I volunteered with a group called Lerata. It’s the laboratory for experimentation and research in art, technology, and architecture.
Skyline is an annual free event held right in downtown L.A. that I had no idea existed! It’s a “10-day art & architecture event that showcases site specific, experimental, interactive installations that embrace Los Angeles’ ever-evolving cultural landscape.” (I got that from their website.)
One of the goals of Lerata is “to uncover gems in cities often unseen or unused by the public; and provide a means for residents and tourists alike to see and learn about their cities in a new and unique way.”
I think that’s really cool. I know I don’t soak up L.A. nearly as much as I could, and I appreciate this group taking steps to make us appreciate not only our city, but also art, architecture, and maybe even beauty in ways we hadn’t before. So, that’s cool.
I was a little scared, because I really don’t know all that much about art & architecture. I’d like to pretend that I do and that I’m super cultured and all that jazz, but I don’t really – which is part of why I was stretching myself with this.
I read the little blurbs about the exhibit and watched the video we had on loop. I had a good amount of time to familiarize myself with everything since no one came for the first 45 minutes or so.
The first group that trickled in were totally new best friends of mine. They were so fun and seemed really cultured. I was a little intimidated. But the next little group that came in later seemed to think I was pretty cool and smart just because I could tell them what their little map could’ve told them… but because I said it, I was obviously smart and cultured. Yay me!
This absolutely adorable older couple came in at one point. I’m not sure how long they’d been together, but they’d talked about living in Los Angeles together for 40(!) years. So, a log time is how long they’d been together. Yet they treated each other with so much care and wonder, like they were on a 9th date or something. (I chose 9th at random, assuming that’d perhaps be an okay number to where the “trying to impress people” factor had settled down, but the cool-newness was still there.
When she was looking at something away from him and he wanted her attention, he sweetly said, “Darling” to get it. I wanted to put them in my pocket and just take them around with me. They were so cute!
One woman did bring her dog in! To an art exhibit. It wasn’t like she was coming in from the street just to see what’s up. She had a map! She was obviously looking at the exhibits. What is with people in Los Angeles and their dogs?
Throughout the night, I met all these cool, interesting people with cool, interesting jobs. I’m constantly saying no one lives out here unless they’re in the entertainment industry, but I learned there are plenty of other artsy or money-making industries people participate in out here.
I met a pilot of private jets, a banker, people involved in fashion design, art, and architecture (makes sense at this event). And I know it’s weird for me to say it, but I thought, “downtown Los Angles is really pretty cool, huh?”
So much cool stuff happens downtown and I really should be more present in my cool community. Whether I actually will or not remains to be seen. But hey, at least I know this thing exists now! And I met some cool people and had a great time – all with only having to walk a few blocks away from my house. I’d say the project is off to a great start!