Insider Magazine: Fall 2018

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Fall 2018


Hungry? Read about the five top spots to grab a bite around GCC, p.18-19

Try out the best hikes in Glendale, p.10

Get to know Matthew Spencer, illustrator of this cover, p.3

FALL 2018



Belinda Oldrati


Hayk Rostomyan WEB EDITOR

Carolina Diaz


Alin Pasokhian Ari Moradian Chieko Kubo Dylan A. Bryant Eduardo Carreno Eisho Shiroma Genesis Barboza Joanna Flamenco Kenya Barboza Ryan Wallace Samantha Decker Sam Reynolds Saryana Nazarian Tania Acosta Tracy Mejia Vendela Lindblom Ximena Verdad


Matthew Spencer

Letter from the Editor Belinda Oldrati GCC’s “Insider” hasn’t published in a couple of years, which makes this edition of the magazine particularly special. As a journalism student and magazine editor, I got to see the process of a campus department growing and thriving on its own again. I spearheaded the workflow, content, and built team comradery over the summer, which allowed over two dozen students to get exposure to magazine writing, design, and layout. Originally from Sweden, I’m now making Los Angeles my headquarters for the foreseeable future. I have worn many hats in my career – from professional competitive dancer to nursery school teacher to photographer and journalist. What I hope to show through the work found in this magazine is that it’s never too late to explore one’s horizons. Indeed, some of our students are parents with adult kids. Some are on their third career. And some are just barely starting, figuring out what they’re good at.


That’s what makes Glendale College so special. This magazine is a reflection of the students’ interests, concerns, dreams, and hopes.


We sincerely hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did in the process of putting everything together – from content to design.

Paige Samaroo

Reut Rory Cohen (818) 240-1000 ext. 5214


Member of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges

Belinda Oldrati Magazine Editor



rehabilitating former inmates, artist corner: matthew spencer, the life of an abuse counselor, they don’t want or need to be fixed, what gcc students have to go through,


#hillstrong: defeating the odds


the basketball dream















hiking in glendale, the yoga mindset

a day in venice beach, the marvelous views of each season in japan

foods of east l.a., top 5 spots to grab a bite around gcc, the luck of the angelino

inciting riots or bridging polarized beliefs, youtube phd

- world history

the common difference, queer 101

relationships: giving your all, revive your life with rituals

compton just got trendy, make glendale great again

Rehabilitating Former Inmates The focus of GCC’s new program, one of the first of its kind By Hayk Rostomyan Senior Production Manager Mistakes have their consequences. When someone breaks the law, they face a chance of serving time in jail or prison. However, nobody expects to lose their humanity when they get sentenced. Travis Leach, a social work major, and Jonah Moon, a computer science major, have created the System Impacted Intellectuals (SII) to help these students at Glendale Community College. They are a two-man club and they are looking for more members, despite being unable to identify other students in a similar situation. Yet there are many other students who have been in trouble with the law and seek a better future, they said. With help from Ziza Delgado, an adjunct instructor of ethnic studies, Leach has organized a restorative program with that helps to assists formerly incarcerated people get readjusted back into the education system. They are following similar programs from schools like Cal State Poly Pomona and UC Berkeley, to get help. The purpose, Leach explained, is “to create a safe place for people like us to discuss our issues, the obstacles we face in education because of our past.” Leach and Moon are working on setting up an event with formerly incarcerated celebrities, like actor Danny Trejo, in order to get these students motivated to come forward. Leach grew up dealing with the divorce of his parents around the same time his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. At age 14, he started using meth. His addiction to drugs and narcotics led to him getting caught up with the wrong crowd. Leach would steal and break into cars to support a habit. From age 14 to 27 Leach was either homeless or incarcerated in a county jail. When he turned 27, Leach felt sick, and with little recourse available to him he reached out to his father. His father took him in. Later, after a visit to a doctor, Leach was diagnosed with a life-threat-


Kawana Hasegawa / Contributing Photographer

NEW INITIATIVE: Krys Gonzalez, adjunct faculty, with Travis Leach (center) and Jonah Moon.

ening disease that he did not specify. This was a wake-up call for him. Four years after his diagnosis, he took his father’s advice and returned to school at Glendale Community College. Glendale College has been very supportive to Leach and Moon. Faculty members, like student services technician Nane Kakosian as well as Hoover Zariani, the senior student services program manager at the Multicultural & Community Engagement Center, “have our back” said Leach. Having faculty in SII’s corner helps to give the members the confidence to reach out and find more people who are in the same shoes. Moon has even come out about his controversial past with two of his instructors. Kim Foong-Chong, a calculus professor, wrote him a letter of recommendation despite his past, because, as he explained, the instructor understood he’s a changed man. Moon has been accepted to UC Berkeley. Moon was facing a life sentence for attempted murder. He was hanging out with members of his gang and members from another gang they were friendly with. They were waiting to “jump,” or give a surprise beating, to members of a rival gang. When Moon had a rival member pinned


on the floor, a fellow gang member beat the man with a rod and another man stabbed him with a knife. He wasn’t aware that his friends in the gang had brought weapons, he said. There isn’t much that jails or prisons do to rehabilitate inmates, according to The Marshall Project, a non-profit dedicated to awareness about the U.S. criminal justice system. “They have AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and they have church. That’s about that,” Leach said, “Most people actually end up coming out worse than they came in.” Moon agreed with Leach’s opinion, but added that they had libraries in the jail he was in. Moon remembered reading “The Time Detective,” a book by Mark Carnaly, in his cell. “It’s amazing how good you get at reading,” Leach said. “I was able to read one of the new ‘Harry Potter’ books in just a few hours.” Becoming readjusted to the world after getting out of county jail was difficult. When you’re in jail, you’re expected to take care of issues by getting into fights, said Leach. Even bumping into another person would usually lead to a brawl. “I still have difficulties debating with people without getting frustrated,” admitted Leach.

“You can’t daydream,” added Moon. “If you are working out, your buddy better be keeping an eye out for you.” Due to the racial division in jail it becomes difficult to be with people who are different than you when you get out, he said. The SII hopes to help others in their position get accustomed to life outside. They want to encourage those who have family or friends who have been in the system to join their meetings. “The program is for students by students because they understand each other,” said Zariani. There seems to be a stronger trust between students compared to faculty about these matters and it makes opening up much easier.

Moon has served time in the infamous Folsom State Prison, the same one that Johnny Cash had sang about. It turns out it’s actually a very bad place to be in. Folsom’s cells are so tiny that Moon had no room to do push-ups. Leach and Moon hope to aide the college with expanding the program before they both transfer to a university. They would love to expand the program to reach children in alternative high schools like Allan F. Daily High School. “We want to give them a chance at the American dream,” said Robert Hill, the Dean of Student Services. “They deserve it. They’ve paid their debts.” Hill and his colleagues are in communication with the

LA County of Education and LA Probation Department in order to recruit more members to their restorative justice program. “We seek to create a partnership with LA County in order to give current inmates an easy transition from incarceration to school,” said Krys Gonzalez, Student Services Technician and Adjunct Sociology Instructor. At the moment the administration team volunteers their spare time to this project, but they wish to tap into funding in order to hire more staff and student workers. Meetings are held bimonthly on Thursdays at the Multicultural Center from 12:20 p.m. to 1:20 p.m. You can reach Delgado at for information.

Artist Corner: Matthew Spencer By Belinda Oldrati Magazine Editor Matthew Spencer, 25, originally from San Antonio, Texas, moved out to Los Angeles just five years ago to live with extended family. He has attended Glendale Community College since 2014, and is currently the illustrator and archivist for the journalism department on campus, digitizing the collection of school newspapers going over 80 years back in time. Spencer has been drawing since high school, working with pen, ink, watercolor and gouache. The inspiration for his art varies. Sometimes it comes from watching YouTube videos, and sometimes he gets inspired by obscure Japanese art. Spencer’s goals for the future is completing his Associate of Arts Degree in Mass Communications, along with continuing school to become a librarian. Take a look at Spencer’s work at:

Go to the App/Play store on your phone to download a QR code reader

Matthew Spencer / Staff Illustrator

RELAX: Students of Glendale Community College takes a break in the grass in between classes.



The Life of an Abuse Counselor A fearless footsoldier: Fighting on the frontlines of domestic and sexual abuse By Samantha Decker Staff Writer Audriana Buchanan was just a child when an underground brothel, disguised as a massage parlor, was discovered in her sleepy suburban town in southeastern Michigan. The local residents were horrified when as they watched the women, who were held prisoner at the so-called business where they were forced to work against their will, be rescued. As details of the inner-workings were revealed, the citizens wondered how this treacherous operation was able to go undetected in their quiet community for so long. Being mostly sheltered from this type of crime, this was an unforgettable event that made an impact on Buchanan and inevitably changed the course of her life. Sexual and domestic abuse is an epidemic, sweeping the globe at an alarming rate. It is found and is extremely prevalent in almost every country and culture. According to RAINN, Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, it is estimated that 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. This type of violence against women can take many ugly shapes and forms. It ranges from emotional abuse through manipulation and controlling behaviors to physical violence such as inflicting bodily harm or sexual assault. Children can be especially vulnerable to domestic and sexual violence. Having no way to really speak up for themselves gives them little to no control over their situation, enabling abuse to be present in their lives for years without any intervention. Teen runaways with nowhere to turn, often become easy targets to pimps who offer a false sense of security or “love” in exchange for sexual acts or work in the sex industry. They are stripped of their freedom, trafficked and coerced into dangerous situations that will further damage and scar them for life. First Step is a non-profit domestic abuse and sexual assault crisis center to the residents of Wayne County, Michigan which


First Step / Courtesy Photo

CHILDREN’S TEAM: Audriana Buchanan, 24, green shirt, poses with her fellow counsulors.

includes much of Detroit’s most economically deprived and violent areas. Their services are inclusive completely free to the public include counseling, advocacy, emergency shelter and education to victims of any age, gender, sexual orientation and background. They are actively working towards their ultimate goal of prevention of abuse and helping build safe non-violent families. Buchanan says she comes from a life of privilege and good fortune. Before becoming an advocate for survivors, she helped many close friends with personal traumas. From those experiences, she felt compelled to dedicate her life to others


who are not as fortunate and help be the solution to an incredibly important cause. Today she serves as a Children’s Survivor Advocate at First Step and works with many minors who have suffered from abuse. She describes her responsibilities as being very different from day to day. Sometimes her schedule is filled with back-to-back counseling sessions or providing support out in the field, but on occasion, she gets to treat her young clients to fun outings and field trips. “I do things that can help the kids just be kids. Because often times when kids are in houses with violence, they don’t get that opportunity.”

The biggest challenge Buchanan faces on a daily basis are various government systems falling short before they meet the needs her clients. Although due to the confidentiality of her clients, she couldn’t share any specifics but she says she has handled countless heart-wrenching cases of Child Protective Services or CPS and the foster care system failing the children she councils. She confessed that sometimes her job is taking a child out of an abusive home only to have them placed in another one equally as toxic, and being frustrated because there is nothing she immediately can do to protect the child further. The judicial system also tends

to be an unfriendly place when it comes to victims of crimes of the sexual or domestic nature. Often evidence, such as rape kits, are not handled properly by authorities, causing it to become non-admissible in court and excluded from the proceedings, which is usually detrimental to the case. Survivors are also often victim blamed leaving them to appear at fault instead of the actual perpetrator. Although Buchanan faces many obstacles, she also sees many victories. She claims she doesn’t take stock in her own personal accomplishments from her efforts, but in her client’s instead. Nevertheless, they pale in comparison to the

First Step / Courtesy Photo

CELEBRATING SURVIVORS: At First Step’s Annual Domestic Violence Awarness Event, every survivor ties a purple thread on the ribbon and shares why they thrive.

challenges she deals with. She revealed her proudest moments are when clients overcomes their struggles and begin to thrive. “The achievements are not about me, my achievements are more about when my clients find themselves in a better place. Whether that be safety-wise, emotionally [or] physically and anything like that. You know I don’t really do this for myself, I kind of do it for them.” If someone is a victim of a crime they always have a right to report to the police and seek justice against their perpetrator. Crisis centers like First Step are equipped to help anyone interested in filing charges by accurately reporting their story to law enforcement, gather evidence to build the strongest case possible, helping them know their rights and providing courtroom support. However, Buchanan warns that reporting isn’t necessarily the right choice for every victim and justice is not guaranteed. Rather, she talks about the power of simply speaking up. Sharing a story can be incredibly healing for some people and can also bring more awareness to the cause. She also notes that some survivors may never want to share their stories with anyone, and that is perfectly acceptable as well. There are many people in the community and around the world who are currently trapped in abusive situations and need a way out. Removing these people from their situation is one way to but the abusers will quickly find someone to take their place, which only creates more victims. She offered that an even better way to prevent abuse is to recognize the signs and put a stop to it before to starts. In addition, ending the cycle of violence is a crucial part of eliminating sexual and domestic violence from our society. Buchanan says educating yourself and even just talking about it and opening up conversations is the best way to make a substantial impact. “In order to help each other and help survivors and help end the cycle of violence we have to start fighting against it. We have to work towards breaking that cycle and telling people that what they’re doing is not okay and that the survivors do not deserve that. And so I always encourage my clients to work on feeling empowered enough to keep themselves safe when reporting [or speaking up], so that we can hold these people accountable for their actions.”



T h e y D o n ’ t Wa n t o r N e e d t o B e F i x e d By Saryana Nazarian Staff Writer “I was blessed with a great family,” said Brian Cole. This is something not a lot of deaf people get to say. However, Cole, an instructor at Glendale Community College, was able to get to where he is now because of his parents and support network. Cole was roughly two when his parents realized he was deaf. Studies had shown that the cause of his hearing loss was a gene called “Connexion 26” that he inherited from his parents. Even though Cole was medically determined to be deaf, many deaf schools did not accept him because he had the ability to speak. Cole’s mom wanted to find the best program for her child, but since deaf education was so poor in America in the 1980s, it took Cole’s mother several schools until she was able to enroll him into a mainstream program that had classes for deaf students with teachers who taught in American Sign Language, or ASL. This is exactly what hearing people take for granted. They take full education for granted, something that deaf people like Cole have had a hard time finding. Just think about how you get through your day — waking up, taking public transportation or driving, going about work or school. Which of those activities do you take for granted? If you take a second, you’ll understand that several of the services we use every day are built only with non-disabled people in mind, or those who are considered “normal”. It’s important to learn about those “disabled” individuals that non-disabled people are trying to help “normalize”. Nine out of twelve people who took an informal survey at Glendale Community College on deaf attitudes believe that deafness is a disability, because medically it is not being able to hear. However Cole, like many deaf individuals, disagrees that deafness is a disability. Sergey Yengoyan has had experiences similar to Cole’s in terms of hearing peoples’ attitudes. “I don’t like people looking down on


Edit Davoodian / Contributing Illustrator

me because I am deaf,” he said in a recent interview. “What makes a person disabled? Inability to do something? Many hearing people are unable to do many things that deaf people can do, does it make them disabled?” argued Cole. Deaf people can do things that a lot of hearing people can’t do, like owning a business. Yengoyan, a business owner, became deaf when he was only 3-years-old. He was raised in Armenia, went to an Armenian deaf school, but moved to the U.S. in 2004, when he was only 11. His parents wanted to provide him with a better life and education that wasn’t available back home. Yengoyan went on to graduate and worked for his family denture business, but realized that was not his passion. Yengoyan has worked for various companies and has more experience than your average 25-year-old. In his early 20s, he launched his own business. Yengoyan has a mobile car wash business with a 5-star rating. Keeping a 5-star rate has not been easy for a deaf man who faces discrimination from his hearing clients. Yengoyan has a particularly hard time with weaknesses in technology that can


make it hard to communicate with clients. Also, if a client texts in a high-level vocabulary, he often feels at a disadvantage. “I face difficulties when my internet disconnects or when a client texts me the wrong word I contact an interpreter.” Yengoyan mentioned that when he meets his hearing clients face to face, most of them freeze and seem very surprised because they have never seen a deaf business owner before. ”Some of them even think that I am a lousy and a bad worker just because I am deaf” Yengoyan added. Judgments like this are something Yengoyan experiences almost every day, but he says he is used to it. Many want to decrease discrimination by fixing deaf individuals. Hearing people believe that deaf individuals can be – or want to be – fixed with a cochlear implant. “The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and medical field experts that strongly advocate cochlear implants, speak as if they know what is best for deaf people without really asking how we feel or think. All this trying to fix me to make their life easier and convenient for them for me to understand them rather than them understanding me” Cole argued.

The official website of cochlear implants defines cochlear implants as “an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear”. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of cochlear since 1984. The official FDA website has a list of benefits and risks for cochlear implants. However there is a big problem with this list. There is a total of eight benefits and 31 risks recorded in that list. “How is getting brain surgery and wearing large cochlear device magnet on your head normal as anti-deaf often define it?” Cole asked. Yengoyan agreed. “I have personally never thought about getting a cochlear implant. I support the use of cochlear

implant only if the deaf individual getting the procedure has made the decision them self” he explained. Some deaf children as young as 18-months-old get cochlear implants because their parents feel as if they need it. Cole believes hearing people want deaf people to get cochlear implants because “they don’t have to learn how to sign or feel frustrated or want to deal with something that is outside of their norm.” “Deaf Awareness is about understanding ASL community, our unity, and accepting us as human beings and a chance to be heard,” Cole said. Doctors are just there to diagnose deafness medically not to fix their deafness. Organizations for the deaf should focus

more on providing better education rather than trying to fix deaf individuals. Often times deaf children fall victim to miscommunication, neglect, child abuse (mental and sexual) due to many staff’s inability to communicate. “Overcrowded classrooms need to be separated into groups and more American Sign Language based teachers need to be hired so they can communicate with deaf children about their needs,” Cole said. Therefore, educating the deaf about their culture and the hearing about the deaf culture are both important. If you have the opportunity to take an American Sign Language class, please do. The more people are aware, the less discrimination and abuse deaf people will go through.

What GCC Students Have to Go Through with unfortunate procrastination and responsibilities doesn’t really make the day easy on us. The schedule: wake up, rush to school due to poor time management skills, get to the parking structure, “She did not just take my parking spot!” and when it’s full, go down to the other one. Driving around until a parking spot is “These elevators are broken again? But I parked on the sixth floor!” “My next class found is common, which may take an hour or so. Then, the rush to the elevators take is in the SV building... I don’t think my place, which are often broken. legs are ready for this.” Who would’ve known? The rush to These are just some things that students class is worthless, since it’s cancelled think to themselves when they attend half the time. Next class is in three hours. Glendale Community College. Do you ever have a day where everything Sigh. I then go and get some food. As a seems to be going right and nothing’s get- broke college student, all I’m going to say is, don’t make food so expensive on or ting in your way? No? Neither do I. around campus if we can’t afford it. AnyGCC is a beautiful college that has many opportunities for students to express them- way, I walk back up the ramp to the next class is exhausting, because it’s probably selves and find out who they truly are. in the SV building. Time for another hike. Faculty, staff, and the students are friendly and helpful which ties the school At this point, you can tell I’m not a big fan of walking. together. The buildings are huge and the I get to class, sit through it, and go back grass is green, but sometimes the challengto my car. Before that, sometimes a walk es we face makes us want to pull out our is taken up flights of stairs since the elehair. A student named Michelle A. vented to me about her struggles on campus. “It’s vators only decide to work whenever they feel like it. Driving home is relaxing until really annoying when the parking is full, the realization of an important task that or when the walk to each class is so long wasn’t completed comes to mind - I forgot and tiring. Also, why are parking passes to buy a scantron. so expensive? I have to pay to park at a As you can see, small inconveniences school I pay money to attend to? What turn into big problems for us students. sense does that make?” Many students Because, you have to remember: We’re would agree with her. usually always hungry and tired. A day for a regular college student can Personally, I feel that the true college be chaotic. The combination of deadlines, By Ari Moradian Staff Writer

experience also involves a lot of stress and things going completely wrong. I feel that this is the way we learn how to deal with the real world, since nothing is perfect. Maybe this is how it’s supposed to be, so life after will seem easier and more normal. Or maybe, everything’s just going wrong and we’re not supposed to feel like our whole world will go up in flames if we don’t transfer into our dream university, or if we don’t get that desired grade in a class, that for some reason makes us feel like our chances of succeeding in what we do will decline dramatically. If thought about enough, most people would realize that they’re extremely lucky to be attending such a beautiful college in such a safe area. The fact that education is even offered makes us lucky, because some people don’t have that luxury. Even though these little things make us feel that our days are ruined, they don’t ruin anything. They help us understand the concept of responsibility and help us figure out how to deal with tough situations that cause stress and doubt within ourselves. Regardless, everyone’s stressed, tired, and hungry, so the least that can happen is everything running smoothly at least, right? Wrong. Although it can be hectic, the campus is still beautiful and I enjoy studying here. Hopefully, you do, too.



#HillStrong: Defeating the Odds Beloved dean talks about his heart and kidney transplants, and the will to make a difference By Vendela Lindblom Staff Writer “I get up every morning and think about hope, because I come here to play as hard as I can, I give it everything,” said Robert Hill, the dean of student services at Glendale Community College. Hill grew up in Orange County, Calif. “I got two all-star parents, I don’t come from the typical black, broken home, single parent, you know ... so I don’t have any excuse but not to be successful,” said Hill. After coming back from the military, he went to community college. That’s where he found his love for working at a community college, because as a student, he was so inspired by the people at his college who always treated him with love and respect. He figured that if he could replicate the treatment he got, he could make a “powerful difference in the world.” Hill came to GCC three years ago and has 17 years of community college experience under his belt. When he’s not trying to make a difference at GCC, his seven daughters and volunteer work keeps him busy. Family, friends, and relationships are a big part of who he is, and he believes that we are better people when we get along with each other. “I know that’s a difficult concept for people, especially right now,” Hill said. The one thing that inspires him to keep going is hope. “The American culture is

nothing without courageous people, you know. Hate will never, ever, ever, be the platform that stands... We got to find a way to love one another, without tearing each other apart.” Hill’s primary focus at GCC is academic counseling, and he believes that the key to success is to create a good relationship with the students, and to be someone that inspires and motivates them to keep going. “Have you ever tried to teach a three-year-old to tie a shoe?” Hill asked. “Think about it, think about how complex that is of a skill. See here’s the thing, I don’t care what color you are, I don’t care what gender you are, OK? If you can tie your shoes, you can learn. Who is going to inspire you to learn how to tie that shoe? That’s the critical thing, that’s the core. We are so worried about planning this and that, we don’t get to the core soul of people... That’s what I do the best. I get to the soul and the core of the human spirit.” Hill lives a hectic life, he explained, where he only gets two hours of sleep per night. “My mother always told me ‘you’re so nosy, you’re afraid you’re going to miss out on something,’ and that might be true,” he laughs. “[But] lately, it might be because I’m happy to be able to wake up.” Twelve years ago, Hill was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a condition that affects the heart muscle. He was told he only had the functionality of half a heart, and his attitude was to take a couple of drugs and keep it pushing. However, in

Paige Samaroo / Staff Photographer

A STORY OF TRIUMPH: Dr. Robert Hill talks about life as an organ transplant recipient.



the beginning of 2017, he started having complications more frequently than ever before, and went in and out of the hospital. In February, he developed a stomach pain that never seemed to go over, and when the pain took over, he was considering going to the hospital, or just take some Pepto-Bismol and go to bed. After a while, he ended up taking an Uber to Cedars-Sinai hospital. “I get in there, and the intern doctor she gives me a look like she had seen walking death,” said Hill. They gave him some drugs and he went to sleep. When he woke up, the doctor was standing by his bed and said, “I’m glad you woke up.” The doctor explained that his blood pressure was stabilized but that if he went off the medication he was been given, anything could happen. “You’re on some pretty heavy medication,” Hill said the doctor told him. “If you’re off this medication I can’t guarantee you more than 48 hours to live. Now, think about if I took that Pepto-Bismol and didn’t go there.” Hill was at the top of the list for a heart transplant. His mental capacity was positive, but due to the heavy medication Hill was taking for his heart, his kidney took a massive hit as well. After three months of waiting with no heart in sight, his doctor said his only option was to get the LVAD. They notified his family and started preparing him for the surgery. The doctor had to postpone it. The day after, they prepared Hill again, and when the time had come, his nurses rolled him out for surgery. Hill woke up as they rolled him out for surgery. That’s when they broke the big news to him. “You’re not going to believe this, but you’re getting a heart.” Hill didn’t only get a heart, he also got a new kidney. “I will have the most energy and I will have the greatest spirit, and always be happy no matter what,” said Hill. Hill is here today because of organ donation. “Every single day, I think about those two people that lost their lives.” He continued, “Now when I wake up at 4 a.m., I always give thanks to God. Personally that’s my faith, and [I] say thank you for another day.”

The Basketball Dream

Yuta Watanabe’s journey of becoming the second Japanese-born NBA player By Eisho Shiroma Staff Writer Yuta Watanabe signed a two-way contract with The Memphis Grizzlies, which will make him the second Japanese player ever to play in the NBA, National Basketball Association. The first Japanese player who played in the NBA was Yuta Tabuse as a Phoenix Suns’ player in 2004. The 5 feet 8 inches, 165-pound guard spent around seven years in the United States, playing for the NBA. However, Tabuse played only four games. He faced challenges and difficulties since basketball is dominated by African-American athletes. Basketball is not as big in Japan as in the United States, and it has been 14 years since the last time the NBA had a Japanese player. The way of becoming a NBA player is through the summer league. A lot of media feature the players, and the league is a place where teams find thier rookies. The Summer league is survival of the fittest because it is a big chance for each player. It was held in Utah, Las Vegas, and Orlando for 19 days this July, and around 30 teams joined in this year. There are four Japanese players who have played in the league so far, Yuta Tabuse, Takuya Kawamura, Kosuke Takeuchi, and Yuki Togashi. However, only Tabuse played in the NBA. Although there are many talented players, only a few players would end up with a contract. If they wouldn’t make the cut, they would be drafted in the G-league, which is a lower league of the NBA. Watanabe, 23, joined the Summer League this year. Both of his parents played basketball as professional athletes in Japan. He’s been wanting to become a basketball player since he was only six years old. Players need to have good achievements to be drafted and the one’s who belonged to a famous high school in the U.S. occupy the higher rank. It is almost impossible to be a NBA player from a high school in Japan, so they need to play in the U.S. to make good records. Watanabe was born in Kagawa pre-

Wikimedia Commons / Courtesy Photo

HIGH FIVE: Watanabe congratulates his teammate with a classic slap to the hand.

fecture (the territorial division) in Japan and moved to the U.S. to go to George Washington University in 2013. The 6 feet 9 inches tall swingman played four years at the university and won the Atlantic-10 defensive player of the year in last season. His defensive ability is good, and he has often left to stop a leading player of opponents. He made good progress during the four seasons at the university, he increased his scoring form 7.4 points per game in 2014-15 to 8.4, 12.2 and 16.6 in the next three seasons. “He’s really like LeBron James over there,” Watanabe’s former teammate Tyler Cavanaugh said in George Washington Magazine. “There’s a lot of pressure. He kind of feels the whole weight of a country on his shoulders.” He can play multiple positions, and New York Nets were attract-

ed by his ability. He surprised people in many ways during the Nets’ summer league. In the game against Pacers, he averaged 9.8 points on 40.6 percent shooting and marked 5.3 rebounds. He also showed good defense as he blocked shots and protected the rim. Watanabe played about 20 minutes in each of the full matches, and he gained confidence. In Japan, a lot of media featured Watanabe’s success. It was said that the people don’t care about basketball, but now, they care about Yuta Watanabe. Finally, he signed a two-way contract with The Memphis Grizzlies last month. “Now, the real competition begins,” Watanabe wrote on his Twitter. His first match as a NBA player is predicted to be on Oct.17.



Hiking in Glendale By Sam Reynolds Staff Writer California, being known as “The Sunshine State,” is full of excitement and

beauty. With our weather, anytime is the ideal time to experience most of the hype. Sometimes we miss out on more of the nature around us and how much there is to truly take in and appreciate. A great way to solve that problem is hiking trails. Wheth-

er you’re into working out, trying new things with friends, or just curious to see what’s out there, hiking is almost always guaranteed to be a great time, and we’ve taken the liberty of scouting a few to help you get started.

Beaudry Loop Trail

The Beaudry Loop Trail has many starting points in the hills of Glendale. The uphill climb can always be met with cool shade from the many trees that populate the area. Wildlife, such as deer, can be encountered through most of the wood visible from the path, and tend not to mind passerby’s too much. Once at the peak of any of the hills, you’ll be treated to an immaculate view of the community that is Glendale.

Griffith Park

In the heart of Glendale, Griffith Park is a great place for an easy hike. The trails through the park alone offer a peaceful stroll through the trees with plenty of rest areas and little departures from the main path to view bridges and waterways. Further up the trail, you can travel up the hillsides which are good for a simple walk or a mild jog. It’s also a great trip for people who enjoy dog walking. At the peak, you’ll find the Griffith Observatory, from where you’ll get a great view of the Los Angeles area.

Whiting Woods Trail

Before approaching the trail, the neighborhood surrounded by trees and deer greets you with a gentle breeze and cool shade. Traveling up the path itself, the soft dirt is great for an uphill workout. The view of Tujunga is vast and can be clearly seen from any one of the many hills. The trail itself stretches all around the mountains in Sunland and Glendale, which is perfect for people who like a great cardio workout.



The Yoga Mindset A workout for your body and soul

By Tania Acosta Staff Writer “Taking a simple forward fold or taking a backbend can make a difference with my mood,” said Lauren Birn, a yoga student who has been practicing the art for about six years. She has previously struggled with obsessive compulsive eating. Birn spent some time in rehab for treating her disorder, while there, she was able to practice yoga in the facility. “[I feel] so much relief with the relationship of my body and so much relief with the relationship with my mind,” she continued. Studies suggest that practicing yoga might improve quality of life and help relieve anxiety and depression, according to the 2007 National Health interview Survey, NHIS. Yoga is the sixth most commonly used complementary practice among adults. More than 13 million adults practice yoga, numbers from NHIS showed. People who practice yoga regularly maintain their health and their well-being, improve physical fitness, relieve stress and enhance quality of life. In addition, they may be addressing specific health conditions, such as back pain, neck pain and arthritis. “Yoga does not cure mental illness,” cautioned Amy Sallivan, who has been a yoga therapist for 20 years. However, yoga does help with symptoms of mental imbalance. “Anxiety is just energy that is blocked from the center down,” explained Sallivan. “When the center is blocked, energy tries to go down to find its grounding energy, but if it’s blocked or congested or tense, the energy is going to turn back circulating around your body, causing tension in the muscles,” she claimed. “Depression is a depressed feeling [of] pushed down energy,” she explained. In the rise of more individuals suffering from mental health, people are dependent on medication when feeling depressed. Medication may help in some situations but not always. The medications are designed to restore emotional balance and help people to get on with their everyday lives, but it can also have side effects. On the other hand, yoga

could help people feel connected. “ When someone feels connected, centered, strong and supportive or what ever manifestation in that mental illness, is going to subside,” said Sallivan. Eduardo Duran, a yoga therapist who has been practicing yoga since 1996, incorporates mental focus before his students start the class. Students come in and start warming up by exercising moves while Duran prepares them mentally to face their challenges throughout the class. “What are you showing up for?” he asked when students held their poses. As a student who attends his class regularly, I have found that by focusing and following his instructions, empowers me to set my mind on the mat and to face challenges and thoughts that it make me feel uncomfortable. “Sit in that boiling water until you find calmness and stillness,” Duran said. Students practice these forms of exercises in his class so that they can take that experience off the mat and use it throughout their day. Yoga teaches different things on the mat, one of those things is becoming aware of negative patterns. Taking ownership of your own energy can start a healing process, and also create a sensation in the body. However, people walk away from those sensations. People don’t like feeling uncomfortable, and would rather stay where they are without making an effort to make changes what keeps them from growing. “When it gets hard or too intense, people throw in the towel,”

Duran said. “Show up to do the work,” he continued. It may not be easy or fun but over time it will make you stronger. According to Pamukale University Unit of Scientific Research Projects, Hatha yoga and resistance exercises have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing in sedentary adults. These two approaches can be helpful if you want to build a stronger mind. As for Birn, she has been getting better over the years. Yoga has done a lot for her healing journey “I am miles and miles away from my rock bottom,” she claimed. Her obsessive compulsiveness has gotten to a minimum. Even though she may have some cravings, she is not compulsively overeating anymore “I have my practice and everything is good in my world,” she said. At first, it was a physical experience for Birn, Sallivan and Duran but over the years, yoga has transformed them into better human beings. “It becomes what you needed to be,” said Sallivan. All three became more compassionate and accepting of themselves as well as more loving because they had to find a way to do that for themselves. “It’s more than physical. Mental benefits you will bring with you, your whole life,” said Duran. Some people don’t want to go that extra mile, people would rather give up. In order to change, we have to get rid of negative patterns and bad habits. It may take a lifetime, but yoga can help you achieve that change.

Tania Acosta / Staff Photographer

HEADSTAND: Cecilia Garner practices yoga poses in between classes.



A Day in Venice Beach Story and photos by Belinda Oldrati, Magazine Editor

What is life in Los Angeles without a trip to the beach every once in a while? A safe spot for having a good time any day of the week is Venice Beach. The atmosphere is unique, with people from all cultures in one place, hanging out and living out their passions. Sports is a big part of Venice, where you can surf, play basketball, go skateboarding or roller skating, watch incredible street show artists, and get fit at the Muscle Beach gym.

Shoot some hoops at the Basketball Courts

Roller skate at Skate Dance Plaza

The Venice Basketball courts, also known as “a hooper’s paradise,” is a place where people get to play outdoors from sunrise to sunset right by the beach. What more could a basketball player ask for? Montreal Harris, 27, has been playing basketball for 19 years, and makes sure to visit Venice at least four times a month. “I truly love the atmosphere and comradery,” said Harris. “Everyone is there to do what they love and to meet new people.” Harris dreams about becoming a coach to impact the upcoming generation of basketball players, but first, he wants to make it onto a professional team himself.

Be amazed by boardwalk Street Shows If you’re not into the sporty side of Venice beach, you could always relax at the beach, do some shopping, or take a nice walk along the boardwalk where a lot of people get really creative. While strolling, there’s a big chance you’ll pass the Calypso Tumblers performing their street show right on the boardwalk. The show has been in existence since 1993 and consists of dancers, acrobats, musicians, and entertainers that will make you both impressed and have you laugh out loud. One of the group members, Immanuel Lyons, 23, loves the fact that they spread


love and positivity. “My favorite part is the ‘One Love’ message we spread,” said Lyons. They involve the audience in their show by inviting people on the spot to participate. Although their show has a lot of humor in it, the underlying message is a beautiful and important one. “There’s only one race, and that’s the human race,” is what they’re closing the show with, and they truly create a sense of love and unity among the crowd. Lyons said that “seeing different people of all backgrounds everyday” is what he loves the most about Venice.


The wonderful thing about the roller skating area in Venice is how it manages to gather people of all ages and races, as well as economic and cultural backgrounds. People go there to enjoy some good old music on their roller skates, and the sense of unity among the dancers is incredible. One of the legends of Skate Dance Plaza, who unfortunately passed away in 2016, was Craig Johnson. He was a skate dancer, hula hooper, and philosopher. Tessa Cisneros, 41, talks about when she first met Johnson back in 2010 while she was working by the boardwalk. “He would ride his bike down Horizon with his roller skates on, several hula hoops over his shoulders, a gallon of water in one hand, and usually a bag full of his amazing fresh juices, healthy cookies, and fruit from his farmers market,” she said. Johnson is known for being a down-toearth guy, and his positive energy could really put a smile on anyone’s face. “He skated his heart out because it made him happy.”

Get fit at Muscle Beach Venice

Experience Venice Skate Park

The Muscle Beach Venice outdoor gym is known to be the home gym of former bodybuilders and actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. Today, there are two other men taking the lead. Athletes Ike Catcher and Andrew Hawkins, also known as the superheroes of Muscle Beach, put on a show for the Venice public on a daily basis. “Venice is the best beach in the world,” said Catcher. Venice is indeed a great place for a fun day, and there’s “a lot of artists and inspiration,” he said. Catcher has been working out consistently for ten years, and the secret to his huge, defined muscles is “hard work and discipline.” As they push themselves in unbelievable workout routines on the bars of the outdoor gym, both residents and tourists passing by comes to a halt, and no one seems to be able to take their eyes off of them. They are photo friendly, and not a day goes by without picking up people from the audience to use as free weights. Watching these guys work out is a must.

Venice is a city that has embraced its skateboarding history and culture. In 2009, they built a $2.4 million skate park right on Venice Boardwalk, which is now an iconic landmark to Southern California. Unlike traditional sports, winning is not the driving force in skateboarding, but instead, it becomes a way of life. Jake Familton, 7, knows this very well. He’s been skating since he was only three years old.

Enjoy the ocean by Surfing They have been renting out beach needs since 1996, and has everything from bikes to surfboards. On Yelp, Brooke Ansley says, “This is the only place I ever rent from.” They also have surf lessons for anyone who wants to explore the water with talented expert surfers before going out on their own.

While there are plenty of beaches in Los Angeles that’s perfect for surfing, why not take advantage of the ocean while you’re in Venice? There are plenty of shops where you can rent surf equipment if you don’t have your own. Jay’s Rentals is one of them, located in the heart of Venice Beach. Familton got into skateboarding because of his neighbor who always used to skate in front of his house, and today, he dreams of becoming one of the top three professional skateboarders in the world. Venice Skate Park has a friendly environment and it’s very common for skateboarders to cheer for each other when tricks are landed, and Familton, who’s one of the youngest at the park, is always happy to be there. “I get to go fast, learn new tricks, and meet and skate with new friends,” he said. “All the skaters are good to me.” FALL 2018 • EXPLORE • GCC INSIDER


The Marvelous Views of Each Season in Japan Cherry blossoms, colored leaves, and snow monkeys are special sights By Chieko Kubo Staff Writer Although Japan’s spectacular natural sights have fascinated a lot of travelers for

many years, they often happen to miss the wonderful views because of the clearly divided four seasons. Preparing to make fabulous memories, tourists must check out these tips to work out their own plans. Japanese currency is yen. Although Spring: Hirosaki Park in Aomori Crowded Difficult to go Price

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The carpet of cherry blossoms is a symbolic spot of Hirosaki park. The park, which is located in Aomori, holds a festival of cherry blossoms every spring. A lot of natives dream of visiting this place, and roughly two million people gather every year. The park also includes Hirosaki castle, built in 1603. Another beloved spot in the park is the tunnel of cherry blossoms which tourists can walk through. One of the favorite activities in the park is rowing a boat in the lake looking Summer: Kawadoko (Riverside restaurants at Kibune) in Kyoto Crowded Difficult to go Price

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Riverside restaurants in Kibune, which are called Kawadoko, allows tourists to experience serene lunch and/ or dinner surrounded by the beauties of nature. There are several restaurants in Kibune. All of them which stand beside or above the river are called “Kawadoko.” It is quite humid and sizzling in Summer of Japan, but the temperature in Kawadoko is about 10 degrees Celsius lower than the nearest flat because it is located in the mountains and close to rivers. Tourists must have a reservation at


the restaurants before going there since they are extremely crowded. The meals tourists can have in Kawadoko is usually Kaiseki Ryori style, which is Japanese traditional multi-course haute cuisine. Thus, it can be pretty expensive, which would be at least 4000 yen. If individuals would like to have lunch in there but don’t want to spend too much money, they can also enjoy flowing soumen at the restaurant, Hirobun, which is thin wheat noodle where they will see noodle flowing through a bamboo pipe with their chopsticks. This is a Japanese entertainment style of eating soumen. People can experience that with 1500 yen. Unfortunately, visitors must wait at least two hours to enjoy that; flowing soumen couldn’t be reserved. The restaurant, Hirobun is placed at 87 Kibune-cho, Kurama, Sakyo-ku in Kyoto, Japan.


it depends on the exchange rate, $1 is approximately equal to 100 yen. Public transportation is quite developed, so tourists don’t have to rent a car. However, Uber is not available, but people can catch a taxi anywhere. at the blooming blossoms which costs about 1000 yen for 60 minutes. Boating is available only during the cherry blossoms festival. The next festival is going to be held from April 23 to May 9 in 2019. Before visiting, one must check the cherry blossom forecast of Aomori because the timing of full bloom varies every year. It is also recommended to see the blossoms a little bit after the full bloom since a carpet of cherry blossoms is made from the fallen petals on the river. Entrance fee of the Hirosaki Park is free, but the fee of the Hirosaki castle is 310 yen for adults and 100 yen for children. Hirosaki Park is located at 1-1 Shimoshiroganecho, Hirosaki, in Aomori, Japan.

Fall: Miyajima’s Momijidani Park in Hiroshima Crowded Difficult to go Price

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Fall is the best season to visit Japan; it is not too hot and not too cold. Also, visitors can see beautiful colored leaves, which Japanese people call kouyou. Since Japan is long north to south, each area varies in temperature. If people would like to go to a place of beautiful colored leaves, they must check when the leaves are at their best before traveling.

Momijidani park in Miyajima island is one of the best spots, which allows tourists to appreciate the fascinating views. In addition, tourists can enjoy seeing a sacred and beautiful view of Itsukushima shrine with a lot of wild deers. Even though people are not allowed to feed them, they are adorable and very friendly. The entrance fee to enter Momijidani park is free, but there is also a ropeway to the top of the mountain to see beautiful views. The round trip is 1700 yen for adults and 850 yen for children. Momijidani park is located at Momijidani, Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi, in Hiroshima, Japan.

Winter: Snow Monkey Park in Nagano Crowded Difficult to go Price

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Since American magazine LIFE published their products whose front cover was a monkey in a hot spring in 1970, the snow monkeys became famous. Nagano prefecture is one of the heaviest snowfall areas in Japan. That’s why the wild

monkeys came to the hot spring to make their bodies warm. Unfortunately, people can’t get in the spring with the snow monkeys, but there are several awesome springs for human beings around the Jigokudani area. The entrance fee for Snow Monkey Park is 800 yen for adults and 400 yen for children. Snow monkey park is located at 6845, Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun, in Nagano, Japan.

One of the biggest problems for foreign tourists is the language barrier. However, Japanese people have learned English from elementary school, therefore, sightseers are usually able to communicate with natives in English if they speak slowly and clearly. Since Japanese people place a special emphasis on politeness in their culture, they would be willing to help anyone who asks for help. Visitors don’t have to hesitate to ask natives for anything they might wonder. Moreover, for peace of mind, Japan is the third country with the lowest crime rates in 2018, according to BBC News Hub. If individuals lose their belongings somewhere, they can ask the police for it. When Japanese people find someone else’s belongings, they usually bring it to a police box. If one is lucky, the police put the lost article in storage. Art illustrations by Matthew Spencer FALL 2018 • EXPLORE • GCC INSIDER


Foods of East L.A. Experience different lifestyles and food around Los Angeles

Story and photos by Carolina Diaz, Web Editor

What is a good way to bring people together? Food! In the county of Los Angeles, there are many cities that have various cultures and traditions that are incorporated in their dishes. If you ever want to experience authentic Mexican dishes and desserts, there is a city called East Los Angeles or widely known as East L.A.


3425 E 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90063 Located in Boyle Heights, El Mercadito, originally named El Mercado which means ‘The Market,’ is a well known restaurant by the residents of East L.A. El Mercadito is a three-story building with three different entrances. Two take you to the first floor and the third entrance leads to the second floor. Before actually entering El Mercadito, the first two entrances have clothing stalls and at the same time they have stalls of different types of desserts and Mexican ice cream. Once entering, the first floor mostly has clothes shops, stores that sell cowboy boots, stalls selling handicrafts and religious crafts. The second floor is where all the restaurants are. There are three restaurants, two of them almost sell the same


2415 Pasadena Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90031 Street tacos are always a Mexican monument. Either you came from a party or just don’t want to cook, street tacos are always ready to serve you. There are a lot of taco stands around Los Angeles, but not only are Tacos Lupita good, but the workers are always positive and good at making you feel comfortable. They will talk with you like they are your friends. With different types of meat from carne asada, al pastor and many more, you can either get tacos, each one costs less than two dollars, or a burrito. They


also give you a fried small potato with your order of tacos, and you can even ask them if they can give you beans on top of your tacos. For drinks, either you can buy any type of soda or their horchata. They only accept cash, but there is a donut shop next to them that has an ATM. Parking can sometimes be a problem since it is a small lot that is shared with other stores. They start setting up around 5 p.m. and stop selling around midnight from Monday through Sunday.


dishes but taste different on the way the dishes are cook. You can choose from eating seafood, mole, hamburgers, burritos and many other dishes. Once you are done ordering you can ever pair it up with a Mexican Coke. The third restaurant specializes in making gorditas, which is a pastry dish made of corn dough stuffed with either cheese, beans and meat. Either you can it eat plain or add hot sauce on top to give it more flavor. If you want to be more fancy, the restaurant on the third floor is for you. With live mariachi music you can choose the same dishes from the other restaurants, but this time instead of a Coke, you can actually buy beer. Parking is free and it is not a hassle to find a spot.


2333 Daly St., Los Angeles, CA 90031 Located in Lincoln Heights, this restaurant serves many dishes and also tacos. Most of their food is Mexican cuisine, but for a very cheap price you get a lot on your plate. The style of the place looks much like a high school cafeteria. They have a television that mostly plays the news or sports. Once in a while there is also live music by a one-man band. Entering the restaurant either you can get tacos that are served as street tacos, or you can order from their menu at the counter. They also serve breakfast dishes, which you can order at any

time. During monday’s and thursday’s the lines are not that big and it easy to find a table, but when the weekend is near it gets crowded and the lines for the tacos are long that sometimes you have to wait outside the restaurant. There is no specific dish that is very unique to the others, all of them taste good, but I do recommend their burrito of pastor, and while you are at it get yourself a Jarrito. Parking is in the back of the restaurant, or there is a lot next door that is free parking until 9 p.m.


2100 East Cesar E Chavez Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90033 Located in Boyle Heights; the original restaurant, may be easy to miss. Especially since there is many shops around it. It is not that big of a restaurant, but it size does not matter. What makes it unique is their menu. Guisados specialty is serving tacos. But what makes it unique compared to the other taco vendors? Well it is there different items. In a normal taco stand you have the option of only choosing carne asada, al pastor, carnitas, and chicken. The difference in this restaurant is that their

meats is what can be considered left overs. They have a wide arrange of different meats, some seafood options and two vegetarian options. If you want sauce you can order it at the counter. Their habanero hot sauce, once you order it they asked you what level of spiciness do you want, I do not recommend the highest level unless you really are so good at eating hot sauce. For more information about their many locations and food, look at their website at


Whittier Blvd and Arizona Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90022 Street food runs this boulevard. Not only is Whittier Boulevard the heart of East L.A., but it was also iconic for its lowriders cruising back in the day. In the morning, it is just a normal street with people shopping, but during the night is when Whittier Boulevard is alive. There is not a specific place you can go to. You can walk along the boulevard

and you will see street vendors selling bacon wrapped hot dogs, some selling fruits with powder chile, food trucks, churros vendors, and some selling candy. There are many possibilities and the more you walk, the more your nostrils will get swarmed with the aroma of the plethora of vendors cooking. It is recommended to carry cash, but there are ATM’s inside the many shops.



Top 5 Spots to Grab a Bite Around GCC By Dylan A. Bryant Staff Writer

Most students fall victim of having long breaks between classes, but taking advantage of that time to study or grab a bite to eat is important. So if you have time on your hands, here are five places to satisfy your hunger while being on a budget.


5101 York Blvd in Highland Park Town Pizza is embedded between a strip of cute shops and restaurants in an up and coming area in Highland Park. When you first arrive to Town Pizza it may seem confusing that there are two restaurants but it is really quite unique. Town Pizza has two sides, one being grab by the slice and the other being sit down style. The corner side is a New York style joint with awesome choices to choose from including my favorite “Garlic, Tomato, basil” and even some vegan options, all of which are only priced around three bucks per slice. The front side of the restaurant has a home feel to it with a nice open room, brick walls and a long bar that has beer on tap and wine as well. So whether you are dining with family or grabbing a slice after class, Town Pizza is a great option for those wanting to try different types of pizza.

Town Pizza / Courtesy Photo


2219 Honolulu Ave in Montrose

Located in the heart of Montrose and just up the street from GCC, Black Cow Cafe is a great place to get delicious breakfast or a casual lunch. Whether you are craving an eggs benedict or just a cup of coffee paired with a sandwich, Black Cow has you covered. With an assortment of options to choose from it will have you fishing through their menu. Sitting outside on their patio is beautiful as well with people walking by and the breeze keeping you cool, Black Cow Cafe is never a disappointment. Black Cow Cafe / Courtesy Photo




2005 Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock Coincidently across the street from Taco Spot is one of the best burger joints in southern California, The Oinkster. The Oinkster separates themselves from other places with their own sauces to top their burgers and sandwiches. They use a third pound Nebraska Angus beef patty and whether you like a classic burger or one with bacon, they have you covered with four different types of burgers. They even have a veggie burger that is topped just like all their other burgers. Not feeling a burger and fries, well they have a pastrami and roasted pork that hit the spot every time. To top it all off they even have hand-scooped shakes that will have you walking out with a smile. The Oinkster / Courtesy Photo


2006 Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock Taco Spot opened their doors in 2006 and have been selling Mexican food ever since to Eagle Rock locals and lets just say it is not your ordinary Mexican restaurant. Taco Spot prides themselves in taste and “Sabor” which is Spanish for flavor. But what puts them above the rest of the competition is their famous Carne Asada Fries topped with guacamole, sour cream and cheese. This spot also has traditional plates, tacos and burritos for those who do not want to venture out. One thing they do share with other Mexican restaurants is chips and salsa, but having a full salsa bar with great options from mild to spicy sounds better. They are also vegetarian friendly. Taco Spot / Courtesy Photo


520 S. Glendale Ave in Glendale

Sometimes comfort food is the best, and most reasonable option. Troy’s is a classic burger spot that offers it all from breakfast burritos to chili cheese fries. If you only have a short time between classes or only a few bucks Troy’s is a great place to go. They have great service and some of the same staff from when I was a kid, which means they are doing something right. So grab a quick Burger on that college budget and save time to hit the books. Troy’s Drive In #6 / Courtesy Photo



The Luck of The Angelino By Alin Pasokhian Staff Writer Food is one of the most basic human privileges that we share on Earth. It is a multidimensional thing that brings us particular feelings at certain times. Satisfaction, once we have finished a great meal after hours (or minutes) of anticipation. Comfort, when we feel that we have a void that can only be filled with a pint of ice cream or a whole, red-velvet cake. Many of the basic principles of food have been abandoned in the new cuilnary world because food is insanely modified or expensive. Even in Los Angeles, a culinary hub, this trend is pronounced. But options still exist that are sure to please the more adventurous palate. You wouldn’t believe that some of the most fresh and creative Yucatan-style seafood can be found in a warehouse building in the middle of Los Angeles, yet that’s exactly where you will find Holbox. Named after the island north of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that specializes in seafood, the restaurant boasts native influences. Not his first go at being an owner and chef, Gilberto Centina’s Holbox restaurant is located adjacent to its sister restaurant, Chichen Itza, which has been around for nearly two decades. Holbox is the more experimental restaurant, as Centina decided to play around with delicate flavors such as uni or scallops, most often seen in Japanese cuisine. He adds a “Mexican twist” to it, he explained, by incorporating acid and spice, creating an entirely different expe-

Alin Pasokhian / Staff Photographer

CORDOBA: The restaurant offers many appetizer options, including ensalada de higo y jamon.

rience. Traditionally, this cuisine is much more simple, but Centina adds new flavor profiles in dishes under $20. Holbox’s values stem from Centina’s focus on sustainability, which include seasonal and local proteins, as well as a zero-waste initiative to use all parts of the fish and create new dishes with “scraps.” Centina’s “what do you have” mentality explains why Holbox has menu that changes daily. It’s impossible to pinpoint a star dish, but asking questions from the staff will assure you to get a dish that is perfect for your taste. Holbox is also known for it’s six-course tasting menu at an unreal price of $65 per guest, from Thursdays to Saturdays at 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Holbox is located at 3655 South Grand Avenue #C9, Los Angeles, 90007. Reach them at (213) 986-9972. Upon entering Casa Cordoba, try to keep in mind that you have not magically flown to Spain. Casa Cordoba, a generally quiet restaurant from the outside, will confuse you in that way when you enter their courtyard. With outdoor seating surrounded by pots of plants and flowers, live music, and marinated olives, Casa Cordoba truly makes a patron for the night forget they live in California and helps create a vacation from their current life. Casa Cordoba is skilled in giving a taste Alin Pasokhian / Staff Photographer of Spain in every dish. You strictly have the HOLBOX: Grilled yellowtail tacos are sure to choice of trying their jamon iberico or serplease even a fussy eater. rano, all imported from Spain. Of course,



what kind of Spanish restaurant would it be if it didn’t have paella? Casa Cordoba happens to have the greatest, most aromatic paella around Glendale. Mainly, other Spanish restaurants focus on tapas, which are small, shareable plates. Casa Cordoba does that and offers infinite appetizer choices. Their star dish would obviously be the paella, but there are several dishes that can stand alone and satisfy one person for less than $20. If you happen to be on a date with a group of friends, the paella is the best and most shareable plate for a group bigger than three as they have varying dish sizes. For the adventurous Angelino, they also have some dishes that would truly push the envelope, such as their squid ink paella, which is just as aromatic and beautiful as the other choices. It just happens to have a less common ingredient in it. Casa Cordoba is located at 2331 Honolulu Ave, Montrose, 91020. Reach them at (818) 937-4445. As Angelinos, we take for granted what is right in front of us. Even in the smallest region, where you may think you have explored it all, but there is a hidden gem, full of culture and dishes you never thought you would taste in your wildest dreams. Don’t be afraid to try anything. Fear in the culinary world often doesn’t have a place. Anyone who has ever seen an episode of “Master Chef” knows this. So take on the moment of challenge to try something that is new and culturally immersive.

By Joanna Flamenco Staff Writer

Courtesy Photo / Creative Commons

THE GREAT DICTATOR: Charlie Cahplin acts as Hitler during the rise of the Nazi regime.

By Joanna Flamenco Staff Writer Is art powerful enough to bridge the gap of polarizing beliefs? Could art help mediate conversation that promotes mutual compromise and respect? I set out to spark conversation amongst GCC students on the topic of immigration. I had the opportunity to speak to students and faculty, some shared their story of immigrating to the U.S. illegally due to war, violence, and poverty. Many shared stories of family members escaping unlivable circumstances, in hopes of re-rooting somewhere safe. Teenagers incarcerated at the border, escaping gang recruitment. Waging wars, where the sounds of bomb explosions permanently echo in one’s memory years later. I used the speech recited by Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator to humanize the immigrant story and begin conversation. Even for those unaffected by the ICE raids, DACA threats, and the culture shock involved in immigrating to a new country, the words still resonated. Throughout history, individuals have used political art to critique society and






the world around them. In some cases, artists cause such controversy to the point of being exiled or inciting riots. In a contemporary setting, citizens are exposed to a plethora of information and visuals through smartphones. Now, more than ever is it important to be aware of what language and visuals are used as propaganda. The Great Dictator was a film meant to capture the attention at a global scale, holding tyranny accountable. Charlie Chaplin is well-known for his roles in black and white silent films, usually with a comedic style. It was 1939 and it was the cusp of World War II, when the Nazis successfully invaded Poland. Chaplin’s nation of Great Britain had declared to enter the war, while he remained in the U.S. (at the time remaining idle). By filming a commentary of dictatorship and war in a satirical tone, it transformed the topic to be more approachable. He created an awareness and call to action for the U.S. The film got into the mind of dictator, while empowering individuals to dismantle greed and pursue liberty for all. That mentality focuses on the power of humility. Art challenges individuals to ask, why? The Great War: ‘The Great War’ shows you the history of the First World War in the four years from 1914 to 1918, exactly 100 years ago. Indiana (Indy) Neidell, the host, takes you back week by week and shows you what was going on in the past. Learn more about the Allies and the Central Powers, emperors, Winston Churchill, Wilhelm II, soldiers,


I followed Charlie Chaplin’s lead by approaching the topic of immigration with humility, attempting to evoke a sense of unity. When I spoke to students and faculty, I had the idea of having individuals recite the speech from The Great Dictator in their own language. They read of the entirety of the speech piece by piece as a collective and diverse group. I wanted to honor the immigrant story with the words recited 78 years ago critiquing Hitler’s dictatorship, but in a modern context to dismantle labels of “alien” and “criminal”. The result was five-minute video of 27 GCC Students and Faculty speaking in Swedish, Spanish, Tagalog, Japanese, American Sign-Language, Armenian, And Italian. They connected with the story that many of their family and friends shared of survival, culture-shock, loss, hope, and strength. Art has also been used as propagandist means of control throughout history. Inevitably we interact with others in a society as a collective network; a shared construct of reality. Sometimes tyrannical leaders tap into the psyche of citizens to create their own ideal version of reality. Adolf Hitler recognized the need to proclaim national identity and the residual nostalgia from World War 1, as explained by Hayk Rostomyan, T.V. production major. Hitler knew that propaganda is a tool used to control the public perception, scapegoating the Jewish people.

“Propaganda tries to force a doctrine on the whole people…Propaganda works on the general public from the standpoint of an idea and makes them ripe for the victory of this idea.” - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (1926). Nationalist propaganda was arguably the catalyst that the Nazi’s utilized to rile the battles and of the life aside the battlefield. Subscription to this channel is strongly recommended for students and instructors with an itch for History. A new show comes out every Monday, Thursday & Saturday! Here’s hoping that we see ‘The Great War 2’, where we can dive into World War II.

masses into an invasion. There are parallels evident in the current U.S. president’s language that are xenophobic, or the fear that creates distrust towards a group of people.

“They’re taking our jobs. They’re taking our manufacturing jobs. They’re taking our money. They’re killing us.” - President Donald Trump, 2015. The semantics trickle into conversations, especially in a technologically advanced era. According to Satistica, Twitter is a platform that reaches 336 million users globally, and 68 million in the US (making up approximately 22% of the total population). Xenophobic attitudes have existed all throughout American history, escalating to a level of deeply rooted attitudes towards immigrants. This is seen through political cartoons talking about

Italian Immigrants in 1903, depicting them as rats that will infest the country with socialist ideas and mafias. Uncle Sam is depicted as a knight in shining armor that is defending the country, with a sword in hand. The cartoon is titled “The Unrestricted Dumping Ground,” a title that generally reflects current attitudes towards immigrants. Art challenges individuals to ask, “why?” which is important to simply begin conversation about a complex issue. I Whether the information comes from a news outlet, social media app, art gallery, or casual conversation the repetition of an idea becomes cemented as a collective societal unconscious. Becoming aware of what those prevailing ideas are, becomes one of the most powerful tools in a democracy. It may feel like an unachievable state with the recent immigration policies enforced by the Trump administration, but consciousness could encourage potential partisan understanding.

Go to the App/Play store on your phone to download a QR code reader to view GCC students and staff deliver the speech from ‘The Great Dictator’

Courtesy Photo / Creative Commons

TALE AS OLD AS TIME: Art piece depicting Uncle Sam (left) protecting the Uninted States from the percieved threat of immagrants from Italy.

Kings and Generals: This channel uses the video games in the ‘Total War’ series along with animated battle maps to create historical documentaries. Currently, they are running parallel series covering the Mongol invasions, Hundred Years’ War, Napoleonic Wars, Ottoman Conquests and the Restoration of Justinian. Watching nations rise and fall has never been more fun.

History Buffs: Have you wondered how much a film is based on a true story? Check out ‘History Buffs’ with Nick Hodges as he separates fact from fiction in Hollywood movies. Hodges has also collaborated with another channel on this list, ‘The Great War’, with each host making cameos in each others’ videos. Now you can be the dude to ruin movie

night with the information you learn on this channel. Cheers!



The Common Difference By Ximena Verdad Staff Writer It is said that we all were created equally, or not exactly, but that our differences are what bring us together. For the longest time, there have been various groups of people with specific characteristics that have been set aside from society, and their value and rights were taken away because of their differences to what was normalized. Along with the oppression of these groups, their fight for validation and respect arose. These groups have been struggling and fighting over the years, but lately their impact and presence has been bigger. For each of these marginalized groups, there is a social movement that stands for it. Although the list of social movements is long, they all look the same in the core. The people behind them might have their own terms and ideas, but their goal is the same. People from these minorities, although being labeled as divergent, are pretty much similar and stand on the same ground. That’s why it is more likely for them to relate, feel empathy towards each other and not only support and fight for their own ideals, but join other movements and march along with them. Following this idea, it is understandable that people who don’t lack of rights can be blind to others’ fight. Nowadays, the media play a big role on keeping us in touch with all people, and this doesn’t exclusively refer to your aunt Martha who lives in Ohio and you see once every two years, but also it connects you to other people from any part of the world and allows you to get a glimpse on others’ reality. Having all these different ways of connecting with people makes it really hard to not see how similar we all are in one way or another, put in perspective our advantages and disadvantages compared to others and give visibility to social issues and the people impacted by them. We would think we live in an age where every piece of information is available for us, we can learn things faster than never before, and somehow


See-Ming Lee / Creative Commons

that should make us feel more open about new ideas and concepts. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality. The progress made isn’t the same in every area. There are many factors that affect how receptive we are to unknown thing, factors that shaped our way of thinking and sensing the world. Putting all these in consideration, student from Glendale Community College with different backgrounds and identities where asked about their thoughts on social movements, whether they associated to any and how they felt towards the others. As we know, California and specially Los Angeles is really diverse and most of the students associated to at least one or more of these movements. A piece of their story the majority seemed to share was that they’d realize how older generations from their culture dismissed these new ideas of diversity and how they had a hard time trying to accept them, as one of the students interviewed said: “It’s not that my mom rejects their life style, she just doesn’t understand it”. Knowing the struggle of being oppressed, make them sympathize with other minorities, and whereas they don’t condemn them for their differences, they refuse acknowledge their similarities. It is comprehensible that coming from different cultures in which keeping traditions is really important, and even more when they immigrated to


a foreign country, it won’t be as easy to totally switch your mentality and embrace the unknown. Another student mentioned that the reason why they might be close minded about accepting other cultures is maybe because they feel that the integrity and foundation of their own culture seems threaten by the other cultures, but this doesn’t excuse the lack of sensitivity and sense of understanding. You don’t have to give up your culture and beliefs when you move out to a different country, but you must learn to adapt them and yourself to your new environment and to the changing times. When you belong or support one of these movements, there’s no reason to dismiss the others. It is important for people to understand that fighting against intolerance is fighting for anyone who has been oppressed. You can’t just root for LGBT+ rights, without also supporting feminism or leaving aside people of color. It is absurd and unreasonable to only concede rights to a fraction of someone’s identity. We as individuals form from different identities and they all add to our political struggle, this is the reason why all these movement are connected and share the same core ideology. We all are part of society, and we will never be certain about our human rights, until every human’s rights are recognized.

QUEER 101 By Ximena Verdad Staff Writer

Cross-dresser: Someone who dresses or expresses as a gender other than their own.

Here is a list of terms in which queer people may identify as, based on the way they look and feel. This list was put together with the intention of educating on queer topics and promoting acceptance of diversity. It doesn’t encourage the classification of individuals, but highly encourages the individuality and freedom of self-expression.

Demigender: (From demi “half” + “gender”) is an umbrella term for nonbinary gender identities that have a partial connection to a certain gender. This includes the partly female identity demigirl, and the partly male identity demiboy.

Androgyne: A gender expression that has traditional elements of both masculinity and femininity. Agender: Somebody who either feels they have no gender identity, or who identify not as male or female but “neutral”. Meaning “without gender,” agender is an identity of someone who feels their identity does not encompass the concept of gender. Aporagender: Umbrella term meaning “a gender separate from male, female and anything in between while still having a very strong and specific gendered feeling”. That latter part is key, then, distinguishing it from Agender. Bigender: Someone who sees themselves as having two gender identities. The separate genders could both be male, or female, mixed or other – and may be felt at the same time or entirely distinctly.

Drag King: Someone who performs masculinity theatrically. Drag Queen: Someone who performs femininity theatrically. Dyke: Like ‘butch,’ dyke is used exclusively for – usually more masculine presenting – lesbians. Noting the derogatory weight of the word, a dyke is only a dyke if they refer to themselves as such. Femme: Someone who identifies themselves as feminine, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. Genderfluid: A term describing individuals for whose gender is unfixed: they fluctuate between different identities aside from their biological assignment. Gender Neutral: Someone who does not feel strongly about aligning themselves with a certain gender. The opposite of aporagender.

Butch: A lesbian or woman who identifies as masculine, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. Butch, as opposed to masc, specifically highlights the female nature of its masculinity which diverges from traditional gender expectations.

Gender Non-conforming: Gender expression descriptor that indicates a non-traditional gender presentation (masculine woman or feminine man).

Cisgender: Anybody who identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth (usually male or female).

Genderqueer: An umbrella term covering any feelings about gender alternative to society’s traditional expectations. Genderqueer can also be a gender identity.

Intersex: People who naturally (that is, without any medical interventions) develop primary and/or secondary sex characteristics that do not fit neatly into society’s definitions of male or female. Many visibly intersex babies/children are surgically altered by doctors to make their sex characteristics conform to societal binary norm expectations. Nonbinary: Anybody who doesn’t identify within the gender binary of female or male. Polygender: Identifying with several different genders either at the same time or different times. Normally the term is given to those with four or more. Third Gender: A person who does not identify with either man or woman, but identifies with another gender. This gender category is used by societies that recognise three or more genders, both contemporary and historic, and is also a conceptual term meaning different things to different people who use it, as a way to move beyond the gender binary. Transgender/Trans: (Not to be confused with “Transvestite”) An umbrella term for any individual whose gender identity is different from what is typically associated with their sex assigned at birth. It should be noted that transness is a gender identity and not a sexual orientation, therefore no assumptions should be made as a result. Two-spirit: An umbrella term traditionally used by Indigenous communities recognize individuals who possess qualities or fulfill roles of both genders. Gentle reminder: People are more than their looks, and the fact that someone may match a look with any of these descriptions, that doesn’t mean they associate with it.

Relationships: Giving Your All The emotional and physchological effects post breakup By Eduardo Carreño Staff Writer Love is in the air no matter where you go. We can keenly observe it within our surroundings that people meet as complete strangers, fall in love and feel like they have found the love of their life. Often times we see people who were high school sweethearts or childhood loves still together or even married already. Sadly, there aren’t always ‘Happily Ever After’ stories in the real world: particularly on college campuses where strangers meet and build relationships from the ground up; similar to high school students. Although completely different environments, both hold and create the same stories. According to an article in USA Today, they conducted interviews with several college and university students, primarily male counterparts, asking them several questions about the changes in college relationships compared to high school relationships. They try to focus primarily on the potential things they want out of a relationship. The way USA Today described these college and university students is that they are independent young men who have no restrictions to who they can be with and “no rules or regulations preventing you from sneaking out at 3 a.m. to go see your sweetheart.” Four young men were interviewed to get their insight on relationships in the college life. A survey was conducted on students Stephan Owens, Senoj-Jay Givans and Frank Garza whom attended the University of Texas Austin, and Tolu Awe who attended the University of Houston. Three of these men are sophomores and one senior: all with different levels of maturity and levels of experience in relationships which helps to figure out what they want out of a relationship. After reading the needs and wants of a relationship from these young men, we can see that the majority of these young men, at their age, are looking for long lasting, meaningful relationships. They had hoped that as the older that they got the


Chiara Cremaschi / Creative Commons

FEELINGS: A rose to signify that love is as deliquite as a flower. Care for it, but at a cost.

more mature they have also become for relationships. Although a couple of these young men stated that they were not going to be looking for a relationship once they started college, but as time went on, they started to describe what special traits they would want for their dream girl to have. They started to go into detail on the differences between dates in high school and dating in college. They were also asked whether or not it’s possible to stay faithful in a relationship while being in a college environment and these lads said yes even with all the temptations around them. “It’s all about the mentality. I believe temptations lurk in every corner, but it’s about how mentally tough you are and how truly committed you are to that person,” wrote Stephan Owens in a USA Today article from 2014. We see people happy knowing that they have found their ideal partner that they wish they could spend the rest of their life


with and often times, we don’t realize it but there are others that deal with break ups on a daily basis. Not everybody can openly tell strangers that they just broke up with their partner but there are some signs that can clearly distinguish those who are dealing with a serious break up. It’s more common to run into people who are suffering with physical and mental health effects after a relationship than what people think. According to an article in the Huffington Post on divorce, more than an estimated 50 percent of marriages in America end in divorces. “[During a divorce], you’re sorting through core issues from the time you were born, about marriage, love, children – it’s like a bomb is being dropped on everything you’ve ever thought or perceived about yourself in life. It’s going to have every physiological effect that you can imagine,” described writer Carolyn Gregoire in the article on divorce in 2013.

It’s important for people who just got out of a relationship to know the kinds of physical and emotional effects that it can take on the body. Just to name a few, depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. The reason why knowing early signs of depression is because the person will get this sense of hopelessness and you will be able to help them before they fall into a deeper pit of sadness. This will postpone or stop any thoughts of suicide or acts of suicide which can be a post factor of depression. Sleep is important as everybody knows but if we don’t help people who are dealing with loss of sleep because of a breakup, it can have severe consequences. “In the sleep world, stress is to sleep as yin is to yang – opposite forces that are forever linked. Stress prevents sleep. Sleep deprivation increases stress and its consequences,” said Chris Winter, MD, Sleep Specialist, to the Huffington Post in the article. If breakups cause our bodies and emotions to act out of hand, how does our brain process everything from the breakup to the post breakup thoughts? Through MRI scans done by Edward Smith, a cognitive neuroscientist at Columbia University, he came to the discovery that when participants looked at pictures of their

ex-partners and thought about memorable moments shared with said person, the brain would light up all around the limbic system which is the general area where memories and emotions are controlled. However, when the same participants would look at the same photo of their former partner, the brain would light up in the same area where they have experienced physical pain. None of this would happen when the subjects would look at photos of friends. The parts of the brain including the insula and anterior cingulate cortex are associated with anything dealing with pain experience. The brain will automatically process relationship breakups in the same region where pain is associated with. However, that doesn’t mean that romantic rejection causes physical pain due to the fact that it falls under a different kind of rejection which can be dealt with but still is important to pay attention to for future events. Reason being is because it will work as a red flag for the person to take protective actions to avoid physical and emotional pain. There will be long periods or short periods where people will process the breakup and try to avoid all sorts of emotional pain and avoid all obsessive thoughts which is normal if the breakup

had just recently happened. Lucy Brown, Ph. D., a professor in the Department of Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine conducted a study with her colleagues using functional magnetic resonance imaging known as an FMRI, shows that there were a lot of brain activity in the brains of 15 college-age adults who dealt with an unwanted breakup. This showed that the subjects reported to have still felt love for the ex-partner while also explaining and covering a physiological basis to “cravings” for ex-partners. There are always signs of resilience and hope however regardless of how long it took for the person to get over the breakup and regardless of how long the relationship lasted for. Those dealing with heart breaks and physical and neurological issues should also realize that this should be a “framework” for understanding the strength of their feelings and emotions that can also be a basis for them to develop self-compassion and come to realistic expectations. Things like this take time to slowly forget about and it’s not something that you can wake up to the next day and say “I’m over it.” Cravings and strong waves of emotions will come from time to time, but it’s not impossible to get over.

Revive Your Life With Rituals By Genesis Barboza and Kenya Barboza Staff Writers People practice many different forms of rituals in their everyday lives, which are known to release stress and are practiced worldwide. Centering your mind and being able to feed your soul with clarity is just a couple things you can accomplish with everyday rituals. Many people are skeptics and end up shying away from their spirituality, however, it can be a very soothing experience for anyone who tries it, especially college students. Having a morning routine or doing meditation can help with school and

also your personal life. There are many stores in Los Angeles where you can purchase spiritual products and also participate in various workshops. House of Intuition on Sunset Blvd is one of the main stores. There are four more locations in Echo Park, West Hollywood, Highland Park and Santa Monica. When you walk in the store the energy is peaceful, full of candles that smell good, and they also have healing crystals that can help for anxiety. Each candle represents something that you want to achieve, for example road opener, or obstacle remover. Applying these daily routines can improve many arenas in your life, and once you start practicing rituals, you’ll see a dramatic change in your personal and academic life.

Kenya Barboza / Staff Photographer



Compton Just Got Trendy The high cost of living in L.A. forces some to look towards regions they haven’t considered before By Tracy Mejia Staff Writer A recent broadcast report on CBS Los Angeles reported on how Compton is one of the last places where homes are affordable, calling it “trendy.” That’s because homes go for less than $400,000 in the neighborhood, compared to similar communities, like Van Nuys and East Pasadena where prices have even tapped into the one million mark. Gentrification is a problem for most lower income communities, as well as in inner cities. From the 1920s to the 1970s, the city was home for many Caucasians, Compton played the role of a middleclass suburb, according to Census Bureau. Now, Compton is predominantly full of Hispanics and African Americans, with little to no whites in the picture. Yet the city is starting to see it’s demographic shift, no surprise with the media covering how Compton is “a trendy place to buy a home.” Compton’s mayor, Aja Brown, suggested there’s much to be optimistic about when it comes to Compton’s economic progress., “We have a funded infrastructure plan for the city of Compton, not only for today but for new generations.,” Brown said in an interview. “We’re going to be able to pay for new roads, parks, streetlights. We’ve had a surge in economic investment, from national stores moving in to the city to small businesses launching here. And our city is safer; homicides are at an all-time low.” It’s no wonder, then, that people from different backgrounds are starting to consider buying a home in a city once considered to be an eyesore. Figures from the United States Census Bureau from 2012-2016 show that the maximum household income in Compton is $45,406. Most of the community has households where the average family income is $30,000 to $40,000, which shows that those in Compton don’t come from money. “The average rent for an apartment in


Compton is $1,038, a two percent increase compared to the previous year, when the average rent was $1,021,” according to RentCafe. The phenomenon causes those who come from lower income communities to be forced to pay for higher living costs and until they slowly get pushed out of the community they originally come from. Gentrification can be seen as “progress,” but for those losing their homes in these communities, it can easily be seen as a nightmare. The Gonzales family is being kicked out of their house in order for the city to sell it. They’ve been living there for about 15 years and paying $1,000 per month. The reason the city wants to sell the house instead of letting people rent it is because they are raising the property taxes around their area. “I think it’s upsetting that I’ve been living here for over 15 years and the city feels like they can kick me and my family

Kawana Hasegawa / Contributing Photographer

MARKET: A shop in Compton.


out of our home,” said Maribel Gonzales, 44-years-old, who works as a Durham School bus driver. Gonzales’ yearly income is roughly $40,000 yearly. Her family includes seven people and that income doesn’t stretch far enough for everyone, especially after her husband was deported. Her son, Cesar Gonzales, 19-yearsold, works as a college tutor for Compton Unified School District, “It’s unfair that we just need to pack all our stuff and go because the city wants to sell our house without our input.” Although to some it may look that Compton’s community is changing for the better, it is unfair to current residents who are forced from their homes to make way for the suburban middle class. This will eventually lead to property rates to go up and those lower income denizens to be pushed out from their homes because they can’t afford to pay fees that will come with living in the gentrified city. Carlos Briseno, 37 years old, works as a real estate agent for the Company Century 21 All Stars and has this to say about Compton, “ The City of Compton is becoming better city but still have a lot work to do to make it more safe.” It’s a general consensus that Compton is clearly working its it’s way for the better. Briseno also stated, “From market perspective, with price going up people might take the opportunity to sell their home or refinance to pulled out the equity to buy in a cheaper area.” Meaning there’s a high chance that current residents may seek to sell their homes and give them to those that can afford the prices skyrocketing.” At the moment, the Gonzales family is looking for a better and affordable place to call home. They aren’t going to move far, but it will add some distance to commutes. The matriarch of the Gonzales family found a home in the city of Paramount. “If we have to move, we might as well move somewhere close for my son. I’ll still be able to work in Compton.” But it begs the question. Will Paramount see gentrification next? It’s only a matter of time.

Make Glendale Great Again Is the Jewel City on the decline? By Ryan Wallace Staff Writer Long regarded as the Jewel City, it would seem that the jewel that was Glendale is beginning to develop a few chips in it. The third largest city in Los Angeles county and replete with a rich history, Glendale has few excuses for some of the poor qualities it has assumed over the past decade. The underlying issues with Glendale would be obvious to the proverbial stranger from Mars who was making a pitstop off the 134 before proceeding to Glendale’s evil stepsister, Pasadena. The once proud city has turned into an ugly mishmash of overcrowded, new-age construction projects and dried-out, bland neighborhoods. It seems that every resident in Glendale

has decided to stop watering their lawn, with some residents opting for wood chips or cactus--yes, cactus. This misgiven attempt at being environmentally sound has invariably produced a sickly look on Glendale’s neighborhoods. Everywhere one goes, the eye is mocked with the sight of wonderful homes forced to dying lawns before them. Sadly, this effort to be conscious of California’s water deficiency is counteracted by Glendale’s continual zoning approval of hundreds of apartments, whose volume of toilets and sinks renders a considerable strain on the environment. This legislative foolishness discounts the horrible ugliness that is the apartment network of this once lush city. Of course, accompanying this flurry of apartment construction is a host of traffic. The increase in traffic is certainly welcomed by a city that consistently ranks in

the top five in number of traffic accidents annually. This decline into mediocrity has been coupled with a failure to adapt to changing times. Glendale has not added new attractions in years. The Americana, Jewel City Bowl, and Moonlight Rollerway are the only places that keep this town’s pulse barely registering on the pulse oximeter. This “failure of fun” so to speak is reflected in the aging of Glendale’s population. Between the 2000 census and 2010 census, Glendale’s average age rose from 37.5 years to 41.0 years. In 1990 the average age was 34.3 years. Should this trend continue, the 2020 census is bound to reveal a further increase in age. It seems funny to make the connection, but the dying lawns of Glendale are illustrative of a dying city. Something must be done, before Glendale becomes the laughingstock of Los Angeles.

Paul Adonis Hunter / Creative Commons GLENDALE CALIFORNIA LATE 1950S: The Brand realty building still stands at 1102 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA, but is today a restaurant called Recess.



Glendale Community College 1500 North Verdugo Road Glendale, CA 91208

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