Springtime on Spring Street

A crisp morning in Downtown Los Angeles. February chills with sunny skies invaded my senses as we walked toward The Gerry Building. The building with rounded corners and curves on Los Angeles Street. Guarded with security on the outside and a checklist to let you through its glass doors. LA’s house of fashion since 1946. buy…

The City of Lynwood

The City of Lynwood: In Remembrance During Quarantine By: Armando Cepeda             We start ourselves in my place of birth, the place I live, the place I stay             City of Lynwood. Never remembered unless you say             It’s right next to Compton or mention Plaza Mexico             Previously known as the Marketplace and then…

My Life Until the Age of Eighteen

Before you read, there are some things you should know. I moved from the Philippines to Los Angeles when I was only six months old, so it’s fair to call this city my home. While I have been living here for most of my life, I am still not a citizen and this dilemma has…

Letter To Our City

Letter To Our City Class poem English 2600 Literary LA Spring 2020 Cal State LA– I wish we could have performed this as a class with Mike Sonksen (Mike the Poet) and Statement Magazine. I wish we could have worked on this and polished it in person. I wish so many things… Los Angeles is…

The Loss

Shared by an anonymous student I’m scared of my own image, All I see is damage, Broken wings, Just like ripped strings, Tears falling down, Yet I drown, Wish it was untrue, Yet it can’t be undue, I’m sick of this scene, Yet im in between, Of this war zone, All alone, I tried to…

Sunshine or Noir?

April 25-26, 2020 In his landmark book about Los Angeles, City of Quartz, Mike Davis begins with the question “Sunshine or Noir?” and this is a question that haunts Los Angeles, and I expect haunts my students: why did you ask us to read Mike Davis? For those who aren’t familiar with Davis, his writing…

Who’s Story Do We Tell?

Whose Story Do We Tell? (Homage to Judy Baca & the Great Wall of Los Angeles) By Mike Sonksen 1. Judy Baca paints to interrogate  whose monument where? Whose story do we tell? Baca paints public history  Inventory in the inner city  The Chumash animal spirits  escaped the La Brea tar pits Canoeing to the…

The Pest House

April 11-12 2020 In the winter of 2007 we moved from our rented apartment on the hill in Echo Park to a rented house behind Dodger Stadium. I had never known much about the Chavez ravine story before moving there, but once we started walking around Elysian Park and I discovered Don Normark’s photographs of…

Riding Through These Times

March 27, 2020 Today we took the Bus out to pick up supplies at Target. I may have mentioned that we have a1966 VW bus in class—my father’s bus—but here’s a picture for the visual folks out there.  It felt strange riding in the Bus again, so familiar, as this is the Bus of my…