Noted local author, proprietor of Libros Schmibros (a lending library in Boyle Heights), "bookstore activist" and former NEA staff member David Kipen revisited Metropolis Books on the 230th anniversary of the founding of Los Angeles. He appeared in support of Los Angeles in the 1930s a WPA guide to the city, now re-issued and includes an introduction by Kipen.
Kipen's appearance brings a closure on the bookstore's five year run supporting local talent and books. It was noted by proprietors Julie Swayze and Steve Bowie that Kipen was the first local author to appear at Metropolis when they originally opened, and as they are nearing their last month in business, he's closing out as their last book signing.
Kipen read an excerpt from the book,(a description of the former Stock Exchange on Spring).. The Federal Writers Project authors' use of word was something that was a joy to read and poetry on the ear. Kipen took questions about the book itself or just about anything on LA... One person inquiring about the social community of artists and writers of the WPA.
The event finished with a request by Kipen to sing "Happy Birthday" to the City of LA before he met with attendees and signed copies of his books.
Julie videotaped this event as she has done for events many times in the past and I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes part of the documentary she's working on.. The working title is "The Last 30 Days: the Closing of Metropolis Books" If you go to the Metropolis website, you'll see Julie's getting coverage by local news along with some of the press she's received in the last couple months.
The store's last day of business will be the 29th of September.. so a few more weeks to visit our neighborhood store and pick up some books (at the moment most of the books are going for 30% off).
As an aside, I consider Julie and Steve downtown neighbors and friends. Despite knowing it's because of family and their need to start a new path that doesn't include the bookstore, they and the bookstore will be missed. It was indeed part of the community and a quality place to find some very good reads.
440 S. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013