Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Turned away at the border

So, we got turned away at the U.S./Canada border on Thursday. After being waved through at the Vancouver entrypoint without them even asking us for ID, we had out entire car searched at the Montana/Alberta border. They said we couldn't get in because of our "merch" (dvds and t-shirts). We drove all night through Montana and Wyoming to come back to Denver for a few days. Now I'm in Southwest Colorado on a minivacation with Stirling, who was supposed to meet us in Winnipeg. We cancelled Calgary and Winnipeg and Minnesota and are starting the trip back up in Madison, Wisconsin. We leave Thursday. I will post an entry about the screening in Missoula later.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Readers, look below

There are two new entries below the one on Wallace, Idaho that you shouldn't miss! They are just underneath because we started writing them and saved them as drafts earlier.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Wallace, Idaho

.We drove from Coeur D'Alene through Idaho and into Montanta today. We were looking for a nice place to stay somewhere between Coeur D'Alene and Missoula. We passed through Walace, ID early in the journey and fell in love with it, but foolishly decided to keep driving in the false belief that somewhere just as cool would come up further down the road. Walace was really cool because all of the old buildings were still there and pretty much intact, in their original styles. .I found a great old sign to take some photos of, in the spirit of adding to my collection of cool old signsSign making was an art and now it is basically gone. Which is really too bad because signs on buildings used to add so much character and personality to buildings and whole towns. Another artform bites the dust.

Here is a picture taken today in the car. Don't ask me why I look so exhausted after falling asleep watching cable tv before midnight.

Now we're in Missoula. I will be posting a photo-narrative about the motel we are staying at tonight, tomorrow.

The Ponderosa Motel: a photo narrative in pieces (by liz s.)

The Ponderosa Lodge (Missoula, Montana- March 2006) So, we are staying at this amazing 70s motel and I wanted to do a photo essay on it. It just seems like all of the fixtures have been so well-preserved. It is definitely the most unique Motel I have ever stayed in.

View from our balcony, looking toward the other side of the lodge

Courtney in the room

the amazing red telephone

Cool light fixtures above sink in bathroom

the puke green/yellowish bathroom sink

The light/fan switch in the bathroom.

Montana makes me feel like I'm home

We are staying at the Ponderosa motel in Missoula, MT. The woman that rented us the room had a slight mumble that reminded me of how close to home I really am. This part of the rockies is less impressive than the part that I am used to seeing but the sky is just as big here as it is in Wyoming. I guess that's why both states claim to be in "big sky country" as corny as that sounds. And it does, but it's true, so whatever. I'm just happy to feel like I recognize some of the landscape.

It's been difficult feeling so far away from home lately. My Yia Yia (grandmother) died on March 13th, while we were in Seattle. She has been in poor health since I was an adolescent, but it is still really hard to think of her being gone, especially since I haven't lived in the same town as her for so long. I moved, with my mom and gary (my other Dad), from Cheyenne when I was about 16 and I have only lived there "long term" for one summer since then.

My Yia Yia was such a great person. She moved to Wyoming from a fishing village in Greece in the 1940's when she was in her 20's. She moved with her new 60 year old husband, my grandfather, Blackie Kallas. I can't imagine the transition she must have gone through. But she went through it and became a strong woman in the Greek community of Cheyenne, WY. She ran the front counter of my family's restaurant, "Sto Cafe" as she still called it, for 40 years. Here are some pictures of what The Albany looks like now:

She raised my Uncles, Gus & Tasos, and my Dad, George, and encouraged and facilitated them going on to college, and kept her house full of good food--cooking and raising a garden and sometimes chickens. She taught my dad how to cook and he taught my sister, Maren, and me. She would take us to church and sneak us candy as we squirmed around during the services.

I remember her laughing at us as we layed under the benches and dropped hymnal and liturgy books. All the other Yia Yia's shook their heads in disapproval, but she didn't really care. She'd just handed us extra communion bread or tootsie rolls. I look a lot like her and, now, when I look in the mirror I think about that. I guess she's closer than I thought. I mean we have lots of the same DNA. Maybe that's weird to say.

More than DNA, though, obviously, my Yia Yia is a woman that I will always be able to relate to. While we both have had very different experiences with our family, our family is still the same. Our family happened because of her. We grew up in Cheyenne, WY, whether we started our lives there as children or young adults. It's home and the restaurant is still there. My family still owns the restaurant and her house. My uncle still lives in her house above the garage even though the rest of it is rented out to another family. I joke that I'm a "prarie pirate" and that I'm a "High Plains Lady"--but I'm not really joking. I'm really connected to the slightly undulating, mostly brown or gold plains that stretch out from any side of the small town I grew up in.

I'm connected to the train tracks that come into the yard right next to The Albany and to the over pass that crosses them to get to the south side of Cheyenne. I'm connected to Holiday Park, Alta Vista Elementary, 1815 Seymour Ave, Hawthorne Drive, and Gardenia Drive. I'm connected to them in lots of ways, not only because I've stared at them so many times from different angles and at different times in my life, but also because my family has too. I suppose I shouldn't be so nostalgic about this stuff, but it's hard not to when I'm listening to a train pass by our hotel and out the window I can see a bare, golden hill looking out across the big sky.

Coeur D'Alene, Idaho

We spent two nights in the Budget Saver Motel Annex. Here is a picture of Courtney in the room:

I just had to put up a picture of the cigarette hole in this blanket since it's happened to us at two hotels now.

Yesterday we did work online all day, setting stuff up for the tour. We went for a walk around the huge Couer D'Alene Lake, and then went to this pub called Moontime and got beer and food.

Also, here are some pictures from a rest stop on the drive through eastern Washington/Western Idaho, called "Wasteway" which we found odd.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. Although we spent less than 24 hours there, I would consider moving there. The city is set up really nice and there are these amazing mountains in the background. There is also water everywhere and the beach is so close it's incredible. Vancouver has a very "urban" feel to it. It seems like the population is really dense, and there are millions of people walking around the street all the time.

Our screening in Vancouver was at BLIM, this awesome DIY arts space run by two sisters, Yuriko and Keiko and Yuriko's husband.

We got there around 7pm to start setting up. The inside of BLIM was amazing and I really regret not taking photos to post here. It was really bright looking but everything was painted white. There was an amazing screenprint art show up on the walls and you could just really tell that a lot of thought had been put into the way that the space was presented aesthetically. They do screenprinting workshops and hold art shows and other events there sometimes.

There was this really cool art wheatpasted to the dumpster outside of BLIM:

Courtney and I went to this great vegetarian Chinese restaurant that is apprently famous in Vancouver (and Zagat rated!). It was packed full of all kinds of people while we were there, waiting for our food (we got it to go). We got spring rolls and this seaseme chili tofu with a kind of peanut sauce. It was really good.

The screening itself was also nice. Only seven people came, but those who did seemed really interested in the topic and there was a nice discussion afterwards. Two people came who had been part of a collectively operated artist space called the Butcher Shop that recently closed. One of them, Chad Oakenfold, does this cool website called you might want to check out: oakenfold.ca

I also met an ex-pat who lived in Oregon for a long time but now lives in Vancouver. He is involved in this really cool project called Space Agency. It is a group of artists creating a project whereby they are encouraging the reclamation of seldom used public spaces, like corporate parks where business people eat lunch during the day but that aren't used much otherwise. Another project they did was beautifcation of public alleys in Vancouver. What a great project. There website wasn't working earlier, but maybe try this link: Space Agency.

I also just found this amazing website for the group called Spacing, a Toronto-based group that focuses on all issues related to pulic space and urban life in Toronto (and around the world). They mainly do a magazine called Spacing, but they also do things like hold workshops to help people figure out way to beautify abandoned bicycles in the city! They also have some interesting photoblogs, including a photonarrative about why postering is important to cities! Here's a picture from that essay:

Anyway, after the screening at BLIM, we ended up hanging out with Janette's friend Mark. He showed up around the city a little bit, we went to a park with a beach, to a show at the Astoria hotel and discovered vancouer punk rock and bad canadian beer, and then slept for a few hours before leaving for the long drive to Coeur D'Alene, where we are now. Getting back across the boder we had to wait for about 30 minutes in a line of cars, but the border patrol guy didn't give us any trouble. We stopped for a mediocre breakfast in Bellingham, and then were on our way down to Seattle and then east on I-90 to Idaho.

Being in constant motion and having constant interaction with strangers can begin to get exhausting so we are enjoying being in a city where we don't know anyone and aren't obligated to be friendly and engage in stimulating conversations. We are staying at the Budget Saver Inn. It's alright except for the obligatory cigarette burn holes in the blankets. Well, I'd better wrap this up because Courtney is probably tired of sitting in this cafe while I BLOG MY HEART OUT. Here are some photos from the drive through the Cascades yesterday as a parting gift for all of my loyal readers!

Courtney looking whimsical during the drive through the Cascades

Me looking very serious in the Cascades

I tried to take some pictures of the Cascades themselves, but their majestic beauty was impossible to capture and I don't want to do them a disservice of misrepresentation....

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Seattle - a wrap up

We arrived in Seattle on Sunday night, after spending a nice day in Olympia, eating a greek breakfast that Courtney made and looking in thrift stores for a winter coat for me (still haven't found one). Olympia was a nice time. The night before, Henderson showed us around town and we went to this great vegetarian-friendly bar and restaurant called Le Voyeur. He treated us to a beer and we got sandwiches with some of the best fries I've ever had. We then walked around all over town and went to a nice spot overlooking the oh-so-polluted Sound. We caught up on the past couple of years and then made our way to a party at this hip record store/used clothing store that was closing and moving to a new building. We mostly kept to ourselves but had a good time. We walked back to Henderson and Kris's house and I helped Kris work on a 2000 piece puzzle while Courtney ate chicken noodle soup and fell asleep on the couch. Their roommate who had been at her first boxing match all day, got home around 2 and then we all went to sleep. The next day we had breakfast, went thrifting, and left. We said bye to henderson, kris and mae, and took the short 45 minute drive up to seattle.

We got off the highway in Seattle right in the international district, which was where we needed to be in order to meet courtney's friend dave at the panama hotel where he is currently living. It's one of those rent by the week hotels. there is this great teahouse underneath where we ordered white peony tea while waiting for him to get there. The teahouse serves as a kind of museum full of artifacts discussing the "Relocation" of Japanese people in the area during WW2. There were a lot of interesting photographs.

I ended up staying with one of the nicest people in Seattle (maybe because he's from Wyoming). He might be mad that I'm putting this up, but I just had to.

The cherry trees right outside the window where Stevie works from home are beautiful. He lives in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle, which is a really nice neighborhood with interesting places to go and crazily-set-up winding streets.

Here is the closet that I slept in.

Stevie was a great host who let me in on the secret wonder of grapenuts, and didn't even mind when I woke him up at 2 in the morning one night and 4 the next. The first night there we went to this cool Belgian bar called the Stumbling Monk, which serves mostly Belgian ales and has a scholarly atmosphere.

The next night was the evening of our documentary screening. We showed it at the Wayward Cafe, this volunteer-run vegan cafe.

Monday they don't usually open and serve food, but they were nice enough to make us delicious shepard's pie, steamed greens and some rasberry cake. It was amazing. There was also a really good turn out: about 25 people. The people from Tacoma who had wanted us to come there to show the doc. came to this screening and that was nice to meet them even though we couldn't stop in Tacoma because of spring break.

I also got the chance to see 2 old friends: Josh and Brian, both of whom used to live in Denver and now live in Seattle. Josh actually ended up taking me and Courtney around one day, to see the new Seattle Public Library (most amazing architecture I've ever experienced), to get $1.50 vietnamese tofu sandwiches, to the punk rock donut stand in Pike Place Market, and to get "frosty mugs" at a nondescript bar in the Market that overlooks the water. The workers at that place were nuts (or maybe just drunk).

Our stay in Seattle ended up being extended because of miscommunication with people at the University of Victoria about the day we were supposed to come do a workshop. We were disappointed about that, and not getting to see Janette, a friend who lives there, but had a good time in Seattle. Other stuff we ended up doing: going back to eat at the Wayward cafe, going to gasworks park, walking around the university district and capitol hill a lot, eating at Glo's (a great breakfast place where dave works), visiting Josh at Linda's (a hipster bar where he works), and walking around the city a lot. This place is a haven for coffee-lovers and so it was heaven for me.

We left for Canada this morning with trepidation about making it across the border. Plenty of people told us horror stories about border police and questionings and 2 hour waits because of traffic. None of that happened to us. they didn't even ask to see any form of ID. They just asked a few questions, seemed surprised that we were going to show a documentary, and then waved us through. We went to a vegetarian restaurant, listened to French music on the radio, and walked around before ending up in "Jitters" a coffeeshop with free wifi.

Later tonight we will be showing the documentary at BLIM, a diy arts space. It seems like a cool place - they have a room that has a continually rotating display of diaroma art.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Portland and Olympia

We are in Olympia, Washington, about to do a screening at Evergreen College. The campus is right in the middle of the forest and it is beautiful. It reminds me of the UC-Santa Cruz campus in that way. The Evergreen Infoshop is hosting us here, and we are getting paid $50 which will help us out since the alternator going out in the car cost us $350.00!!!
Here is the room we are showing the doc. in:

Last night we showed the documentary as part of opening night for the Microcosm Publishing Ten Year Anniversary Celebration. It was an honor to be included in the celebration because Microcosm is such a great project/resource for independent publishing. I had helped them set up shows the last couple times they passed through Denver and always really appreciate the different projects they were putting out.

The zine readers for the evening were really great. Cindy Crabb, who does the zine Doris, Dave Roche from the zine “On Subbing,” and Christy Rhoad who has a novel that is being published by Microcosm and coming out this month. They were all amazing readers and I’m glad that we got a chance to see them and to be a part of the same event.

This morning we went out to breakfast with Ayla and her mom at the Vita Café. I got vegan biscuits and gravy and Courtney got vegan French toast and then we shared. It was pretty good, but I like the Paradox better, aesthetically and food-wise.

Here is a picture of a view from portland from the Hawthorne bridge, which I walked across the other day.

We have been staying with our friend Thomas, who used to live in Denver. He's been a great host, who drew the most amazing map of Portland with cool things to do and see.

We left Portland at around noon and got to Olympia really quickly. We are going to stay with Henderson, which will be fun.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

a portland fiasco

after coming home from the screening at Reed College, courtney's car broke down on the highway. we barely managed to pull off on time. luckily some very nice portlanders kept stopping to see if we needed help and someone who looked like alex fountain put some flares on the road.

we called AAA and the towtruck came soon after as we stood in the slushing snowing rain. it is probably the "alternator" but that probably doesn't mean anything to any of you unless you happen to be a mechanic.

we came back to the house and drank some black butte porters and found places to take the car in tomorrow morning.

here are some fun photos of the tow away:

Also, here's a nice picture of my latte from the place by reading frenzy from this morning:

Beautiful Home Spaces...

There is something about using fabric, string, lace & pieces of paper to build, shape and decorate a living space that makes me feel, physically sometimes, like everything would be fine in the world if I were surrounded by that living space all the time. Yesterday we went over to ayla's, & as it turns out sarah's, house--I think it is called the tart pan. Well, Liz, Thomas & I went over to their house after having some delicious ethiopian food and as we got the tour I was impressed at the soothing greens/yellows of the house but when we went upstairs into sarah's attic room I got that feeling that everything would always be okay up in that attic. She had diligently collected some of the most beautiful patterns, textures and colors of fabric. Pieces of pleasantly colored, shaped & designed paper and packaging were hanging from strings laced across the living space. Keys dangled in singles and bunches in between the paper and fabric. Mirrors reflected a part of the room like a picture frame would. Her bed was surrounded by large billows of fabric that created what seemed like, from across the room, a cavern for sleep. I couldn't stop thinking how I would love to have so many beautiful things surrounding me and brushing my shoulders and face when I walked near them or woke up under them.

A young little lady, lola--i think, came over to their house for dinner later that night and as sarah took her on the tour I anticipated her going upstairs and imagined what her reaction must have been to the attic room. I think she must have thought it was magical. I know I would have at her age or really, did, at my age, as cheesey as that sounds.

Sarah's room reminded me of a home that I was trusted enough to see at one of our stops in the redwoods of N. California. The people that had built the structure or at least maintained it recently had done much the same things to their space as Sarah has done to her attic room. The bed was enclosed by beautiful, warm blankets and lace. Pieces of paper fluttered in the breeze as they hung from twine in between the silver ware and cooking utensils. The windows of the tarp/wood pole structure were graced with long pieces of green sheer and green lace fabric that when you looked through them they only enhanced the view of the trees on the otherside, made them look like a story picture. I just kept telling Luke, like I kept telling Liz after seeing Sarah's room, I want to live in that--I would be so happy living in that. But then I think about how much I'd have to collect, how much I'd have keep around and I threw out so much before we started the tour it would be years before I could assemble anything that meant much to me, a room that wasn't just a reflection of some concertedly thought out and manufactured notion of an identity I wish I had. So...it all goes backt to identity formation, I see. But, maybe it also just goes back to having something beautiful to comfort me and make me feel at home.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Berkeley, CA

On Sunday March 5, we screened our documentary at the Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley, as a part of café night. Every Sunday night they have an open café and movie or some other event/entertainment. We got to the infoshop at around 5 and used some leftover food from Food Not Bombs to make dinner. Kait, the woman who we stayed with, did a great job with publicity and about 20 people came to watch.

While the movie played, we went across the street to the Starry Plough, an Irish Pub, and drank a pint while we watched an impromptu Irish pub ensemble play.

After the documentary played, we met some of the interesting people who came. There was a man and a woman who had just gotten back from living in Belgium to get their graduate degrees in anthropology, and they both focused on the importance of place to a certain extent. The guy did a project where he photographed “non-places” like airports and train stations. He looked at the way that interactions are affected by taking place in non-places.

The woman focused on the process of making sustainable agriculture viable and accessible in third world nations and the notion of "development." Here is a pdf link to her thesis: Who is Really Developed:Rethinking Development in a Time of "Ecological Deficit."

We also got to see and talk to Sabin, who works with the activist media project. He told me about a collaborative film project about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that he is trying to get funded. He said that there isn’t much documentation going on, even though you’d think otherwise. He knows a woman who was a middle school teacher in New Orleans. She has managed to keep track of where all of her students were dispersed to. The idea for the documentary would be to use this middle school class as a microcosm, finding where they are, and going to talk to them. I think it seems like a great idea.

We also ran into Hannah who used to live in Denver. We went over to the place where she is living and hung out for a bit and that was nice. She has been working on a documentary about squatting for about a year and a half. It will be great to see what it turns out like.

The place where we stayed with kait is this community house that hippies bought in the 70s. 8 people live there and it's a huge mansion and awesome. Here is a picture of only a small part of their cool garden:

We even got to stay in our own "guest room." Here is a picture of that:

One of the best things about going on this trip is that people we meet everywhere tell us about the amazing projects that they are working on. People are usually more reserved about the projects that they are doing and ideas they’ve been thinking about. I guess that when people see you out there talking about and sharing your own project, they are more inclined to talk about theirs.

Here is a cool sign that i took a picture of outside of the rocks, paper, scissors art collective space that we tried to go to in order to sell shirts. Unfortunately they were closed, but it seemed like an amazing space.

I'm trying to take pictures of old artistic looking signs when i have the chance.

After going to Berkeley, we headed to Arcata for the night. We didn't get to spend much time there, but had a good time having breakfast on the beach this morning:

We also stopped by this amazing old graveyard along the Oregon coast on highway 101.

Here is a tortured poetic photo of me at the graveyard.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

i am a person that older men always have something to say to.

Berkeley, CA
So, lately Liz and I have been on this tour and in the course of going to all these different towns that Liz has been updating you all about I have been preoccupied by the musings of older men. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but really it seems like they always have these lessons to give me or things to shout at me or offers of marriage to propose to me.

The first interaction on tour that made me feel like I must be putting out some "vibe" that makes me seem open to having words of wisdom imparted upon me was in Prescott, AZ. We had a screening at the Catalyst infoshop there and it went really well--people talked, questions were asked and discussed. It was nice. Though there was an older man with long white hair and a big floppy hat that really had things he needed to say to everyone about manifesting reality. He really liked talking about that and channeling. But not only did he need to address the group with this information, he also felt it necessary to sit down with me in the kitchen to tell me about how I just needed to be positive in my thinking and affirm in my actions the happiness that I should always be experiencing in life. Now, I'm all for being positive and finding ways to make "lemonade out of lemons," but, I don't know why he had to talk to me for an hour about it. The way that he postured himself, always making eye contact and standing up for most of the conversation, and how he asserted his perspective as one that I really needed to consider to be a fully developed person made me feel small. I felt like he was trying to be some sooth sayer that I would remember as having changed my life after that interaction--in fact he told me that when he saw me unpacking the car that he felt he needed to give me some perspective. He saw that I was a "purposeful person" that just needed to hear how I could shift my reality and "be more open to happiness." Later on in the conversation he told me that being critical did no good and that one should just affirm the good that people, organizations, communities etc do, instead of critically analyzing what they need to work on. He used Wal-mart as an example and explained to me that they have heart. He explained, they employ people to be greeters that wouldn't otherwise have jobs and also let people camp in their parking lots. Plus, they gave aid first for Katrina victims. I listened quietly to all this and realized that there was no way that he was going to listen to what i had to say--he just wanted me to listen to him. it was frustrating but predictable, all i wanted to say was: i don't think that paying people a low wage because they can't get other jobs for shitty social stigmas/prejudices is selfless, or letting people camp in your parking lots when you don't keep them safe from rapes and assualts happening in the parking lots is selfless, and giving a small amount of aide when you are the richest family in the world doesn't excuse or mediate the harmful and indsidious policies against your workers. But, you know how it goes when an old man is preaching--you just listen and hope they don't ask you anything inappropriate.

The next interaction I had happened just recently in Berkeley while Liz and I were walking down the street. A tall, older beat poet looking man--who may have been reciting a beat poem--yelled at me specifically, "I'm F**king you in the mouth. Your sick. I'm F**king you in your a**hole. Your a**hole is your mouth. I'm f**king you in the mouth." To which I replied "It stinks. Stop. It really stinks," because what else do you do when someone verbally and symbolically assaults you as they walk away down the street. My response made him angry, it seemed, so he kept yelling that he was f**king me, but then said "shut the f**k up you jewish b*tch, I'm still f**king you!" Why he needed to tell me this, I don't know. But it really shook me up after I realized what had happened and stopped laughing about what a jerk he was. Not only did he have to tell me he was raping me, but when I replied without assaulting him he had to then degrade me in racist way to gain more power than he already had in the situation.

Later that day when Liz and I had split up to explore the mission district and surrounding neighborhoods another older man began talking to me at the bus stop on 30th & Mission. I was going to maggie mudd's, a vegan ice cream shop, to get us both a shake and then find a park to sit in and look at the city. I was happy to be in SF and when he approached me to tell me that he thought I was beautiful. I told him about what the other man that day had said--he was apologetic and surprised that the man was white that had talked to me like that. I was surprised that he would assume the man would've been black because he was himself an older black man. We made the mutual decision not to talk about race at that moment and then he asked me if he could kiss me. I told him that he couldn't and that he really shouldn't talk to me like that. He agreed and then told me he would marry me, I told him that I appreciated the kindness but that I didn't agree with marriage. So, he wished me well and I got on the bus.

The interactions were all isolated and I'm sure motivated by different experiences in the men's lives, but they all felt the same to me--violent or not--they had to say something, they wanted somebody to listen and they safely assumed that I was a someone that would. I would wager because i am a young, small, strong woman that they have a physical/vocal advantage over and so they excercise it to put me in my place, whatever that is to them.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

South Central Farm got an eviction notice

So, we got an email from someone who attended the screening in Santa Rosa. Hopefully this won't really happen and the farm will be saved.

An eviction notice was posted on the west gate of the South Central Farm by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at 2:00pm, yesterday March 1, 2006. According to the notice the 14 acre farm(the largest urban farm in the nation) needs to
be vacated by Monday March 6, 2006. Until the end of that day, it will still be legal for the farmers to remain on the land.

Here is the website to help support the South Central Farm.

Friday, March 03, 2006

San Francisco and Berkeley/Oakland

We are in a certified green business cafe in Oakland/Berkeley, called the Nomad Cafe. It seems like a really cool place. Plus we get free internet access.

We spent two really nice days in Santa Cruz. It really is one of the most beautifully located towns (beach and redwoods). We also got to hang out at the saturn cafe, a 24-hour vegetarian space-themed diner.

Last night we had a screening at Free Mind Media in Santa Rosa.

It was one of the most aesthetically pleasing infoshops
we've been into, painted really bright orange colors. The screening went pretty well. One of the people at the infoshop commented on how they felt a very specific localized connection to that infoshop as a place for community. It was a big reason why they were able to stay in Santa Rosa and not leave for an urban activist paradise like San Francisco. Whereas most of the people at infoshops in big "happening" cities have said they use their infoshops as places to stay connected with the more generalized infoshop culture across space and time , this person used the infoshop to stay connected with a localized community. I hadn't really heard anyone else articulate that about infoshops so far.

Now we are in Oakland staying with Courtney's friend Kait who is really interested in permaculture activism, which is amazing. She has been working on organizing a big Northern California permaculture convergence which is happening later in the month.

Later tonight we will be screening the documentary at Artist Television Access in San Francisco.
It's located at: 992 Valencia Street(415) 824-3890 and the screening starts at 8pm.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

LA's South Central Farm

Here are some great photos of an amazing project going on in LA.

It is a farm right in the middle of South Central LA, in the warehouse district. It is maintained by mostly South and Central American immigrant families, and they use food from the garden plots to feed themselves.

Unfortunately, the city of LA is considering selling the land to developers to make room for more warehouses. That probably won't happen because there is a lot of support for the farm.

It's the largest urban farm in the U.S. and feeds 350 families in the area.

It was really cool to walk around the perimeter and see all of the things growing. Like bananas. and Cacti.

There was an interesting sign on the inside that said something about the importance of urban farmers naturalizing cities which they don't necessarily have the option of leaving. It was inspiring to see.