Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving love!!!

If you are looking to partake in Thansgiving love, join the Venice Learning Garden with a dish to share! They are providing turkey and mashed potatoes and hope you will bring dessert, salad, non-meat entrees, etc.! This is in part a fundraiser for the Program for Torture Victims, so donate if you can since they provide crucial services to torture victims and refugees, which no one else in Los Angeles is currently providing.

I'd you are looking for a recipe, or want to try cooking with a real pumpkin, here is a great recipe for pumpkin pie from scratch:

And, here is a link for a great crust that I used with the pie recipe:

I tried these recipes together and my pie turned out DELICIOUS!  The pie picture above is of the remainder of the pie I made a couple of weeks ago using the above recipes. You can easily make such a pie using super fresh, local ingredients!  I have to admit - most of my ingredients were not local to Los Angeles, though they were mostly local to California and the United States in general.  FYI, it took me about an hour to make the crust, to steam the raw pumpkin and to make the batter, plus an extra 45 minutes to bake the pie. Try it out, let us know how it goes and happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Congrats to a colleague!

I recently received an email from the Los Angeles Bicycle Kitchen email listserve that contained a video featuring Jimmy Lizama.  Jimmy is a resident of the Los Angeles Eco-Village, founder of the Los Angeles Bicycle Kitchen, and an avid activist for building better access for cyclists in Los Angeles and raising awareness about cyclist safety.

Check him out giving a talk on cycling, happiness, and economic development at an independent Tedx talk at UCLA:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekend events in LA: Dia de los Muertos, Occupy LA, Bike Summit and Creative Seeds!

Dear community:

There is a ton of amazing stuff going on over the next few days.  See info below for Dia de los Muertos events, a teach-in at Occupy LA (featuring UC professors, Wall Street experts and other professionals), the California Bike Summit, a play at The Last Bookstore, a fundraiser for Thailand flood victims, and the Cornerstone Theater Creative Seeds exploration of hunger in Los Angeles.

Also, as of this month I am blogging for two sites: Local Blu (they filmed the last Local to Global event) and Green LA Girl (for whom I am posting a list of weekly events around LA).  And please don't forget to follow or check in with me at!  :)

Thank you and have a great weekend! 

Nisha Namorando Vida
Local to Global Life Works

Photo via Space 4205

Angelica De La Torre (Space 4205) and the Eastside Cafe are organizing great Dia de los Muertos activities:

Fri., Nov. 4:  All are welcome to Dia de los Muertos event at Eastside Cafe with a special performance by Las Cafeteras...a traditional Mexican Fandango.

Sun., Nov 5:  Lazy Sunday afternoon at Space 4205 (4205 Maycrest El Sereno 90032)...bbq and special performance by Kid Band Live Transmission playing classics by The Cure, Joy Division and Nirvana!  at 5p...and last chance to catch the artshow...
see/ buy/ and take!  with many items below $100. :)

Lastly, wrapping up this weekend (til Sunday) is the Saints Behind the Glass altar artwalk on Huntington Drive and Maycrest in El Sereno. Check out these beautiful handmade altars before they are gone!

Click here for map location of events, or search for 'Maycrest and Huntington Drive, El Sereno, CA'.

Cost: free!


Saturday, Nov. 5: There will be bike tours of Los Angeles and the day will conclude with a reception and party at Angel City Brewing.

Sunday, Nov. 6: Full day session dedicated to strategizing how to increase bicycling in California.

Monday, Nov. 7: Full day session dedicated to sharing and learning skills necessary for implementing goals established the day before. 

Saturday and Sunday events will be held at the Kyoto Grand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.  Monday's events will be held at The California Endowment.  Both locations are next to Metro Gold Line station stops.  For more info, check out the website:

Cost: $110 for the weekend.  However, get in for free by volunteering at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition bike valet!  Email Martin for more info:


A childhood friend of mine (who is Thai) is organizing this fundraiser along with the owner of Thai restaurant Night Market.  

They will be donating $.75 per small plate ($5-$8) and Chang beer ($4). Come with a couple friends and get a beer tower ($29) and we'll donate $9. The money goes to the Thai Red Cross Society.  The fundraiser will be going on through Sun., Nov. 6.  See link:

Cornerstone Theater - two weeks of events addressing hunger in LA!

This series actually starts on Monday, however, I wanted to include it in this blast since I am working with these folks!

Cornerstone Theater Company presents the first annual “Creative Seeds: An Exploration of Hunger.” This two-week event has some of LA’s most innovative artists, food activists, farmers, chefs, food critics and thought leaders address the issue of hunger through an artistic lens.  The first day of events is on Nov. 7.  

Cost: some events are free and some have suggested donations.  See website for details.


You may remember that the last LTG event, Generating Good Growth, hosted with GOOD LA, took place at The Last Bookstore.  Well, this amazing store is featuring a play written by local artists and writers.  Check it out this Saturday and Sunday at 8 pm.  

A RECORD OF LIGHT is a play about the Akashic Records (complete sacred knowledge of all human experience) being housed, in secret, in downtown's The Last Bookstore.  Orelia Key, a woman whose spirit moves faster than her body can handle, is determined to access it.  On this mission, she encounters denizens of the bookstore - analog people - who in a world of technology, discover the link between body and the substance of the soul.

Cost: $10.

Occupy LA Teach-in

Saturday, Nov.5 
2:30 - Introductory Remarks

2:45 - Robert Reich:  Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and former US Labor Secretary
3:15 - Robert Scheer:  Executive Editor,, author of The Great American Stick Up: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street
3:30 - 5:00 - Economics Panel:
William Black (professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri)
Joel Rogers (professor of Law, Political Science, Public Affairs and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin and president of the Center for Wisconsin Strategies in Madison, Wisconsin)
Michael Hudson - (via livestream) President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street
Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.
Robert Scheer (Executive Editor of - Moderator
5:00 - Carol Wells (Executive Director of Center for the Study of Political Graphics)

5:15 - George Lakoff (via livestream): Professor of cognitive linguistics at UC Berkeley and author of Don't Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate  
5:30 - Closing Speaker TBA
6:00 - Music - Performers TBA    
8:00 pm - Sneak Preview of "Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?" Directed by Donald Goldmacher and Frances Causey - a documentary film which reveals how American corporations orchestrated the dismantling of middle-class prosperity through rampant deregulation, the outsourcing of jobs, and tax policies favoring businesses and the wealthy and gave rise to corporate power. The Director will present the film.

Sunday, Nov.6 
11:00 - Opening Speaker TBA                
11:30 - 1:00 - Organizing and Civil Disobedience Panel:
Madeline Janis - Executive Director of LAANE
Kent Wong - Director of the Center for Labor and Research at UCLA
Erick Huerte - Organizer at Dream Team Los Angeles
Peggy Mears - Organizer of the Home Defenders program for ACCE, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
Jill Furillo - California Nurses Association, National Nurses United Union
Peter Drier - Chair of the Urban and Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College - Moderator
1:00 - lunch
1:30 - Sustainable Living Panel:
Frank Tamborello - Hunger Action LA
Autumn Rooney - Echo Park Time Bank
South Central Farms
Open Neighborhoods
Joan Stevens - Los Angeles Permaculture Guild and the NELA Permaculture Guild, Organizer of the West Coast Women's Permaculture
Gatherings and the 2011 SoCal Permaculture convergence.
3:00 - American Civil Liberties Union  - speaker TBA
3:15 - Iraq Veterans Against the War - speaker TBA
3:30 - 5:00 - Corporatocracy Panel:
Alex Caballero - Brave New Foundation
Tracy Rosenberg - president, Media Alliance
Mary Beth Fielder - Organizer Move to Amend
Derek Cressman - Common Cause, director of Campaign to Reverse Citizens United
Lauren Steiner - Local political activist, - Moderator
5:00 - Jim Lafferty of National Lawyers Guild
5:15 - David DeGraw - Organizer at Occupy Wall Street, publisher of

Additional speakers/updates to be announced. Facebook Page:

The Occupy LA Education and People's University will also be holding workshops at various times of the day to discuss some of the topics addressed for those who are interested.

Bank Transfer Day/ Move Your Money
March Through Financial District - Rally begins at 10:30am at California Plaza

To see the most up to date schedule, please visit (This will be updated soon.)
Search the Facebook event page: Nov.5 & Nov.6 Occupy LA - Teach-In and More!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

LA needs more bike lanes! LA is GETTING more bike lanes!

In the past couple of weeks, I have had two conversations with people I am close to (family friends and coworkers) about cyclists in Los Angeles.  Both conversations turned violent, with the people involved (all who only use cars to commute) talking about how frustrating it is to be in a car behind slow cyclists, that cyclists should just be bumped of the road or killed, and that Los Angeles was obviously made only for cars.

I found the conversations I had with folks about killing cyclists to be very sad and disturbing, though I do understand why people in a fast moving vehicle would feel frustrated by a smaller and slower vehicle clogging up the road in front of them.  I believe that the best way to resolve such a conundrum is to change the way things are in our city - such as by having more bike lanes.

At LTG's last event at The Last Bookstore (which happens to be on Spring St.), participants all addressed innovative ways to develop downtown Los Angeles.  One such plan focused on fusing bike lane creation with gardens.  Such lanes would leave room for cars, buses, bikes and pedestrians, while stimulating traffic to local businesses and even the growth of plants (like building garden bike lanes).  Some of these ideas are contained in our strategy paper, which you can find here

LTG exists to help people identify things that need to be changed, to identify change-makers, and to show people things that they can do to make change right at home.   Whether you are a cyclist or secretly hate cyclists, we all agree that Los Angeles County streets can and should be made much more bicycle friendly.  If you want to do something to make this change happen, just know that there is a lot you can do.  We suggest for starters that you get active with the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition, check out the LTG strategies (and maybe advocate to implement one!), or attend this weekend's California Bike Summit 2011!  

 Learning about cyclists and why people cycle, and advocating for better roads, more bike lanes and safety for roadway commuters just might provide the solution to violent thoughts and actions related to bad city planning.  

Peace and love!

Nisha Namorando Vida
Local to Global Life Works