Tag Archives: arts

Happening in Highland Park: NELA’s Historic Community Garden Ready for Summer 2016

Highland Park, Los Angeles, is an epicenter of change currently. Property values are skyrocketing, and new businesses are attracting people from all around to come and indulge in the unique culture and atmosphere of Historic Highland Park.

changesfrankscamerahighlandpark

Just across the street from the iconic Frank’s Camera building and newly opened Highland Park Bowl, the Highland Theatre lights up the sky on the weekends with its locally famous green marquis lights, reminiscent of the exciting buzz of yesteryear, when families would head out to Figueroa Street for a night of wining, dining, entertainment and socializing.

Behind the theatre, whose backside is tattooed with awe inspiring street art, is the Milagro Allegro Community Garden. As summer falls upon us, new life is breathed into the once parking lot that now serves as a focal point of community activity and natural beauty for the Northeast Los Angeles (NELA) community.

The garden itself is a place for gardeners to come a rest after stressful days at work, and reap the fruits of their labor (literally). While each plot serves a different purpose to their individual plot owners, the 30+ collective raised wooden plots create an oasis amid an urban landscape.

amaranth

yellowflower

purplebeans

Last year, among the most successful of the community programs held at the garden was our Amaranth Harvest, hosted by Liz Goetz, MFA in partnership with the Souzas of Art in the Park located in nearby Hermon. A series of educational art classes educated children about the history and purpose of Amaranth plants in Guatemalan culture. By the end of the three-month project, the grains were ready for harvest, and community members gathered to harvest the seeds in traditional Guatemalan practice, and the seeds were then stored in the local seed library to be re-used for this year’s harvest. There are more of these types of programs in the works.

Waterconservationtank

In an ongoing effort to be a zero-waste and water conservative community garden, we have added giant 300-gallon caged water tank. The benefit of the plastic tank is that it is easier to quantify exactly how much the garden is using, as opposed to over watering with traditional hoses and water cans. Another perk is that these plastic tanks are durable, yet easy to mend if they were to become punctured. They don’t rust over time like the heavier, galvanized steel tanks do, making them easier to maneuver around, and more cost efficient.

gardenerplot

thaibasil

Sunflower

Rather than watering in the middle of the day, most of our gardeners have taken to the habit of getting to their plots early in the morning, or in the later afternoons to hydrate their plots. By doing this, the water is able to soak to the roots, and enrich the roots as opposed to watering in the middle of the day, when the sun quickly evaporates the water.

It is also imperative to not over water the plants, and make sure that gardeners are not just watering dirt. Native Southern California plants are resilient and actually do well with little water, as they have had to adapt and evolve over the years, especially during the historic drought we have found ourselves in the middle of.

Felix

One of our favorite gardeners, Felix, tends to his plot, which has been producing a wealth of amazing mint and abundant lettuce. 

lettuce

felixlettuce

Here’s some of the lettuce we are taking home to eat from Felix’s plot! 

Another addition to the garden is a large compost system. Generally, successful garden composts are divided into three categories (and they don’t have to be all nice and neat, contrary to what you might read on the internet or in official gardening books). You just need three quasi-separate piles: new compost, aging compost, and ready to use compost. A combination of brown (dry) and green (wet) compost will create the proper nitrogen and carbon to help break down the material, creating a compound of nutrient rich soil to better help your plot become a flourishing bed of growth. It’s easy to get in the habit of creating a designated bin for kitchen scraps that you can heap into your local compost at your convenience!

It is also important to aerate the compost, this can be done with a pitchfork, and by just making sure that air and moisture are reaching all parts of the materials in the compost. This will deliver oxygen where it is needed, keeping the cultures within alive and active. This can be done weekly, or whenever a hefty amount of new material is being added to the compost.

acornsquash

sprouts

mexicantrellisvinespeppers

The best things for your compost are easy to find and will help you take step to living a more sustainable and zero-waste lifestyle! Composts can include dead leaves, lawn clippings, food scraps (not including meat and fat), black and white newspaper, manure (preferably from organic-fed sources), and all organic matter.

Each raised plot should cultivate a combination of fertilizer, rich in nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, grass clippings and/or wood chips (to prevent weed growth, more susceptible in places with direct sunlight), and compost. Grass clippings are an optimal source of organic fertilizer, as it is available via often free local sources, it does double duty preventing weeds and conserving water and garden soil moisture, which is something that not even all bags of pre-packaged commercial mulch does.

The benefits of raised bed garden plots are seemingly endless. They produce a better yield for area because there is better drainage and better opportunity for deeper rooting and stronger crops. It is also easier to rework the soil and top layers from season to season, making your plot ready to serve you all year round.

seedlings

tillingsoil

This season, my plot-mates and I decided to turn all the soil, removing all weeds and excess roots, to make room for our new seedlings. With about five bags of manure from a local source, our plot was ready to get started! It is always encouraged to plant from seeds, and we advocate for this at Milagro Allegro. This year, we purchased our organic seeds from Sunset Nursery in Silver Lake and used a seed started kit to germinate the seeds. When they were ready to be transplanted, we transported them to the plot and arranged them in their appropriate rows. So far so good!

creatingrows

newplantedraisedbedplot

plantlables

Our giant trellis is being used for our melons, tomatoes, and my favorite—watermelon. Last year, with just one watermelon seed, I was able to manipulate my watermelon vine to work its way all around my giant trellis to create a watermelon tree of sorts. Because of the adaptability of the fruit, the vines strengthened to adapt the the weight of the melons, allowing them to grow and hang in a unique and creative way. I hope to do this same this year! The results were delicious.

biketrellis

mint

There is not shortage of trellises for gardeners to utilize at the garden and there are a variety of sizes and types that can cater to your individual gardening needs. Summer trellises can be used to help grow tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, pole beans, gourds, melons, squash and pumpkins.

During the months of May and June, it is prime time to plant the following for the best results; basil, beans (bush and pole), beets, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, jicama, lima beans, mustard, okra, peppers (of all varieties), pumpkin, radish, squash, sunflowers, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon, and zucchini.

freegrownplot

backperspective

There is something satisfying and fulfilling about caring for something and watching it grow. Not only are there aesthetically pleasing benefits of gardening but functional rewards as well. There is a community of local gardeners that congregate to chat and enjoy the outdoors in the middle of a neighborhood where some have lived for generations. But people are welcome to enjoy the garden, whether you are an established resident of the area, or looking to get more involved. Each plot gives a little glimpse into each gardener’s character. So stop by and watch the evolution of the harvests of summer 2016!

jasminewalls

Jasmine produces a seducing aroma for passerby’s of every variety. 

fruittrees

Fruit trees lining the garden create a more inviting ambiance as opposed to the often deterring chain link fence. The apples are in bloom as wells at the beautiful flowers that grow with them. 

If you are interested in starting some sort of community programming in the garden, please contact Andrea Kainuma at andreakainuma@gmail.com for more information.

For more background on the genesis and mission of the garden, here is the description as listed on its Facebook page:

“The Milagro Allegro garden is located at 115 S. Avenue 56 in the Northeast Los Angeles community of Highland Park. The garden features 10,000 square feet of land divided into 32 raised plots for cultivating fruits, vegetables and flowers. The garden also features a gathering circle for hosting classes, workshops and community events.

Milagro Allegro is located behind the historic Highland Theater, on 10,000 square feet of land belonging to the City of Los Angeles. Before Milagro Allegro began negotiations for a community garden, the land had remained vacant for 30 years—full of weeds and surrounded by barbed wire.

Thanks to the tremendous efforts of several community members and the support of Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes, Assemblyman Kevin De Leon, L.A. Department of Transportation, L.A. Community Garden Council, L.A. Conservation Corps, Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council and Home Depot, the Milagro Allegro Community Garden was able to open its doors.

The Milagro Allegro Community Garden is organized under the Los Angeles Community Garden Council, which supports 70 community gardens throughout Los Angeles County. Collectively, the gardens serve nearly 4,000 families and have become a vibrant part of their communities aimed at reducing poverty, mitigating global warming and benefiting the environment.

Its mission is to be a center of peace and beauty in the community where the cultivation of vegetables, fruits and flowers as well as creative ideas, artistic expression and neighborly values may take place.

The Milagro Allegro Community Garden integrates urban farming, art and education in the heart of the Highland Park neighborhood. Garden plots are available for interested community members. A community gathering space hosts classes, workshops and events. Local schools may incorporate the garden into curriculum or after-school activities. “

Advertisements

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

dam-images-daily--clare-graham-art-clare-graham-art-moryork-gallery

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.

1451774052

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.

9472500_orig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 stephaniezalatel.com/class.html or e-mail Stephanie at szalt@gmail.com. If you know you want to purchase tickets, you can do so by going to waterstories.brownpapertickets.com.

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

Home is where you park it! : Tiny living in my freshly renovated vintage Silver Streak trailer in Highland Park! (I did it under $1500)

Original post here: Home is where you park it! : Tiny living in my freshly renovated vintage Silver Streak trailer in Highland Park! (I did it under $1500)

trailer update 2

andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california
andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

The Whirling Girlish for @HappeninginHighlandPark !

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 11.06.54 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 5.27.03 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-02 at 11.07.04 AM

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

Link to full article here!

Katrine by VUM music video directed by Andreas Attai, a friend of the Whirling Girlish!

VUM — “Katrine” from Andreas Attai on Vimeo.

Just me and my Chola’s. Circa 1990.

Director/Producer/Editor: Andreas “Tito” Attai
Director of Photography: Charlie “Largo” Balch
Co-Producer/UPM: Hannah “Wetta” Baker
Colorist: Bryan “Paco” Smaller
Hair: Taylor “Lo” Stevenson
Make-Up: Dina “Smiley” Gregg
Picture Car/Transpo: Cesar “Rascal” Alvarez

Cholas: Cristina “Chula” Mendoza, Ashley “Lil’ Payaysa” Sinden, Melody “Whisper” Parra

Special Thanks
Jennifer and Chris Badger
Mom, Dad, and Sisters
Jackson LaRue
Andrew Jaramillo
Katherine Montague
Niko Wiesnet
East L.A.

Read about it here: http://yvynyl.com/post/120625952507/premiere-vum-katrine-it-is-hard-to-detect-this

“It is hard to detect this video’s age and origins. Its direction and design is outstanding (full credits), and as always, the song from one of my favorite dark-siders from LA Jennifer Pearl continues to break my heart. She just let this video fly in celebration of her new album, Cryptocrystalline LP. “(via yvynyl)

If you want to see more from Director Andreas Attai, you can access his website here.

Talk about a sound bath, yeah? Enjoy! 

Women Around the World: Weekly Article Feed

Your weekly update about happening around that you want to read about. Brought to you by The Whirling Girlish. Hope all of you are getting ready for a fantastic Women’s Rights Day this upcoming Tuesday! 

tina belcher bobs burgers feminismThe Women of Bob’s Burgers : http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2014/08/23/342397137/feminism-in-a-run-down-taffy-factory-the-women-of-bobs-burgers (via NPR)

The Fate of Feminism in Pakistan : http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/21/opinion/bina-shah-the-fate-of-feminism-in-pakistan.html?_r=0 (via NY Times)

Taylor Swift’s take on feminism “clarified” : http://www.mtv.com/news/1908420/taylor-swift-feminism-guardian/ (via MTV)

Conde Nast’s new CMO is shaking things up : http://www.forbes.com/sites/aliciaadamczyk/2014/08/21/new-cmo-is-latest-shakeup-at-media-giant-conde-nast/ (via Forbes)

Twitter parody humor for anti-feminists : http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-twitter-feminism-parody-balancing-20140815-column.html (via Chicago Tribune)

Scenes from feminist implosion : http://nypost.com/2014/08/04/scenes-from-the-feminist-implosion/ (via NY Post)