Topanga, Cahuenga, and Tujunga—Sounds from a Rediscovered Local Language

The Words of L.A.’s Tongva Indians Live On

As Los Angeles fourth graders know (because their curriculum includes the study of California Indians), the original language of Los Angeles is Tongva. This American Indian language (also called Gabrielino) used to be spoken in villages all over the L.A. Basin and, in a related dialect, throughout most of the San Fernando Valley.

These villages have given their names to places all over Los Angeles, including Tujunga (from Tongva Tuhuunga “place of the old woman”) and Cahuenga (from Kawee’nga “place of the fox”). Some names don’t have translations we know of, …

Long Dead Streetcars Still Shape L.A. Neighborhoods

Why Millions of Angelenos Live According to the Plan of an Extinct Transit System

In the early 1900s, streetcars were the dominant mode of transit in the Los Angeles area. They ran from Pomona to the ocean, and from the San Fernando Valley to …

The Lonely Life of an L.A. Sports Fan

For Decades, Rooting for Southern California’s Teams Was Painful and Even Lonely—but I Persevered

A Los Angeles radio sportscaster who billed himself as “Super Fan” used to end his broadcasts saying, “In the department store of life, sports is in the toy section.” That’s …

Glorious Snapshots of Los Angeles History

The Huntington Library’s Newly Acquired Photographs of L.A. and Santa Monica Reveal the Astounding Evolution of Southern California

Curious about what Los Angeles and Santa Monica looked like as they made the transition from hamlets to big cities? The Huntington Library in San Marino has acquired 4,600 images …

My L.A. Life Through Newspapers

Living Through Earthquakes, World War II, and the Black Dahlia, One Headline at a Time

My earliest memory is of the evening of March 10, 1933. Our little family was having dinner: father, mother, me, and baby brother Raul, who was sitting in his high …

Libros Schmibros Founder David Kipen

L.A. Interlopers, Eating a Dodger Dog Is the Least You Can Do In Our Fair City

Native Angeleno David Kipen is a writer and the founder of Libros Schmibros, a nonprofit lending library and bookshop in Boyle Heights. He has been the San Francisco Chronicle book critic …