“Hollywood” Sign of the Times

The “Hollywood” Sign inspires dreamers, welcomes starry-eyed visitors, is a familiar friend to locals and has a life of its own with stardom and tragedy. For nearly a century, the Southern California icon represented in movies, TV shows, advertisements, books, music and more, has stood tall on Mount Lee, which is located in Griffith Park….

A Very Special Olympics

Originally published in “A Stone’s Throw” Column, South Pasadena Review 8.6.15 By Ann Suk Wang After the last note of the floor exercise played and the final pose held, a gymnast sprinted off, into an excited embrace with her coach. Together they almost fell over, twirling with joy as the athlete’s legs and arms wound…

Award-Winning Author, Gary Schmidt Visits SPMS

Originally published in “A Stone’s Throw” column in the South Pasadena Review 3/26/15 By Ann Suk Wang Many become excited when a movie star or a well-known musician is seen in person. Palms may become slightly damp and the heart may pound a little faster. The rush of recognition causes even the coolest fan to…

Dangerous, Common And Treatable

An ad from the San Francisco Hep B Free Campaign. Source: SFHepBFree.org Originally published in The Quarterly Magazine, Spring 2015 issue A deadly disease lurks in the blood of nearly 1 in 50 people in Los Angeles. The silent killer is the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). And a simple blood test for those who are…

Grief in Good Times Through the Holidays

Originally printed in the South Pasadena Review 12/18/14; for my column, “A Stone’s Throw” This is a season of celebration and joy. It’s seen in stores and along Fair Oaks. It’s heard on the radio and in churches. You can smell it from kitchens. We feel it in the air. But for those who have…

In Memory of Sang Gil Suk 8/7/39 – 9/7/14

Farewell to My Daddy: A Rock Star! A Writer. A Role Model. The Rock Star In College I told a friend about my dad’s “Rock Show.” My friend replied, “What? You’re dad’s in a band? He’s so cool!” “No, not a rock show with rock music, but a show with stones, viewing stones.” Apparently, that…

Olympic Freeway Murals Come Alive Again

Originally published in Fall 2014 Quarterly Magazine Larger-than-life faces, a child frozen in a handstand, flying mythical columns, and colorful cartoon cars stream by on concrete walls as commuters and visitors from around the world speed or crawl by restored murals. This is Los Angeles, “mural capital of the world,” and home to the 10…

The Edible Pumpkin Patch

Originally published in “A Stone’s Throw” column in the South Pasadena Review newspaper, October 2014. Fall is by far my favorite season. There’s a chill in the air (however faint this year), leaves turn a brilliant yellow and orange, and whiffs of pumpkin waft all around. Pumpkins! I adore this autumn gourd. Consider these pumpkin…

The Magnificent and Mysterious Monarch Migration

The moment I laid eyes on a chunky yellow, black and white-striped monarch caterpillar (larva), I was hooked. It is colorful, peaceful and eats a lot. It’s mesmerizing to observe. But all this munching is in preparation for something profound, a phenomenon known as the monarch butterfly migration, a fierce journey of up to 3,000…