Another addition to the blogroll is the community based Little Tokyo Unblogged that's been unleashed with multiple authors. It's part of Little Tokyo Unplugged and set up so the community
"can share information, thoughts, ideas, and opinions about the Little
For now, have some public art as they explain the non working old camera box seen on First near Central that was once an interactive
piece to project photos by Little Tokyo's Toyo Miyatake:
First-generation Japanese American photographer Toyo Miyatake (1895)
opened his photography studio in Little Tokyo in 1923 and spent the
rest of his life documenting his community's life on film. When
Miyatake, his family and 120,000 Japanese Americans were unjustly
incarcerated by the U.S. government during World War II, Miyatake
bravely smuggled a camera lens and a film plate, considered contraband,
into the Manzanar concentration camp in California. Using a
secretly-constructed camera, he captured everyday life in Manzanar.
Six Korean-Americans who made
their money as manufacturers in the Fashion District, and who declined to be named, have
purchased the Little Tokyo Shopping Center and plan to
evict the Japanese businesses and replace them with mostly Korean
businesses, reports Los Angeles Business Journal (via CurbedLA):
The Little Tokyo Shopping Center has changed
hands several times since it was built by Japanese developer Taira
Services Corp. in the mid-1970s.
At the peak of the market, it
sold to Mitsuwa Corp. for a reported $40 million. When Japan’s
speculation-driven bubble economy burst in the early 1990s, Japanese
companies scaled down or shuttered operations in Little Tokyo. Mitsuwa
sold the building to downtown property owner Richard Meruelo for $13
But the Little Tokyo district
falls under the protection of the city’s Community Redevelopment
Agency, which offers assistance to help maintain its cultural roots.
Those date to 1884, when an American sailor set up a Japanese
restaurant on First Street upon returning from a tour in Japan.
Mark Tarczynski of CB Richard Ellis justifies the potential culture changes as inevitable: “Where Chinatown
is today, it used to be Little Italy in the 1920s. Ethnic enclaves
change over time,” he is quoted as saying in the LABJ article.
\ From the LATimes visit to the Los Angeles River and surveying the tagging culture: The centerpiece is something officials say is the biggest tag they've
ever seen: Three block letters that cover a three-story-high wall and
run the length of several blocks between the 4th Street and 1st Street
bridges. It spells out "MTA" -- Metro Transit Assassins." The article goes on:
Cleaning graffiti from the river is far more expensive than cleaning
other areas. Officials use high-pressure water spray to remove the
toxic paint. But hazardous-material crews must then dam and capture all
the paint and water runoff to prevent it from getting into the riverbed.
Roland Gonzales, with the Army Corps of Engineers, estimates that the
price tag for cleaning the roughly two miles of concrete walls could
reach half a million dollars.
"We can paint today and they'll be back here tomorrow," Gonzales said.
"It is a fresh canvas for them. . . . They will be right behind you."
However, with the tagger mentality thriving on the rush of marking wall––and in many ways more important than displaying any craft or skill––makes these form a forced message to be read. It's not art. It's visual spam.
Taggers are holding back a lot of potential young artists from earning any respect.
“I just couldn’t help it … the blue water, the kids waiting to jump in,” said Councilman Ed P. Reyes joined in Thursday's ceremonial first dip at the refurbished and renovated Echo Deep Pool. “Today we celebrated summer a little early in my district.”
The year-round indoor pool––serving the communities of Echo Park, Downtown, Elysian Park, Pico-Union and Westlake,––measures out to a competitive sized 45 x 25 yards with depths of 12 and 9 feet.
Spring admission fees apply through June 20 and includes free admission for seniors, 65 years and older; youths, 17 and younger; adaptive swimmers; and adults with a valid library card. Otherwise adults 18 and older without a library card pay $1.50.
Echo Deep Pool. 1419 Colton Street Los Angeles, (213) 481-2640
Echo Deep Pool Spring Schedule
Open May 27 to June 20
Noon to 4pm
4:30 to 9pm (weekdays)
1 to 5pm (weekends)
Photo via District 1 staffer who did not jump in the pool.
Down 17 in the 2nd quarter, L.A.'s bench rouses the Lakers back into the game before the starters finish off San Antonio. Game
5 of the Western Conference finals is over. Lakers win 100-92. Bring on Boston . . .or Detroit.
Katalyst Foundation for the Arts is a throwback to the Arts District loft tradition of converting a working studio into a gallery. Move away the tables, clean up the walls, and hide the cat; instant gallery.
At least it appears that way for the gallery goer sipping wine, looking at art and wondering how they can get a loft/gallery space to live in.
For a fact, I know organizers are spending the week prepping the space for the opening of "Pulse Point' this Saturday May 31 from 7pm to 11pm. PR speak says:
Katalyst Foundation for the Arts presents an exhibition of seven visual artists offering their own reflection of culture's pulse points. Iraqi artist Paul Batou's lustrous images of pre-war Baghdad neighborhoods, Sculptor Lilli Muller's figurative work, Mark Vallen's Realist portraits and John Paul Thornton's large panels depicting religious rituals will also be on display, as well as Anne Deon ancestor series and paintings by Julianna Martinez and Laura Peisner.
Pulse Point Katalyst 201 South Santa Fe Ave #207
Los Angeles CA 90012
213-604 3634 www.kffta.org
PENNING THE MEAN STREETS: Noir will be lingering in the darker corners of Downtown and to a group of mystery writers, gentrification is the shadowy figure waiting at the corner of 7th and Spring––willing to bump someone off. . –– It’s another POV of noir that's inspired by major developers rediscovering the inner urban core. . –– Tonight, SAJE offers Write to the City, a slam that bemoans “The vibrant city celebrated in noir books and stories is fast disappearing. Its residents and local businesses are facing the same fate as those in the non-fiction world. Gentrification is forcing them out of their communities.” . . –– DETAILS: The website says that 7th and Spring is a block full of contradictions. “In the shadow of lofts and skid row, right on the front line of the struggle and its visible face, bona fide L.A. noir.” . . –– One wonders if there was no conflict, would noir exist?
Write to the City Free to the public 8pm Thursday, May 29 Gallery 727 727 S. Spring Street For seat reservation call (213) 745-9961, ext. 204
Downtowners, meet Under the Alexandria, a family of three who migrated from Silverlake, found a loft, and set up a blog. The main voice is Mom:
There have been a few things to adjust to. Having the car a block
away is a pain in the ass when you have the baby and groceries and
other shit to haul around. And the neighborhood is definitely still on
the gritty side (though a helluva lot better than it used to be).
Seeing drug dealers on 5th did not make me a happy mama.
Off the chart: It's already time for a Chevron Station / Food Mart at Cesar E. Chavez and Alameda update. As you can see, prices jumped since the weekend; Regular went from $4.31 9/10 to 4.43 9/10 while Plus went from $4.51 9/10 to $4.63 9/10. Supreme took a hike from $4.61 9/10 to a staggering $4.73 9/10. That makes this one Chevron station, according to LosAngelesGasPrices listed at this moment, the highest in the region. They may argue that the rent is high, or the flashy new sign is expensive to maintain, but do you have the feeling prices are set for the tourist not eager to set foot in Downtown and look for an alternative fuel source? Pictured: Chevron at Alameda and Cesar E Chavez. May 27, 2008