Los Alamitos Race Course In All Its Decaying Glory

Kentucky Derby Winner California Chrome’s Home Track Is Where a Suburban Kid Fell for a Rough-and-Tumble Pastime

Sometimes a thing so special needs to be approached slowly, in small steps that get closer over time.

I grew up a few short miles from Los Alamitos Race Course in Garden Grove in Orange County in the 1960s and 1970s. My earliest memories of the modest track—now in the news as the unlikely home of Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome—are seeing it from the back seat of my mother’s car as we drove down Katella Avenue to the Pasty House for Cornish meat pies. Who were the people, I wondered, …

When L.A.’s Jews Went Crazy for Albert Einstein

In His Three Semesters at Caltech, the Famed Physicist Brought Together a Divided Community and Earned Their Undying Love

When Albert and Elsa Einstein first visited in January 1931, the Jews of Los Angeles were besotted.

A hundred women and men, representatives of almost every Jewish organization in the city, …

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 …

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 …

When L.A.’s Mayors Were Crooks

The Legendary Owner of Clifton’s Cafeteria Fought to Keep the City Clean

Flipping channels recently one night I landed on the 2012 film Gangster Squad. A vague memory of the pre-release studio trailer played in my head, followed by the thought that …

The Jewish Heart of L.A. Lives in Koreatown

The Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Newly Restored Sanctuary Is Astonishing. So Is the History of the Congregation.

Angelenos regularly travel thousands of miles abroad to view imposing, inspiring edifices, yet we have such a place right here in our city: Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s newly restored sanctuary. This …