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What do a broadcast TV presenter from Kiev, a print journalist from Lancaster, CA, and a Texan art blogger have in common?
A week in Highland Park.
Follow three intrepid USC graduate students as we bring diverse backgrounds, strengths and cameras to a fascinating up-and-coming community within the megalopolis of Los Angeles.

We don’t set out to explain Highland Park — a cultural center this venerable and complex confounds all expectations, and is well beyond the scope of this modest project. Instead, we found a hilly grid of paradox; traditional but quirky, lovely but not consumed (yet) by LA lifestyle, and cutting edge but unpretentious. The oldest incorporated town in LA, with ranch roots delving deep into the 19th century, Highland Park is a neighborhood of sixty-something thousand souls. 72% of these are Latino, and 45% of Highland Parkers were born in another country, most likely Mexico or El Salvador. Like neighboring Echo Park and Eagle Rock before it, Highland Park is experiencing the growing pains of increased hipness, as chic cafes owned by Hollywood screenwriters live cheek-to-jowl with mom and pop storefronts. And during July of this year, Highland Park suffered an unprecedented nine shootings, one fatal, widely assumed to be the result of escalating gang conflict.

We set out to examine the particular lives of three very different Highland Park residents — a florist, an Episcopal priest and a swap-meet entrepreneur — to glimpse a more intimate view of this community. We observed human examples of how the forces in Highland Park interact, coexist, and collide. Do you know more about Highland Park than we ever will? Check out this site and get in touch.

Viva Highland Park!

Krista Daly, Tetiana Terekhova and Sarah Fisch