Dear Los Angeles,
I hope this message finds you well! I’m writing to you today with a special announcement. This Spring, I’m visiting Europe for the first time. In particular, I’m going to the city of Barcelona in Spain for a special opportunity and mission there.
Another port city, or metropolis by the sea, Barcelona was founded by the Roman Empire as early as the 1st century AD. More recently, in 1992, Barcelona hosted the Olympics. As you may know, Los Angeles is set to host the Olympics in 2028 (and before then is co-hosting the next World Cup in 2026).
In turn, developers and government offices across L.A. are preparing to usher in waves of tourist dollars and attractions. The question for urbanites such as myself, then, is clear: How do working-class communities engage these events, especially while so many of our families and households are still just starting to move past unique challenges posed by the pandemic? I believe Barcelona presents an excellent “Case Study” for this question, especially since it’s experienced an overwhelming growth of tourism since 2000 (which some would argue was first ushered in by the Olympics being held there eight years prior).
Additionally, my mission will place me with a Non-Governmental Organization in Barcelona working with recently migrated communities there. My goal is to learn from the barrios these communities have created to consider more about how people across the world establish and maintain ties in new lands.
Enter the Barcelona Barrios Excursion. I’ll be staying in Barcelona for the mission for five weeks, from April 24th – May 23rd. In order to help pay for expenses there, I’m organizing a special package for readers and supporters of my work through Patreon.
With a $25 subscription via Patreon from April through June, you’ll receive at least one photo essay and journal entry per week during my five weeks abroad. This way, we can reflect on the historic city and its challenges as a fellow port city together. My goal is to reach 40 patrons through this offer before April 18th, which won’t be easy, but which I’m determined to reach.
This is because at this point in my work as a storyteller, I’ve spent at least five years discussing and dissecting issues of gentrification and city planning both on my own and along a range of colleagues. Based on the last year of work with Making a Neighborhood, the newsletter from East Hollywood with my good friends and neighbors, I’ve seen firsthand that there are lots of people out there who value connection to “grassroots” and independent storytelling about these lands we have ties to.
It’s thus my pleasure to invite you to join me on the Barcelona Barrios Excursion. For any questions about the trip or the subscription process, please feel free to reach out. And thank you in advance for your support! I look forward to reaching Barcelona with Los Angeles just beside me.