I was in Santa Ana last night, enjoying the Annual Noche de Altares (where they were charging $20! to get your face painted), when I saw a friend who was on his way to a Douglas Miles exhibit at CSF Grand Central Center, 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana. Getting out of the cold and finding a non-porta pottie restroom sounded good. He said there would be food too. I followed this white-rabbit around the corner to the Santa Ana Arts District and zoomed into a gallery that I knew had a restroom. The whole building of multiple galleries have the same address – 125A, B, C, D, etc., but luckily as I walked quickly towards the restroom, I saw a gallery with Douglas Milesâ€™ signature art at a distance. I point towards it and tell my friend â€œThere!â€
When we joined up in the gallery, I was so amazed by the beautiful art work (images of famous Apaches and new Apache icons) spray stenciled on found wood, the walls, skateboards throughout by Douglas Miles and Reanna Ruby. It is a small space, but each wall was appointed interestingly, harmonious with each artistâ€™s work playing off each other. Two pink skateboards star as delicious paleta-like sculptures on the wall. Large graphics of skaters by Cory Oberndorfer expand the space in unpredictable ways , there was even a skate ramp ready for the nightâ€™s entertainment.
A while back, Victoria wrote about the Freewaves project, “Out the Window.” Well, the videos are finally up and running on Metro buses and they’re online for folks to check out as well. I hate riding the bus, so I’ve been checking them out online instead. Way easier and with none of the awkwardness that comes with public transportation.
There are 60 different artist participating in total and the videos will be featured from October to November. A different 2-minute video will play each day, appearing once per hour, every hour. Check out their website to stay up to date on the newest videos they feature, an interactive map of L.A. that highlights where some of these videos were produced and the subjects in them. The project was a collaboration between Freewaves and UCLA REMAP.
Since early Saturday morning, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation has been putting in new bike lanes in Boyle Heights. The lanes are 1.6 miles long and start at Boyle Ave and finish off at Lorena. Not a bad start, but Boyle Heights still needs more lanes. The 7th street bike project will add more bike lanes in the future, but what Boyle Heights needs is lanes on Chavez. That would be the ultimate commitment in making BH bike friendly. Joe Linton has a write up and a map of the route here tambien. With more and more bike riders taking to the streets, I’m glad the city is, slowly but surely, meeting the demand for safer roads. Even with the new lane, riders still gotta be cautious because there are some crazy drivers in BH, believe you me. Hopefully folks will now ride down 1st street vs Chavez.
Literature pimp David Kipen and his libros volunteer crew are making their way west, as the newest artist in recedency at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. From now till October 9, the lending library will be posted up at the lobby gallery pretty much doing the same thing it does at the eastside store front, sharing the gift of literature with folks across town. According to the museum, “Westwood has also seen the closure of several bookstores recently, as well as a reduction in some hours at nearby libraries. Libros Schmibros at the Hammer will increase Westwoodâ€™s access to books, while serving as a public square where visitors can check out, acquire, or donate books, and interact with Kipen, his team of volunteers, and other visitors.”
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.
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 →
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.
Click image to read the “building restrictions” reference to racial covenants
It’s hard to imagine Los Angeles as it had been before we imposed this haphazard city upon it’s landscape. The indigenous people of Los Angeles, the Tongva/Gabrielino (Great Chengiichngech! Which is the proper term?) had the right idea in regards to the local geography: small villages located near running bodies of water and plenty of nearby sustainable food sources, like wild greens, roots and acorns for foraging and small game like fish, deer and rabbits. Yes, they too altered their environment, but in a sustainable and harmonious way, what’s sometimes called “paradise by design.” I try to imagine this Los Angeles when traveling through my Lincoln Heights neighborhood (home to one of these original settlements): small villages surrounded by wild rambling vines of berries, meandering creeks and in the distance roaming bears scavenging and clawing up the rich clay soil while hunting for rodents. Unfortunately, the asphalt and concrete often suffocate my imagination and I abandon my daydreaming. Once in a great while though, my mind can conjure up the ghostly images of long-gone leafy green alisos and for a brief moment this supersedes the vista now taken up by beige stucco apartment buildings and car repair shops. I’m romantic like that.
I tried to use this same sense of imagination to see the southeast city of South Gate as the edenic, fertile plain described in the memorial booklet South Gate 1776-1976 a publication produced by the city of South Gate to commemorate their 1976 bicentennial. By the way, the 1976 date is a bit of a stretch, it commemorates European settlement. The official date for cityhood is 1918. Prior to 1864, the land had been part of Rancho San Antonio owned by Don Antonio Lugo (a mural depicting Lugo’s Old Californio lifestyle can be found at 7141 Pacific Blvd. Huntington Park). Before SeÃ±or Lugo came riding in with his vast hordes of cattle, the area was called “Tibahagna” and “Ahau” by local indigenous people. Continue reading →
Tomorrow night is a meeting concerning proposed changes to the North Spring Street Bridge. It’s true, the bridge could use some improvements but I hope completely replacing structure is not one of the changes being proposed (the video doesn’t make it entirely clear). I’m also concerned about the block of historically significant buildings at the foot of the bridge near Los Angeles State Park. There was talk that these buildings would be destroyed in the bridge widening process. I certainly hope this proposal is off the table. Continue reading →
As a younger and inexperienced artist, one of my dream goals was to have my art displayed in a museum. I thought that would be the ultimate place where my ideas, voice and craftsmanship would be appreciated and cherished. I attended all the great museum exhibits–Van Gogh, Picasso, Tamayo, Siqueiros, Da Vinci, Kahlo, Warhol and so many more that I love— standing in front of their work (where they once stood), so hungry to see how they saw. Some of those artists were never even appreciated or successfully exhibited during their lifetimes.
Afterward, when a museum bought my work for a permanent display, instead of feeling accomplishedâ€”I felt like an oddity, a curio. I know itâ€™s the nature of me, as an artist—Iâ€™m never satisfied, always looking for the next thing. As a producer/curator, a job that was imposed on me due to the lack of opportunities for my art genre,Â I enter every exhibit with a critical eye.
In truth, museums began as cabinets of curiosities and collectibles that turned into rooms filled with stuff, which people were willing to pay admission to see. All these museums started as personal taste collections that were cherished by those who had the resources to give them importance.Â I am not sure this system has even changed.