How fabulous is it that, when asked what local neighborhoods have the most happening art and music and community-close scenes, the askee would need to pause, scratch her head, and take a moment?
Because we're not a region with just one or two history-filled, idea-rich spots: Swaths of Southern California brim with people-powered, community-close panache.
Northeast Los Angeles springs to mind, immediately. The neighborhoods up and down Arroyo Seco stay in constant touch with past stories, brave leaders, and cultural institutions in a way that's inspiring to all areas wishing to keep, and grow, the very stuff that makes an area memorable.
Lummis Day, a free three-day festival spotlighting "the arts, history, and ethnic diversity of Northeast Los Angeles," is a prime time for celebrating the sound and sights of one of SoCal's most venerable and vibrant communities.
This year's dates? Friday, June 5 through Sunday, June 7.
Place? Several spots along or adjacent or not-too-far from the arroyo. The Lummis House is one location, as you can guess. The Southwest Museum, Mariachi Plaza, York Park at Avenue 50, and Sycamore Grove Park will all have several doings afoot, from flamenco to puppet shows to poetry to opera and chalk artistry.
Mariachi Tierra Mexicana de Oscar Chavez, Elliot Caine Quintet, Ballet Coco, Susie Hansen Latin Band, and Suzanne Lummis, a poet who is the granddaughter of Charles Fletcher Lummis, the man who built the Lummis House.
Northeast Los Angeles is "one of the first and most diverse areas of Los Angeles." While its annual celebration isn't nearly as venerable -- NELA has roots back into the century before last -- it is clocking some impressive years: 2015 marks its first decade.