By INTERVIEW WITH GPIA WebHUB
PUBLISHED: December 16, 2016 at 11:31 am
Name: Brad Waters
Address: Glassell Park
Q: What brought you to Glassell Park?
A: My partner AK's employer in Chicago offered him a relocation to their LA office. NELA was our first choice for buying a home and in Glassell Park we found the perfect one. I fell in love with LA ever since AK attended USC from 2003-04, so I'm excited to be back.
Q: How long have you called Glassell Park home?
A: We bought our home in summer 2015.
Q: What inspired you to launch this brand/ business/ website?
A: While living in Chicago I started a small blog about my urban rooftop garden. When I started getting invited to gardening related events in the community I decided to take blogging more seriously. By 2013 I wanted to create a new blog that expanded on the themes of urban homesteading and self-sufficiency. Then came a few unexpected twists to the story...
In 2014 I found myself in need of an office for meeting with my consulting clients. I came across a unique space that would allow such meetings, yet also had room to set up a small retail space. I'd long wanted to start my own antiques & vintage shop and the opportunity suddenly arose. I called the shop 'Province' and launched a new website and blog that incorporated both urban gardening and selling vintage. Province in itself was an unexpected surprise, and then we were hit by another. Only three months after setting up shop, AK was invited to transfer to Los Angeles. We couldn't pass up the opportunity, so I boxed up the inventory and shipped it to a storage unit in Los Angeles. I chose the storage unit at random. It happened to be in Glassell Park.
We were in the market for the first half of 2015 before a real estate agent specializing in NELA properties gave us a tip about an upcoming listing. It was a hilltop home on nearly an acre- plenty of space for gardening and raising chickens. I went to the first open house and fell in love. Competition was fierce but we won out. Along the way I've blogged about the experience and the Province website and brand have grown organically out of our circumstances. I'm raising chickens, gardening, developing recipes using fresh ingredients from the property, and selling antiques & vintage... all at ProvinceJournal.com
Q: Do you have any unique talents or knowledge?
A: Are we talking stupid bar tricks and vast expanses of knowledge that would get me on Jeopardy? I'm afraid I don't have any physical or intellectual superpowers.
All of the things I mentioned above—gardening, cooking, selling vintage, raising chickens—are things I've just picked up along the way. Trial and error. I was raised on a small hobby farm in rural Northern Michigan so that's where the interest in homesteading and self-sufficiency comes from. Nowadays taking care of the chickens and the garden can feel like a part-time job with its own knowledge base, but they're not my only job. I'm also a career coach and consultant. My alter ego works with clients all over the country who are either struggling to find employment or are trying to figure out what carer path to pursue. I help them revise resumes, practice for interviews, develop career confidence, and navigate the confusing and overwhelming choices associated with career development.
Wait, almost forgot, I can also tie a knot in a cherry stem with my tongue.
Q: What makes you a great neighbor?
A: The first time we saw our house and began exploring the neighborhood I was so impressed by the amount of natural space in and around Glassell Park. If nothing else I want to be a good steward of the land and its wildlife. On any given day I see coyotes, hawks, owls, opossum, parrots, and critters I've never seen before. This year I've seen scorpions and a tarantula in our yard. Two other neighbors on our hill operate small farms. It's all amazing to me and I've been so impressed with the willingness of neighbors to coexist with and preserve what we have. I want to spread that message. I want to disprove stereotypes about Los Angeles and show people what's possible in an urban area. And when the need arises, help a lost dog find its way home or take injured wildlife to a rehabilitator.
Q: Tell us more about your website, channel or blog
A: The theme of Province is "farm-to-modern home & garden". I wanted to show how we can live in a big city and enjoy all it has to offer, yet still appreciate nature, grow some food, and make choices that reduce our footprint. Most recently I've started sharing the vegetarian recipes that AK and I have developed over the past 14 years. But I don't lecture, I share. I don't tell readers that they should become vegetarian. In fact, AK is not vegetarian. Instead, I show how vegetarians and omnivores can share the same kitchen. How the smallest spaces can grow something delicious. How we can harmoniously share the land with wildlife. And show how much I love Los Angeles!
Q: What inspires you about Glassell Park and Northeast LA?
A: Since we've lived here we've witnessed many occasions when a neighbor has taken in a stray dog or has helped search for a lost cat. When neighbors have alerted one another to a suspicious person knocking on doors. All of our surrounding neighbors have gone out of their way to introduce themselves. One neighbor even gave our chickens a big box of kale scraps, which they loved! So in addition to loving the nature, we've been so impressed by the kindness and friendliness of the people.
NELA feels so far removed from the stereotype that LA is superficial and everybody's just trying to make it big in the industry.
Q: What would you like to see improved in our neighborhood?
A: Not surprisingly, I wish our remaining open spaces—our canyons—were protected from development. We also see a significant problem with irresponsible pet ownership. We witness far too many unleashed dogs. Too many stories of pets being lost, killed by coyotes, hit by cars, or stolen. In our backyard we see neighbors' cats trying to kill wild birds. Dogs must be walked on leashes and supervised in backyards. Cats must be kept indoors.
Q: Have you featured Glassell Park in your blog, channel or social media?
A: I make it known that I live in GP but I've never specifically featured the neighborhood. Which is a great idea!
Q: If you were Queen or King of Glassellland for the day, what would be your first order of business?
A: Work with landowners and the city to protect our open space and urban wildlife.