How To LA

How To LA

How to L.A. aims to drop a little knowledge about ALL the things that affect the people of Los Angeles, whether that’s something that makes our city great (tacos!) or something that we need to work on, like the alarming number of traffic collisions. We serve the curious Angeleno who wants to better connect with our city, discover the new, navigate the confusing and even drive some change along the way. Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.


October 2, 2023 17 mins

#159: The Writers Guild of America strike came to an end last week. This week, members will vote to ratify the contract. That appears to be on course as — at first review — the deal seems to be a good one, with provisions on streaming residuals and limits on the use of AI. For a better understanding on where things go from here, How to LA brings back two writers we spoke to when the picketing began back in May. 

Guests: WGA captai...

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This is How To LA, the podcast that helps you navigate this city. I’m Brian De Los Santos. I want to share with you another podcast from LAist Studios that I think you’ll really want to listen to: Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be dropping episodes every Friday.

Nury & The Secret Tapes is an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the biggest political scandal in recent Los Angeles ...

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#158: Destination Crenshaw. It's the multimillion L.A. City project spearheaded by the non-profit of the same name. It aims to revitalize the historic Black community with new parks, more trees and millions of dollars infused into the area's arts and culture. But like with change in any neighborhood, there's the inevitable question of what else it will bring. Will it become overcrowded? Will it become to expensive to rent an apartm...

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#157: It’s been almost one year since a secret recording of four powerful Latino leaders in Los Angeles leaked to the public, setting off one of the biggest political scandals in L.A. history.

Then-City Council President Nury Martinez, Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin De León, and labor leader Ron Herrera were caught on tape making racist, demeaning comments about Indigenous people, Black Angelenos (including a city councilmem...

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#156: The Los Angeles Public Library is 150!

LAPL has 72 branches throughout LA, and is one of the largest library systems in the country. 

In honor or this special anniversary, How To LA producer Megan Botel is exploring Central Library in downtown LA. It's an architectural GEM of 538 thousand square feet and 89 miles of shelving. Learn about the history of Los Angeles Public Library, going back to its beginnings in 1872, as wel...

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September 25, 2023 21 mins

#155: Student loan payments resume next month. Host Brian De Los Santos talks to NPR's Cory Turner about what people need to know right now. Then, LAist reporter Julia Barajas tells us how we got to this point, where we have so much student loan debt in the US, and the role California plays in that.

You can find Cory's 12 key things borrowers need to know here:

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#128: Want to finish your week strong with some delicious conchas? Well, we've got you covered. Today we're revisiting one of our favorite food segments: the search for LA's best concha. And keep your eye out for a special holiday concha episode in the coming weeks!

Everyone loves a fresh concha – that warm, doughy center with the crunchy cookie shell on the top could send any Angeleno's heart a'flutter. Today, Brian's taking LAis...

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September 21, 2023 14 mins

#154: We're returning to the LA River today, this time on foot, not by kayak.

Host Brian De Los Santos and HTLA producer Victoria Alejandro headed on over to Frogtown to hang out by the river and hear from two members of the Fifty-One Miles team. That's a project led by landscape architecture graduate students at USC who set out to walk all fifty one miles of the river over 6 days in early August. We'll hear how that was both a fu...

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#153: The City Hall leaked tape incident last year, combined with several corruption scandals involving councilmembers in the past few years, have led to this moment: There’s now more momentum than ever behind some major reforms. 

There are three main proposals that would significantly impact how the city is governed. They have to deal with redistricting, revamping the ethics commission and expanding the city council. BTW, did you...

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September 19, 2023 21 mins

#152: This month, How To LA is putting the spotlight on LA landmarks that are turning 100 this year – all to celebrate our FIRST birthday.

Next up: The Hollywood Sign. Host Brian De Los Santos and producer Megan Botel take a hike up to the top of Mount Lee to the sign to speak with Jeff Zarrinnam of the Hollywood Sign Trust. Learn about the evolution of the iconic landmark since the original "Hollywoodland" sign was put up in 1923...

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September 18, 2023 15 mins

#151: Okay - the past couple days of clouds were a nice break from the hot weather. But love it or hate it... that L.A. heat is always just right around the corner. Controlling urban heat is a major issue: it touches everything from health, to the environment, to your wallet. And running the AC all day can cost a pretty penny, assuming you're not one of the 20% of Angelenos who live without AC.

This is where cool roofs come in. It...

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#150: Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Friday, which means friends and friends will gather together for Shabbat.

It turns out that all around LA, every Friday, you can find a Shabbat dinner to attend – and you do not have to be Jewish. The non-profit OneTable that organizes these events says it's all about building community and practicing the long lost "art of gathering." 

HTLA producer Megan Botel chats with folks from OneTab...

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#149: As a Los Angeles-based film location scout/manager who’s been in the business for nearly 30 years, Rick Schuler has found lots of streets and buildings in downtown L.A. that can look like lots of other places.

Places like Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Italy and Colombia. And different time periods too — like 1960s-era L.A. (for the 2019 film "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood") and L.A. in the “near future” (for the 20...

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#148: The Writers' and Actors' strikes continue to drag on with no deal in sight. It's starting to take its toll on these artists as its been months since many of them have made any income.

Reports of evictions and other hardships are starting to hit the headlines. But some help could be available for those who need a little extra financial help.

Guest: Keith McNutt. Executive Director, Western Region, Entertainment...

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September 12, 2023 22 mins

#147: The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is one of several L.A. landmarks hitting the century mark this year, and we thought it’d be fun to take a look back on them as we celebrate our one-year anniversary of How To LA this September.

We explored The Biltmore Hotel downtown (if you haven’t listened to that episode already) and we’ll be featuring the story behind the Hollywood sign pretty soon.

When it comes to the L.A. Coliseum (t...

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#77: Brian's out today, so we're revisiting that time Evan took Meg on his bike route to work... and explored what it looks like to live Car-Free in Los Angeles. Please note, the Gold Line, as reference in this podcast, has been renamed the A Line. 

Lots of Angelinos live without a car – and hundreds of thousands of people here don't use a car in their daily commute. But... it is definitely NOT the norm. HTLA Producer Evan Jacoby ...

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#146: Nothing screams L.A. Summer like a summer cookout. For our ongoing event series, Culinary Connections, we invited some of our favorite chefs from Cheap Fast Eats to talk about how cookout culture shapes L.A.'s food scene... and of course, their favorite things to cook.

If all this talk of free food, music, and awesome chefs makes you sorry you missed the event... Well, we missed you too! Make sure you catch the next one by h...

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September 7, 2023 13 mins

#145: Now that you've recovered from Taylormania and the Beyhive hitting LA and SoFi Stadium, football season is HERE. The Rams AND the Chargers now share a stadium in Inglewood and the regular season games kick off September 10. We get the lowdown on everything you need to know to get ready for the season of pro football in LA even if you don't count yourself as a big fan.

Guest: Sports Illustrated writer Gilberto Manzano.

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September 6, 2023 13 mins

#144: Just a heads up there is some explicit language used towards the end of this episode. Please be advised.

There have been MANY government scandals that have been exposed in our city. 

Just in the last year: Former LA Councilmember Mark Ridley Thomas was just sentenced to 42 months in prison plus 30-thousand in fines for corruption. Councilmember Curren Price was charged with multiple counts of embezzlement, perjury and confl...

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#143: Today we’re exploring one of L.A.’s most historic landmarks: the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. 

It celebrates its 100th birthday in October, and since How to LA just turned one (!) we thought it'd be fitting to feature some of the most iconic spots in Los Angeles that are hitting the century mark (Others to come: the LA Memorial Coliseum and the Hollywood sign).

The Biltmore opened to the public in 1923 and it has...

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