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Michael Rippens: The Free Cafe

  • Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights Los Angeles, CA (map)

The Free Cafe is a nomadic, open-air cafe that accepts suggestions in lieu of money. The goal of The Free Cafe is to foster community and dialogue by inviting participants to take a little time out of their day to connect with friends, neighbors and strangers alike over a free cup of coffee or tea. Cafe-goers are encouraged to submit anonymous "suggestions", written on napkins and posted to a board for all to see. These personal messages range from comments about the cafe itself, to ways of improving the community, to aspirational recommendations on how to lead a better life.

Each week, The Free Cafe venue will change, rotating between various public parks throughout the city. See below for dates and locations.

Sat. 8/4: Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights Sat. 8/11: York Park in Highland Park Sat. 8/18: Unidad Park in Historic Filipinotown Sat. 8/25: Leimert Park Plaza Visitors should look for The Free Cafe sign.

photo credit and title: 

Alan Hiroshi Nakagawa, The Free Cafe pops up on a porch in Leimert Park

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