Friday, September 24, 2010

Charity Benefit in Chicago

Tonight I attended a fund raising benefit for the Global Alliance for Africa which was held at the Millinnium Knickerbocker Hotel. There was a silent auction of many pieces of art as well as a raffle for two tickets to Africa. My friend Allison has been saying all night that she was going to win that trip to Africa and amazingly enough the winner's ticket was just one number away from hers. It was bittersweet for sure. The benefit was a fund raiser for Global Alliance for Africa. This fundraiser is done every year and consists of a great deal of the volunteers for the alliance. It was great to witness such giving from so many. Most of the people there were from the non-profit sector and it was just a beautiful event. This is an event that my friend attends every year an has worked with many of the people there on one project or another. Thanks Allison it was fun.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Allure of Newsstands

One of the first things I fell in love with when I moved to California was the many newsstands that are scattered throughout the city. The first one I encountered was in Hollywood on Cahuenga. It reminded me so much of New York. I am an avid reader of everything and anything that I can get my hands on.

There are not any newsstands in my hometown of Savannah, Ga. , at least not any more. There was one in the downtown area, but I don't remember them carrying any of the international magazines. It was located on Drayton Street right off of Broughton Street, but it is long gone now.

 The newsstand shown above is in San Fernando Valley on the corner of Van Nuys Blvd. and Ventura Blvd. It is one that I go to quite often even though Borders Books is right down the street in the same block. Often times the newsstand will have the newest magazines before the bookstore. However, I go to both quite often. I order my books from Amazon because I get a better price, even with the coupons offered by Borders, but I love just browsing the shelves and seeing what is new out there.

 There is now an electronic newsstand, which is good if you are looking for a particular periodical that you can't find anywhere. Nothing beats going to your neighborhood newsstand, seeing the proprietor often and he knows your name. When I am in a city and I find newsstands their inventory usually gives me some idea of the diversity of that city. Even more so about the neighborhood of which it is located. At the newsstand above you will find your array of national newspapers and a great deal of latin magazines, as well as a great deal of magazines on Yoga and holistic health.

The newsstand on Cahenga in Hollywood on the corner of Hollywood Blvd., you find a large section on film, photography, videography, and international papers in many languages. It is quite interesting. You will be in another area and find a great deal of Russian or Asian newspapers and magazines. It is amazing what gives you insight to the demographics of an area. These are the things that really draw me to large cities such as Los Angeles and New York. The different ethnic groups and cultures and food that you are able to experience. Often times I feel like a stranger in these neighborhoods and wonder would I feel lonely if I were visiting these cultures abroad.