A Home for Millennial Citizens & a Third Place for Our Community
Finding housing and building community in Los Angeles has been a journey! I’m still on the journey.
Having lived in Greece, Scotland, Washington D.C, Boulder, and London – I have been flabbergasted by how challenging Los Angeles is to build a life (and I grew up here!). It’s even harder when you don’t work in entertainment or music (and have no professional aspirations to get involved).
The thing I’ve been trying to accept but struggling is that Los Angeles is not a city. We have the population to be our own country with 88 different cities and over 400 neighborhoods – and yet we pretend like we are. The policies, systems of power, and corporations say we are to the detriment of our quality of life (and to their benefit).
Our family and friends are sprawled all over the place covering over 4,000 miles. Our resources are dispersed and where we work and where we live are often miles apart.
The people who control our neighborhoods and cities often do not even live in our neighborhood or city. They live in the nice bougie one 20 minutes away behind a gate. I would know – I grew up in Calabasas.
From all of my housing experiences, I’ve been reflecting and come to the conclusion that I would currently like to live in a co-living situation with like-minded people who care about community, communication, and inclusivity.
I’m imagining a group of five to 15 people who live in a house or apartment together. I could also see a group of people who choose to live walking distance from each other in studios and smaller living situations.
I imagine them being fellow millennials age 27 to 42.
I imagine we all share a similar vision of the lifestyle and community we want to create together:
- Three times a week community dinners that are local, organic, and vegan
- Composting and recycling and trying to be zero-waste!
- Farmers Markets and trying to start our own garden
- Book clubs and movie nights and tv show sessions
- Co-hosting parties together for all sorts of things from World Toilet Day to Halloween to a House-warming – obviously
- Creating our own traditions
- Co-working sessions
- Painting and drawing and writing and jam sessions
- Hiking, camping, kayaking, surfing!
- Going to fitness and yoga classes!
- Live music and dancing!
- Just hanging out and having tea
- Group therapy sessions
- Educational workshops on whatever we want to learn about
- Museums and other field trips!
- Sharing our passions and dreams and supporting each other in actualizing them!
- Community service and volunteering together
- Whatever else tickles our fancy
I imagine that they’ve also resonated with books and films such as:
- Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg
- Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
- All About Love by Bell Hooks
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk
- What the Health?
- Kiss the Ground
- Bright Lights, Brilliant Mind: A Tale of Three Cities (2014)
I imagine that they would also like to transform our home into a third place for our community until we have the funds to open up a truly public place inspired by:
- Shakespeare & Co (Paris)
- City Lights (San Francisco)
- Ampersand & Co (Washington, D.C.)
- Powell’s Bookstore (Portland)
- Burley Fisher Books (Hackney)
- Arcola Theater (Dalston)
- The Forest Cafe (Edinburgh)
- Topping & Co Bookstore (St. Andrews)
- Bread + Roses (Bradford)
- Outdoor Garden (Shoreditch)
- Albany Centre and Theater (Deptford)
- Klunkerkranich (Berlin)
- Trident Bookstore & Cafe (Boulder)
From visiting all these places, I imagine that the third place has:
- I see a bookstore with a coffeeshop/bar and a performance venue – where people can be tutored after school, can work remotely/study for classes, perhaps even little rooms for music lessons, and can host clubs — can make friends and build community, an open mic- where local voices can be heard and nurtured and celebrated, where we publish a magazine and a small press out of an office in the building, and there is a hostel in the back that people can stay in if they need or if we are having a big party.
- I see a kitchen for cooking classes and we do weekly pop up pay-what-you-can on the street.
- I see a wall of resources with all the different non-profits in the area you can volunteer with, and an annual fair for people to sign up and get involved.
- I see a bathroom that anyone can use and one of those fridges for the community that anyone can take from if they are in need.
- I see a shelf of free stuff that anyone can leave or take.
- I see a space for afterschool programs for literary arts, and a back room where group therapy takes place in the evenings. Therapist offices are upstairs in the building so easy to access.
- I see a bike ride meetup and outdoor yoga outside, as well as a meetup for a hike that is not so far away. Or people meet up after here to chat with music playing, and a small 30 seat theater for fun performances that is super affordable to rent. Perhaps a recording studio where people can rent it out for creating audiobooks and albums, whatever people want, podcasts… and it is all affordable. Whatever that means, and we are sustainable and not in survival mode.
- I see events for talking about climate change and how to address it in the community, offices for non-profits and charities upstairs that they can rent but then co-working spaces in the cafe.
- I see used books and new books and music and dvds and magazines and zines all around the space, I see plants and places where local artists can rent a space for real affordable.
I do believe we have places in LA that are amazing third places, although having visited them – I have not felt part of the community or noticed. I still feel like an anonymous person who flits in and out, but does not belong although they make me tingle with joy. Check out my list of third places in Los Angeles!
The thing is – they are really far from my family, friends, and job!
I wonder if it would be different if I would be like if I lived nearby, however, they are just too far from my job and my family and friends.
Are you interested in helping me start one?! Does this resonate with you?
If yes – would love to get coffee and talk about it!