31 Holiday Gift Ideas For Angelenos
Need a last-minute holiday gift? We've compiled a list of gifts that range from tasteful to silly: they are perfect for the Angeleno in your life whether they're into music or beer or Chicano art or weed. And if you're into giving back as well as giving, we've got options for you, too: many of these options support local businesses and artists. If you've got a suggestion we missed, leave it in the comments.
James Ellroy's 'LAPD '53'
For the true-crime, Serial-addicted loved ones in your life, consider LAPD '53. This book explores various crimes in committed in Los Angeles, 1953 through over 80 real crime photos from the archives. The photos and the cases behind them are explained in James Ellroy's distinctive, hard-boiled style. ($19.21, hardcover available on Amazon) —Juliet Bennett Rylah
Both Sides of Sunset: Photographing Los Angeles
From the beaches to the valley and just about everywhere between, this art book juxtaposes the gritty and the glamorous sides of the City of Angels. With a foreword by Los Angeles artist Ed Ruscha, Both Sides of Sunset: Photographing Los Angeles features works from over 130 photographers and artists, including Julius Shulman, Garry Winogrand and Ed Templeton, just to name a few. Proceeds benefit Inner-City Arts, an organization that beings arts programs to at-risk youths. ($75, available online.)
Image3D is the brainchild of Rich Dubnow, an alum of Cal State Los Angeles who photographed endless 3D photos that went into the original View-Master reels back in the day. Now, for anyone who's ever wanted to take their own photos and make them 3D, the RetroViewer from Image3D allows users to customize their viewers and reels with seven photos each, complete with 3D captions. ($29.95 per set, available online.) Chicano Art from Self Help Graphics & Art
Since 1973, Self Help Graphics & Art has been a major center of Chicano art and activism in the country. They're the place that helped bring Dia De Los Muertos to California (long before it was co-opted). They're still doing amazing work, and you can help support their artists by actually buying some art for yourself. We like this series of prints about the Los Angeles River, which is already seeing some big changes. ($250, Etsy) —Emma Gallegos
Big Lebowski Bumper Stickers
Express your devotion to the Coen Brothers' 1998 cult comedy The Big Lebowski with these silly, stupid and smart-ass vinyl bumper stickers featuring some of the film's well-known quotes, such as "A natural zesty enterprise" and "Calmer than you are," just to name a few. ($2 each or $10 for a pack of 10, available online.)
Back Home Gingerbread Stout
For craft brewers, local beer snobs and anyone who's still looking to move on from pumpkin spice lattes, local Golden Road Brewing has the holiday-themed, heavy-and-sweet "Back Home Gingerbread Stout," which comes in a four-pack of 16 oz. cans, all primed for the holidays with a to/from label. ($15, available at Golden Road Brewing, 5410 W San Fernando)
National Park Throwback Tees
Is there anything more prototypically Angeleno than getting the hell out of town and roving around the desert for a long weekend? Get this for that special person in your life who loves Joshua Tree—or any of the National Parks, really—with these cool throwback tees and swag we've been eyeing since we found out about them this fall. The company behind this cool shop is based in Los Angeles but the work they do supports all the National Parks. The Bigfoot T's are pretty fun and the racerback tank is cute enough to wear to Runyon. ($36, Parks Project) —Emma Gallegos
Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America
This is for your friend who keeps tabs on the #BlackLivesMatter movement or, alternatively, who believes that black-on-black crime is solely a problem for the black community to solve. (Spoiler: it's not.) Jill Leovy, an excellent reporter who started the Homicide Report over at the Los Angeles Times in 2007, dives headfirst into the problem of why blacks face such a high murder rate in the United States. She traces the way that our justice system has treated black Americans from slavery until the present day and compares it in revealing ways to other marginalized groups throughout history. She zeroes in on the 2007 murder of Bryant Tennelle, an 18-year-old black man. His murder was exceptional in many ways: Tennelle wasn't a gang member, he had a solid middle class upbringing and was the son of a veteran LAPD detective. However, he is the exception that proves the rule. One, that black men are at a higher risk of murder, no matter their background. And two, that murders in the black community, particularly in the titular "Ghettoside" of South Los Angeles, are exceptionally tough to solve even when your dad is a cop. She explores in excruciating detail how this murder problem causes deep anguish far outside of the gangs that perpetuate the violence. In the end, Leovy makes the case that we don't take the murders in black communities seriously and often treat them as nearly victimless crimes. ($16, paperback, Random House) —Emma Gallegos