Monday, May 20, 2019

Tied & Bound in Los Angeles

Red, blue and yellow lights illuminate a 10-square-foot linoleum dance floor in the center of the main room, as the audience watches a petite young woman wrapping rope around a tall, hard-bodied man. With each layer of rope she wraps around his torso she explains to the audience how important it is to avoid “huge owies.”

Ancestors Come Alive: The Art of RAH

His fingers were covered in smudged hues of blue paint with a tangible intensity emanating from his molasses colored eyes. Ramiro Alejandro Hernandez, a.k.a. RAH, puts the finishing touches on an Aztec inspired painting inside the 11:11 temporary art gallery in Canoga Park, Calif. The streets buzz with live music and food trucks as the last of the summertime...

Seasoned Songbird

A petite woman with peach-colored skin and pearly white hair closes her eyes as she practices singing Christmas carols. Her passion for performing shines bright in her eyes while the ENCORE Singers rehearse in Room 3400 of the Pierce College music building. Eileen Guliasi, 81, is back in school for the first time since she graduated Theodore Roosevelt High School...

Buy A Bowtie, Take A Top Off

Alex Koontz wearing one of his dandy bowties and flashing a big smile. Phto by: Jacqueline Kalisch
Panic washes over 21-year-old Alex Koontz when the idea of going to the bathroom approaches. Koontz barely ever passes as a guy so going into the men’s restroom is extremely stressful. It’s even worse to use the woman’s restroom with all the stares and constant whispers. Keeping his eyes to the ground and doing what has to be done is Koontz’s only way out.

From Lost Boy to Homeboy

As a riverboat passes by on a quiet river in Tennessee, an ex-gang member from Pacoima, Calif. sits on a dock nearby. Just watching. Breathing. Living. This serene setting is a world and life away from where a 12-year-old Neil Gutierrez was issued a seven-year sentence for beating up his mother’s boyfriend. He walked into her house to pick up clothes...

Beaten, Broken, or Brilliant? (Occupy LA)

Dear Occupants of Los Angeles, It’s me, one of the 99%ers. I’ve seen you around town. I’ve had some conversations with people who claim to represent the movement. However, I still am full of questions and concern.

Room for All-Ages

By Portia Medina       Across from the football field at Granada Hills Charter High School, three wiry teenage boys assemble the marquee at the First Presbyterian Church to read “The Breathing Room.” Inside the fellowship hall, a youthful man with a kind face covered in a short scruffy golden beard with warm brown eyes directs the boys. 29-year-old Justin Souza is...

Divine Intervention

Story By: Kari Golden Red. Green. Walk.     San Julien Street. Busted walls and littered concrete. Cracked windows and ignored street signs. Clusters of men and women lean against doorframes and empty spaces as others sporadically cross the street with blind eyes to oncoming traffic. Black hoodies and blazer jackets cover layers of clothing; layers of thickened scars. There is no sense of time or...

Hollywood Screams Peace

Story By: Jessica Conway         No Justice, No peace! No justice, no peace! The chants echoed through the streets on Mar. 19 2011. It was a protest on the streets of Hollywood and Vine, not just for anything but for a change in the world. The streets were filled with thousands of people, young and old of all races, who were unhappy with...

Room for All-Ages

One man's dream is the driving force behind the San Fernando Valley's newest all-ages music venue: The Breathing Room.