Winnebago Art Gallery


A smiling purse, a unicorn, a lighthouse in a storm…if you’re living out of your RV, what does it mean?  Out of all the detritus of middle-class life one might collect during one’s perambulations through the Valley, why these three items? Why are they facing the outside of the house? Is it a political statement? Are they semaphores for the state of mind of those living within?  Are they aspirational?

Perhaps they are offerings left in exchange for generosity to those living in tarp houses nearby.


Like this one.

They’re everywhere. This is the new normal in Van Nuys. This is what Prop. 47 has wrought.

Here in Van Nuys

Andy banishes cobwebs

Andy banishes cobwebs

You know you have a problem with pet dander in your house when you invite a friend over for a craft beer tasting,  and after an hour or so, he grabs a broom and starts swatting at the rafters.  Memphis the cat sauntering up and down the countertops like he owns the place doesn’t help.

What can I say?  In Van Nuys, we comfortable with ourselves.

The Water Gauntlet

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There is a time in life when all you need to entertain yourself is an inclined plane, a concrete obstacle, some Red Bull and a bit of free range parenting. Add a few buckets of water and you’ve invented the next X-Games event.

This the way boys used to grow up in the Valley, and can do so again, if the world lets them.

Eduardo, fearless

Eduardo, fearless, wet and happy

Cult of Personality

The divinization of Nury has begun

The divinization of Nury has begun

Flattery of politicians through muraling is the hallmark of Third World governance.   Why are we doing it in Los Angeles?

Why are we allowing politicians to put their faces on public service billboards, campaign style, paid for with our tax dollars?

Why are we allowing Councilman Jose Huizar to use the marquee of the historic Los Angeles theater on Broadway as his personal bulletin board?

Why are we allowing Kevin De Leon to throw a party for himself at Disney Hall, complete with mariachi bands and banquet tables, to “celebrate” his selection to the revolving post of Senate Pro Tempore?

Just asking.

The exploded favela


Cabrito Street having been vacated post-murder, then gated off at the east end, the tribes have dispersed around the neighborhood, hunkering down in new locales amid the shrubbery.


As inexorably as the mimetic polyalloy particles of the shapeshifting T-1000 in Terminator 2, the favela has begun to reconstitute itself.


Little wagon trains of shopping carts are cropping up anew.

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They perch on the embankment and bide their time. They got all day.  I give it a month before it fully reassembles. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Wither gravity?

Is this really happening?

He’s boorish and says distasteful things about women and says them reflexively. He writes checks with his mouth America will not be able to cash, like announcing the Iranians will turn over all hostages before he assume the Oval Office.  Or the Mexican government will pay to build a wall between us. He, who never served, mocked John McCain for being a POW. He dismissed Ben Carson, pediatric neurosurgeon of renown as “an okay doctor, who hired maybe one nurse, but not great”. He dismissed Hugh Hewitt, with 25,000 interviews to his credit, as a “third-rate talk show host”, when Hugh innocently revealed through questions Trump could not distinguish between Quds and Kurds.

And yet! There he is, making the weather, defying all political laws. A Sun King, in waiting.  To quote pollster Stu Rothenberg:

 “I have been arguing that once Iowa Republicans start to see the caucuses as an opportunity to select the next president, rather than an opportunity to express their frustration and anger, they will turn away from Trump and toward politically experienced, mainstream contenders. After combing through the most recent surveys from the Iowa caucuses and talking with veteran Republican strategists, I can no longer say that with any certainty…”

My father, a George McGovern/Bernie Sanders liberal to the bone, loves Trump.

Over beers at Macleod last night, three of us confessed were the election held today, in a matchup between Hillary and Trump we would all vote for Mr. Bombastic, despite his baggage.  None of us wanted to. But given the choice….

Secretly we wished he would say or do something so terrible it would derail his candidacy once and for all, so we wouldn’t have to choose.  But hasn’t he done that five times already?

If nothing else, Trump is right about one thing: illegal immigration and how deeply it is resented in this country. What is resented even more is the institutionalized deceit with which it is protected by the political media.  I say this as someone who resides happily in a neighborhood of first generation Latino and Asian immigrants, strivers all. My beloved working-class brigadoon of Van Nuys.

Sometimes all it takes is one fundamental truth to ride to power. When the distance between what one is publicly permitted to say and what is privately felt becomes unsustainable, there’s a fissure, and the geyser erupts. After that, all bets are off.

What then, though? Suppose he wins? Having taken the prize, we are left with the man, and all his frailties.