Larry Wilson


Columnist/Editorial writer

Larry Wilson

Phone: (626) 544-0844

Recent articles

  • Columns

    Southern California’s dead malls could be places to live: Larry Wilson

    A friend of mine, a musician of renown, has a loft-like apartment in an urbanesque Southern California neighborhood that is, let us say, retail-adjacent.Admiring the unusual, airy space on a visit, I said, “Well, this is nice.”“Larry,” she said, in a voice that still has traces of a Manhattan accent: “I live in a shopping mall.”And so she does. One that, like virtualy all such places filled with bricks-and-mortar stores in an...

  • Columns

    Should Pasadena welcome Ted Nugent?: Larry Wilson

    The musical reason not to go to a Ted Nugent concert is that it would be terrible.The Michigan rocker has been a fraud and a second-rater for half a century, from his beginnings with Detroit’s Amboy Dukes when he claimed that he didn’t know their semi-hit “Journey to the Center of the Mind” was about psychedelic drugs to his awful blue-eyed blues rip-off “Cat Scratch Fever.”But should the fact that he’s a miserable person as well...

  • Columns

    In Pasadena, two acres of Zen garden in this crazy world: Larry Wilson

    I was seeking a respite from the news of the world.I don’t just mean the entirely mind-blowing story that Amazon will soon own Whole Foods, a retail concept so startling that I don’t know how I will get my head around it, next time I am fondling the organic baby bok choy in the produce aisles. I mean, Jeff Bezos already owns The Washington Post. Will cosmopolitan America soon, as Madeleine Brand asked on KCRW, have its kombucha delivered by drone each morning along with...

  • Columns

    Story of a war against Native Americans is all too true: Larry Wilson

    When it comes to understanding the facts of our world, I’ve always sided with Emily Dickinson when she said, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant,” and turned to literature.“Success in Circuit lies,” Emily continues, because the roundabout can give better views than the straightforward. And thus when all my high school friends were taking AP History, I stuck with English. Most of my knowledge of Europe in World War II comes from reading a dozen Alan...

  • Columns

    He just gained heightened appreciation for firefighters: Larry Wilson

    Los Angeles novelist Janet Fitch recently posted these lines from poet Anne Sexton on her Facebook page: “As the fireman said: / Don’t book a room over the fifth floor / in any hotel in New York.They have ladders that will reach further / but no one will climb them.”I think Janet was in Manhattan promoting the new film of her fantastic L.A. novel, “Paint It Black.” I know she was staying in a room higher than the fifth floor from the photo she...

  • Columns

    She’s a librarian for kids who could use some curation: Larry Wilson

    If books are forever being written off, they’ve got nothing on librarians. And for such a weird reason. As if the mess that is the Internet isn’t the best object lesson of all on the need for curation, by someone who knows what she is doing.The American Library Association realizes it has an image problem, though, unfairly or not. Thus its annual I Love My Librarian award, given to 10 people who excel at their profession, of the 166,000 in the trade.I sat down...

  • Columns

    ‘Met Trader Joe’ means different things in Pasadena, The New Yorker: Larry Wilson

    Roz Chast, my favorite New Yorker cartoonist, has drawn a lot of tombstone gags since first appearing in the magazine in 1978.“Stopped keeping up with the Kardashians,” reads the inscription on one.“Tuned in, turned on, dropped out, dropped in, worked out, saved up, dropped dead,” reads another.Below the statue of a business-suited gentleman: “Took it to next level. Kicked it up a notch. Threw it off the edge.”And:...

  • Columns

    Plumbing Venetian canals for a new language: Larry Wilson

    Attached by a magnet to our bathroom medicine cabinet is a computer printout with the headline “Cardinal numbers.”“Italian cardinal numbers, of any length,” it explains, “may be written as a single, continuous word.”It goes on to list those numbers, from one to ninety-nine, from “zero” to “novantanove.” Some are a mouthful, for English speakers: eighty-four, for instance, is...

  • Columns

    Listening to the warm lies of climate-change deniers: Larry Wilson

    “Listen to the Warm,” Harry Shearer reminds me every week on “Le Show” as he reads the latest stories on climate change, taking his title from the schmaltz king of San Francisco, Rod McKuen. For those of us who listen to the warm by avidly following the news of the politics of global warming — it’s not that the facts of it have anything to do with politics; it’s that the solutions might — this past week has been a...

  • Columns

    Reason and rhyme? At Caltech, computers are writing poetry: Larry Wilson

    “Your methods of compiling are pretty inefficient,” said the student, who had been sitting quietly in the back of the college classroom, to the guest lecturer, during question time.Xtine Burrough, an associate professor in the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas, Dallas, took no offense at the young woman’s comment on her working habits. In fact, afterward while visiting with me and some fellow professors, she got a...