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Postcards from Travel Near and Far by Jia-Rui

90013, Downtown Los Angeles

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Coffee at Banquette after volunteering for WriteGirl

Dear ——–,

I went to a poetry workshop on Saturday for WriteGirl, an L.A. nonprofit that helps high school girls find self-expression through writing, runs weekly programs at some of the poorest schools and helps the girls get into college. (They’re still looking for volunteers!) It’s been a pretty positive experience — all the girls I’ve worked with plunge excitedly into the exercises and bloom under the encouragement. At the session, one girl ran her hand over the cement wall of the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex and described it as cool, unemotional, like a guy who never lets you know what he’s thinking. I was impressed. Afterward, Erika, Molly and I headed a few blocks over for coffee. Unfortunately, Lot 44 was only open on the weekdays. Groundwork closed at 3 p.m. So we settled into a booth at Banquette with some lattes and talked about the future of journalism, dealing with unreasonable family members, and finding ourselves now on the other side of college interviews. Groups of people came, dined and went. We walked back to our cars past the hot pink glow of the Museum of Neon Art. I felt suddenly nostalgic for downtown.

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Author: postmarkhere

I'm a journalist based in Los Angeles who has always said that writing postcards for a living would be a dream job. The posts -- short enough to fit on an actual postcard -- chronicle recent travels near and far. I could blab on about being inspired by epistolary novels, the short poems of Emily Dickinson, and the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" pieces, but I'll just say that I'm aiming to give you a sense of flavor of a place without boring you to death. Wish you were here!

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