The game starts out like a nightmarish version of real L.A. life.: players choose an avatar, work a menial day job, and ride the Metro chasing celebrities all day while dodging sleazy landlords and bosses. You can only float around downtown L.A. (working overtime in retail just to make ends meet) until you’ve advanced to the next level and unlocked access to Hollywood (where the Hollywood sign has been replaced with a Kardashian logo), Beverly Hills (where there’s not much to do except go to fancy restaurants and wander around Kim’s mansion), LAX (where you can fly to Miami, Las Vegas and New York) and, finally, the Kardashian mecca itself: Calabasas. 

New York summer, 2014. Photos by Jenn Swann  New York summer, 2014. Photos by Jenn Swann  New York summer, 2014. Photos by Jenn Swann  New York summer, 2014. Photos by Jenn Swann  New York summer, 2014. Photos by Jenn Swann  New York summer, 2014. Photos by Jenn Swann  New York summer, 2014. Photos by Jenn Swann 

New York summer, 2014. Photos by Jenn Swann 

If you’ve gone to Echo Country Outpost —  the Echo Park non-profit music venue on Glendale Boulevard - in the last four years, you may have seen old-timey country rock n’ roll acts like Christian Lee Hutson, Blackwater Jukebox and Little Lonely. But the spot shut down in March, after cops learned that the turquoise-colored space didn’t have the proper permits and wasn’t zoned for live entertainment. 

Husband and wife team Chris Hajek and Erica Forneret are the Outpost’s directors. They live on site, along with several artists and musicians who rent studios in the building. They emphasize that they weren’t closed by the cops, but rather they themselves stopped holding shows until they could figure out how to make Echo Country Outpost legal.

Google Maps recently rolled out a new feature that essentially lets you travel back in time by accessing street views from as far back as 2007. That wasn’t so long ago, but it’s pretty remarkable to see how our streets have changed in just seven years. Remember 2007? It was the start of what’s now considered one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. It was also the year in which Apple launched the iPhone and Google Maps unveiled its Street View panoramas - and thus began our collective obsession with photographing and documenting the world from our phones and computer screens. 

We used Google Maps’ Street View imagery to compare how L.A. streets have evolved. In some cases, formerly abandoned buildings got a restoration or a new paint job. Beloved businesses have come and gone. In more extreme cases, skyscrapers have been erected in what was once a vacant field. Let’s take a trip back in Google Street View time and see how some of our most rapidly changing streets have fared in the last several years. 

Pepy’s Galley, the circa-1960 diner attached to AMF Mar Vista Lanes, lately feels more like a funeral parlor than the friendly neighborhood joint its lifelong customers remember. That’s because the nautical-themed coffee shop is facing eviction on June 30, when BowlmorAMF, the country’s largest 10-pin bowling center operator, takes ownership of the building and begins major renovations. Those renovations include turning Pepy’s Galley into an in-house food service that caters to the bowling center. 

Since the news broke a little more than a month ago, neighborhood crowds have been pouring into Pepy’s brown vinyl booths and bar stools to show their support and order a patty melt - just $6.95, made with 13 ounces of ground chuck and served on toasted sourdough - or a bowl of the famous house-made chili one last time

Happy birthday, Frida! #frida #girlboss

My grandpa, army Sgt. Lloyd Swann, reporting for duty in the Aleutian Islands in the early 1940s. Happy Memorial Day. 

R.I.P. to Bunny Yeager R.I.P. to Bunny Yeager