It’s that time of year again, when L.A. TACO goes over the most memorable posts from the year. And damn, we can’t wait for this year to be finished, not sure about you guys.
So without further delay …
One of our favorite posts in 2017 is “What Are the Really Real L.A. Movies,” a favorite-movie list compiled with interviews with some of our most faithful L.A. TACO contributors. Writer Tien Nguyen chose Set It Off, saying: “Her character [Cleo] solidified the link between Set It Off and Boyz n the Hood and, in the process, challenged the misogyny in so much of LA hip hop culture at the time.”
We published Where you From, a poem by a young Filipino poet named Eddy M. Gana Jr. “I’m from California/The state with a roadmap of memories, I feel connected.”
In the summer writer Chuck Morse delved into the recent history of an L.A. food icon, the Luna Sol Cafe. Operating in MacArthur Park between 1996 and 2003, Luna Sol was a horizontal worker-run collective kitchen, which Morse describes as one of few in California history.
Back in August we interviewed L.A. icon Angelyne, the buxom billboard queen. The interview marked her first public comments following the Hollywood Reporter article delving into her life story, which will reportedly now become a feature film.
Some of our other favorite interviews of the year included conversations with Hamburger Eyes creator Ray Potes, the curator and archivist Guadalupe Rosales of the Instagram Account Veteranas y Rucas, up-and-coming music producer Huxley Anne, artist Kristen Liu-Wong, and photographers Xiou Ping and Amelia Beruman.
King Acne is the alter ego of Mahir Uddin, son of Bangladeshi immigrants from Westlake, who produced and rapped on his concept album that we debuted back in June.
A photo essay you need to see if you haven’t — The Displacement Engine by Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin — is a hard commentary on the state of gentrification in L.A. Another photo essay we were proud to publish this year was Inside Chuckawalla State Prison, by the great Pep Williams.
Two more: Sean Maung brought his Intersections series to Tijuana, capturing some indelible images at the border and beyond, while Wendy “Random” Chavez visited the Golden State Tattoo Expo.
L.A. TACO senior photographer Erwin Recinos covers Los Angeles like no one else, three highlights from his year include visiting the pop-up BBQ spot Ragtop Fern’s, exploring a new taco spot called La Huesuda, and visiting Lucha Va Voom.
Towards the end of the year, under our new Editor, Daniel Hernandez, we were able to bring fresh energy and new voices into the L.A. TACO fold. Some pieces of note …
Liz Ohanesian profiled queer L.A. punk pioneer Gerardo Velazquez in Nervous Gender, a Valentine from a Maverick of L.A. Punk. Jared Cowan painstakingly detailed the locations from the movie Jackie Brown, just in time for its 20th anniversary. And earlier this week, Daniel interviewed the creator of the Instagram account 110_105, artist Lindsey Mysse.
2017 was a strange year in Los Angeles. We tried to cover the people and events that made it more livable during times of uncertainty and turmoil. In anticipation of another year when Los Angeles will need an independent media more than ever, and with the dire state of affairs in local news as we know it, the time for inspired and impassioned measures is now.
To that end, L.A. TACO plans to radically expand our coverage of what’s really going on in this city, from the streets on up, from a perspective you can only get here. Stayed tuned for big announcements and new partnerships in the coming weeks and months.
In closing, here are some of our favorite images of 2017 … [Click on slideshow!]