Keeping My L.A. Hood Together, One Baseball Bat at a Time

I've Lived on Lafayette Road My Entire Life and I Want to Keep it Safe

L.A.’s Mid-City area stretches roughly from Crenshaw Boulevard west to Robertson Boulevard and from Pico Boulevard south to the 10 Freeway. In the northeast corner of Mid-City, nestled between three neighborhoods where the asking price for houses starts at $1.2 million—Wellington Square, Victoria Park, and Lafayette Square—is a little dead-end street called Lafayette Road.

I’ve been on Lafayette Road my entire life, now in an apartment in the building my family owns. And while this is just a little street on a very big map, its small size has given …

Is My Gentrifying L.A. Hood Getting Worse or Better?

A Resident on the Frontline of Urban Change Weighs the Pros and Cons

If you want to know what it’s like on the front lines of gentrification, you only have to look at the corner of Avoca Street and Yosemite Drive in Eagle …

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, …

Shot Heard ’Round the Block

Someone Was Nearly Killed Outside My West Adams House. Who Else Noticed?

Last month, I was pulled out of my descent into sleep by a shotgun blast from outside my window. I don’t know how I could tell it was a shotgun, …

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

 

Peter Lovenheim’s project of sleeping over at his neighbors’ homes had an inauspicious start.

“The night I left for my first sleepover,” he said, “my then-14 year old daughter Valerie saw …