A. Be Without Al Cowlings?

Twenty Years Ago, He and His Ford Bronco Saved O.J. Simpson’s Life. The Trial That Followed Changed Us All.

Twenty years ago this month, Al Cowlings drove his friend—the football star, broadcaster, actor, and soon-to-be-accused murderer O.J. Simpson—around the freeways of greater Los Angeles in a white Ford Bronco, …

Union Station’s 10 Coolest Architectural Gems

The 75th Anniversary of L.A.’s Train Transportation Hub Is the Perfect Time to Dig Into Its Past

As a native Angeleno with a father who is a public-transit enthusiast, I’ve been through 800 North Alameda Street many times, wearing many different hats. As a fan of new …

The Northridge Earthquake Rattled My Marriage

Along with Death and Destruction, the 6.7 Temblor Also Broke Hearts

When the Northridge earthquake struck on January 17, 1994—20 years ago this week—I wasn’t physically injured.

But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t hurt. Earthquakes only last a few seconds but can …

Deck L.A. With Shrubs of Holly

Our Most Apocryphal Plant Didn’t Put the Holly in Hollywood, But We Love It Anyway

In Nancy Dale’s 1986 epic tome of Southern California native plants, Flowering Plants, she has this to say about toyon—aka California holly, Christmas berry, or, if you’re a botanist, Heteromeles …