I don’t talk about my day job here very often, but I think that a lot of you will appreciate this. Imprint Culture Lab is a company that showcases up-and-coming, under-the-radar, and imported ideas. Eric Nakamura actually helped kickstart the earliest ones, bringing in high-powered friends from the worlds of streetwear, tech, otaku, and craft. I’ve been helping out with the newest one, which takes place in the home base of Imprint and its sister company interTrend.
The topic was born when the founder of Imprint/CEO of interTrend Julia Huang (above, right) told me that her companies were moving from a high rise to the second oldest building in Downtown Long Beach. I created a job for myself documenting its renovation, digging into the building’s sordid past as a psychic temple, researching the local history, and showcasing the community’s energy and upside in a blog. While sitting in on a meeting to choose a direction for the next Imprint, Long Beach seemed like a perfect choice to me. With the company investing and placing roots in the neighborhood, it was time to give back and grow it.
Long Beach: Work in Progress, which takes place next Friday, will have four panels. Authors Cara Mullio and Jennifer M. Volland will talk about their new book for Hennesy+Ingalls on Case Study House architect Edward A. Killingsworth. On the subject of music, Joe Escalante from The Vandals (above, left) and Jack from T.S.O.L. will represent Long Beach’s first generation hardcore punk subculture and Chhom Nimol and Zac Holtzman will talk about their relationship Long Beach’s Little Cambodia.
Everyone has friends who are in bands. But who hangs out with judges? Next week, original O.C. punk Joe Escalante (The Vandals, and more recently the Sweet and Tender Hooligans) is on the ballot to serve on the bench as Judge of the Superior Court for the City of Los Angeles. He’s a smart and realistic guy—and good friend–who wants to do it for the right reasons. It all started with a legal advice radio show that stemmed from his working in entertainment law, representing his own record label as well as working for CBS. I’m voting for him and if you’ve ever been to a show at the Cuckoo’s Nest, Perkin’s Palace, or Fender’s Ballroom (or even visited Club 33) you might want to support him, too.
MW: Is judging something you’ve always wanted to do? What do you like about it?
JE: I applied to become a Temporary Judge in 2008 to broaden the amount of stuff I can cover on my radio shows. I usually only give “showbiz” legal advice on the radio, but I thought for job security I should brush up on the kind of stuff that more people need like small claims, traffic, and landlord-tenant stuff.
After doing it for a few years I’ve started to like it more than all the other stuff I do. I am able to use my brain, help people, and help the county, and I’ve met a lot of great people who are judges, prosecutors, clerks, translators, defense attorneys, bailiffs, etc. (Not my world until then) And I think I’m good at it.
You can have fun on stage or recording music, but are you really helping people? Maybe, maybe not. And is your brain valued? Or is it your looks? Can you grow old gracefully in a band? You certainly can on the bench.
Traffic Court is often joked about as a punishment for low-level judges. I love traffic court. We’re in Southern California and it’s a car culture in a big way. The rules of the road are on everyone’s mind every day. To be the final arbiter of a traffic dispute is a big honor. I love being involved in it. Everyone wants to make a difference. I think I can on the bench.