LOS ANGELES: 3rd & Vermont Photo exhibit and Oaxacan Basketball — events not to miss

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The next few days have a couple very hip events taking place west of downtown that you don’t want to miss.

On Thursday, The Perfect Exposure Gallery holds an opening of photographs by Michael Cannon, centering around the 3rd and Vermont area. That ‘s one packed section of town, and one of my favorites, with folks from Korea, Bangladesh, Oaxaca, Salvador, and probably elsewhere as well.

It was there that I grew to love the strip mall — the immigrant’s blackboard. But that’s for another blog post.

Cannon, one of whose photos is above, has been living in and shooting the area for 15 years and his images will be on display at the gallery beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday.

By the way, The Perfect Exposure (3519 W. 6th St.) is fantastic photo gallery, exhibiting some of the best photographers from Los Angeles and elsewhere. Really worth a visit.

Then on Sunday, the 2013 Oaxacan basketball season gets underway, with a tournament at Toberman Park. The ohoop1inauguration, which is as cool to behold as the games, begins at noon.

Oaxacan basketball tournaments usually involve 20+ teams and bring together folks from all over Southern California.

(I wrote about them in my first book, True Tales from Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx — which you should also not miss.)

They used to be held at Normandie Park, a few blocks away. Normandie Park is in fact a bi-nationally famous little park due to the role it played in maintaining the Oaxacan community, mostly folks from the Sierra Juarez mountains, for many years beginning in the 1970s by hosting hundreds, probably thousands, of tournament games by now.

But tournament size and disputes with park management meant that organizers switched the events to Toberman.

Either way, a fun way to see another part of LA on a Sunday.

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