Where Your Neighbors Know Your Name

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sunday's AlleyUp neighborhood meeting was very constructive. We all discussed values that we would love to see in our neighborhoods, such as Beauty, Creative Expression, Family, Connection, Collaboration, Respect and so many others. We discussed how these values can be transformed into community projects. What kinds of projects do we want to see in the alley and surrounding areas? Your neighbors suggested, Parkway Beautification, Babysitting Co-op, Time Banking, More Edible landscaping, Potlucks, Movies in the Alley, Block(Alley) parties, Murals and so many more. It was a conversation in networking and finding support from local businesses and residents to support these values and projects. We are fortunate enough to live in Santa Monica. A city that encourages well-being and community effort. It is very apparent every time we turn on any media outlet that our governments are failing and that sometimes we can feel powerless when it comes to global and local issues. Well, we can regain that power in our communities, in our neighborhoods. Even though it might take us out of our comfort zone to make that first step to really get to know our neighbors, that's where our power is rooted...having relationships with folks that we pass everyday. Sitting down with people that are witnesses to our daily routines, sharing our assets and breaking entrenched patterns of isolation and exclusiveness. It has been my experience that we all want to belong, we all want connection and that if we take the steps and the courage to gift that to ourselves everyone wins. I invite you all, AlleyUp, to be a part of this transformation here in Ocean Park...where your neighbors want to know your name. AlleyUp neighbor Darla, was gracious enough to draw up a plan for the parkway on Highland, where the alley begins. The city is very liberal on what we can create. We discussed different types of plants and materials that can be used to make this blighted area beautiful. AlleyUp is open to hearing more from you and is scheduling another Project discussion meeting July 14th to narrow down volunteer roles, funds, design and the actual work party sometime in August. And yes...it will be a PARTY! Feel free to leave a comment.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

And finally, the Neighbor Day Gathering in the Alley.

The day was tight. I was in school that whole week and had to return right after the gathering.  I wanted it to be perfect...I tend to stress myself out over that.  I had to make a conscious effort to tell myself that it will be perfect no matter what...my heart was in it and that sealed the deal.  At the time of set up I had wished I had a couple neighbors that were into it like me and could help me with the set-up, but, that wasn't the case. Maybe one day it might be the case. But for now, I had to hustle on my own.

People came, people participated and it was very joyful. They thanked me and offered help in the future. I documented the day in this video. My intention was to convey the emotions that were present. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

First Neighborhood Gathering

This past Sunday was the first of many neighborhood gatherings of residents that live on the borders of the Ocean Park Place Alleyway.  What a wonderful event. Great people, great food and great conversation.  It was lovely getting to meet everyone and chatting up ideas about the potential of the alley. I've lived here 18 years, but there are many other residents that have been here since the original Dog Town days of the 70's.  No matter how long you've lived here, all ideas and suggestions are welcome. The wonderful thing about a community that knows and trusts each other, is that many visions can come into fruition.  I'm excited about the opportunity to get to know all of you. Welcome to the Alleyway Collective.

Shanna and Jared

Tim and Lucas

Jenny (far left) and others

Nice smiles from Lisa and Ari

Liz and Pauline

Little Micah and his dad Jared

Pauline and Renee

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