Category: Announcements

It’s been real.

Approaching the floating islands of Lake Titicaca in 2012.

Hey Folks:

As anyone who has had the patience to follow this blog since its early days can attest, things have been a little sporadic — dare I say nonexistent — in these parts over the last couple of years. Part of this is due to the fact that it seems like I’ve spent the last two years moving: from New York to L.A., from L.A. to Peru, from Peru to L.A. and all over L.A. In between, I’ve gotten altitude sickness, covered the Pritzkers, talked social practice and spent hours watching TV in the name of journalism.

Now I’ve finally settled into a new home, both personal and professional. For the foreseeable future, I will be found over at the Los Angeles Times, the paper I grew up reading and the place that gave me my first job in media back in the dark, pre-texting days of 1990. (Also, the place that bit my blog name back in 2008, but what can I say? I have a short institutional memory.) At the Times, I will have my own blog — Culture: High and Low — where I’ll cover many of the same things that have made me excited about  culture over the last seven years: artists, ideas, oddities and stuff that makes me outraged and thrilled. Hopefully I can convince you to follow.

When I started this blog almost seven years ago, I never imagined I’d still be at it (sort of) so many years later. I began C-Monster (a nickname, btw) because I’d never blogged and wanted to try my hand at it. I imagined I’d do it for a few months and then move on. But I got addicted. And I did it solidly for several years, before all the other writing and radio work began to slowly overtake my time. But it’s been the best experience I could have possibly had. Blogging let me try on personas. It let me practice my writing. It let me investigate issues that no paying publication had any interest in. Blogging, in the end, helped me find my voice.

I am deeply grateful for everyone who took the time to read it and Tweet it and Share it. I’m also indebted to all the fellow bloggers and writers who linked to my crazy stories and photo essays over the years. You all do what you do much better than me. I am also deeply indebted to the magazine editors, radio producers, website chiefs and everyone else that has kept me gainfully employed all of this time. Freelancing isn’t easy, but I’ve loved every minute of it. In fact, I never imagined that I’d be giving it up. But the Times is offering me the opportunity to do what I love AND get health benefits.

Thank you all for the support over the years. It’s now time to put C-Mon in carbonite. Big internet group hug. (And remember, you can always find me on Twitter.)

xox,
C.

Donut luchador at KCRW’s Good Food.

El Asesino Geminis, Abel Nabor Campos. (Photo by Naomi Harris.)

Hey Folks:

I’m on KCRW’s Good Food talkin’ ’bout my Lucky Peach story on the donero luchador of East L.A., Abel Nabor Campos (a.k.a. El Asesino Geminis), with none other than Evan Kleiman. The segment contains audio of his cry, which is truly wondrous. Check it out here.

Special thanks to producer Gillian Ferguson for making me sound good while I was sick. And high five to photographer Naomi Harris for letting me nab the image above. (Follow her on Instagram for the further adventures of Maggs the Dog!)

xox,
C.

The donut-making luchador of East LA — in Lucky Peach!

abel

I’ve got a profile of the donut-making luchador of East LA (aka Abel Nabor Campos, aka El Asesino Geminis) in the Winter 2014 issue of Lucky Peach and it’s got amazeballs photography by the awesome Naomi Harris. You can order the issue off of Amazon or better yet, subscribe to Lucky Peach and get a whole year’s worth!

The story is not online, so the only way to read it is to get the mag! Please check it. I’m really proud of this one. Nabor Campos has a truly inspiring story.

xox,
C.

The L.A. of the near-future and serial killer books.

Joaquin Phoenix in
Joaquin Phoenix in “Her.” Director Spike Jonze’s meeting with architects Diller Scofidio helped inspire the feel of the movie.

For my latest in ARCHITECT, I talk to Elizabeth Diller about future L.A., deconstructed operas and serial killers. Find the Q&A here.

Grotesque Seduction: The Photographs of Tod Seelie.

High Heels Crowd Surf, by Tod Seelie. From Bright Nights: Photographs of Another New York, published by Prestel.
High Heels Crowd Surf, by Tod Seelie. (Image courtesy of the artist.)

Bright Nights, by Seelie, was just published by Prestel.

In the mail today came a book I am super ecstatic about: Tod Seelie’s Bright Nights, which gathers all of his New York photographs into one handy tome. Even as the city becomes a monochromatic carpet of condos and faux retro watering holes, Bright Nights is a reminder that even at its most Bloombergian New York has always retained pockets of creative chaos (and hopefully always will). This book is a tribute to those pockets — and all the bloody noses that come with it.

Bright Nights by Tod Seelie
My essay!

What’s more, I got to write an essay for this baby, which I’m pretty dang proud of. (Thank you, Jeff Stark, for the mad editing skills.) I’ve been an admirer of Tod’s work for years, from the time his images first started to pop up on Flickr years ago. I’ve long been enthralled by what they covered: under-the-radar events like Bike Kill, Japanther concerts, vogue-ing competitions and journeys made by Swoon on her flotilla of hand-made rafts. But it’s his framing and his sense of color that makes his work rise above simple documentation.

It was a thrill to be able to contribute a few words to the spaces between the pictures. So go out and get the book! And while you’re at it, check out Tod’s website, his Instagram, and his Twitter.

Concrete Paradise: The history of Miami’s Marine Stadium.

Hilario Candela at the Miami Marine Stadium, 1963

It’s not everyday you get to write an architecture story that brings together Mies Van Der Rohe and Jimmy Buffett. Thankfully, god gave us the Miami Marine Stadium, one of Florida’s modernist masterpieces, designed by Cuban-born architect Hilario Candela in 1963. (That’s him above, posing before the stadium as it was under construction.)

This is a place with a fascinating history (one that is now chronicled at the Coral Gables Museum). Get the full scoop in ARCHITECT Magazine.

What’s working for Latinos on TV?

Los Heroes del Norte

What is and isn’t working for Latinos on TV? I go through the offerings — in English and Spanish — for KCRW’s The Business, covering everything from  Devious Maids to The Bridge. If you’re a Hollywood producer, think of this as a good guide of do’s and don’ts for making TV for Latinos. If you simply like watching television, well, you might make a discovery or two…

Listen to my story here. For the full podcast of The Business, click here.

Above, the amazing cast of Los Heroes del Norte, which airs on UniMás. Somebody in the United States please cast Miguel Rodarte (the guy in the middle) and Andrés Almeida (third guy from the left) in movies. They are both effing brilliant.