Friday, July 31, 2009

My Husband Loves Me

MB is away for the weekend, and when I came home from work I found this.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Free Diapers

I have about 50 size 5 diapers and 60 size 6 diapers that we can't use (it's a brand my son doesn't like). Does anyone want them? Do you know of a shelter that can use them?

Update: Someone has claimed the diapers. Meanwhile, if any of you are interested in donating diapers to poor families, a commenter named Santos made the following suggestion:

my neighbours donated their unused diapers to LA diaper drive, you can contact them at or call (310) 230-8626. i don't recall if they were picked up or dropped off.

baby2baby also accepts opened packages of diapers.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Nanny needed in South Park

A friend of mine in South Park needs a full time nanny ASAP for her seven-month-old daughter. My friend works from home so the nanny needs to be able to deal with that. If you know of anyone looking for work, email me through the contact button in the right hand column of the blog and I'll put you in touch with her.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Facebook Group for Downtown Families

There's now a Facebook Group for Downtown families. Join the group and find out about weekly kid-friendly events and planned playdates.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

When worlds collide

Seen in the cereal aisle at Food4Less: Three hipsters, two guys and one girl, earnestly discussing why it is essential to always use organic maple syrup.

Think they made a wrong turn on the way to Trader Joe's?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Downtown Parent and Kids Meet and Greet on Sunday!

From the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council:

Ever wonder if you’re the only parent downtown? Bring the kids and meet other parents who call Downtown LA home.

Light refreshments and snacks will be provided.

Sunday July 19th 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The Exchange
114 W. 5th Street between Spring and Main

For more information, email or (please write Downtown Parent Meet & Greet on subject line)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Another View of the East Side

I followed a Flickr link on Curbed LA and found the most amazing series of photos by a photographer named Tom Andrews. I think the subjects, Cassy & Sethesha, epitomize the LA ethos--the ability to think of yourself as a *~star~* no matter what your surroundings.

I sent the link to a friend of mine and she said, They make me feel all kinds of things, mostly sadness and tenderness for humanity. I agree.

Cassy & Sethesha Gallery, photographed by Tom Andrews

Friday, July 10, 2009

Craft fair this weekend

The Renegade Craft Fair

Hello! The first ever Renegade Craft Fair in LOS ANGELES will take place JULY 11 + 12 from 11am – 7pm, at the California Market Center. We’ll be taking over the entire 13th floor penthouse of the Center, where gorgeous 360-degree views of downtown LA will provide the backdrop for our FREE urban art, craft and DIY extravaganza! We’re so excited, let’s say it one more time: FREE!

Over 200 artists are traveling from all over the country and abroad to participate and sell their handmade goods at Renegade Craft Fair – Los Angeles. From clothing and accessories, to stationary and concert posters, with everything from bath products and ceramics in between – there’s surely something for everyone! Be sure to check out our artist page to start working on your wish list.

The most exciting contemporary crafts organizations from across the LA area will be on site hosting interactive workshops and demonstrations. Silver Lake-based ReForm School is offering hands-on lessons in linoleum block-printing both days of the Fair, and The Urban Craft Center of Santa Monica will be leading workshops in zine-making and needle-felting on Saturday, July 11. Clean out your closets before heading to the Fair on Saturday, July 11, as Swap-O-Rama-Rama will be in full swing that day – transforming your discarded clothes into one-of-a-kind, recycled creations!

DJs from Silver Lake’s KXLU will be on site both days of the Fair providing the best indie, commercial free radio found on either side of the Mississippi – breaking only for a penthouse-shaking, hour long performance by LA based jazz-punk mobile ensemble KILLSONIC on Sunday, July 12 at 3pm!

Other event features include free raffles from Jenny Hart’s Sublime Stitching, Stencil 1, Craftside Publishers and Faythe Levine’s book Handmade Nation at the Renegade Craft Welcome Station, food and beverages for purchase from Tiara Cafe, and, as always, lots of surprises! Be sure to check out The Postcard Machine for a little fun with robots and don’t forget to get your photo snapped at a free-photobooth provided by Oh, Hello Friend!

We hope to see you July 11 + 12 at the California Market Center!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Tale of Two Downtowns

Last night I met with the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council’s education committee. I attended so I could bitch share some of the frustrations loft-swelling families are having with the downtown school and park situation. But instead I got a reality check.

At the meeting was a rep from the LAUSD who oversees programs for homeless children and works closely with 9th Street Elementary, which is the school zoned for downtown. He had a lot to say about the school, most of it not good. Approximately 75 percent of the children at the school are homeless. The school has some of the lowest test scores in the LAUSD. In addition, the school has “safety issues” (his wording, so not sure exactly what that means) and they also have a big problem with churn–-kids entering and leaving the school mid-year because of their housing situation. In addition, because LAUSD has eliminated summer school for the elementary grades, these kids are not getting free breakfast and lunch during the summer and there are concerns about their basic nutrition.

One bright spot is the principal, who I'm told has a lot of energy and is working hard to improve the school. But other than that, it’s a pretty dire situation overall. The DLANC is trying to launch volunteer efforts to support the school as well as reach out to businesses based downtown to get some financial support for the school.

In terms of middle class parents downtown, I really think that there is no way in the foreseeable future that middle class families will be able to send their kids to 9th Street. The reality is that the school is struggling to adequately serve the poorest and most at risk kids in the city. With the economic crisis and a lack of a stable population base (which means no stable community of parents to organize and rally around school reform), I don’t see the situation changing any time soon.

If you own a condo and can't sell and move to a neighborhood with better schools, you're going to have to scramble for a charter/magnet school spot or drop a lot of money on private school tuition. Of course, in comparison with what the homeless families are going through, this is not a tremendous hardship. But it is going to be a big disincentive to living/buying downtown for any couples who are planning to have kids.

I’m still going to be doing volunteer work with DLANC and the school because they need all the support they can get. What I'm hoping is that we can reach out to the local business and art community and get them involved in working with 9th Street Elementary, either as volunteers or helping with fundraising events. Even $1,000 would mean so much to them.

The Downtown community is really two communities, one relatively affluent, the other desperately poor, all sharing a compact neighborhood. It's a situation that you don't see anywhere else in LA and it creates a lot of very difficult problems. I'm not sure how these problems are going to be resolved, especially as the downtown population grows on both sides of the spectrum--people are moving into the new buildings downtown while at the same time more and more people are pushed into homelessness by the economic crisis.

As for us, we're renters and have a lot of flexibility in where we live, and as I said in an earlier post, we've pretty much resigned ourselves to moving in a year or two. But while I'm a part of this community I'm going to do what I can for 9th Street Elementary.