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The Highland Park Trailer Project


I moved to the one-of-a-kind neighborhood of Highland Park in North East Los Angeles (NELA) early 2014. Paradise. I was steps away from Figueroa Street, a melting pot of history, culture, and the kind of diverse community one only dreams of. Day and night I heard the buzzing of cars traveling north to Pasadena or southward toward Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA), just a couple of miles away via the 110 Arroyo Seco Parkway.

Highland Park Silver Streak Trailer

Everyday I passed vintage autos lining my street, a stunning collection belonging to a life long HP native. I’d stroll by the Highland Theater ,with its giant, glimmering marquee lights, and quickly became a deeply involved member of the Milagro Allegro Community Garden after winning my own plot in the biannual garden lottery. Shortly after, I joined the Arroyo Seco Arts Collective, the longest standing active arts collective in East LA. From the top of Deb’s Park, I had a 360 degree view reminding me of all the reasons I now find myself residing on the West Coast. It should be noted, however, a piece of my heart will forever reside in the south, where I grew up in Florida.

When I first arrived to HP, I lived with two brilliant physicists (my soon to be best friends) pursuing and ultimately receiving doctorates in particle and theoretical physics at CalTech University. I found them on Craigslist. Together we explored HP and its various and equally interesting surrounding neighborhoods. We still are passionate about experiencing and absorbing the uniqueness of every corner. I adopted my dog, a xoloitzcuintli named Tesla, from my next door neighbors whom tended the Tierra de La Culebra Art Park, a long-time beacon of communal arts in the area.

It came time to relocate, and I most randomly, bumped into a true spur-of-the moment deal of a lifetime for myself and my new landlord. I’d move my belongings that very evening (consisting of just two trips across the way in my Honda Fit) onto an acre of sacred land in the heart of the place I called home. Sharing the large piece of land with me, would be my landlord and close friend, a world-renowned artist (look her up here–), tediously working away in her studio and pouring her heart and soul into her land. It would not be a conventional living arrangement (I’d have to run across the yard to go to the restroom, take a shower, and use the kitchen and washing machine), yet it turned into my most prized art project and life experience to date.

The 19′ long 1969 Vintage Silverstreak “Jet” that I’d passed by wondering about everyday for well over a year had suddenly become the space and canvas for a most great art piece andadventure. The caveat was that I’d have to re-build everything from the ground up, as the livability of the trailer was next to zero—a challenge I did not hesitate to accept. There was undeniably work to be done. When the project began, my heart was in it, and there was no turning back. Soon after the groundbreaking, passing travelers, and neighbors in their cars cheered me on as I worked tirelessly with some friends through the heat day after day, every day, for over a month. I was thankful to be in a place where I could afford to make the renovation my full time job for at least a little while. The odds and ends came organically.


Initially, this trailer was used as a mobile office for the LA Department of Water and Power . Therefore its original interior had been modified to accommodate a more functional work space. Task #1—it had to be gutted. Whatever critters might have been calling it home would have to relocate elsewhere.

In the heat of summer, the next priority was ventilation. Initially, it seemed there was none. It was stagnant and suffocating, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed.  After some YouTube research, with the help of a friend, we installed three air vents atop the roof. Until these were installed, I improvised by sleeping in the breezy outdoor porch of the main house, or slept in my car with the trunk open (it was cooler in those spots than inside the 100+ year old, 100% American Craftsman home). We caulked, tarred and sealed any existing cracks to prevent water damage inside, and re-screened the multiple surrounding windows. Privacy and curtains would have to come later.

Some of the most enlightening things I learned about myself during this journey were a) I don’t need a lot of material things, b) I like getting my hands dirty, and most interestingly of all, c) I don’t require much privacy (like, at all). At some point, there isn’t anything left to hide.


This is what it looked like after the initial gutting. Luckily there was a pre-existing deck (this plays a major part soon).



After acquiring some beautiful lumber from my friend/owner (and one of the most up-and-coming contemporary  artists to watch of this time, Kyle Austin Dunn) of BayAreaCustomFurniture  located in Oakland, I was able to do some fine-tune wood working with the beautiful extra donated slats used to add accents and personal touches of my own. Primarily these pieces were used for wall panels and my custom work desk. I came across solid red wood floor panels and gained my hands on experience laying down a genuine hardwood floor, replacing sheets of old, damp, plywood. The result gave a true breath of life to the space. Stark white walls were established after three layers of primer, three layers of paint, and two days of scrubbing and cleaning away years of grime and dust.

trailer update 2

Living a minimalist lifestyle has always been my chosen path. Each item in the trailer was of personal value. My goal was to create product of form and function working in concert—Pictures, curated salon wall, artwork of friends, antique furniture and accent pieces, the works. The vintage barber chair show is a stellar find from a local man of the neighborhood with an unparalleled skill collecting metal odds and ends selling them to local antique and vintage stores. We’d done business before, and he came to me first, knowing I’d be ecstatic. Um, yes please.


Hanging on the wall to the left in the photo below is the original hand drawn design plan for the the community garden. These sort of pieces are priceless. My bed shown above is small and an irregular shape. A special foam pad needed to be cut to accommodate the curved front of the trailer, but it fit me perfectly. Space underneath functioned as extra storage, optimizing any and all extra areas I had to play with.

Those nights ended up being some of the best rests I’ve ever had. In the summer, when it was scorching, I’d sleep with the door wide open, facing palm trees, while Chopper, our sweetest property dog, staked out on the deck keeping me safe. In the winter, it was a different story. I had a small yet effective space heater. Yet my mother sensed the probability of changing weather conditions and mailed an electric blanket well in advance during the early fall…(thanks, Mom).


Power ran straight from the main house under a shallow ditch using a couple long, orange extension cords. Something tells me this isn’t to code. I’ll apologize later. Moving on!  It was thrifty clearly a project in which we had to be resourceful—not to mention, it worked perfectly. The hanging lanterns shown here proved my primary light sources. When it came to using the internet or talking on the phone I took that business out to the deck any hint of a signal.

The stump pictured below is actually made of real California avocado wood, originating from a mature tree I knew during my time surfing for six months in Ventura, California  before making my post-graduation move to LA to pursue my burgeoning future as a writer and producer in Hollywood. The beautiful tree was tragically cut down, despite much protest from locals. Alas I collected the remnants I could. I created this stump and a live edge coffee table which I added hairpin legs to and use on a daily basis.



This is the even more fun part.

Months later after the bulk of the work was in good standing, a close friend of mine, a Senior Producer at The Ellen Show, approached me about an upcoming segment of the Ellen Show show called Grand Design. A professional crew would come in, and renovate various spaces across the country in just two days per project for under $1,000. Obviously, I was down for it all. Within a month the job was done and exceeded any and all expectations. See for yourself.


The revived shiny coat was achieved by using a finish that is used by airliners to maintain their appearance and upkeep. A turquoise stripe added just the right personal touch, matching the style of not only myself but also my eccentric property owner/artist whom generously allowed me to share her land. Potted succulents on the deck lived organically among the surrounding natural plant landscape.

The best parts are the simple horizontal slat privacy walls and sunshade, making it easy to entertain, as it was more difficult in such small quarters. The transformation was not only aesthetically transforming but also initiated a re-birth and revitalization in the mindsets and hearts of all that gave energy to this project.

Others seemed to agree!

Look at all the attention it received on social media! My project got its fifteen minutes of fame and also a lifetime of appreciation and love from me.

Check out the articles here.

Want to see the episode? Click HERE!



There were many of these lazy days and and existing  lifetime of gratitude, memories and pride in my work and the team of others that helped me with achieve my vision.





MorYork Gallery presents WATER STORIES, a collaborative mixed media art piece


The MorYork Gallery in Highland Park is a true wonderland of curiosities hidden in plain view. Its home is on a busy corner diagonal from locally famous Café de Leche on York Boulevard in Highland Park. A plain green wall lets the space sit unnoticed while walkers and drivers pass by. Behind the green wall is a portal into an otherworldly collection of art and artists collaborating and creating amid a large skating-rink-turned-art-space that is nothing short of epic in size.

Owner of MorYork Gallery, Clare Graham, talks with his resident artists underneath a hanging installment of dangling spines, fibers, and other oddities. An almost occult playfulness and innovativeness is apparent via copious sculptures, furniture, paintings, scientific concoctions, skeletal systems, and beyond.


This has been Graham’s space since 1986, long before the hype of Northeast Los Angeles seduced the minds of Los Angelinos to come and rally in NELA for hip cultural gatherings. The wood floor still shows traces of basketball court painted lines and the wood vaulted ceiling is reminiscent of what one might imagine Noah’s ark would have perhaps looked like.

Graham’s work incorporates recycled materials, often cast aside unwanted. New life is breathed into each piece, as its corresponding elements work together to create larger than life works of art with radiating character. As one nears one of Graham’s pieces, it seems it comes more to life with the emergence of every detail. Up close, it can be seen that these large-scale pieces are frequently constructed out of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of tiny everyday mundane pieces. His work genuinely winks at the concept of power in numbers.

The theme at hand during this visit is water, leading to the forthcoming collaborative art performance which incorporates movement, sound design, textiles, and prose to portray WATER STORIES.

A series of workshops will allow the public to immerse themselves into the art by extending the opportunity to practice in a variety of media, ultimately contributing to the final product as a whole. The logic behind these sequence of workshops in concert with the final product results in a community minded experience where abstract concepts and philosophy can be pulled from applicable experience. It soaks the viewer in engagement, bringing them closer to a more acute understanding of the art piece rather than taking on the mere role of a spectator.

However, this does not exclude the less active audience member. Stephanie Zalatel, creator of the szalt dance company, works with her team to choreograph a deeply moving five-part performance for WATER STORIES. Movement appears to narrate a story set to the sounds collected by musician and composer, Louis Lopez. Audio clips collected from field samplings are set to bold tones with an ethereal ambience and subliminal humming reminiscent to the experience one might have submerged in water.



















Perhaps one of the most unique elements of the piece, aside from its already left-of-mainstream surroundings of the gallery, is the use of textiles and costuming. Fiber artist, Amabelle Aguiluz, incorporates her knitted clothing into the performance by creating abstract masks and dress-like coverings for the dancers as well as the landscape around them. The various patterns in the knit work resemble the natural patterns that might be found in nature within a bed of sea coral. While Aguiluz generally works with basic dark and light colors, this piece will incorporate a wider spectrum of color, amplifying the colorful and unpredictable make-up of water and all the connotations it possesses.

To round out the process, there will also be poetry about the performance constructed by poet, Julia Nowak. The poems will be featured in the programs at each performance, giving each audience member a memento to take home with them if they were unable to participate in one of the preceding workshops.

There will be several opportunities to get involved. The actual performance will have multiple weekends including April 22-23 (for VIP ticket holders) / 29-30, and May 6-7 /13-14.

Starting March 20, the workshops will be every Sunday from noon until 3pm. It costs $30 to register online, and $40 at the door. If you are interested in all four classes, you can get a bundle rate of $100. The first will be a textiles workshop, followed by sound recordings workshops, then a movement research class, concluded by a culmination workshop where all the acquired skills can be put to use in a cohesive piece. For more information please visit or e-mail Stephanie at If you know you want to purchase tickets, you can do so by going to

The MorYork Gallery is located at 4959 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90042.

The Whirling Girlish for @HappeninginHighlandPark !

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As of late I’m writing for @HappeninginHighlandPark ( and below is a feature that just posted today about the urban garden in, you guessed it—Highland Park!

Link to full article here!

Flor Veinte Collective: An Interview

Bluestockings Magazine

UntitledRegina Larre Campuzno (Maladama) and Valerie Peczek (Valey) have teamed up in their Oberlin afterlives to start a music production group that works with “female, trans*, and gender non-conforming performers” [1] to share their music and empower communities through education. Flor Veinte Collective makes music performance more inclusive and accessible to all people through promoting gender and cultural equality.

This summer Flor Veinte launches it’s first tour across the East Coast and the Midwest playing shows in 14 cities. The duo will be offering workshops (conducted in both Spanish and English) that will teach trans* youth and young girls songwriting, improvisation, performance techniques, and basic soldering skills to make contact microphones.

Fresh like a flower, Flor Veinte Collective is a much needed and awaited departure from a generally male-dominated music scene. Help them support their summer tour and workshops by donating to their Kickstarter and check them out…

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Weekend Links Vol. 29: March Is Women’s History Month!

Women’s history month with Bluestockings magazine!

Bluestockings Magazine

Welcome to another week of feminist web surfing! In Weekend Links we gather a set of the most engaging journalism, prose, poetry, art, and Interweb images or memes we have come across. We hope with this small curation of links to illuminate the work of the prolific and active feminist blogosphere.

March is Women’s History Month !

Every March, it’s Women’s History Month. Whether or not every other month is Men’s History Month aside, this month Brown is organizing numerous events to commemorate the lives and work of women in history. Check out the extensive list of events!

Come Make Zines With Us // Salon Launch


Come help us make our 3rd zine on March 4th, 2014! It will be our first Salon, a bi-monthly space facilitated by Bluestockings Magazine, a Brown-based feminist publication and online platform. Our aim is to open our doors beyond staff meetings to engage in…

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