EPISODE 7 – CHINA, CUENTOS, JT

In our seventh episode, we reflect on our recent trip to China, which was much appreciated after a busy year of community work in Los Angeles. We also update listeners on the next phase of LOS CUENTOS for this winter season, as well as a new feature on Jimbo Times, the blog! It’s a jam-packed episode for all things in the land of JT!

J.T.

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J.T. Salutes You,

Digang Yuzhuang,
Digang Village, 南浔区 Huzhou, Zhejiang, China

At more than 5,500 miles from home, with fervor in my veins pushing as ever before to unlock the best of myself for the rest of the world to know.

Let’s make it happen, Los Angeles. From Huzhou to Shanghai, let’s give these Cuentos what they need, something more to believe in.

J.T.

Secret Agent: How to Discover Your Neighborhood in Los Angeles

Kev with the new Los Cuentos Black & Gold Cap; Summer 2019

So it’s the second week of summer and you read How to Beat Summer 2019 Parts I III, 10 Ways Not to Beat Summer 2019, and even How to Outline Summer 2019, but you’re still not quite sure what to do with all this newfound time on your hands.

In this case, you’re likely making it just a tad more complicated than it needs to be (I know from experience). But with this blog, we’re going to give it one more shot in a last-minute challenge for you.

The only requirements for this challenge are a few hours of time on your hands, permission to go out for a few of those hours, and either a parent, friend, sibling or pet turtle to accompany you. Okay, maybe not the pet turtle. Sorry pet!

Ready? You’re now officially a secret agent going on an adventure. Your mission: to explore the second most populous city in the world and bring some of its top secrets back to headquarters. Your key ‘weapons’ for the mission are: walking shoes, a smart-phone, a Los Cuentos hat, and a water bottle.

There are also no cars allowed for the assignment. Metro buses and rail-lines only.

Ready to find out where you’re going? You will choose one of the following places for this mission:

  1. Little Tokyo
  2. Plazita Olvera
  3. Koreatown

In true secret-agent fashion, you’re not visiting these places just to ‘have fun.’ You’re going to ‘excavate’ them for some classified info like a world class spy. Sure, you can go with your people, get some ice cream at the stores, and check out the stuff on sale like a lookie-loo. But the real purpose of your visit to these other places will be to find out the following:

I. Where is ‘the heart’ of the neighborhood? (As in, where is the public square, or main area? What kind of businesses are there? Is there any kind of art you see there?)

II. How does it differ from your side of town? (What kind of people are there? How many languages do you hear spoken? And what can you tell about the ‘other’ kids at this other part of town?)

III. How might your neighborhood ‘be’ more like this one? (Could there be a different Metro Station to make it easier to get to your side of L.A, like with these other neighborhoods? If you could choose the stores you’d have in your neighborhood’s main area, what would they sell? And apart from the stores, where would the kids in your neighborhood hang out? Would they have their own main area too, or public square?)

That’s it! It’s true that these are quite a few different questions to remember during your visit to the assignment, but we both know you can glance at this blog while you’re out there on assignment.

We also both know that this is a mission you can definitely accomplish in three to four hours. Metro’s lines were made for you to use for exactly this kind of challenge, just as these ‘other’ places were made for you to visit and learn about.

At the end of the assignment, you’ll feel accomplished for learning about a new part of Los Angeles for yourself, send me the answers to your questions for a top-secret review, and receive a brief follow-up mission, if you so choose.

So, what are you waiting for? Give this last-minute challenge a shot and get out there, young storyteller. Your city is counting on you!

J.T.

Sweet Dreams Los Angeles

 

Even with a bounteous affinity for The City, there’s still so much about it which is left for me to get to know; but at the same time, there is also more for Los Angeles to see from JIMBO TIMES. Although The L.A. Storyteller is in its fourth year now, there are certain other incarnations for ‘J.T’ which I’ve had in mind for nearly just as long.

I can assure readers and other supporters that I’m working on it. For example, how about a JIMBO TIMES ball cap for a more grassroots representation of L.A under the sun? Or for that matter, a shirt or sweater with art inspired by photography from yours truly of Los Angeles, the community? My interests in more for J.T. are not limited to just apparel, however.

Most recently, I’ve very much appreciated the NY Timess offering of articles by its staff in both Español and Chinese-Mandarin. The L.A. Times has also begun a multilingual publication process, though it’s still in the formative stages, and I know that for this little set of pages, it would be fantastic to publish in both English and Español. Sixty percent of the American continent comprises of Spanish speakers, and certainly over my last few visits to more of the pueblos throughout America, I’ve definitely got more gente I’d like to reach with the cuentos now.

In the same spirit, I’d like to know how JIMBO TIMES can go to print as a dual-language paper for circulation throughout L.A.’s neighborhoods, or for circulation among its student bodies. I am nearing on four years as a partner with The Plus Me Project, and though in the past I’ve been able to donate postcards and posters to different classrooms and their students following our ‘lectures’, I’m now interested in how I can leave them with some written material just as well.

Maybe it’s nostalgic on my part, but there is still nothing like the feel of a printed periodical or journal for a literary and visual journey through the world. Indeed, it’s what this website aspires to ‘recreate’ for readers and observers. To that end, of course I’ve got to find out how it gets out there for the people to grasp with their very own hands just as well.

I am working on all of it, and more, and while it’s a continual process, I also know that it’s such for good reason. Bear with me, Los Angeles. In the grand scheme of time, we are definitely nearly there.

J.T.