Monday, December 10, 2018

Forging a Future for Others to Follow

White sparks sailed as embers landed on the weathered work boots of young shielded students. The sun started to fade as welding instructor Darlene Thompson worked her way down the rows as she observed her students from a distance with calculated and warm eyes. Originally from Chicago, Thompson and her family moved to California in 1984 where she attended Mount...

Serving Those Who Served

Inside a Los Angeles salon, wooden floors and a posh interior give the room an inviting atmosphere. The hairdresser stations are spaced uniformly, with dark espresso-colored leather seats and tall narrow mirrors that line either side of the walls. Colorful shampoo bottles in pastel shades of pink, lilac, mint, yellow and cream are displayed neatly on shelves like pieces...

These Walls Tell Stories

Hidden inside studio walls in The Brewery Artist Lofts in Los Angeles, vibrant colors dance on the walls as Andre Miripolsky proudly displays his LA-centric work in almost every inch of his creation space. It is in this city that he has truly discovered his creative muse that has allowed him to be self-employed since 1982. “Looking at my life,...

#InstaFame

Huddled in an intimate circle, surrounding a palm-sized digital camera sitting atop a black tripod, five casually dressed twenty-something year olds break into fits of laughter. Their eyes laser in on the camera’s screen as they review the footage they just shot. The actors  filmed a parody of popular dating websites, such as Match.com, taking turns speaking to the camera...

Welcome to the Game Grid

The kids’ audible joy melds with the bleeps and bloops of arcade machines that are old enough to belong to their parents. Air hockey pucks smack around the tables, punctuating the laughter and talking that fills the room. The 2,500 square-foot facility is packed, almost every machine occupied by an eager kid or parent trying to get to the next...

The Call of Music

On a sweltering night inside a dim cantina, glasses clink and patrons burst into drunken laughter, while on the center stage blinding fluorescent lights illuminate the faces of mariachi players. The musicians are clad in suits that match the lit sky, sweating from the hour-long performance of singing, strumming and seducing the audience with love songs.   The final notes...

Silent No More

Swarms of college students blend together, holding their textbooks, coffee cups and laptops, consumed in thought as they hurry to and from class on the University of California, Los Angeles campus. A bright red hat upon a confident young woman’s head makes a statement, standing out among the crowd. The white capital letters embroidered on the hat read “Make...

That History Belongs at Valley Relics

When entering the Valley Relics Museum, the love for Los Angeles is immediately apparent. Racks of t-shirts line the walls proudly displaying the defunct logos of family-owned companies from the San Fernando Valley’s past. The glass counter is stocked with small pieces of memorabilia and merchandise, including coffee mugs, tote bags and bumper stickers stating, “History is Beautiful.” The museum...

Life Behind Elote

A lime green cart bumps along Vanowen Street, a pop of color against the gray concrete. The cart’s bell jingles as the wheels maneuver over the cracks in the sidewalk. With its chipped coat of paint, the wood near the bottom shows its true signs of wear. A man pushes the cart as he honks his horn. The honking serves...

Clipping the Clippers

NBA stars are constantly in the spotlight. They need to have the newest kicks, the freshest clothes and blinged-out watches; it may as well be a part of the job description. One of the biggest aspects of the overall swagger a player must uphold is “the cut.” If you walk on the court with a bad haircut, you’ll be a...