I would have never thought to ever encounter the music of Fanny Mendelssohn in a Culver City home, but here I was, at Angela Thompson's house listening to the swelling piano notes in her living room with concert pianist Violeta Petrova at the piano and soprano Elif Savas singing Fanny's lieder. I am a novice regarding classical music, but even I can tell: this woman was a musical genius. And so it is rather upsetting ...
Stories From California
Sometimes I want to write more than just journalistically about my experiences as a reporter. That is why I started to write down my thoughts, observations and emotions beyond scripts for radio, print and TV. This experiment is a lot of fun and scary at the same time. But, as they say, you have to get out of your comfort zone.
First there is the call: your books have arrived and are ready for pick up. Then there is the walk towards the library's book shelves looking for my name. Sometimes I have forgotten what I ordered. Most of the times, I am really excited because I know what is waiting for me: a poet I want to discover, a first time female novelist I hope to learn from, a self improvement book to finally teach me how to find my real inner voice. And use it.
Today FOUR books were waiting for me! I picked up one more on the way out....
"The coyote is a teacher of hidden wisdom with a sense of humor."
"A trickster and a jokester in Native American folklore, using deception and humor to rebel against social conventions"
"Coyotes Active In This Area" warns a sign at the side of the path close to our neighborhood. I came to stretch my legs and get my blood pumping after too many hours in front of a computer.
Are coyotes cowering behind bushes watching me walk by? Are solitary animals howling from these hills at night? If the traffic noise rising from the streets below would stop, would I hear woofs and growls, huffs, barks, yelps and whines? I look around ...
"It is inspiring to see art and music and get a feeling of community."
"To see a punkshow, peacefulness and friendliness - it was a really good time."
"In Los Angeles you don't know your neighbor. Everybody does their thing.
To see people out and connect - I love it!"
I could not believe what I was experiencing when I discovered the Mar Vista ArtWalk about two years ago: artists on every sidewalk, open businesses until 10 PM, a furious tapdancer interpreting music from a fierce guitar while a painter created a new piece of art with colorful brush strokes next to them. Most of all I felt a sense of community. It was all a bit funky and super fun.
I fell in love on the spot.
Now I am part of the glorious team that puts this event together every three months.
One of our main tasks: keeping it fun and funky. Hear what the neighbors have to say:
Among the avocado stands, falafel samples and activists hoping to reverse bike friendly lane changes on a major thoroughfare her cards stand out: dream like visions of women in splendid colors.
Story lines on open hands.
Skulls and wings.
Roots, leaves, lace and butterflies.
"Want to pick a card?" the artist dares me with a warm smile and sparkle in her blue eyes. She is ready to play. Am I? Sure!
I pick a card from her set. Fire red is the first thing I see. Or is it bood red? Eyes looking right at me. Is that the setting sun behind her or a rising moon? An underwater bubble? Winter fields in Eastern Europe? Full lips. A butterfly at the throat.
"Find Your Voice", the card encourages me.
Well, you would think that as a radio journalist that's what I do all day: find and use my voice. Speaking into a microphone. Heard through speakers. So what about my voice?