LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas offers fresh insights into a city that brims with complexity and surprise, revealing its multiple histories, the nuances of its lived experiences, and the possibilities inherent in an ever-shifting world.
Illuminated by boldly conceived maps and infographics, nineteen thought-provoking essays explore “the hitherto terra incognita of LA,” covering terrain from the cowboys-and-spacemen-themed landscapes of the San Fernando Valley to the kitchen of a family taquero business in El Monte, and topics as varied as urban forests, catacombs, LGBT places of sanctuary and worship, and the enduring communities of the indigenous Tongva people. What has often been ignored, such as social and environmental injustice, comes to the forefront, and what has been maligned is reexamined with a sense of pride: the city’s freeways, for example, take the shape of a dove when viewed from midair and pulsate with wailing blues, surf rock, and brassy banda.
“In consciously directing readers down a series of proverbial paths less taken, LAtitudes belies that laziest of stereotypes of Los Angeles as a homogenous, undifferentiated mass. As the book makes clear, the city is both palimpsest and jigsaw puzzle, all layers and fragments.”—Oliver Wang, Los Angeles Times.