FROM Avishay Artsy
Bridges and Walls: High Speed Rail California’s biggest infrastructure project is a high-speed rail network that would connect San Francisco, the Central Valley and Los Angeles. It promises to bridge communities cut off by California’s difficult geography. And yet push-back is strong from farmers who see the train as driving a wall through their land. But despite criticism and widespread negative press, parts of the route are being built in Fresno...
Separating hype from reality with high speed rail It’s been billed as an economic engine for the state of California: a bullet train from LA to San Francisco that’ll take less than three hours and connect the state’s most populous areas. Before that can happen, the state has to lay down the first 120 miles of track in the Central Valley. But that first part of the project has suffered through delays, audits, lawsuits, and billions of dollars in cost overruns.
Bridges and Walls: The Border Wall Can a wall also act as a bridge? The U.S.-Mexico border wall stretches along 700 miles. It divides two nations that are strategic allies and trading partners, and continues to divide Americans along partisan lines. It also “brings people together in really remarkable and interesting ways,” and DnA tells their stories.
Rebuilding infrastructure and the border wall In his State of the Union address, Trump talked about rebuilding infrastructure, but offered no specific projects and vague plans for how to pay for them. Meanwhile he said almost nothing about building the border wall, a common refrain since the early days of his campaign.
IKEA’s success, North Westlake Design District, Joel Chen The founder of furniture giant IKEA has died. What was the legacy of Ingvar Kamprad? Historic Filipinotown is set to get its own design district, but many residents are unhappy with the idea. And a collection of LA’s veteran antiques dealer Joel Chen is going on the auction block at Christie’s. He talks about a life in objects.
Angelenos innovate as mass transit use falls Metro ridership continues to decline, but the agency is seeking innovative ideas for alternative modes of transit. Angelenos are offering many solutions to the region's mobility problems. Culver City residents heard one such idea on Monday night, when representatives from Elon Musk's Boring Company pitched a high-speed network of underground tunnels.
The new company towns, AIA awards, federal courthouse Silicon Valley is embracing the idea of the company town, as even high-paying tech companies struggle with the high cost of housing. A westside school district also considers building homes for its teachers. The new downtown federal courthouse wins a major design award, but did an aversion to postmodernism lead the same jury to withhold this year’s 25-year award?
Could there be new uses for city-owned land? Did you know the city owns almost 9,000 parcels of land and properties across LA County? LA City Controller Ron Galperin released a map last year of unaccounted-for property, with a view to making the city more accountable and transparent, as well as pushing elected officials to amplify the value and best use of these sites.
Catherine Opie's "The Modernist," Mike Kelley’s “Kandors” LA photographer Cathy Opie has made a short film about an arsonist who loves mid-century-modern LA houses so much, he’s driven to destroy them. And the late LA artist Mike Kelley was obsessed with Kandor, Superman's hometown on the planet Krypton. Both artists address the utopian ideals of modernist architecture, and what happens when those ideals fail to materialize.
Can we better protect ourselves from mudslides? Authorities in Santa Barbara County are performing rescue operations as mudslides and debris have led to multiple deaths, dozens of injuries and have left hundreds of people trapped in their homes. Is there a way to protect communities and homes from mudslides going forward?
Bird scooters, Metro innovation, road diets After the battle in Playa del Rey, have road diets been run off the road? The head of Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation describes how you can pitch bold new transit improvements. And the scooter-sharing startup Bird in Santa Monica has taken flight, but it’s also ruffled feathers at City Hall.
Pot shops bet on high design California’s recreational pot marketplace is open for business and, already, sales are booming. Take yesterday, for example: marijuana sales jumped more than 300 percent above last month’s daily average. That’s according to the company Green Bits, which tracks pot sales. Even in its early days, it’s becoming clear that recreational marijuana is for sale in stores that don’t look much like the stores of old.
Bonaventure's architect, changing Culver City The Westin Bonaventure Hotel defined 1970s Los Angeles. DnA remembers its creator, John Portman. Tech and entertainment companies are descending on Culver City. We’ll hear about the big changes coming to the one-time “Heart of Screenland” -- and meet two young developers who believe in brick-and-mortar retail.
Dar Williams on how to rebuild small town America Singer-songwriter Dar Williams has spent years on the road and along the way she learned a lot about America’s small towns and what makes them thrive. She talks about her book, “What I Found in a Thousand Towns,” and plays songs that relate to those themes.
Selfie Museums, Chicago Architecture Biennial There’s been a trend of so-called "selfie museums" in LA, with “made-for-Instagram” sets designed for taking flattering self-portraits. So how does selfie culture jibe with “high art”? Meanwhile, Los Angeles-based curators bring new architectural ideas to the Windy City. But are they “boring”? And, one of Apple’s first “town squares” opens in Chicago too.
Shaking up the USDA, 'The Beef Cookbook' and 'Tartine All Day' Peggy Lowe explains why Trump’s pick for USDA Secretary is rattling rural America. Dario Cecchini talks future plans for Chianti ramen, and Richard Turner shares cuts from “PRIME: The Beef Cookbook.” Writer Matthew Sedacca looks at the controversy behind liquid smoke. Jonathan Gold tries Chengdu-style dishes, and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine fills us in on the latest. Plus, chef Michael Beckman shares a recipe for cactus confit.
In 'Speechless,' Scott Silveri combines comedy, family & disability Scott Silveri has written and produced sitcoms for more than 20 years. In all that time, he never encountered a TV family that looked anything like the one he grew up in -- with a mom, a dad...and a brother with cerebral palsy. He changed that with his show Speechless on ABC. Silveri tells us about looking to his own past for stories, and why he was determined to make a family comedy and not just a "disability show."
Revisiting showrunner Steven Bochco on his memoir Steven Bochco, the writer-producer behind record-breaking Emmy winners Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue, fought battles with everyone from out-of-control actors to network censors in his long career. He isn’t afraid to tell those tales in his memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense. This week we revisit the conversation where he shared some of his favorite stories with us.
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?