On June 25th, the hubby and I took our daughter to Ultra Gabba Gabba!, a Yo Gabba Gabba/Ultraman double feature event put together by the JACCC, Visual Communications, and Giant Robot. It was our first family event in Los Angeles, and it was glorious.
A little background: we had been in our new home on an entirely different coast for a couple of weeks, and our schedule was just too hectic to be able to settle in or have any fun. We were still moving into the house, I was still adjusting to telecommuting on east coast time, and I had my first MFA residency, during which my mom came to visit. I'd gotten a couple of emails from friends about this event, and by the time it rolled around, we were in desperate need for some family time.
Admittedly I've had a few homesick moments since we moved. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, and the more time we spend away, the more keenly aware I become of how important my family was and how much they've helped us over the years.
But I've had a lot of time over the past six months to really hash out how stuck and out of place I felt back in Connecticut. My cousins were the only people in town of the same ethnicity, and aside from what I've already written about them, it didn't feel like much of a community for me. I was always made to be the odd one out. And there's something to be said for being surrounded by people who not only look like you but also seem to have the exact same interests.
So imagine just moving from the suburbs of Connecticut and coming to a family-friendly event coordinated by an amazing trio of Asian American groups in the middle of Little Tokyo, where most of the parents are your age with at least as many tattoos, the line to have pictures taken with the Gabba gang is full of kids who are as racially ambiguous as yours, and everybody knows the words to all the classic hip hop songs the DJ is playing while waiting for the feature to begin. And ironically, our absolute favorite Yo Gabba Gabba episode about family (the one in which The Roots guest star) was also one of the features.
To say the least, it was an event made for us. With more events like these, I could really start to call this place home.