Tagged: michael konik essay

The Story of YEAR 14

In 2009, I started writing a book that I hoped would be timeless, something that could be read many years from today and still feel relevant and meaningful. Eight years later, that book is now in print. Ironically, early readers are calling it “timely.” When I completed the first draft of Year 14 in 2009,...

How the City of Los Angeles Wants to Price You Out of the Appeals Process

Let’s say you’ve been given a parking ticket by an overly ambitious City of Los Angeles traffic enforcement officer for occupying a space past the posted 6PM deadline. You check your watch: it’s only 5:57. You take a time-stamped photo of your car and the sign and the street. You schedule an appeal. At the...

An Open Letter to City Zoning Administrator Fernando Tovar

Fernando.Tovar@lacity.org Dear Mr. Tovar, As a resident of Sunset Square and a neighbor of the the Gardner Street Elementary School, I read your August 30 decision on the proposed shopping mall/grocery store at 7445 W. Sunset Boulevard with keen interest. Despite hundreds of emails, letters, phone calls and in-person visits by concerned parents, students and...

A Righteous Application of Misanthropy?

Have you seen any of the popular listicles enumerating the Top 5 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet? The Top 3? If not, can you guess the Number One Thing You Can Do to Save the Planet? Hint: It’s not “switch to LED bulbs.” Going full vegan is almost the strongest move. So...

The Struggles of Garry Kasparov

In 1986, when Jack Nicklaus won the Masters golf tournament at age 46, it was hard for us to understand what all the fuss was about. Sure, he made history, becoming the oldest player to win one of the four “majors.” But he was a lifelong athlete doing what he did best. Golf is a...

Our Bodies, Our Decisions

There’s a simple nostrum nutritionists and trainers employ to encourage wellness in their clients: You wear your fat. It’s another way of saying  your body announces to the world the consequences of your behavior. Imagine applying each doughnut directly to your thighs, each bottle of beer to your belly. Instead of a Facebook post, you merely need to...

Boycott. Divest. Sanction.

We gladly take this (dwindling) opportunity to exercise our constitutionally protected right to free speech. Having reviewed the issue comprehensively, having read journalism, essays, and fiction and poetry authored by people of myriad perspectives, we’ve formed an opinion. We think Israel’s ongoing policies regarding Palestine are immoral. In our view, Israel’s behavior amounts to a...

A Place to Live, a Place to Poop

Unless you suffer from Crohn’s disease or chronic incontinence, you probably don’t worry about where you’re going to make your next bowel movement. Unless you work in a coal mine or an outlaw asbestos factory, you probably don’t worry about where you’re going to get your next breath of clean air. If, however, you live...

Elegy for American Values

Every year around this time, as we gather to overeat and watch “bombs bursting in air” — and what better way to symbolize America’s chief national fetish? — our celebrations of liberation from the British Crown offer an opportunity to review some of the reasons why it’s great to be an American. Aside from a ridiculously...

What We Intend to Do Whether You Like it Or Not: The 7500 Sunset Boulevard PR Campaign Begins

The Sunset Square community in which we live is an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) filled with 100-year-old craftsman bungalows and arboreal sidewalks. It’s also home to an elementary school, hundreds of happy dogs, and thousands of residents who appreciate the pedestrian-friendly character of our idyllic, family-oriented district. For more than a year, a coalition of...