Cool Linda D

The website of Linda Domingo: storyteller, adventurer, lover of good food and other cool things. Hope you find something that intrigues you here.

On Spray Paint and Sunburns.

Like I discussed in my last post, I spent a good chunk of a day witnessing the creation of some beautiful artwork in Costa Mesa while I was working on a story on Orange County street art. I’m super grateful to Tyke Witnes AWR for letting me be a creeper/document part of the process, which ended up taking two separate days of painting. I was only there for the first day, but if you’d like to see the finished product, it’s behind Mesa Art & Framing off of 19th Street. There’s also a nice video of the process, shot and edited by Jordan Ahern, whom I had the pleasure of meeting. He documents artists at work; see his videos on his Vimeo page.

If you aren’t familiar, please also check out Dabs and Myla’s website and Instagram page as well as Ewok’s work for some additional inspiration.

IMGP6547
IMGP6574
IMGP6641
IMGP6668
IMGP6695
IMGP6712
IMGP6748
IMGP6753
IMGP6767
IMGP6789
IMGP6794
IMGP6813
IMGP6828

On Street Art in Orange County.

street_art

A couple months ago, I took an assignment on “street art in Orange County.” I’m not sure what I was thinking when I accepted it, because street art isn’t really “a thing” in conservative OC—I guess I just wanted to look at art and talk to artists. It was a bit of a struggle, but once I started talking to people, I opened up the flood gates and ended up with a story that was 1,000 words over word count. I could have written even more. The topic is familiar to a younger generation that’s attracted to something I guess we could deem a counterculture, art that’s created, a lot of times, from no formal training and has roots in illicit activities. So the biggest hurdle was writing for an audience that doesn’t intuitively understand street art’s appeal in a region that’s known for a passionate and resounding rejection of it. I really have to thank James Daichendt and Dana Jazayeri, who are both quoted in the story, for helping to break down terms I felt that were just accepted by the general public, when in reality, they’re completely foreign concepts to many. I also have to thank Tyke, Ewok, and Dabs and Myla for letting me lurk on them all day while they painted a really awesome wall in Costa Mesa, behind Mesa Art & Framing. If you’re in the area, please do check it out, Instagram it, do the whole shebang. I’ll post some of the photos that didn’t get used in the piece later. 

Anyway, here is the finished product, a labor of love, but labor, nonetheless. Thank you, as always, for reading.

Saturday Night Reads

I don’t see anything wrong with a piece of reporting turning into a fable. In fact, when I’m researching a story and the real-life situation starts to turn into allegory … I feel incredibly lucky, and do everything in my power to expand that part of the story. Everything suddenly stands for something so much bigger, everything has more resonance, everything’s more engaging. Turning your back on that is choosing to ignore tools that make your work more powerful. But for lots of reporters, the stagecraft of telling a story—managing its fable-like qualities—is not just of secondary concern, but a kind of mumbo jumbo that serious-minded people don’t get too caught up in. To them, somehow, that’s a kind of childishness that has no place in our important work as journalists. One officemate at that time—a Columbia University School of Journalism grad—would come back from the field with funny, vivid anecdotes she’d tell us in the hallway. None of them ever appeared in her reports, which were dry as bones and hard to listen to.

She always had the same explanation for why she’d omit the entertaining details: “I thought that would be putting myself in the story.” As if being interesting and expressing any trace of a human personality would somehow detract form the nonstop flow of facts she assumed her listeners were craving. There’s a whole class of reporters—especially ones who went to journalism school, by the way—who have a strange kind of religious conviction about this. They actually get indignant; it’s an affront to them when a reporter tries to amuse himself and his audience.

I say phooey to that. This book says phooey to that.

—Ira Glass, in the introduction to “The New Kings of Nonfiction”

More on Coffee.

This may seem like coffee overload, but it’s been such a dominant part of life lately that I guess it’s appropriate.

I had the privilege of attending a screening of “A Film About Coffee,” at LA’s Vista Theatre a couple weeks ago. (Thank you LA Coffee Club for the ticket!) I almost didn’t make it, but I’m really glad I did—it’s an eye-opening documentary about coffee production that’s really beautifully made. Even if you aren’t a coffee drinker, there is a lot to appreciate about the film, from the cinematography and portraits of coffee growers in Rwanda and Honduras, to the insightful interviews with Japanese coffee legends and coffee-obsessed American baristas.

Even as a lover of (good) coffee, I had never really understood the scale of the production of it and never appreciated how many pairs of hands touch it before it gets into my cup. There was a Q&A after the screening with filmmaker Brandon Loper and a few other coffee people who were in the film, and they discussed the disparity between the price of coffee and its actual value in terms of how many people and how much work it really takes to make it.

“A Film About Coffee” runs just over an hour so it did leave me wanting more, but that can be a great thing. If it comes to your city, I would definitely recommend grabbing a ticket. Loper did mention that it would be available online via Netflix or another streaming site hopefully later this year, so that will give you another chance to see it.

On Cartel Coffee

I took a little trip to Scottsdale last week. On my first morning there, I woke up and went to grab a quick cup of coffee before taking care of some work. Wandered into the nearest little cafe and ordered an americano before I even realized that the joint proudly brewed Starbucks.

I know. I tried, for a long time, not to become a coffee snob, but there are some experiences in life that are so easily elevated with a little added effort and knowledge. Coffee is one of those experiences. Plus, it’s an affordable luxury—or at least that’s what I tell myself when I justify spending $19 on a bag of beans when there are plenty of $7 bags lining the shelves of every grocery store. (More on this in a later post.)

On my second morning there, I was determined to fuel myself with quality brew. So I went with a local’s suggestion and headed to Cartel Coffee Lab in Old Town Scottsdale. It was a caffeinated dream come true. It’s a little contemporary anomaly in this quintessentially Western square; even though it’s got free Wi-Fi and tables fit for college kids, the shop is still small enough not to encourage too many laptop-weilding customers (I’m not hating; I’m totally one of them normally), and the menu was a sight for sore, Starbucks-infected eyes. Aeropress, V60, clever dripper, Chemex—be still, my heart.

IMGP6835

IMGP6834

IMGP6841

I chatted with Dustin (pictured, white hat) for a bit about local coffee culture, which he said is growing in the Phoenix area. He also gave a little shout-out to Costa Mesa’s own Portola Coffee Lab, his wife’s favorite coffee spot when she’s in SoCal. (Represent.)

IMGP6843

The baked goods were also on point—something that shouldn’t be taken for granted in a coffeehouse.

IMGP6848

Tools of the trade.

IMGP6847

Oh, and they also serve beer and wine. It doesn’t get much better. Thanks for the hospitality and great coffee, Cartel.

If you ever find yourself in the area:

Cartel Coffee Lab
7124 E 5th Ave
Scottsdale, Ariz. 85251

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 80 other followers