Dominique Derouen owner of “Soft Humans Vintage” in Highland Park, wearing the T-shirt of an English neo-psychedelia band from the ’80s and holding an original Ellie Levy ceramic bowl. | Photo by Christopher Nyerges

If you’re looking to buy-nothing-new, look to Soft Humans Vintage, Dominique Derouen’s shop and flea market in Highland Park

By Christopher Nyerges

Since opening “Soft Humans” in Highland Park three years ago, Dominique Derouen has gained a near cult following for the shop’s vintage clothing and kitchen wares, vinyl records and music memorabilia, as well as its twice monthly flea market. It might work for you! Check out why here.

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Photo | Google Image

The Longest Straw: A Film by Samantha Bode

When filmmaker Samantha Bode learned that a 338-mile aqueduct brings water into Los Angeles, she decided impulsively to see it for herself by walking its entire length – from the Cascades in Sylmar at the southern terminus of the aqueduct to Mono Lake, 338 miles to the north. The result is a documentary film, The Longest Straw – a close-up look at the environmental impacts of what it takes to keep L.A. alive.

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Recycling the Rain

by Christopher Nyerges During the recent rains, my neighbor, Carol Kampe, collected enough water to irrigate her fruit trees and other plants clear through August. She estimates the savings on her water bill to be about $300 a month. “But I don’t do this for economic reasons,” says Kampe. “I do it because we live […]

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The Allure of Wild Mushrooms

A Voice in the NELA Wildernessby Christopher Nyerges With the recent rains, I have gone in search of mushrooms in wild and not-so-wild spots in NELA and the Arroyo Seco.My study of mycology began in the ’70’s. I wanted to try every wild mushroom I could find until I learned the meaning of the phrase […]

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Zero Waste: An Idea Whose Time is Now

A Voice in the NELA Wilderness by Christopher Nyerges It is sad but true that only a small fraction of discarded materials is recycled, while the rest goes to landfills or incinerators or winds up as immense floating plastic islands in the ocean. Leslie VanKeuren Campbell, a regular at the Old L.A. Farmers Market in […]

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A Voice in the NELA Wilderness: One Man’s Quest to Revive the Dying Art of Basketmaking

Some 20 years ago, I saw a photograph of Justin Farmer in the Southwest Museum in Highland Park. In the photo, Farmer is holding a traditional long bow. I have never forgotten it. Farmer is not primarily known for his bow-making, though that is one of his many skills. Farmer is best known for his […]

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A Voice in the NELA Wilderness: Soil from Coffee Grounds, Water from the Air Conditioner

I recently noticed a new flower bed behind Antigua Bread, the coffeehouse/bakery at 5703 N. Figueroa St. Where there once had been weeds and trash was a beautiful wood-framed garden bed, approximately 6-by-6 feet, with colorful flowers, some vegetables – and a five-gallon plastic bucket strapped to a tall wooden pole and connected by a […]

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A Voice in the NELA Wilderness: How Does Your Drought-Resistant Garden Grow?

State water officials recently toyed with the idea of reinstating drought-era water rules and making them permanent. In the end, they didn’t act. But rules or no rules, it behooves all of us to find and practice a lifestyle of water conservation. Northeast Los Angeles is part of a coastal desert plain, with enough local […]

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