Here is to Seven More in Los Angeles with J.T. 🤞🏾🤞🏾🤞🏾

On this special anniversary day, yours truly marvels at how far JIMBO TIMES: The L.A. Storyteller has come, as well as at how far there still is to go.

When I first brought the site into existence seven years ago, I set out to achieve great things with the unique perspective that I’ve constantly sought to bring to the communities I’ve been a part of. But over the last year especially, as the world shifted to meet the challenges of an unpredictable pandemic, ‘JMB TMS’ showed up to serve Los Angeles by writing, photographing, and organizing for our neighborhoods.

The site served as a basis for people all around the world to learn about inequity in Los Angeles, while “behind the scenes,” along with fellow L.A. Storytellers, our organizing provided communities with an immersive experience learning about the urban environments so many of us have called home for generations.

In turn, when readers consider Redlining, Gentrification and Housing in East Hollywoodthe magazine of which is soon to be digitized on the site–the fact of the matter is that it took more than some months or even a few years to be ready for. In actuality, the contributions yours truly made to this extraordinary effort took at least seven years of ‘background’ through the throes of this city and then some.

So let this be a consideration for any aspiring young storyteller in Los Angeles: When you take an idea based strictly in your mind, and give it a body, and then a mechanism, you give it a life of its own, hence JIMBO TIMES: The L.A. Storyteller.

Now, it’s time to remake even more of ‘J.T.’ to give Los Angeles only larger scales of perspective from the city’s most passionate hearts and minds. I am grateful for the opportunity to be of such support.

This is JIMBO TIMES: The L.A. Storyteller.

J.T.

A couple waits at a light at Vermont avenue and Santa Monica boulevard.

JIMBO TIMES is more than 2,100 Days Old Today

(Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 62)

JIMBO TIMES: The L.A. Storyteller completed 2,100 days around the sun yesterday. The blog’s first column was posted on the evening of August 19th, 2014. According to Google, that was exactly 2,100 days ago, with today being the 2,101st day on record. During that time, I’ve published just a little over 700 columns on the site, or just short of one writing a day for two consecutive years’ worth of reading.

When I first started the blog, it was simply an ode to mom and the rest of the community that raised me through the streets of Los Angeles. I thought I had seen much of those streets by then, which I could showcase through the blog, but I had no idea just how much more was ahead.

I didn’t know, for example, that I would write about the deaths of young Latinos through the intersections of East Hollywood.

Likewise, I didn’t know that I would write about working as a barista and server behind Los Angeles’s registers.

I also didn’t know that I would get to review what would become my favorite book ever about Los Angeles, Mike Davis’s City of Quartz.

And even if I believed I could show up to classrooms all over Los Angeles to motivate young people towards their education some day, as well as juvenile detention centers for the same purpose, none of it was guaranteed. I strove to see all of it through.

Even so, if someone had told me then that all of that work would one day lead me to feature student voices on the blog, I would have believed it, but guardedly, under a quiet skepticism.

The only thing I knew for a long time was that even if these cuentos might not have seemed like extraordinary things to much of the rest of the world around me, they still mattered to me.

Today, our blog is 62 consecutive blogs into Pandemic in Los Angeles. I know that many readers haven’t had a chance to keep up with each column, but that’s the beauty of the site: like a good book, it’s not going anywhere.

Take your time to see if you can catch up, Los Angeles

J.T.

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Happy Blogaversary: Jimbo Times

There are birthdays, and then there are blog-days. Today is the latter for yours truly, as JIMBO TIMES: The L.A. Storyteller completesfifth year in publication.

For this special day, I can think of few activities more fitting than sitting down to write just a snippet about L.A. for the purpose of bolstering the workshop experience for guests at our free and open day of art, workshops, and engagement with the vecindad.

See the following note for BTS 2’s workshop facilitators, because how can a workshop facilitator deliver a great experience for their workshop participants, if they don’t first consider a few key details about those participating in their workshop before workshop begins?

“Consider a day in the life of Doña Maria and her two children in Los Angeles. By 7:30 AM on Monday morning, Doña Maria serves breakfast for her two children, Carlos and Miguel. By 8 AM, she begins walking her kids to school. She first drops off Carlos (11 years old), the younger of the two brothers, at nearby Lockwood elementary, then Miguel (13 years old), the older of the two brothers, at King Middle School, which is nearly a mile away from home. By 9 am, Doña Maria returns home and prepares to head out to her neighbors’ apartment nearby, where she’ll look after their toddlers for four to five hours. By 2 pm, Doña Maria finishes her shift with the toddlers for the day, and prepares once again to pick up Carlos and Miguel from school. By 4 PM, she’s back home with her boys. She spends the rest of her day preparing dinner, cleaning up after the kids, and setting up for Tuesday morning. Considering Doña Maria’s schedule, at which point in the day might she and her kids be able to access your program or resources?”

These are the questions we have to ask if we’re to deliver critical experiences to our special audiences. The party begins now.

Happy Blogaversary, JIMBO TIMES!

J.T.

Four Years of Jimbo Times: The L.A. Storyteller

JIMBO TIMES began just a little over four years ago following an epiphanous walk from my mom’s newsstand on Santa Monica boulevard the evening of August 19, 2014. It was near mid-night when the idea took hold of me, and I can still remember crawling from the apartment bedroom into the bathroom with the same laptop I write these words on now to spill out an ode to the city I call home.

Four years later, with the Back to School Party, a day of art, workshops and music for youth and families in my neighborhood less than a week behind me, I can think of no better place to be with J.T: The L.A. Storyteller.

If I’m fortunate enough to get four more years of this magical glitz through the stars, the idea is to do so not alone, but alongside more of Los Cuentos. Not only Los Cuentos, the shirts by Jimbo Times, but also with Los Cuentos de nuestro pueblo, Los Angeles.

What do you say, L.A? Do we dare dream of what could still be, might be, or should be if we only put our minds to it?

J.T.

It’s Been Ten Years of Writing in Los Angeles

Marveling at the Times; Spring 2018

It was ten years ago that I found myself at home in the living room wondering desperately about what the future held for me. I was seventeen years old, just graduated from high school, and anxious to get through the summer ahead of me. I felt terribly alone, disassociated from the friends that I’d known, and unsure about how on earth I’d get through the high temperatures that dominated so many of the days from the early hours of the morning into the evening.

Then one day through the heat, I sat myself before the desktop we’d had in the living room at the time, opened a blank document, and began to write, etching the heat I felt on my back onto the screen for the record to see. I wrote like hell that summer, and the results were strange, not in an ominous way, but in an altogether new and mysterious way. What I saw reflected on the screen was somehow alive, even if ‘frozen’ in time. It was myself, like some other half from an alternate universe, staring right back at me through the page.

I remember that I was reading a lot of Philip K. Dick at the time, which made it so that my mind was especially warped, and which came off in my entries to the page–a lot of existential identity stuff. But I also remember that since I still had a bit of HTML programming fresh in my mind, after a few sessions of writing on the desktop I decided that I couldn’t keep my texts on just any ole blank document; I had to design a proper little website for them all.

So I put together the fonts and their sizes, downloaded some cool images for background off the web, activated the links, and launched it. I would name the private little website that I’d come away with through this process Revolt Radio (RR).

There were three main components of RR, that is, in terms of the writing that would make its way through it.

First, there was the Current page, which functioned like a stream for all of the miscellaneous thoughts or ‘summaries’ of the days I had, and which thereby filled up the fastest.

Second, there was the Poems page, where I hid all of my hymns, letters, and other ‘confessions’ I could never muster up the courage to publish for any eyes other than my own.

Finally, there was the Stories page, where I stored all of my ‘science-fiction’ writing, based loosely on none other than yours truly, but also on the accounts I’d heard from my peers back at Marshall.

Even at seventeen, a part of me wanted to write something of an autobiography, but because at the same time I also aspired to be a sci-fi writer like the great PKD himself, my Stories page featured tales both on a personal level as well as on more abstract terms, although the latter was just a ‘stranger’ version of the former.

In turn, Revolt Radio got me through that first summer out of high school, its pages receiving worlds that I couldn’t even begin to describe to anyone else. The pages didn’t judge me for what those worlds contained or what they lacked, nor did they disappoint me, or demand anything of me at all.

The pages were acceptance in its purest form, but filling them up was also a matter of survival; in writing my heart out I made it clear that I wouldn’t allow the world just to pass me by. Then, in seeing my words put together like those of the novels by famous authors which I’d hold in my hands, I had proof that my beliefs were also more than just feelings, but articles with their own lives which could stare right back at me unafraid.

I treasured the little alternate universe of Revolt Radio so much that for the next six years, I would continue writing through the site, making and remaking its pages until the time came for me to culminate onto other platforms.

Today, I’ve got another little set of pages, which are public, but even now I look back at that frightening little summer from ten years ago with tremendous gratitude for spawning RR, the site; in staring at me now as vividly as they did ten years ago, the pages make me all the more fearless for what’s in front of me in the days to come.

If we’re fortunate enough, to another ten years Los Angeles,

J.T.

Whoah, Wow

On this day three years ago a little birdie named JIMBO TIMES was spawned into the universe.

Now, I’d say some kind of a celebration is in order. Wouldn’t you?

Stay tuned Los Angeles, </;)

J.T.

Celebrating

With great pleasure and gratitude, I’m more than happy to submit a second gallery for a second year of JIMBO TIMES! </:D

J.T.