Discovering Hidden Los Angeles
By Marietta Synodis
Marietta Synodis started as an intern for SOTRU and is now our Senior Researcher. She has a knack for finding great stories and in the course of researching for our Los Angeles episode, found an incredibly helpful, community building social media effort called Hidden Los Angeles. Check out Marietta’s post about Hidden Los Angeles and be sure to let us know how you feel about it and about what may be similar efforts in your hometown below.
Having grown up in San Diego, I definitely have engaged in anti-LA sentiment more times than I should probably admit. You know, it’s so polluted, cement everywhere, wallets (and bodies) full of plastic, Los Angel-less, and lest I not forget the unbearable traffic, traffic, TRAFFIC! We all know the stereotypes. But in doing research for our LA episode, I came across the website Hidden Los Angeles: “embracing the depth beneath the shallow.” OK, interest piqued. And, as is often the case with the internet, I found myself an hour later still looking through all the vintage photos, event listings, and intriguing collateral posted throughout the site.
The founder, Lynn Garrett, is a native Southern Californian and an admitted travel addict. She decided to apply the traveler’s eye to her hometown and “look deeper” beyond the usual glitz of LA. But for me, stumbling upon this website did more than just inform and enlighten—it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Huh? Well, Garrett also created a fan page on Facebook. It’s a sort of interactive Dear Abby for all things Angeleno. People post their questions—anything from what the weather is like in the fall to guidance in finding authentic 70s bell-bottoms to suggestions on where to listen to good cowboy poetry—and anyone can chime in with a response.
So here’s where the warm fuzzies come in: the FB page has more than 192,000 fans and counting! There’s a large community of people who all realize that LA has more to offer than traffic jams and celebrity sightings. Hidden LA is filling a void and people can’t get enough of it. And the fact that they’re participating in this online dialogue as a tool to then gain more from their daily interactions with the community around them, well, call me sentimental, but that excites me.
We Want to Know:
- What do you think of Hidden LA? Have you ever utilized it or something like it?
- How do you see social media in terms of being something that brings community together?
- Do you know of similar efforts? Tell us about them!
Start the discussion below.