With more soon,
With more soon,
So it’s the second week of summer and you read How to Beat Summer 2019 Parts I – III, 10 Ways Not to Beat Summer 2019, and even How to Outline Summer 2019, but you’re still not quite sure what to do with all this newfound time on your hands.
In this case, you’re likely making it just a tad more complicated than it needs to be (I know from experience). But with this blog, we’re going to give it one more shot in a last-minute challenge for you.
The only requirements for this challenge are a few hours of time on your hands, permission to go out for a few of those hours, and either a parent, friend, sibling or pet turtle to accompany you. Okay, maybe not the pet turtle. Sorry pet!
Ready? You’re now officially a secret agent going on an adventure. Your mission: to explore the second most populous city in the world and bring some of its top secrets back to headquarters. Your key ‘weapons’ for the mission are: walking shoes, a smart-phone, a Los Cuentos hat, and a water bottle.
There are also no cars allowed for the assignment. Metro buses and rail-lines only.
Ready to find out where you’re going? You will choose one of the following places for this mission:
In true secret-agent fashion, you’re not visiting these places just to ‘have fun.’ You’re going to ‘excavate’ them for some classified info like a world class spy. Sure, you can go with your people, get some ice cream at the stores, and check out the stuff on sale like a lookie-loo. But the real purpose of your visit to these other places will be to find out the following:
I. Where is ‘the heart’ of the neighborhood? (As in, where is the public square, or main area? What kind of businesses are there? Is there any kind of art you see there?)
II. How does it differ from your side of town? (What kind of people are there? How many languages do you hear spoken? And what can you tell about the ‘other’ kids at this other part of town?)
III. How might your neighborhood ‘be’ more like this one? (Could there be a different Metro Station to make it easier to get to your side of L.A, like with these other neighborhoods? If you could choose the stores you’d have in your neighborhood’s main area, what would they sell? And apart from the stores, where would the kids in your neighborhood hang out? Would they have their own main area too, or public square?)
That’s it! It’s true that these are quite a few different questions to remember during your visit to the assignment, but we both know you can glance at this blog while you’re out there on assignment.
We also both know that this is a mission you can definitely accomplish in three to four hours. Metro’s lines were made for you to use for exactly this kind of challenge, just as these ‘other’ places were made for you to visit and learn about.
At the end of the assignment, you’ll feel accomplished for learning about a new part of Los Angeles for yourself, send me the answers to your questions for a top-secret review, and receive a brief follow-up mission, if you so choose.
So, what are you waiting for? Give this last-minute challenge a shot and get out there, young storyteller. Your city is counting on you!
Last summer when the First Ever Back to School Party made its way to East Hollywood in Los Angeles, it was following in the steps of an earlier precedent set in the neighborhood by the First Ever Open Mic at Cahuenga Library in Spring 2018.
Each event was designed from scratch, essentially made up of ‘thin air’, and would go on to create reverberations in and around the neighborhood for days. Now, with a 2nd Annual Open Mic Night at Cahuenga Library officially done and documented, and with the official start of summer just over a week away, it’s my pleasure to announce a 2nd Annual Back to School Party (BTS II), once again at El Gran Burrito in Los Angeles on Saturday, August 24, 2019. BTS II will coalesce with several other projects by yours truly, including the East Hollywood Neighborhood Survey, an upcoming Summer Writing Challenge for Students in L.A., and more Los Cuentos Merch, among other goodies.
In other words, it’s an exciting time to prepare for summer heat in The City, where our marks under the sun wait once again to be remade. In celebration and anticipation of the next ‘BTS’ Party, it’s also my pleasure to publish the gallery in this blog, each picture courtesy of Samanta Helou, of This Side of Hoover. Samanta’s pictures are proof of the power that emanates so boldly when communities come together unapologetically seeking something new for themselves. My world changed magnetically in the flicker of time that was the event–just as it would in the time following it–and I know I’m not the only one for whom that’s true.
I look to create the same opportunity and more for The City alongside my team this next Summer 2019. Expect nothing less than the world!