Salton Sea

On our way to Palm Springs we stopped at the shore of Salton Sea, a shallow rift lake located predominately in California’s Coachella and Imperial valleys, whose increased salinity resulted in a massive die-out of fish. The biggest eradication of sea life in the Salton Sea was in the late 1990s, when something like over 7…

Living Desert

Palm Desert, California. When you think about a desert, you might have an image of a depopulated space filled with sand. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a perfect place to break with those assumptions. It is a spatial machine which will transport you right onto the desert, for it is a zoo and botanic…

Palm Canyon

On our second day in sunny Palm Springs, we went hiking to the Palm Canyon in the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, home of the Cahuilla Indian tribe. A 15 miles long beautiful natural reserve with the abundance of indigenous California Fan Palms, cacti, and other breathtaking flora. Our first stop was the Trading Post where we…

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Tribal Administration Plaza

We visited the headquarters of the Cahuilla tribe in Palm Springs where we met and had a discussion with Kate Anderson, who is the Director of Public Relations there. Shortly after we introduced and identified ourselves, Kate opened up and wholeheartedly told us all about the Agua Caliente Reservation and its structures, about how the…

The Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance

The Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance (MOT) in Los Angeles was an important stop on our journey. Its famous Holocaust section surely did live up to our expectations – it was truly an experience, both in terms of how it looked/felt and the information provided. Other than Holocaust, the MOT’s focus is on racism…

La Brea Tar Pits

Our second visit in LA was La Brea Tar Pits, a registered National Natural Landmark, which is a group of tar pits around which Hancock Park was formed. Natural asphalt (also called brea in Spanish, therefore the name “La Brea” for the place) has seeped up from the ground in this area for tens of…

Eso Won Books

An African-American led bookstore in Leimert Park, a neighborhood in Los Angeles considered the center of modern African-American music, culture, and art. In its 25 years of existence, the bookstore has experienced and survived a range of changes in industry, earthquakes, civil unrests, recessions, and even re-locations. James Fugate and Tom Hamilton, co-proprietors, managed to…

Olvera Street

The beauty which can be seen in every corner of the City of Angels, is diversity. Diversity which creates the city, giving it the special character of social and cultural assemblage. Driving through Korean, Ethiopian, Jewish, Chinese, and lots of other districts, one can truly understand the immigrant-based nature of the United States. Multitude of…

St. Elmo Village

Located in Los Angeles, St. Elmo Village is a place for creating and exploring, for sharing and attaining, for teaching and learning, for children and elders. The multicultural artistic community runs art workshops, festivals and numerous programs. Our Transatlantic Symposium group was invited to see the artists’ home workshops and the collection of mixed media…

Griffith Observatory & Hollywood Boulevard

Next on the list was the Griffith Observatory, known from such Holywood staples as Rebel Without a Cause. It is situated in the very large and hilly Griffith Park, which is home to cougars and other wildlife, as well as a place to hike, ride horses, and otherwise enjoy nature. In Griffith Observatory itself, we…

University of Southern California

John Carlos Rowe is the Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, located southwest of Downtown Los Angeles. Our discussion with him explored the issues of transnationalism, race and ethnicity, class differentiation, multiculturalism, neoliberal ideology, gender, LGBT rights, religious freedom, as well as the resilience of cultural identity….

California African American Museum (CAAM)

The California African American Museum (CAAM) in Exposition Park in Los Angeles was among our places of interest (of which there were many) while in LA. We started our tour with an exhibition on African American history, both in Africa and in the US. The scope and portion of history it covered was huge, but it…