Reasons to go: exciting new friends and relationships, a funky independently owned bookstore, the distinguished city of Los Angeles, downtown. A spontaneous decision to go, “I’M IN”.
A solo drive, the 10 West, the 101 North, stop and go (doesn’t matter). All four windows are down; I have a half pack of cigarettes, a cool beverage, cash in my pocket and the sun and wind feel great on my skin. It’s Friday and I am pleased.
One-way streets. $5 parking. A double check to ensure the doors are locked. 4th and Spring Street, “DON’T FORGET”. A 24 hour café, a parklet, lunch with friends, and we are on to the next. A bar, a beer and a diverse set of conversations.
Reasons I am really here: A poetry reading at 7pm, a blog post and again, the city of Los Angeles.
Individual. Independent. Unique. Eclectic. A large two story filled with books, records, art, and a vision, various visions. Almost instantaneously I was flooded with a soft yet heavy feeling, the history and life and all the characters I was breathing in and that were surrounding me made me feel warm, comfortable and inspired.
An informal grouping of standard chairs, a mic, a D.J., a host and 15 strangers who are willing to share their words, story, art and poetry, with a now filled room. The nights’ topic: Place and identity. Substantial.
Reasons why this is worth writing about: The 15 strangers. These people embodied all the noteworthy characteristics that I had experienced on this day thus far and more. My new eclectic friends and our unique conversations and even the independent bookstore didn’t move me in quite the same way as these individuals did. They made me feel warm and comfortable and inspired. Their stories, poetry, and definitions of what place and identity meant to them was emotional. It was my reaction to these strangers’ opinionated and passionate speeches that was the true substantial element of my day, simply them and nothing else.
Reason to go back: For the full spectrum of individuality found in the city Angels.