Locals can write, study, and share ideas with other creative people at this lounge on Crenshaw Boulevard.
By Jason Lewis
Leimert Park has a new spot on Crenshaw Boulevard for writers to plug and create. And to go along with the couches and free Wi-Fi, this place offers free coffee and tea. All you can drink.
The Metaphor Club was recently opened by locals Lawrence Gilliam, Gerald Rawles, Lawrence Ross, and Jimar Wilson. It is a place where writers can work on novels, articles, and scripts; entrepreneurs can work on business documents; independent contractors can work away from home; and people can come together to share ideas.
“We have a lot of intellectuals who need time and space to write, but they don’t want to leave their neighborhood to do so,” Wilson said. “They would work at home, but there’s a certain energy to be able to do that around like minded folks -- other academics and writers who are on deadline as well.”
While this is a great place to find a quiet spot, put on the headphones, and get to work, this space was also created to bring people together to cultivate ideas.
“There’s a lot to be said about working in a community opposed to working from home, working in a silo,” Rawles said. “It’s different when you come to a place like this where you can bounce some ideas off of people. I think that’s very important, especially when you’re talking about creative people. It’s a lot of back-and-forth conversation. This type of place helps facilitate those thoughts.”
This lounge will host discussions, podcasts, and writers’ workshops. Their open house weekend featured guest speakers Joan Morgan, author of “She Begat This: 20 Year Anniversary of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” and James Lopez, executive producer of the hit movie “Girls Trip.”
Leimert Park was the right place to open this writer’s lounge, because it is centrally located in Los Angeles’ Black community.
“We’re at the fulcrum of creativity in the Black community, particularly within the neighborhoods that surround us,” Ross said. “Leimert Park, View Park, Windsor Hills, Baldwin Hills, View Park, Ladera Heights, West Adams. Inglewood just a few miles away. You have all the people who have historically been creatives. Crenshaw has always been an anchor for African Americans. And having this right on the boulevard, it shows people that this is a community that can beget something like this -- that can support and value creativity and intellectual conversation.”
The venue is located on the west side of Crenshaw Boulevard, between 43rd Street and 43rd Place.
“It was very important for us to be on Crenshaw Boulevard,” Gilliam said. “It’s a very iconic street for Black Los Angeles. I grew up in Leimert Park, and to be able to offer the community a space that breeds creativity, intellectual thought, and debate, right here on Crenshaw and 43rd, is awesome. It strikes to my Black Los Angeles heart.”
Many people work remotely, are in the field often, or do not go to their office on a daily basis.
“In my case specifically, I have an office in West L.A., but I frequently find myself visiting clients all over,” Gilliam said. “To have a place that’s in-between my office and my home is awesome. It’s a place where you can get connected before you’re en route to another appointment. I don’t even like to work at home. When I come here, I know that I’m coming to get work done. I can focus on that task.”
A writer’s lounge may seem unnecessary because of places such as Starbucks, which also offers free Wi-Fi. But The Metaphor Club offers more than just a place to sit and access to the Internet.
“We’re all connecters,” Wilson said. “We’ll know the majority of the people in the club. If we know somebody who is looking for someone in particular, we’ll know that that person exists within our membership. We’re here to make those connections.”
Membership to the Metaphor Club is $79.99 per month. Members are granted full access to the lounge during business hours, which are daily, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The club is located at 4333 Crenshaw Boulevard. Visit their website at www.themetaphorclub.com, and find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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