The Situation is Crucial in Los Angeles

In the last ten years, inequality across the city lines has never been more abundant. The number of unhoused people on the streets has skyrocketed, while political leadership on the issue has all but abandoned these citizens to the dust of L.A’s crust and freeways.

Just around the corner of makeshift “tent cities” founded by this inequality, minimum wage in Los Angeles continues to bleed workers out of their living; these workers are parents, siblings, community college students, and a myriad of other vulnerable people just trying to survive another day. Maybe another month.

At L.A.’s schools, swaths of students continue to be underserved while their teachers and counselors continue searching past the droves of work placed on their desks for a better way. Those teachers also continue to be widely underpaid.

L.A. as home appears to have never hung more in the balance. On some days it feels like I only see more of my community falling into the same old cliches.

And yet, here comes LOS CUENTOS.

Los Cuentos is love for my community. Just like my blog, Los Cuentos is an ode to my community recognizing the people of Los Angeles for who they are:

Resilient,

Loving,

Wonderous,

Heroes to this lover of all things Los Angeles.

It is between their shoulders that jimbo times was founded. And now it’s on their shoulders that we stand.

Los Cuentos hoodies are thus but a handful of precious threads to warm those awesome shoulders.

Our hoodies may not save the world for our community, but they will say thank you to their sacred beings.

Thank you is a start. As good of a start as we need right now. 40 Cuentos have become 9 Cuentos left to get out to the city.

Thank you Los Angeles,

J.T.

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Get Your First Ever Los Hoodies by Jimbo Times

Los Cuentos – Heavy Blend Hoodies

Black & White, Maroon. 50% pre-shrunk cotton, 50% polyester. Super-comfy!

$35.00

J.T.

Get Your First Ever Los Snapbacks by Jimbo Times

Los Cuentos Snapback –

85% acrylic & 15% wool. Structured, 6-panel, high-profile hat to wear like a crown or visor. Also accompanied by six eyelets. Plastic buttons for adjustment in the back.

$30.00

J.T.

Invest in Los Cuentos Snapbacks. Why?

To support Los Cuentos is to support a vision for the city of Los Angeles with a small nod or tip of the hat. In the beginning, ‘Los Cuentos‘ was just a motivational phrase for yours truly, something to push me towards seeking and appreciating ‘The Stories‘ that come with living in The City. It was also based off the blog, the full title of which is JIMBO TIMES: The L.A. Storyteller. Then came the clouds.

In the same way that the bubbly wandering epaluettes of the sky can appear from nowhere to draw our attention, the clouds for Los Cuentos symbolize the importance of mystery in our lives and imagining something different than what our immediate surroundings might offer. They also remind me of the far away places my people came from even before they became the ethnic and working-class communities highlighted throughout this blog. 

This is why the Los Cuentos Snap is just the right fit. The mission of my work over the last five years with JIMBO TIMES: The L.A. Storyteller has been to highlight and celebrate the magical and far-reaching ways of so many of our people out here. Now, with this hat, I can invite the rest of the world to celebrate their magic with me. So, pick up your first Los Cuentos Snapback, or support one for a student, and together we’ll nod to this great city in style.

J.T.

Los Cuentos Is In, Los Angeles

It’s been nearly two months since the first-ever sale for the new Los Cuentos took place on JIMBO TIMES. This morning, I’d like to take a glance back at just what the project has led to for Los Angeles. I consider each Los Cuentos hat to be an accomplishment both for myself personally, as well as for The City they’re dedicated to. They tell me that we’re only as limited as we believe ourselves to be, while everything else is up to our imagination. Thank you for your continued support Los Angeles, there’s much more on the way!

J.T.

Introducing: A New Hat by Jimbo Times

Today it’s my great pleasure to announce a new hat by JIMBO TIMES!

There will be more details soon, but if you’d like to place an advanced order, we can MAKE IT HAPPEN.

J.T

From One Small Business to the Next in Los Angeles

Glancing at memory lane, it’s my pleasure to share a bit about the origins of JIMBO TIMES. Pictured above, to the left and across of ‘Mr. Snazzyshirt’ stands my mom’s newsstand when it was located right at the intersection of Vermont Avenue and Santa Monica boulevard in East Hollywood.

Today it’s located farther east on Santa Monica boulevard, just right across the street from East Hollywood’s Union Swap Meet. The difference of location might not seem like a major event, but business at my mother’s stand took a significant loss following its relocation in 2009.

The newsstand at the corner as it’s shown above was simply stronger; it was right in front of the Metro’s 204 and 754 bus stops, where people heavily foot-trafficked the area; that stand was also operating at a time when more people were still buying newspapers and magazines, which is otherwise known as the antiquated era just before smartphones upended our lives.

Moreover, the newsstand above was doing business before the onset of the Great Recession, which impacted the predominantly working class folks that were my mother’s customers, and of course, mom herself, more than it impacted many other groups of Angelenos.

Back in 2009 none of us could predict things as they’d happen, but mom knew she had a good location for her business right at the intersection of Vermont Avenue and Santa Monica. She wanted to keep the stand there indefinitely, but when L.A. City Inspectors got involved citing safety concerns due to the stand’s proximity to the bus, that was it.

Preferring to get on with work rather than fighting the city, we broke the stand down and rebuilt it down the block. It’s been there ever since, serving a smaller and different cast of characters. But smartphones have not slowed down, just as the Great Recession hasn’t yet resided, if it even is residing.

Still, whether rain or shine, my mom opens her newsstand essentially every day of the week. Nestled between two trees at the center of Madison and Vermont, her business serves a purpose far bigger than can be known at first glance.

I don’t know how mom does it, but she just does, and it still works for us, somehow, even if doesn’t quite work like it used to. One thing is for sure, however. All the newspapers and magazines I’d nab from the stand still live in my memory. Among them, publications like Kaliman, Condorito, and Memin Pinguin fed my love for the written word, my love for the power of imagination.

Today, as I set about to do something different with this blog, I know that if my mother could make words work for our family since this photo was taken, then I can do it for us in days ahead too. Indeed, I just have to.

J.T.