p1351168473-3Claudia Colodro, propreiter of Stories Books in Echo Park, talks about how books bring people together.

“We live in a city and age where we may undertake several different lives. We live enough years to pick and choose what life we’d like to inhabit, for how long, and what might come next.

I have always loved and understood books. They’ve always been my friends. As a twenty-year-old I worked at Crown Books (not really a bookstore, more like a CVS but with books). Later I got married (rock ‘n’ roll took me lots of places, but I still brought books with me). Books helped me through my divorce. And when I landed at Dutton’s North Hollywood, I was home. Later I went into social work but soon realized I just wanted to be around books. So my life came full circle, and now there is Stories Books.

Every city needs spots where you can sit with your fellow man/woman. L.A. is no different; in fact, maybe due to the fact that we live in our cars, we are desperately in need of it. People come to Stories and, even if they bring their laptops and work for hours, they want to sit next to other people. It’s not just the Wi-Fi; it’s sharing space with others. It’s being part of something. It’s the gestalt of Echo Park now that beckons people to move to this part of town, because on some level they believe it’ll make them a participant in a movement. I watch this part of the city change, and I think the literary community has found a small refuge at Stories. John Tottenham, best known for his regretful poems that make me giggle and lesser known as a painter, is here every Sunday, along with other notable if not brand-name literary heroes who reside in this giant web of streets. The eternal observer, the daily outsider – we welcome all kinds.”

– Claudia Colodro – Co-Owner, Stories Books & Cafe

Los Angeles was our destination city of choice for our Bowie-Tribute issue for a number of reasons. As much as we love them both, Berlin seemed too obvious, and London too costly to shoot. We chose LA because, in our humble opinion, Bowie’s masterwork, Station To Station, was created here. 

For this issue, we asked several Angelenos to tell us what brought them here, and to share why they stayed. 

All photos by Jamie Betts / Jamie Betts Photography



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