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Morning Brief: Neighborhood Call-Out, LA Rent Hike, Club Alabam

The Los Angeles skyline is seen during twilight on August 21, 2013 in California.
(Joe Klamar
AFP via Getty Images)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Thursday, July 21

Heyyyy my lovely Angelenos. I hope you are just as WIRED up as I am after the first cup of joe. I have some exciting news to share.

We are launching a new podcast and newsletter. It will be all about helping Angelenos — those well-acclimated with the city and those who just moved here — discover, explore, effect change and connect with this beautiful yet complicated city.

This combo pack will be community-centered, action-oriented, and interactive — all to help you feel more at home in the city you love.

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The ever-so-effervescent, bubbly Brian De Los Santos will be working on it with me. Can you imagine having TWO very L.A.-bred Angelenos (two Issa Rae and Bey STANS at that) showing you how to best navigate this city?

I know, I’m excited for this facelift, too. With that said, mi amigo Brian needs your help just in time for launch.

We know that no one knows L.A. like YOU do…especially when it comes to your own special neighborhood. One of the first podcasts that we share out to the world will be about what makes L.A.’s neighborhoods so special. And we want YOU to take the driver’s seat, expert.

For the past few years, my folks have lived in Lynwood, but they’ve lived in South L.A. all of their lives. Watts, Compton, South Central are my places of reference.

What about you? We invite you to tell us which neighborhood we should check out. What’s so great about where you live? Is it the food, the architecture, the history? Is it that record store that’s been around forever, or that park where there’s a quinceañera every weekend? Tell us everything.

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  • This is the web version of our How To LA newsletter. Sign up here to get this newsletter sent to your inbox each weekday morning

We want to hear from folks all over Los Angeles, and we’ll read every response. We may even ask you to join our podcast host Brian De Los Santos as he visits your favorite spots and people.

Fill out this form to let us know why we should go to your neighborhood next.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • If you’re one of the many people in L.A. County dealing with a rent increase right now, here’s a handy guide to make sure it’s within the legal limit in your city.
  • The LAPD said officers believed a man they shot two times in Leimert Park earlier this week was holding a gun. It later turned out he was holding a car part.
  • The U.S. Postal Service just released a new set of stamps featuring Mariachi musicians. My colleague Mariana Dale spoke to Rafael López, the artist who designed them.
  • A new restaurant in Silver Lake draws on Indian influences to create American bar food. Creator Avish Naran says it represents how he was raised in between two cultures.
  • Under proposed regulations from California’s pesticide agency, the state could restrict widely used pesticides that kill bees and songbirds and that, in some cases, are being found in water resources.

Before You Go...Take A Trip Down Memory Lane To Club Alabam

Elnora Cole (far left at table) with friends at the Club Alabam, circa 1945. (Shades of L.A. Collection/Los Angeles Public Library Collection)
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It’s Throwback Thursday, y’all. Today on our journey through time and space, we’re going to Club Alabam on 4215 Central Avenue. We’re in Black Los Angeles, the area that I’m most familiar with. We’ll take the time machine back to the 1940s, a time when Jim Crow laws were alive and well and Black Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos and other people of color had to face racism from the white powers that be.

Jazz clubs all across the nation became places where hardworking, stressed-out Black Angelenos and others could chill and get away from the harsh realities of their world. We usually hear about the Savoy Ballroom or the Cotton Club on the other coast in Harlem, but do you know Club Alabam? This was the center of L.A.’s jazz scene in the 1930s and ‘40s. Can you imagine seeing Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker and Dorothy Dandridge perform? I can’t either. I would freak out.

For over 20 years, this club and the Hotel Dunbar were the “cultural heart of Central Avenue, the main thoroughfare of Black Los Angeles,” Hadley Meares wrote in her article about the club. Journey back in time to this fascinating place in L.A.’s past here.

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