Thursday, December 15, 2011

Flashback: A City of Sin and Beauty // Gardena in LAPL

Gambling advertisement for the city of Gardena, 1952
source: LA Public Library
A few months ago I sat on a bus with a couple of men in their sixties who had grown up in Gardena. They described fields where they went hunting for rabbits, and farms, and a stream that's now Vermont Avenue. traci kato-kiriyama shared stories with me about her grandfather's nursery on Western Avenue. I went to LAPL's online photo collection database and typed in "Gardena," hoping to find images of this city that reflect what I've heard, and to perhaps even find a photo about the area where my building is. To my surprise, there were only about 60 results, and the photo above is one of them.

I hadn't realized that Gardena was marketed this way in the early days, as a city for gambling and "sin". Despite being near two casinos, all of my associations of Gardena are with the Japanese American community and with families. I've become accustomed to the flashing lights and jackpot blackjack ads. I don't really think about them. I have not been inside any of the buildings and I don't know a lot about how it's even legal for these gambling establishments to be here. 

I'm surprised at myself for not looking up this history as I've done before. Better hop to it before I flit off again.

Friday, December 9, 2011

What If... at Gallery Nucleus Dec 10 - Jan 2

Looking for some weekend art in San Gabriel Valley? Check out the opening of a new show at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra:

What If...
What if it actually rained cats and dogs?
What if money really did grow on trees?
What if the moon were made of cheese?
For this exhibition, some of the super talented folks at Disney, Pixar, LAIKA, Blue Sky, Cartoon Network and Sony have created some very imaginative "What Ifs" of their own. Following our Super Big Micro Show back in 2010, Nucleus has again invited the artists behind your favorite animated features to create personal, bite-sized or "micro" pieces that will plaster our atrium gallery with most macro game of "WHAT IF..." ever! 
This exhibit is sure to be not only wildly entertaining, but a fun opportunity to experience some personal works by the amazing artists responsible for creating the magic on some of our favorite films!
December 10, 2011 - January 2, 2012
Opening Reception
Dec 10, 7:00PM - 11:00PM

Wish I could make it for the opening as my friend Vi-Dieu is going to be in this show, and I haven't seen him since I surfed his couch (floor) in Portland two years ago.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Donate to 'American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs'


The Los Angeles-based writer/director Grace Lee's next project is a documentary about this bad-ass, nonagenarian philosopher/activist:

She's sent out these compelling messages to the Occupy Together movement activists (and to all of us).

Donate to the IndieGoGo campaign today--ends at midnight and it's less than $2,000 away from the goal thanks to a promised pledge of $1,500!