LA Times BookFest – 2015


JAM PACKED weekend. Was able to participate in a great panel in which we discussed the changing landscape of California and the challenges of covering it as reporters. I wandered into some good conversations and eavesdropped on others. L.A. was out in full force.
Until next time.

Rojas’ Eastside

James Rojas - Urban Planner & Community Activist

James Rojas – Urban Planner & Community Activist (photo by Lynell George)

GREAT URBAN walkabout on Saturday with James Rojas who led about a dozen of us through Boyle Heights into East L.A. Rojas, an urban planner and community activist, gave us generous samples of Latino Urbanism — a specific refashioning of built landscape.

Writes Rojas:

“Street vendors, plazas, and benches are all part of the Latin American streetscape. Traditional Latin American homes extend to the property line, and the street is often used as a semi-public, semi-private space where residents set up small businesses, socialize, watch children at play, and otherwise engage the community.

To create a similar sense of belonging within an Anglo-American context, Latinos use their bodies to reinvent the street.”

We looked at how people refashion and mark place and make it their own. We wandered by front yards turned into plazas. We explored upon gardens, shrines, murals and garage-adjacent altars. Christmas is still in full bloom; it’s just tucked away off the main drag. I was most taken by the thread of improvisation winding through block by block. Streets that are made for walking with goods and signage at eye-level. Re-purposed gas stations, vacant lots and front porches transformed into impromptu meeting places.

Community in this sense truly feels like community — lives linked together, shaped by one another.

Big thanks to wonderful Victoria for letting me know about it. I’m always re-energized seeing L.A. through a different set of eyes.

So grateful to you to James Rojas!

(mosaic images by Lynell George)

From Viewfinder to Frame

IT’S BEEN quite a kick (and scene-change) getting ready for the L.A. Pix, Still show that’s opening this weekend.
Just a few visual notes from prep last week. Finalizing images, purchasing and prepping prints and images.

The show is at the artist-run space, Doc-u-ment Coffee & Tea at 3850 Wilshire Blvd #107; It opens Dec. 7, 6-8pm — Koreatown.

Thanks, Elon and Alan, for all of the assist in helping jet-lagged, wandering-reporter me get this all together in no time.





What Endures

I JUST stumbled across this moment via Nowness late yesterday afternoon. Ed Ruscha taking a drive through memory — the land and soundscape of Los Angeles.

This is a subject that’s filtered through my mind a lot of late. Sometimes I hit a memory vein that is so rich it is almost unbearable.

From the piece:

“Almost more than the changes of the city I notice when things don’t change,” muses Ruscha. “Despite the huge development that is happening on Sunset Boulevard there is still a lot that is pretty much the way it was 50 years ago. There are concrete abutments, kerbing and certain peculiarities to the growth of a city that were there many years ago.”

To view the video and read the entire piece click here:

Every Street, Every Block

West Adams Terrace. Photo by Larry Underhill via L.A. Conservancy

… has a story …

This weekend, the Los Angeles Conservancy is offering a series of tours featuring historic neighborhoods in Los Angeles: Windsor Village, County Club Park, Wilshire Park are among them. As well the day-long event will offer sessions and workshops on sustainability, greening your home and balancing redevelopment and preservation.

And even if you can make it in the flesh, all of Los Angeles has been invited to participate in the discussion by using the hashtag, #LAStoryhood, to document the uniqueness of their own neighborhood in photographs via Twitter and Instagram… Looking forward to these personal virtual tours.

For more info on the project click here.