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Ryan Vaillancourt

Steve Melendrez

Steve Melendrez grew up selling cheap furniture in Orange County. Six days a week, 10 hours a day, he hawked bottom-of-the barrel hunks of cotton, polyester and wood, which were surely bound for pizza stains and, eventually, the landfill.   (Click to enlarge)   In the usual sense, Melendrez had......

Hollywood 24

Gathered in a dim, tiny black-box theater in one of Hollywood’s seedier enclaves, five writers sit in nervous silence. The hum of a ventilator fan is colored with bursts of keypad chatter and the scribble of a pen from the room’s lone traditionalist. It’s 9:45 on Saturday night, and in......

Bicycle Built by You

“The Bicycle Kitchen is not a bike shop,” says Joshua Moody, one of the roughly 40 mechanics, or “cooks,” who volunteer there twice a week. It’s a Tuesday night around 6:30 when Moody unlocks the door to the Bicycle Kitchen, which is housed in a small storefront on Heliotrope Drive......

And Now, the Fireworks

Gene Evans is the fireworks man. Where most little boys begin and end a short, lusty affair with anything that lights on fire — bottle rockets, frogs, little sisters’ ponytails — Evans and fireworks never broke up. They live together in Las Vegas, taking annual summer trips to Los Angeles......

Still Steaming

Brett Goldstone stands before one of his steam-powered creations that, at least among his own circle of artistic co-conspirators, make him renowned. It’s a massive machine that resembles a crude iron wagon. Attached to the back is a rusty boiler that Goldstone fills with wood, stopping now and again to......
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Bowling with the Dean

Sometimes when navigating unfamiliar radio waves, usually on long road trips, I settle on the classical station long enough to nearly doze off, jerk my head back upright and change the station to avoid impending doom. It’s not that I don’t like classical music. I do, or at least I......
Gilbert Ortiz

Labor's Love

{mosimage}“No somos criminales, somos trabajadores!” chanted many of the hundreds of thousands of Angelenos who took to the streets on May 11 in protest of xenophobic politics. “We are not criminals, we are workers!” What a timely context, then, for “At Work — The Art of California Labor,” an exhibition......
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