Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nightshot: Commute

I've learned the hard way that Adams is not the best street to bike on during the day, but it's wonderful at night.

I drove to Lost Souls tonight because I was already in my car and I wanted to swing by before closing time. I drove home with the windows down, but it was not at all the same as feeling the cold air whip at my face and creep beneath the layers of my clothes as when I bike. Conclusion: driving makes the journey home much less satisfying.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Things Are Changing: Main & 21st

I pass this building on a near-daily basis, and love it.

Dayshot, one month ago:

I once rode by at midnight from a show at Zero-Point Space and met two street artists with wheat-paste in hand, ready to add their mark to the wall. I love that something someone abandoned and can be turned into a canvas.

The new windows indicate that this building might not be such a willing canvas for much longer.

Nightshot, recently:

A larger piece on the side of the building:

Apologies for the poor use of flash; the light on my bike wasn't very effective. It is sad that guerrilla art is a casualty of gentrification.

Google's "Street View" option shows men at work on the side of the building:

View Larger Map

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Weekend Events

LA vs. WAR

A Hector Silva Retrospective

Hector Silva’s work reinvents and queers what scholar Richard T. Rodríguez calls the homeboy aesthetic.

Opening Reception
April 12 | 8:30-Midnight

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives
909 W. Adams Blvd.

Exhibit runs from April 12 - May 12

Talking Drum

The "Talking Drum" Serves a hub for the growing number of socially conscious people who have grown tired of seeing whole communities disenfranchised and would like to connect with others who want to discuuss and organize ways to combat the symptoms of systematic poverty, and lack of political access.

Lost Souls Cafe
124 W. 4th St.

Open Mic begins at 7PM

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Nina Revoyr at Skylight Books

Last Thursday I ventured up to Skylight Books in Los Feliz to attend a launch party for Nina Revoyr's new novel The Age of Dreaming. Revoyr is the author of Southland, an LA Times bestseller in 2006. Southland is a mystery novel which doubles as a history lesson in relations between the Japanese-American and African-American community in 1960s-70s South Central Los Angeles. It remains a favorite novel to me, and Mike the Poet lists it as one of his "best books about Los Angeles" in his chapbook.

Getting to Skylight was pretty painless. I caught the Rapid 754 from Vermont/Adams to Vermont/Maubert. It took approximately 40 minutes, including the bit of walking it took to get from bus stop to destination. Highlights:
  • Waiting for the bus on a bench with two older, wizened black men, talking about the difficulties of being Asian in the US. One of them asked me if I wished that I hadn't been born here, because it makes things harder. He told me that he wished that we could all just have peace.
  • There were four very well-groomed, flamboyant teenage boys riding the bus with me after the exodus of commuters got off around 6th Street. One of them put on lip gloss using the mirror on the still-moving bus, and had a vague "Santa Fe"/Rent moment. Ah, how glorious to be young and confident and know that you are foine.
Skylight Books reminded me a bit of Modern Times Books in San Francisco. I loved the space and the fact that they have 'zines for sale. Zine-ing is not dead! I really didn't take enough time to look around, though, since I was mostly focused on the event. Unfortunately I didn't put my camera to use there and so I have no photos with which to remember the cheese, crackers, fruit, wine, and mini-cupcakes I consumed during the reading.

Living in Southern California makes you a bit jaded about meeting celebrities, but I must admit that I was very much "author-struck." REvoyr mentioned Downtown during the reading and while she signed my book, I was glad to be able to tell her about my bike rides down Broadway, imagining the glory days of the old theaters. I'm very excited about The Age of Dreaming and all of the Downtown/Hollywood history that it invokes.

Skylight Books
1818 N. Vermont Ave.

Rapid 754 from Vermont/Adams to Vermont/Maubert

Cost Summary:
Bus fare: $1.25
The Age of Dreaming: $16.50
Total: $17.75