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 …

Raging Against the Political Machine

The 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles Tells the Story of a City—and Nation—in Transition

In 2000, I ended up in a cage outside the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in downtown Los Angeles wearing a dark suit, swimming against the current in a sea of …

Los Angeles Is an Unreliable Narrator | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Los Angeles Is an Unreliable Narrator

The Truest Thing About the City: We Are All Just Making It Up as We Go Along

Los Angeles is an unreliable narrator. The very cityscape is an illusion, albeit on the grand scale—streets and buildings, the human design of it, erected on a bed of sand …

tktk | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Raven Chacon Makes Noise

As Zócalo Presents His Work in ‘How Do We Hear America?,’ the Composer Shares His Liner Notes on Composition, U.S. History, and the Los Angeles Music Scene

Raven Chacon has been making noise, literally and otherwise, since he was a youngster growing up in New Mexico. Fascinated by instruments of all kinds (those he’s bought and those …

Interstate 10 Is More Than a Road

Its Recent Closure Reminds Us of How We Need to Rethink Our Transportation, and Ourselves

Funny thing about the world we have created and the structures we build—they are only really seen for what they are when in states of abandonment. Our built environment reveals …

| Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Song and Dance for Los Angeles’ Cultures and Communities

Zócalo’s ‘Diaspora Dance Party’ at the Port of L.A. Celebrated the Music and Melodies That Define and Connect Us

They drove from Van Nuys, Boyle Heights, and Long Beach. They biked from Santa Monica. And they made the short walk from just down the street for “How Does a …