This is soundslikerstin's recording from Rose and 5th in Venice, California, one of the most desirable places to live in the World. You feel the ocean breeze and are surrounded by peace, love, happiness and beautiful people. That's where I met Shotgun Willie.
At 6 in the morning of October 12, 2011 ICE picked up Jose Luis in Los Angeles to bring him to a detention center in Orange County. Jose's wife Norma was sitting next to him in the car getting ready to drop him off at work. Jose's ten year old daughter Jessica watched officers dragging her father out of the car, pushing him to the dirt and taking him away. Jose Luis had been deported before. Coming back without papers is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Listen to Norma and Jessica recounting the day he was picked up, describing their husband and father and talking about hopes for the future.
Part of interview for WDR-story, May 2013
Once month a bar in Los Angeles becomes a melting pot for young and old Latinos, traditionalists and modern music lovers. The Grammy nominated fierce female Mariachiband Trio Ellas plays in high heels, tight pants and with electric violin. Clients storm the stage to belt out their favorite songs.
Walter Munk was a bad student in Austria. His mother sent him to New York on a container ship to learn banking with an uncle. He hated it. With a last check from mother Walter bought a car, drove to California becoming an award winning, happy oceanographer. At 94 his advice is to do what you love and not worry about the money.
Ginger has seen a lot in her life from women's liberation movement to seeing her own daughter die. The 74 year old Californian has also lived through several fires which came close to her home. She is not afraid, refuses to pack for an emergency or evacuate. First time responders try to convince Ginger to change her mind. She tells them: the community pool will be her refuge.
We all have them, burdensome objects we carry from house to house, city to city even though we really do not need them anymore or even worse - they provoke a sense of guilt or shame: burdensome objets. An artists' collective in Los Angeles helps to unburden us.
Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited Los Angeles, holding a sermon at Temple Israel of Hollywood. It was just a few weeks before the marches from Selma to Montgomery. The congregation celebrated the anniversary of this historic moment.
Fanny Mendelssohn (1805 - 1847)was a musical genius. Her compositions equal those of her peers during the German romantic period. To help rediscover and spread the work of this outstanding composer, pianist and conductor Angela Thompson creates concerts in her private home in Los Angeles. Professional musicians with decade long careers play as well as young students who have never heard of Fanny. Thompson is determined to make sure that whenever the name Mendelssohn is mentioned people not only think of Felix but marvel at the talent and story of Fanny.
I first met LAPD officer Deon Joseph during a vigil for 'Africa', a black man shot by police on Skid Row in March 2015. Several homeless came up to me and wanted to make sure that I would not report anything bad about this man they called "A blessing for the community" and "A man of God in Uniform".
I went back to meet Officer Joseph again during Thanksgiving. While serving turkey, hugging and kissing dozens of members of his Skid Row family, he talked to me about crime, homelessness, the justice system, and police brutality. A proud black man growing up with hatred and fear of the LAPD, then during his first years as officer being called 'Robocop' for his muscles and determination to arrest people, figuratively took down his badge and gun and talked to people in the community.
This is a short excerpt from his story about life as a Cop on Skid Row.
"Hollywood is more willing to address darker stories of race but still has a long way to go" says Writer Attica Locke before she goes on stage to talk with Walter Mosley about noir, race, and writing as part of the literary conference "Writing From California" in Los Angeles. She also talks about the impact Hollywood has on current affairs and public opinion regarding events like Michael Dunn shooting at an SUV full of teenagers killing one of them, Jordan Davis. Interview recorded at the Central Library of Los Angeles Feb. 20
How I wish those dishes from the Palast der Republik could talk. The former seat of the GDR parliament is now destroyed but a big set of plates, cups, glasses etc. is in Los Angeles at the Wende Museum.
And those books from Erich Honcker's private library! I would love to ask them about the last head of state of East Germany. I even want to talk to the towels spread out on the roof top and the lounge chair on the balcony at the former home of architect Richard Neutra.
All these objects are part of an experimental installation: Competing Utopias of Cold War Modern Design From East and West at the Neutra House museum in Silver Lake.
Neutra House and Wende Museum made this impossible collision of visions and ideas possible.
Directors Justin Jampol and Sarah Lorenzen as well as curator Patrick Mansfiled talked with me about this "train wreck" of an "Alice in Wonderland" experience.
Musik by the East German Boy Band Sputniks: Gitarren-Twist
Tents, dirt, drugs, bundles of clothes on the street that might be wrapped around an invisible human being, yelling, singing, a warning to be careful and an occasional smile - those were my first impressions when I walked towards registration for the homeless count. Skid Row, Los Angeles. Just blocks away from valet parking, newly renovated restaurants, skyscrapers and bars it is a world that might as well be on another planet. No small talk, no fake smiles, no protective, shiny limousine, nothing between you and the next person except for maybe the thin fabric of a tent or a tarp.
What does it mean to live here?
The homeless count I tagged along with for my report started with a survey. A 49 year old woman living on and off the streets for twenty years answered a few questions. Her reward: a $5 Dollar gift card for a fast food restaurant. Her place to sleep: a bus bench blocks away from Skid Row because staying there made her sick. Leaving the area seems an impossible feat to accomplish. "I want to think I am normal, but living in this situation - now I got issues."
The Munich Olympics of 1972 are mostly known for the assassination of eleven athletes from Israel and one German police officer. This massacre also made another event almost irrelevant: the men's 100 Meter Sprint. Eddie Hart from California entered the Olympics as a favorite in that race, equalizing the world record at 9.9 seconds in his qualifying race.
I had the great pleasure to hear Eddie Hart talk at a book signing at Eso Won Books in Los Angeles about how living his dream at the Olympic trials turned into his worst nightmare. What a great man. I cannot believe, I never heard his story before!
To learn why the experience made him a better person, and why they were late to the race, you have to read his book: Disqualified, Eddie Hart, Munich 1972, and the voices of the most tragic Olympics.
Kein fließendes Wasser, kein Strom aus der Steckdose, keine Müllabfuhr, keine Kanalisation, dafür auch keine Miete und keine Bauvorschriften -ideale Voraussetzungen, um grenzensprengende Kunst zu schaffen. Wären da nicht Durchschnittstemperaturen von 45 Grad und Wind mit 60 Stundenkilometern. East Jesus in der kalifornischen Wüste ist eine Künstlerkolonie zwischen Utopie und Post-Apokalypse.
Produziert für Deutschlandradio, Mai 2013
Los Angeles is known for glamorous Hollywood scenes and its laid-back beach atmosphere. Less known is the fact that the city is also the US homeless capitol with more than 58000 people living on the street, in parks, cars, doubled up on sofas with families and friends and cramped together in motels. For Diane and her three kids this life became reality after she had to quit working due to an illness, her marriage broke apart and the savings ran dry.
Abandoned houses can quickly become an eyesore, especially when the front lawn is not watered anymore, only weeds grow and grass turns to straw. One smart entrepreneur has an idea to stop the process in areas hit hard by foreclosures: spray your lawn green!
Aired on Deutschlandradio Kultur, June 2009
Just a few blocks away from Oscar glamor and red carpet events in Hollywood I stepped into a different world: East Hollywood, dedicated 'Promise Zone' by the Obama administration. Det, Liam, Nai and Ying from Thailand live in a six bedroom house with five more families from Thailand. They all share kitchen and living room. Det makes $ 1000 a month working full time in a kitchen, Liam adds a few dollars cleaning and Ying, the 19 year old has a part time job as waitress. Their story is more complicated than these lines allow to explain and their generosity in time, food and friendship towards me was humbling. A translator helped us to communicate. Even without her help I did understand what Chancee Martorell, director of the Thai Community development Center told me later: many immigrants underestimate the cost of living in the United States. "It is expensive to be poor in this country."
What do you think of when you hear 'Watts'? A relaxed day in the park? African-American-Mexican collaboration for a colorful mural? Strong people thriving in a friendly community? This is what Shanice Jospeh sees, a 22 year old college student who grew up in Watts. Time to check out the neighborhood for yourself and look beyond riot-landmarks and the Watts Towers!
She has talked to all the Hollywood Stars, spent a night with David Bowie and a long day with John Lennon. She has asked celebrities what it means to love and how to remain a decent human being. Her roots are in a small town in Bavaria. A village he remembers well. A place she knew she would never come back to as soon as her mother died. This is the story of this beginning as told by Frances Schoenberger herself. In German