If you live on the west side of L.A. and you have a bike, household appliances, jewelry, or other items in need of repair, I urge you to attend a Repair Cafe, which is sponsored locally by Our Time Bank in west L.A.. If you live anywhere else, don’t despair; there are 400 locations worldwide! The one I attended on Saturday in the Camera Obscura building in Santa Monica at 1450 Ocean Avenue featured a jewelry repair station, a bike repair area, six people operating sewing machines, and someone fixing household appliances, computers, and smartphones. You simply fill out a form a week before the cafe with your repair needs, show up with the damaged item, and staff is on hand to fix it if they can in return for a donation. (You can also show up with a random item and take your chances.) Some volunteers were taking parts of unusable appliances and computers and creating kinetic art.
I have often lamented how frustrating it is to have an inexpensive household item break and not have a cost-effective means of repairing it, so I am very pleased about this incredible resource. If are a handy person and want to pitch in, I urge you to offer your services at the next event. Hope to see you there — I’ll be the one with the busted hairdryer.