EPISODE 70 – PLANNING FOR A ‘LIVED ENVIRONMENT’ WITH RICHARD AVILES

In our 70th episode, we chat with Jose Richard Aviles (@soylamasnalgona), a queer, Latinx planner and multimedia artist with the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley. Originally an L.A. native from South-Central Los Angeles, Richard describes growing up as an activist in L.A., current efforts in advocacy for “the lived environment over the built environment,” a new course at UCLA in Spring 2022, and how dance is “movement-building,” especially for marginalized bodies. A rich conversation for urban planners, artists, and L.A. aficionados everywhere. You can also find Richard’s free “Monday de Movimiento” sessions on Instagram at @soynalgona.

J.T.

EPISODE 68 – METRO’S NEXTGEN WITH KENNY UONG

In our 68th episode, we chat with Kenny Uong, a Junior undergraduate student studying Metro and Urban Planning at Cal State Northridge, and one of the most recognizable figures for the urban planning community in Los Angeles today. Kenny and I discuss the roots of his passion for all things Metro, the importance of bus-only lanes for transportation service, Metro’s NextGen rollout, and more. See if you can keep up with Kenny’s various adventures via public transpo on Twitter at @_KennyUong_.

J.T.

EPISODE 63 – IF YOU’RE A PLANNER IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD

In our 63rd episode, the tables are turned, as Sarah Syed, of the American Planning Association’s L.A. chapter interviews J.T. about growing up in Los Angeles and how it informs his current storytelling for Black and immigrant communities. Among other things, we discuss how homelessness in Los Angeles stems from planned investment against neighborhoods of color by the federal government, how planning commissions have continually invisibilized input from the very people in these neighborhoods, and what folks in urban planning today can do to be better advocates for Black and immigrant futures going forward. Another galvanizing conversation for city-lovers everywhere!

J.T.

BONUS: How to Outline Your Summer 2019

JRG; Spring 2019

So you want to enter the new Los Cuentos Hoodie Challenge by Jimbo Times, but you’re not quite sure how to get started. You’re in luck, because in this bonus post I’m going to show you exactly how you can create the outline for your shot at the prize.

The term “outline” is not a very fun word. It sounds like a school-word. Plus, anything with the word “work” in it likely describes long, difficult tasks, and I know you’re not trying to do more long, difficult tasks than you need to. But guess what:

For kids in big cities like Los Angeles, summer is actually filled with long, difficult tasks. The most important of these tasks is survival.

You’ve got to survive.

This is what the outline is actually about. Because if you don’t have at least some plan over what you’ll be doing this summer 2019, it’s just going to drag on. An outline is just that: it’s a plan. Now here’s some top secret information for you to see how it works:

The J.T. Post Outline; Summer 2019.

Do you see the way that I’ve planned, or outlined, the summer for myself? For every other day between now and at least the end of next week, I’ve got a specific goal for Jimbo Times. It’s very simple, too. But the hardest part of the entire outline was just getting started on it.

But now, whenever I get anxious or feel like I just don’t know what to do, I look at the outline and it brings me back into the game, telling me where I’m at, where I need to go next, and on. Your outline for your Los Cuentos Hoodie will do the same.

Let’s say you’re a Young out there who wants to make their own list for Summer 2019 to get that Black & White Los Cuentos Hoodie. First off, just copy and paste my lists from Parts I, II and III, then change them into your own. Next, you’ll need to make your podcast. Let’s see what the outline for that will look like:

The J.T. Post Outline; Summer 2019.

See how simple that is? And yes, if you’re wondering, I did just copy and paste the outline for Summer 2019 and switched the colors around to make it different. Why? Because it’s simpler that way!

Now, drop everything else you’re doing, pick an item for a project from the list, and get started on your outline. It’s your Summer 2019.

J.T.

City of Quartz: On Landscape

IMG_9617
Sunset Boulevard; West Hollywood

“Although awash with garbled pseudo-scientisms and racial allusions, [Anton Wagner’s] Los Angeles (1935) offered an extraordinarily detailed panorama of the city’s districts and environs in the early depression…particularly Hollywood’s elaborate, but doomed, attempt to generate a Europeanized ‘real urban milieu’:

‘Here, one wants to create the Paris of the Far West. Evening traffic on Hollywood boulevard attempts to mimic Parisian boulevard life. However, life on the boulevard is extinct before midnight, and the seats in front of the cafes, where in Paris one can watch street life in a leisurely manner, are missing…'”

Here I’m reminded of something I heard in my writing workshop with VONA at Miami, when a fellow writer mentioned how on first getting to L.A., the place felt “like a country town.” I remember being so struck by her words, as before then it had never occurred to me just how much the city feels like a village nestled out in the wilderness! Somehow, I’d gotten so caught up in the concrete and density of L.A. that I viewed it purely as a metropolis, when its origins clearly still mark it as a nexus of hills, canyons, and other dry land that just had concrete plastered all over it one day.

In fact, when I think about it the place isn’t even radically different from the pueblo in Southern Mexico where my mom originally hails from: a tiny little town in the mountains with its own miniature twists and turns through the landscape like the streets of Los Angeles.

What’s more, Wagner’s take on the ‘[missing] seats in front of the cafe’ furthers the point of L.A. as a teeming and even chaotic sprawl of mass, since unlike the streets of say, Manhattan, for example, which are flat and therefore prime locations for seats and tables on the street, Hollywood is landlocked amid the swirl of Sunset boulevard and cross-streets that curve strangely into one hill or the next. This makes it difficult to set up seats and tables in a way that is uniform and therefore synchronous with an overall aesthetic, or as Wagner points out, in a way that successfully mimics Parisian boulevard life. Of course, as for the midnight or two am curfew, I can’t quite explain how it came about in L.A., but somehow I have a feeling that Davis will cover it in his elaborate excavation.

Once again, then, I think I’m geeking out! I feel like my knowledge of L.A. only expands with each analysis, and like the information can only play a key role in determining the next twist and turn for The L.A. Storyteller, especially as a new year approaches.

With More Soon,