l.a. pros and cons

The defender must build a perfect wall to keep out all intruders, while the offense need find only one chink in the armor through which to attack

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The air-support division of the Los Angeles Police Department operates out of a labyrinthine building on Ramirez Street in the city’s downtown, near the Los Angeles River. […]

The division began with a single helicopter in 1956, and it now has 19 in all, augmented by a King Air fixed-wing plane. The aircrews operate in a state of constant readiness, with at least two helicopters in flight at any given time for 21 hours of every day. A ground crew is suited up and on call for the remaining three, between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. On weekends, considered peak hours, the number of airborne helicopters goes up to three, although in a crisis the division might send as many as four or five “ships” up at once. […]

The heavily restricted airspace around Los Angeles International Airport, Burdette pointed out, has transformed the surrounding area into a well-known hiding spot for criminals trying to flee by car. Los Angeles police helicopters cannot always approach the airport because of air-traffic-control safety concerns. Indeed, all those planes, with their otherwise-invisible approach patterns across the Southern California sky, have come to exert a kind of sculptural effect on local crimes across the city: Their lines of flight limit the effectiveness of police helicopter patrols and thus alter the preferred getaway routes.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

painting { Michael Chow }

If you’re so funny then why are you on your own tonight?

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photos { Anthony Hernandez }

Driver Take Me to O’Block

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After Michael Mann set out to direct Collateral, the story’s setting moved from New York to Los Angeles. This decision was in part motivated by the unique visual presence of the city — especially the way it looked at night. […] That city, at least as it appears in Collateral and countless other films, will never be the same again. L.A. has made a vast change-over to LED street lights, with New York City not far behind.

{ No Film School | Continue reading }

Wait, my love, and I’ll be with you

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{ EB Hughes, from a men’s room bar in LA }

Who on Earth could that be?

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{ Mannequins from the Korova Milkbar set of A Clockwork Orange, 1971 at LACMA, until June 30 | 2 }

The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth

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This January, a 21-year-old Canadian tourist named Elisa Lam disappeared while visiting Los Angeles. Lam was last seen at the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, where she had been staying. Tuesday, her body was found at the bottom of one of the hotel’s rooftop water tanks. […]

The hotel’s guests were horrified at the news. […] But anyone familiar with Los Angeles’s history couldn’t have been too surprised. Downtown LA has long been seedy, and somewhat dangerous; the Cecil Hotel, for its part, has a long and sordid criminal history [Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger stayed at the Cecil Hotel for five weeks in 1991 while murdering prositutes].

{ Slate }

related/video { Surveillance video of Elisa Lam shows bizarre behavior }

It is a colossal edifice, with crystal roof built in the shape of a huge pork kidney

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As a gateway to the city, Los Angeles International Airport could hardly be more dispiriting. A jumble of mismatched, outdated terminals, LAX gives visitors a resounding first impression of civic dysfunction.

The city, which owns the airport, has tried several times to remake LAX. The latest attempt is a master plan by Fentress Architects, which is also designing the nearly $2-billion Tom Bradley International Terminal.

But the truth is that the airport’s biggest liability is not simply architectural. Somehow Los Angeles built a major rail route, the Green Line, past LAX 20 years ago without adding a stop at the airport.

And guess what? We are about to build another light-rail route — this time the $1.7-billion Crenshaw Line — near the airport and make precisely the same mistake again.

{ LA Times | Continue reading }

photo { Garry Winogrand }

She made me cry, she done me wrong, she hurt my eyes open

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From an office on Sunset Boulevard, a dapper 69-year-old has emerged as a go-to guy for musicians and songwriters looking for quick cash.

His name is Parviz Omidvar, and over the past two decades, he has been lending to artists and securing those debts with royalty payments his clients earn from their work. Michael Jackson was a customer, as is the son of late Motown legend Marvin Gaye. Omidvar’s website carries an old testimonial from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Bobby Womack: “Thank you so much for always being there for me.”

Today, Womack is suing Omidvar for fraud. He alleges the financier tricked him into selling for $40,000 full control of a royalty stream that annually pays many times that amount on Womack-penned hits, including blaxploitation classic “Across 110th Street” and “It’s All Over Now,” the first U.S. No. 1 record for the Rolling Stones. Womack’s lawyer says the 68-year-old musician was misled into signing the deal in April last year, when he was incapacitated by painkillers following prostate cancer surgery.

Omidvar calls Womack’s claim “a simple case of buyer’s remorse.” Womack understood he was selling his royalties, and his allegations are “a complete lie,” Omidvar says.

Omidvar’s quick cash can come at a steep price. Reuters found scores of loans with interest rates ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 percent every 10 to 15 days - annualized rates potentially ranging from 43 percent to 81 percent.

{ Reuters | Continue reading }

The delegation, present in full force, consisted of Commendatore Bacibaci Beninobenone (the semi-paralysed doyen of the party who had to be assisted to his seat by the aid of a powerful steam crane), the Archjoker Leopold Rudolph von Schwanzenbad-Hodenthaler, Countess Marha Virdga Kisászony Putrápesthi…

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Fallout continues from the MOCA board’s removal of chief curator Paul Schimmel.

“Jeffrey has always been supportive of my work, but I don’t understand the direction he’s taking the museum right now,” McCarthy said. “I see it as placating the populace. It’s not really what art’s about, but a ratings game.”

Among those in Deitch’s corner is Shepard Fairey, an art star of a younger generation, especially since he designed the “Hope” poster that became the unofficial image of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. (The design firm Fairey founded, Studio One, is now handling much of MOCA’s design work.)

In an email, Fairey, 42, praised Deitch’s “astute understanding of the interconnected nature of high and low art culture. When I say low, I don’t mean inferior.”

{ LA Times | Continue reading }

John Baldessari, citing Paul Schimmel’s ouster, becomes the fifth trustee to bolt since February.

{ LA Times | Continue reading }

threesome { Jeffrey Deitch, Yoko Ono, Jeff Koons }

You’re gonna have to grow up. There’s a war on.

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{ The True Story Of How A Ferrari Ended Up Buried In Someone’s Yard }

To repair the irreparable ravages of time

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{ Eighteenth Brumaire, a sculptural installation by Steven Bankhead | Steve Turner Contemporary, until October 8, 2011 }

Only love is real: A story of soulmates reunited

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