Posts Tagged ‘Community’

SERIES – On Skid Row: Part One, Introduction

Skid RowBetween December 2005 and March 2006, journalist Sam Slovick wrote a stunning and insightful series of LA Weekly cover stories that took readers “deep inside the everyday tragedies and triumphs found on Downtown Los Angeles’s Skid Row.” These stories were then turned into a documentary series by GOOD Magazine (a “collaboration of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits pushing the world forward”) in 2008. I’ll be embedding this entire film as a series here.

Los Angeles’ homeless community isn’t exactly hidden, yet poverty is a particularly easy issue to ignore as we go about our busy days, driving through the city streets at high speeds worrying about our own problems. I hope you’ll stop and take a minute to watch these films. Especially in this economy, there but by the grace of God go us all.

DESCRIPTION: Part 1: The lay of the land on Skid Row in Los Angeles, the worst social disaster in America. Alongside Skid Row’s hustlers, transients, and cops are a lesser known population of children, social servants and religious workers whose daily lives play out on LA’s most dangerous city blocks.

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS6ar1aJIYM[/youtube]


BIG SIGH – Saving Clifton’s. And L.A.

cliftons2It feels like so many great things in Los Angeles are being killed by the economy. Paddle boats and lotus plants, film screenings, 80% of our parks, and now it looks like there’s a hint of trouble for historic, campground ambiance-filled purveyor of ambrosia salad for nearly 70 years, Clifton’s Cafeteria. Mind you, I still haven’t finished mourning Kelbo’s Coco Bowl… I just don’t think I can take much more.

This is such a scary time… in case you haven’t noticed, many wonderful things that surround us are being taken away like grains of sand – one by one – most never to return. Something needs to change about this trend, for anyone who actually believes closing parks and landmarks is for the good of a community isn’t thinking very hard about the reality. Many of the things that are disappearing have foundations that took multiple lifetimes to build… these things are our traditions and speaking for myself, the heart of our heritage. Without them, we become less. We lose identity… one grain of sand at a time.

By the time this run of closures is finished, there won’t be much to go outside for. Do we really want our children to never experience parks or art programs or a cafeteria filled with movie set decor modeled after the Santa Cruz Mountains circa 1935? Do we really want to be people who do nothing besides stare at iphones all day?

Not six months ago, The L.A. Times called Clifton’s “The place where L.A. finds itself.” If and when the kitschy goodness of Clifton’s disappears from our tangible landscape, we’re going to be even more lost than we are now. Moral of the story:  take notice of the things around you Los Angeles. Appreciate them NOW. Don’t take them for granted, they’re too important. And while it’s still there, please go check out Clifton’s if you haven’t… or even if you have. The food may not be on anyone’s diet, but that’s part of the charm. And before you leave Clifton’s, take a minute to go up to Clifton’s diorama chapel (created for owner Clifford Clifton by artist Einar Petersen) and say a little prayer for its future. Actually, throw another one in for ours while you’re at it.

©USC Digital Archive


EVENT – As Michael Jackson once said… “Jam On!”

SUNDAY, AUGUST 2nd
jam What:  4th ANNUAL PUBLIC FRUIT JAM
Where: Machine Project, 1200 N Alvarado Street
When: 10:00am-1:00pm
Price: FREEEEE!
Details: “Yesiree, it’s that ripe time of year again! Making jam and getting into sticky situations with Fallen Fruit collective is one of our favorite summertime traditions! Bring along your home-grown or public fruit and any clean, empty glass jars you have. At the end everyone will leave with a jar of communal jam. If enough people bring surplus, even the empty handed will leave with jam. Vats of fun for all!

The kinds of jam we make will improvise on the fruit that people provide. The fruit can be fresh or frozen. Fallen Fruit will bring public fruit. We are looking for radical and experimental jams as well, like basil guava or lemon pepper jelly. We’ll discuss the basics of jam and jelly making, pectin and bindings, as well as the communal power of shared fruit and the liberation of public fruit… Thanks very much to Slow Food LA for their help in funding this event!”
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM6nasmkg7A[/youtube]