January 20, 2014

Remembering the Atomic and Troy Cafe

Nancy Sekizawa holding up a photo of the Atomic Cafe, a restaurant run by her parents until she took it over.

I'm currently working with the Little Tokyo Service Center and filmmaker Akira Boch on a short documentary on two small cafes in Little Tokyo that had a legendary impact on LA's music scene, the Atomic Cafe and the Troy Cafe.  The famous brick building that housed both businesses will be demolished this year and a metro station will be built in it's place.

Both KPCC and LA Weekly have recently ran short pieces that layout the main elements of the Atomic and Troy Cafe story. 

The interviews for the project have been fun so far.  Listening to stories about LA's punk scene in the 80's and the Chicano arts scene of the 90's have expanded my appreciation for Little Tokyo as a cultural hub for the arts.

Nancy Sekizawa as Atomic Nancy back in the day.

Went all the way to NYC to interview Sean Carrillo, who ran the Troy Cafe with his wife Bibbe Hansen.

Musician Maceo Hernandez talking about growing up in Little Tokyo and his memories at the Atomic and Troy Cafe.  As a kid I always thought Maceo Hernandez was the coolest guy in the community. 

Musician Quetzal Flores talking about the Troy Cafe where his band Quetzal performed for the first time.