“How Does Street Art Humanize Cities” Panel

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Zocalo Square panel discussion on street art called “How Does Street Art Humanize Cities” to support the the homie Man Uno at the Fowler Museum. Along side Man One, the panel included Patrick Polk (Fowler Museum curator), Aaron Rose (co-curator of MOCA’s forthcoming street art exhibit), Retna and was moderated by Jori Finkel (arts writer, LA Times).  It was packed as I’m sure everyone anticipated it would turn into the “Blu Wall/Censorship” discussion.  To see if it did or didn’t click HERE to watch the video.

Botanitas: January 29, 2011

An Eastside Treebear in it’s native habitat

Welcome to the first Botanitas of 2011! It’s true, I haven’t much kept up with this poor excuse for a social events calendar. All you hungry-for-fun LA Eastside readers have had to figure out what’s going on on your own. But with all the Eastside-centric Facebook groups that exist now, I’m sure you’ve all had other sources to inform you of the happenings around town. But yeah, I hoped you missed Botanitas, just a little…
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San Pedro Community Garden

I thought I would share this post I wrote on the Slanguage website over here on LA east side because I felt that this community garden was pretty special.

Slanguage got a great opportunity to go visit and explore the San Pedro community garden. This 3 ½ acre land is owned by the city of Los Angeles and has been around over 40 years. For a yearly fee anybody can start a garden. The garden is fitted with hoses for easy access to water, mulch is also available.  However, not just anybody can maintain their roots here; some gardeners have managed to sustain their plots for up to thirty years.

More after the jump

Eastside icon: Lysa Flores

Lysa Flores has been a staple and a major voice in the Eastside music scene since the early 90’s. Her popularity as a musician and voice for Chicana artists hit a zenith after her scene stealing turn as the sister in the controversial film (for its time) “Star Maps.” She was also the music supervisor for the film which helped set the groundwork for the emerging Latin Rock explosion of the 90’s.

Her exposure to the global music scene was in part due to her touring with El Vez, the Mexican Elvis, as an El Vette. Spending months overseas, and opening for David Bowie at one point, taught Flores much about the music business.

Throughout the years, upon returning from, and in between touring the world, she started her own label “Bring Your Love,” played at various causa events for La Raza and even painted collector editions paintings at Self Help Graphics. The respect she earned as a talented singer, song writer and guitarist opened doors for her to work with X front man John Doe and drummer DJ Bonebrake, as well as Flaco Jimenez, Jonathan Richman, Bill Frisell, and David Hidalgo to list just a few.

In other words this woman works non stop!
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The Pharmacy Time Forgot

Cards purchased in the 2000s from McMonkman Pharmacy in Lincoln Heights

Not too long ago, at the corner of Daly and North Broadway in Lincoln Heights was a pharmacy untouched by time. It seems the good folks of Lincoln Heights had no reason to buy anything from this store except medication from the pharmacy. This resulted in a drugstore that masqueraded as a museum of products from the 1970s. The store never cleared it’s shelves and items stood dusty on display patiently waiting for an uninformed shopper to carry them home.

As you can imagine, a store like this piqued the interest of a curious person like myself. I would wind through the purposely created maze like shelves – shoplifting deterrents – purveying cosmetic items from decades past. La Maja, the dusting powder my mother and grandmother used featured a vampy raven haired Spanish dancer on the front of the box, and as a little girl, I thought she was the epitome of beauty.

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2 Random Minutes at the Glendale Americana

Why do I get these terrible assignments? Who did I upset in management to get stuck covering this bullshit beat? Damn these office politics.

Oh wait, I’m off today. Crud, the work time and “free time” is starting to merge in the worst sort of way. Gonna have to get that looked at, it can’t be good for my health. Well then, let me explain that I didn’t end up here by choice as in “let’s go take a dip into the cesspool called Americana, just for fun!” it was more like “let’s try to redeem these gift cards for a corporate eatery some nice people gave us before the Corporate Overlords start deducting some surcharge cuz they want to re-gift to themselves something they sold” and before I forget I have a free meal ticket to this place that I wouldn’t put on my to-do list. To make a short story longer, the wait at the BJ’s (haha!) was 45 minutes on a Friday night- AS IF! Don’t people have things to do or places to go on the weekends? I guess they were all cashing in their gift cards at the same time, surely this wasn’t THE destination for the night? Please Lord, tell me it ain’t so.

Thus my 2nd excursion (1st was a family related b-day requirement) into Americana territory. It’s just as bad as The Grove, full of shitty corporate shopping, crappy corporate food, and hints of the plaza concept as interpreted by the needs of companies that want to sell you things.  Public space perfected by Corporations. It’s like a park, only not.

So yes, above you’ll see 2 random minutes of some of the worst aspects of our modern culture. I wonder if I can ask for a hardship stipend for this stressful assignment? And maybe even something extra for that Sinatra on the hour bit with the water show. Now that was excruciating.

Words that Wound, Words that Heal

“But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized — at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do — it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. (Applause.)” – from President Obama’s Arizona Memorial Speech, January 13, 2011

The above quote by Barack Obama urges us to measure our words—because words are very powerful and we affect those around us with the words we use. A point in reference within our recent history was the affront of “bitches” used in hip hop songs, every other word. Political rappers took the stance to banish this word from their music because it disrespected and diminished woman-hood.
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L.A. to O.C. Dream Ride

Join us in a 50 mile bike ride to continue raising awareness for Federal Dream Act, California Dream Act (institutional financial aid) and getting drivers licences for all California residents, as well as bringing attention to the rights of all bicyclist in the city of L.A and Orange County. Spokes & Words, The Orange County Dream Team and Dream Team Los Angeles are working together with City of Lights and the Bici Digna program in organizing and funding this event to bring together all these great orgs that fight for social justice for for all.

When: Sunday Feb. 20 (presidents day weekend)

Where: Starting at Corazon del Pueblo 2003 E. 1st. street Boyle Heights 90033 and ending at Centro Cultural de Mexico 310 W. 5th street Santa Ana 92701

Registration: Registration form and $15 fee (link at bottom of page) will be due on Jan. 28. This will include lunch, dinner, bike maintenance during event and over night stay in Orange County. Form can be downloaded via link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13WcyFiBe45oBXLUIAOkvINgfZAzimUHsIxHlPCWnNOM/edit?hl=en

Route: Approx 50 miles via streets of L.A., San Gabriel River Bike Path and streets of Santa Ana.

Housing: Sleeping over at Centro Cultural de Mexico. Individuals are responsible for bringing their own sleeping bag, pillows, blankets, toiletries, change of clothes etc. and transportation back to L.A. A truck will carry participant’s belongings, sleeping bags etc. to Santa Ana and back to CDP after ride is over.

Food: Lunch, dinner and snacks will be provided for all participants accounted for, for the event.

Bike Safety Work Shops: All participants of event will be required to attend at least one workshop on safety, rules of the road and ridding in a group. No exceptions.

First workshop will be at CDP on Jan 23rd from 1 to 4 p.m. Second will be at Centro Cultural in Santa Ana on Jan 30th from 1 to 4 p.m. and the final workshop will be at CDP on Feb. 5th from 1 to 4 p.m. Riders needing help with their bikes will be encouraged to bring them to the workshop for maintenance and bike tune up. Workshops will be coordinated by City of Lights.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for anyone that wants to donate food, supplies or sponsor riders for the event as well.

Anyone with questions about the event can contact dream.act.riders@gmail.com for more information or concerns

Event Sponsors:
Spokes & Words
City of Lights
Orange County Dream Team
Dream Team Los Angeles
Corazon del Pueblo
El Centro Cultural de Mexico

Link to pay pal account here: