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…

Don’t know what to do

it’s been several days since I’ve been outside. Since Friday 3-20-20, the first few days of staying inside were okay until today. I had several distractions through the first few days but now I’m just kind of over it. My outer shell of being okay is cracking and I feel the inside collapsing. There’s no…

Trust the Journey

Written by an anonymous student, posted by Jenny. If you want to share your experience as this was, just send your thoughts/images to Jenny I don’t really know in what sequence I’m suppose to be writing this but I figured I’d vent a little as well since many are doing that on social media anyways….

What's Going On?

What’s going on?There is no traffic on the 5 freewayinstead, there is traffic in front of Costco.There is no more traffic on the streetsinstead, traffic is in aisles 1 and 2, and 3… Long lines of people pushing empty cartswaiting to stock and unnecessarily hoard,waiting to get necessities only to end up with none. There…

Is This Really Happening?

The picture is looking out to the 626 in honor of Mike Sonksen…more views from Debs park. March 22, 2020 An uneasy feeling has been following me around as I navigate this new life: is this real? One student even e-mailed that very question to me, and I replied that as far as I can…