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Category Archives: Los Angeles

My Essay on Hollywood’s Hotel Café in F.A.M.E.’ US Magazine

Just a few songs into her set, the formerly Oakland-based Anna Ash admitted that she hadn’t yet emerged from the standard Los Angeles adjustment period. She felt especially unused, she emphasized, to still sweating in the middle of January, but had made enough progress to accept the idea of Los Angeles as simply “a different [...]

Guardian Cities: To Know a City, Simply Know its Transport

My recent, first trip to London presented me with two surprises: the reach, convenience, and frequency of the tube, and the volume of Londoners’ complaints about the reach, convenience, and frequency of the tube. English friends had explained to me, not without pride, the importance of grumbling to the national character, but I still want [...]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E22: Los Angeles Music with Dan Kuramoto

Colin Marshall sits down in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo with Dan Kuramoto, founding member of the band Hiroshima who have now played for 40 years and recently released their 19th album, J-Town Beat. They discuss what he sees around him in the Little Tokyo in transition today as opposed to the one he grew up [...]

My debut for the Guardian, on the statelessness of Los Angeles

In drawing up our blueprint for a new metropolis, what can we learn about its layout from sprawling, stateless Los Angeles – whose grotesque size and dizzying variety of form surely repudiate the very notion of an ideal city? As soon as you think you’ve identified how it looks, how it acts, the condition to which it [...]

Podthoughts: You Can’t Eat the Sunshine

Vital stats: Format: comments on Los Angeles and the changes therein, followed by interviews with those tied to the region’s past Episode duration: 1h-1h30m Frequency: weekly I’ve never taken a trip with Esotouric, which offers “provocative and complex, but never dry” bus bus tours of greater Los Angeles which mix “crime and social history, rock and [...]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E12: Put a Little Salt on It with Tim Halbur

Colin Marshall sits down before a live audience at the New Urbanism Film Festival at Los Angeles’ ACME Theater with Tim Halbur, Director of Communications at the Congress for the New Urbanism, former Managing Editor at Planetizen, creator of the two-disc DVD set The Story of Sprawl, and author of the children’s urban planning book [...]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E11: Style Guide with Charles Phoenix

Colin Marshall sits down in Silver Lake with showman, “histo-tainer” and “Ambassador of Americana” Charles Phoenix, curator of vintage midcentury slides and author of books like Southern Californialand, Americana the Beautiful, and Southern California in the 50s. They discuss the postwar period’s appealing mix of the highest and lowest American sophistication; how the country’s new [...]

Notebook on Cities and Culture Live This Saturday at the New Urbanism Film Festival

  This Saturday, November 9th, I’ll record a live Notebook on Cities and Culture interview on stage at the New Urbanism Film Festival. Running between November 7th and 10th at the ACME Theater in Los Angeles, this first edition of the NUFF aims to “move the conversation about urban planning out of the text book [...]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E10: Everybody’s a Foreigner with Jordan Harbinger

Colin Marshall sits down in Hollywood with lawyer turned social dynamics expert Jordan Harbinger, co-host of the Pickup Podcast and co-founder of confidence education program The Art of Charm. They discuss how much time he spends explaining that he isn’t Tom Cruise from Magnolia; how he conceives of The Art of Charm’s mission to teach confidence, which involves teaching [...]

Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E9: Unriotous Forms with Stephen Gee

Colin Marshall sits down above downtown Los Angeles in the U.S. Bank tower with Stephen Gee, senior producer at ITV Studios and author of Iconic Vision: John Parkinson, Architect of Los Angeles, the first book on the man who designed such landmark structures in the city as Union Station, the Memorial Coliseum, Bullock’s Wilshire, and [...]