|Traci and Maiya Asset Mapping J-town|
Just finished my third night of meetings in Little Tokyo, one for Tuesday Night Cafe w/South Asians for Social Justice + a Google Hangout crash course, one to plan for the brand spanking new skill learning + history/community sharing space Little Tokyo University, and finally tonight I got to see this amazing photovisual community mapping project that culminated in a photo gallery installation at Nirvana Bar. It was awesome catching up with and talking story with folks like Traci, Jenni, Tony, Kristin, and Collin who are all going big and making huge changes to the JTown landscape.
It's so crazy to think that when I first got to LA in 2006 I would go to meetings where the first agenda item was "in 5 years will there be a Little Tokyo?" The streets would be empty, the shops would be tired, and the area was being bought out by corporations at frightening speed.
Now there is barely any parking because the restaurants are packed, the streets are always lit, and on any given night something is happening. This isn't a testament to Japanese people or Little Tokyo itself, but really what PEOPLE (any people, ordinary people) can do when we come together and PROACTIVELY create spaces to engage and work towards communal goals and wants.And that's a pretty awesome thing.