The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was still crowded, depite Coachella drawing what I’m sure would be many Festival-goers to Indio–the date’n’meth capital of Southern California. Somewhat overwhelmed, I milled around my alma mater revisiting my favorite library, checking out the refurbished arts building (which looks, IMHO, like an architect’s mini model rendered life-size–it’s quite odd), and reeling around in the crowd.
From there it was the 10 East to Downtown, where the Little Tokyo Lofts seem like a hermetically-sealed biosphere amidst the grunge of Skid Row, its occupants vacuum-sealed away from the outside world. It even has an enclosed dog run, and the bridge from its parking structure, located at the third floor of the structure, makes it seem even more separate, removed. Cross the bridge…
(pictures from the FOB after the jump)
…and you come upon an inner courtyard, on the loft building’s second floor, with well-trimmed trees and tables where you can sit & put your feet up. Inside the units occupants can enjoy a sanitized version of the exterior city’s grit, with exposed pillars in the walls and big industrial widows. While the pinko in me railed internally, she was drowned out by the side of me that really, really would love to live there.
It was only about four years ago that they were building these units, and it was still sorta an edgy building, and a boyfriend’s band played in that same atrium as rockers, glamorously derelict junkies, trust-fund art school kids and Downtown’s own version of the passenger pigeon–artists–milled about, looking down on the band from the upper levels, or wandering thoughtfully through art exhibits located among the few open lofts: the only ones they’d completed, and which were being shown as sample units at the time.
This time a fire had damaged one of the units on the lower level, and the halls were filled with some serious fannage, and they’d cut about a foot off the bottoms of all the walls to combat water damage.
It was a mellow afternoon, hanging at a friend’s place and staring at the magical percolator as it brewed coffee, and watching the squares of glazed, blonde sunlight move across the walls, Downtown’s buildings and thick, muggy air making the light tangible.
My favorite sculpture in the sculpture garden at UCLA. This is one badass broad.
Post-pomo lit lovers crowd the McSweeney’s booth.
The amazingly charismatic poet, and Altadena native, Douglas Kearney, whose book is out from locals Red Hen Press.
If you saw a girl in a sun-bleached blue straw cowboy hat, giant black glasses, and five-inch black platform boots with fur on the tops, it was me.