Welcome To L.A. Arts District: An Insider’s View By The One & Only Anna Broome

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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 


Anna Broome Of The Broome Room At L.A. Art Share–With Princess Frank





 The Anna Broome Room Tawny Ellis, Marissa Gomez, Terry Ellsworth, George Joquim, Richard McDowell, Jim Marquez, Lee Boek, Colette Von, Anna Broome, Cato Stevens.



It is 7 AM and the world is dark in the Art District. There is no one awake who may account for the happenings from the night previous. I lived here many moons ago, but still today, everyday is the day before and the night after. The local coffee house is alive with the hereafter represented inside a kind of world no one but the artist may explore: A simple continuing idea abounds from what is the mindset of love and art inside a love and art mind.  I came here for the sake of art and kindness of home but like Dylan said, “A home I had never known.”



The ties Tatiana Von Der Schulenburg toes on the telephone post symbolizing gentrification


Bloomfest, an annual cultural festival honoring founder of the Arts District Joel Bloom



Meet the talent.


The morning I moved into the American Hotel was after the death of my boyfriend. I had no where to go. I had been given the cover of Citizen Magazine for a collection of paintings I created on drywall and thus introducing me to the Arts District by way of the art show to follow at The Continental Gallery at Fourth and Main. Long time Arts District member Rick Robinson, who later heads the Art Share board, came to the gallery while I was still working on paintings for my show to open there, Feminine Dissection. He brought me paints and stayed with me as I worked feverishly to finish the work for the show. I can still see him coming into the gallery at midday with a bag full of oil paints and a smile. I didn’t know where this guy came from or who or what sent him, only that he must belong to something wonderful, supportive, where an artists collect extends themselves to other artists, all just trying to survive and get the work done. Through Rick I met many fellow artists and just like I imagined there was a brilliant collective of artists not unsimilar to vampires who formed a kind of coven located in Little Tokyo. Read more

The Persistent Dreams Of The Tunnel Builders

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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 


It all began with the parkway to Pasadena in 1939. American Freeways were inspired by Hitler’s Autobahn



Some of the people seated around the long table in the elegant dark wooded South Pasadena home have been fighting the idea of a five-mile long tunnel nearly 200 feet beneath their feet for decades. To them, that tunnel is the hydra-headed monster that they beat down, but only for a while, and then it pops up again. It’s like a cancerous tumor that can never be removed.

About the time Caltrans and Metro recently released a new Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement which once again advanced the notion of building the tunnel, this group of veteran tunnel fighters were meeting to take stock. The report also suggested alternatives to the tunnel, ranging from realignment of existing streets, or putting in a lot of light rail or doing nothing.

As far back as the ‘70s and some say even back to 1939, Caltrans’ intention to complete the Long Beach (710) Freeway’s from Long Beach to Pasadena was always part of the plan. But for years, the plan has been foiled in court by the No 710 Action Committee, acting in alliance with cities like South Pasadena and the Sierra Club. In other words, the people here in the room. Read more

Memories Of Dean Channing Briggs

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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 



I recently received an announcement of a new academic dean at my alma mater, Portland State University. It instantly brought back memories of one of my favorite people during my student days at the university during the late 1960’s, Dean of Students, Channing Briggs. As a member of a group of anti-Vietnam War protesters I was a part of constantly challenging his authority and railing against him for trying to keep a calming atmosphere on campus, when we felt that red hot rage was the only morally appropriate response possible to the war.

Once when Dean Briggs tried to put myself and four other students on disciplinary probation for disrupting on-campus military recruiting we were brought before a student/faculty hearing committee, which we not only attended but packed the room with several dozen sympathizers who booed when Dean Briggs sat down to make his case against us (it was like that comical scene in the movie, “Animal House, made a few years later). During the middle of his testimony as to why we should, in effect, have our hands slapped by the school, he began to fight back against his own impulse (unsuccessfully) to start giggling at the absurdity of the comic opera he found himself involved in. Read more


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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Our Own Kind - Umberto Tosi · Comment 


(Umberto Tosi, author of Ophelia Rising, was an editor and staff writer for the Los Angeles Times from 1959-1971.)


 Benny’s been flat as a warm soda since he lost the custody case. Better if he’d kick in a wall, or go on a toot, howl at the moon. At least talk about it. He’s no good to anybody this way – especially himself.

I feel bad for him, but I’m not taking it on. I got enough on my back. I told him he’s got to get hold of himself. He looked hurt. “Get hold of yourself, Benny, then maybe I’ll hold your hand, and you mine again.”

He looked up, pained. “What did I do wrong?” That’s his tune now.

“You want me to tell you everything is okay, when it isn’t? You know most everything is fucked – that’s life as usual – and you already know you’re okay – most of the time, anyway, Ben. So, what else is there?”

It felt mean, talking that way, but he’s pushing me out, and probably doesn’t even know it.

“Not the end of the world,” I tried to tell him. “You just go back to being a weekend daddy.”

“It’s a sop. It won’t work. I’m sick about those kids living in crazy town with their mother and her whole boozing, back-biting clan, and not being able to do a damn thing about it” he rambled. I’ve heard it all before.

“You’re still around for them, Benny, and you do more than most.” I made one more try at consolation.

“What’s the good in it?” he says.

“Now you’re crying in your beer. It’s not becoming, Benny.” I’m exasperated. This is tearing me up, and I’ve got Keesha to consider. I told him it was best we put some distance between us for a while. I never moved in completely, anyway, and thank the Lord and my good sense for that.

“I’ll just go back to my own place, Benny.”

“Ah, jeez,” he says, and I can see he’s breaking up.

“Our thing here was always temporary,” I said. “We agreed to that.”

Then started negotiating. He offered to get a bigger place that we could share. “I’ll pay for it,” he offered.

Wrong. “I don’t want you to pay my way, Benny.” Read more

Chapter 22 Of Mary Reinholz’s Amazing Novel “Exit From Eden”

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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Exit From Eden -Mary Reinholz · Comment 



Wild Woman Of Yore 

  A few snow flakes were falling at noon when I found Sean Collins in Tompkins Square Park, letting his dog Mistake run loose as he threw bread crumbs to the pigeons. I sidled up next to him and asked if he’d help me ice Sargeant Battaglia. I was only half-joking.

He shrugged, looking like he had heard similar requests once too often. Finally, he asked, “Are you one of these off-the-pigs radicals?”

Collins sat down on a park bench, lit up a cigarette and stretched out his long legs on the pavement. I suddenly wanted them wrapped around me.

“I’m not a total cop hater,” I said. “But I think this undercover cop I’ve run into wants to kill me. He thinks I might write about his dope habit and how he blackmails girls to have sex with him by saying he’ll bust them for buying drugs. He’s an ex-narc, a pretty boy drunk with power. I think he’s a psychopath.”

I must have sounded hysterical because Collins took my hand and pulled me down on the bench next to him. He spoke soothingly. “He’d have to be a very stupid cop to go after a reporter in this town. I read your story on the mafia killings yesterday and it mentions a plainclothes cop with an Italian name. Is that the one you’re talking about?”

I nodded. Read more

Here’s the real Oliver, featured in a few of Lionel Rolfe’s articles; photos by Rose Hugh

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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Miscellany · Comment 





Honey vs. Wal-Mart

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April 1, 2015 · Posted in Notes from Above Ground · Comment 







By Honey van Blossom

(Honey is a Belgian Marxist former strip-tease artiste)

Yesterday a young East Indian woman rattled the metal screen that locks in front of my door.   She said she was there to talk about helping children break the cycle of poverty.   She held up a brochure with pictures of children on it. I said, No. I’m not listening to this. She said they had a website. I closed the door.

Tonight a young Asian woman rattled the screen. She was there to help children break the cycle of poverty. She held the brochure up.

I told her if you want to break the cycle of poverty, work for a living wage for their parents.   Charity is insulting. Helping children break the cycle of poverty is blaming the children.

Last year, I advised low-income working parents at the Pittsburg Courthouse library.   A full-time manager with an MBA at a big box store made $1500 a month.  He had custody of his two children. Rent in Pittsburg is $1500 a month. The other parents made $900 a month. They got food stamps.   Food stamps subsidized the retail stores so they could pay low wages. Section 8 housing vouchers subsidized landlords so they could find someone to pay $1500 a month in Pittsburg, Antioch and Bay Point, and to get a voucher – that’s like winning the lottery. Often, the apartments they lived in had no heat, no air conditioning, and black mold. Read more