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Mehammed Mack

Mischa Barton's Bender

It’s one thing when Halle Berry hits ’n’ runs, or when Nicole Richie heads the wrong way on the 134 freeway. It’s another when Mischa Barton rear-ends my father on his way to work — especially when, according to reports, it’s the third such accident she’s had since February 18......
(Photo by Kevin Scanlon)

An American Muslim

It’s a scorching hot Friday, around noon, as congregants in their brightest pure-before-God colors approach the Islamic Center of Southern California for the lunchtime khutbah, or sermon. An impossibly tall, sleek-necked Somalian woman wearing a brilliant powder-yellow veil and matching skintight pants struts down this Koreatown stretch of Vermont like......
Young schoolgirls in Tehran  neither victims nor escapees (Photos courtesy Nayer Khazeni)

Sex and the Freethinker

“Talk terroristic to me, baby,” she said, all her alert levels soft and rising . . . “Want to go for another baby before they drag me away to Gitmo?” he growled in her ear. God she loved the FBI; it was better than Viagra. These are exactly the kinds of words that......
Garden of earthly delights: Abbas Mirrashidi reaches for treasure

In Search of Home

All Around the ?Mulberry Tree On a Palos Verdes street drenched in the beige of suburban luxury, past the orange Mini Cooper parked in one of the red-brick motor courts and around a stand of moist ferns, a carpet inscribed with a Koranic passage hangs protectively over a doorway. I......
Keep off the grass: New techniques in irrigation conserve water in the Santa Monica Library courtyard

Sod Off!

Lawns are the SUVs of the garden world. The lush suburban yard, the SoCal American dream, requires inordinate amounts of water, not to mention time spent tending and manicuring. It embodies the arrogance of trying to create mini-oases in a desert climate. But recently, conservation-minded folk have been catching on......

The T-Word

THE FIRST PRO-LEBANON RALLY finally materialized in Los Angeles a day shy of the U.N.-sanctioned truce between Hizballah and Israel. In a kind of morbid Christmas Eve, as the two enemies hurried to check off their mutual destruction lists before the deadline, demonstrators at Broadway and Olympic Boulevard downtown rushed......

Did You Hear the Boom Boom?

When the spin got too disconcerting, I muted the sound on the TV news and tried to focus on the scenery the reporter was blocking with his poofy, disaster-ready flak jacket. Beirut was on fire, columns of smoke rising in the majestic skyline where apartment buildings ought to be. I......

Lighting Up

IT’S HARD TO FIGURE who the real winner is in the West Hollywood City Council’s resolution that directs Sheriff’s deputies to give simple marijuana-possession cases the lowest possible priority. After all, it’s not like the law was being enforced anyway. Could it be the cannabis lobbyists at the West Hollywood......

Demolition City

ON WEST HOLLYWOOD’S LAUREL AVENUE, below the bustle of Sunset Boulevard and the Virgin Megastore, is a big white house with a human name. Until a few years ago, Allegra Allison was a happy tenant at “Tara.” The daughter of Latvian immigrants, the fiery blonde designer and frequent smoker possesses......

castle

TARA, THE 92-YEAR-OLD white Colonial mansion at 1343 N. Laurel Ave., is so named because of its resemblance to the house featured in Gone With the Wind, the late owner Elsie Linick-Weisman’s favorite film. The massive two-story rectangular wooden structure split into four apartments sits estatelike in the middle of......