You probably wonâ€™t find me hanging from the side of a bridge spraying my name –I have Acrophobiaâ€”but (yay) above you can see a photo of my first graff. Well, my design with the help and instruction of fellow student Kit McConnell. I think he got â€˜stuckâ€™ with me. My first class assignment yesterday was to find my tag nameâ€”I chose â€œVD, because its nothing to laugh aboutâ€– the teen boys in the group laughed when I said that. After a short history on the art of Graffiti, we spend the first hour making thumb nail sketches and catching up. It seems that some of the group is on a drop-in basis—there is a core of 10 faithful students, while others are coming and going as their time permits.
I was lucky to join the class upon instructor VyalOneâ€™s (sometimes â€œVyal1â€) return from Israel. There were lots of interesting stories from the trip. Customs and food challenges are usually an American travel preoccupation, followed by an exclamation of â€œWe are so spoiled!â€ This group of graffiti artists from the US, were selected to create murals in a very poor area of Israel (the west bank and Gaza) where donkey-hauling and child labor was evident. Seemed like an artistic dream to resonate the downtrodden in a visual homage—but no, that idea got whitewashed for a more uplifting message. The group (Maia Mural Brigade) completed 8 murals in a week. See pictures of the work and journey.
During studio time I also got inducted into the Graffiti class fundraiser coming up. I suggested raffling a graffitiâ€™d bicycle—but we need to get one donated first. Sighhhâ€”technicalities! Vyal also invited us to battle later this month—winner gets to battle him in San Francisco later this year. Uhm—Iâ€™m not ready for that. I am still trying to think how I can stretch out my tagâ€”its looking very early 90s. For now, VD morphed into Vdee, and upon spraying, one of the eâ€™s grew teeth–back to the drawing board.
Vyal said I showed much promise. I bet he says that to everyone. BUTâ€”it was fun and the 4 hours ($2.50 an hour) went by so fast. Did I mention that a guy showed up 40 minutes after the class started, threw open his car trunk, sold us tips, aerosol paints, gave us a mess of stickers and stayed on to paint with us? I love falling into a whole sub-culture.
A fellow artist and friend started a blog with her brother called Fundi2.Â ItsÂ a newÂ go-to place for the Los Angeles Chilean community.Â Â They plan onÂ interestingÂ POVs, cultural gatheringÂ info andÂ related political discussions.Â Interesting to see how our worlds collide in a city where everyone is trying to find their voice and place.
A few weeks ago, FYF announced that NoAge were set to perform a free show at MacArthur Park. I being a fan of the band for some years now, coupled with being attracted by the quite possible interplay of people that might have never been to the park and the regulars was enough to bring me in. The flyer (below) announces that there would be a “Special Guest.” It turned out to be a very very very special guest that performed last night…
Tonight at the new Self Help
Graphics location in Boyle Heights, come suport the fight to save ethnic studies
in Arizona with a screening of the documentry, “Precious Knowledge.”
The screening is free, but donations of any kind are always
welcomed, because as many of you know, the fight to preserve and
continue to teach ethnic studies is a fight not just for
Chicanos/as, but all tribes and peoples in this world. All the hate
and pushing comes from those who don’t understand what it means to
have more than one identity, to be learn and be part of traditions
hundreds and thousands of years old. If you can’t make it to the
screening, you can still support the fight online with donations
and spreading the word. The screening will be at 8 pm and students and maestros from AZ will be at the screening to talk about their experiences making the documentry and how things have progressed since it wa first made.
SELF HELP GRAPHICS & ART 1300 East
First Street, Boyle Heights,CA 90033 www.selfhelpgraphics.com
323.881.6444 Take the Metro Goldine and exit at the Pico/Aliso
stop. Free Street Parking alongside Anderson and Utah
This week the spin doctors were working overtime to make Michelle Obama look like a hypocrite for eating a burger and fries, because it registered at 1700 calories!! One of her personal campaigns is to have healthier food in public school cafeterias and food programs. Whoâ€™s not for that? Back to the calories though– for some women a whole dayâ€™s intake of calories could be 2000 or around that (yes, thatâ€™s 3 meals) and the amount needed just to maintain the same weight, not to loose or gain. Gender, age, activity and some doctors think ethnicity, determine how many calories an individual should eat.
Being a vegetarian for decades now, I have had run-ins with long lost friends at the super market whose eyes sadden upon spotting meat in my cart. I donâ€™t need to explain that my cat is on an organic food diet and eats ground turkey or that I make beef tamales and chicken mole for my brother on his birthday —but I do. I practically live like a monk, because I have lived in a certain way and people expect that from me— I expect that from me. I really donâ€™t ram my personal rules down anyoneâ€™s throat and those of you who think I do —â€œyou really wouldnâ€™t want to know what goes on in my headâ€. Still, there are some hardships to being a role model, even if itâ€™s by accident, like me. I would not trade places with someone in the microscopic public eye, like poor Michelle.
We all know that Boyle Heights and some other communities on the eastside are considered to be food deserts, because there are not enough super markets to supply us with nutritious and healthy foods. If youâ€™ve ever tried to get into El Super at 6 p.m. on any day—you know what I mean. Forget about getting a healthy vegetarian choice at any of the local restaurants either. Itâ€™s all about the queso. There are many people that have poor diets in the food dessert (due to lack of availability), they are considered to be malnutrition. But, even if we live in a food desert, we can make choices that are healthy instead of giving into the â€œhigh profits and low productâ€ American food cartels. People who use grocery coupons to make ends meet can easily fall into the pit of foods that have absolutely no nutritional value. Think about it—why would a manufacturer give you something free? Usually, it is for a new product and it reminds me of the drug dealers (in those 80s movies) that get you hooked on cheba by giving you freebies at first. Beware of those coupons. Continue reading →
This is the grand Golden Gate Theater of yesteryear. But grandeur fades. Icons wither, some more gracefully than others. The Golden Gate Theater in East Los Angeles, movie palace of my youth and once proud cornerstone of Whittier Blvd. Eastside culture, does not deserve to be remembered in this recently discovered undignified and disgusting stateâ€¦ Continue reading →
A few years back when we had the Day without a Mexican in LA (May Day Immigration March) with a million strikers marching down Wilshire Blvd, a westsider said to me that they loved being able to get to all their appointments on time that day.Â There was no traffic.
Well, today I can relate to that.Â I made it from Boyle Heights to the Fairfax exit in 15 minutes!! Woo hoo!!Â I think I broke the mythical record of “Everything in LA being 20 minutes away”.
Also I love the Metro’s advice to westsiders “Plan ahead, avoid the area or stay home.”Â LOL!
Hats off to Dennis Romero of the LA Weekly for schooling fools on some sense of LA geography that isn’t limited to the past 10 years. Check out this link and the discussion that is happening in the comments section, there are a bunch of cop out explanations of fluidity and change aka “I’m here now so the world is different”. I want to throw in my worthless two cents but have to get back to the pinchi jale.
I often get a chuckle out of the various misspellings I come across while andando around town. Many of them make sense, the English language is so odd with it’s pronunciations and grammar. However, you do kind of expect official organizations like the United States Post Office to get things right. Or do you? Let’s just admit that our whole society is crumbling before our eyes and this obvious misspelling is a harbinger of it’s impending destruction. I’m okay with that.