Read On, SC! The L.A. Times Festival of Books

I was ecstatic to learn last fall that the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will be moving from UCLA to my alma mater, USC – for many reasons.

Aside from my collegiate allegiance, it’s a lot closer, parking is easier to find (my entire time at USC I never needed to buy a […]

CicLAvia #2: SEEK LOVE, YEAH!

It’s hard to believe that an entire six months had passed since the inaugural CicLAvia open streets event, but the first of three in 2011 had arrived on Sunday. Like the first one, it again used the 7.5-mile route from East Hollywood to Boyle Heights, but this time, there were at least 50% more […]

Songkran, Songkran, Gonna Get Down On Songkran…

Sunday afternoon was spent at a great community tradition for the past eight years on the first Sunday of April: the big Songkran Thai New Year Festival on Hollywood Blvd, between Western and Normandie avenues, in Thai Town.

“Songkran” translated does not mean “New Year,” but refers to the first month of the […]

Goin' Down To FPAC, Gonna Have Myself A Time: The 19th Annual Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture in San Pedro

This past weekend was the Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (FPAC), an annual festival on the second weekend of September that has been a tradition in the local Filipino American community for 19 years. And Filipino American in the truest sense, as it was and still is organized by second-generation, American born/bred Filipinos, […]

Salvadorans Celebrate Independence in East Hollywood

Today, as is tradition in East Hollywood on the Sunday before Labor Day, the DEFISAL (Desdile de Independencia Salvadoreno), or El Salvadoran Independence Day parade, rolled by. It celebrates El Salvador’s independence from Spain in 1851 (Mid-September appears to be the perfect time of year for Spanish colonies to revolt, isn’t it?).The nearly two-mile-long […]

All Wet In The Lotus Fest

My band, Elson and the Soul Barkada, played today at the Lotus Festival in Echo Park for the sixth consecutive time. Being that there was no Lotus Festival last year, it was nice to expect the same festival atmosphere for the past thirty-something years. What wasn’t expected was rain, which fell lightly in the […]