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Los Angeles River Path Project
Finally, a possibility of connecting LA River Path segments upstream and downstream of downtown LA!
bicycling  LosAngeles  LosAngelesRiver  travel 
october 2018 by JJLDickinson
South of Fletcher Podcast – Clockshop
"This podcast explores the past, present and potential of the Bowtie parcel. Once one of Southern California’s most important rail yards, this site will soon become the next urban California State Park, joining a patchwork of other river-adjacent green spaces that are shaping the course of LA River revitalization. Through personal interviews with people who have worked, lived and otherwise made their marks at this post-industrial site, Fonografia Collective explores some of LA’s biggest challenges, and speculates about what change at this site might mean for the rest of the city.

Subscribe to Clockshop’s iTunes channel to automatically receive new episodes when they become available.

Written and co-produced by Ruxandra Guidi
Edited by Ibby Caputo
Music by Luis Guerra"

[See also: https://clockshop.org/project/bowtie-aa/south-of-fletcher/

South of Fletcher: Stories from the Bowtie
Fonografia Collective, 2018

South of Fletcher: Stories from the Bowtie is a multi-platform storytelling project by Fonografia Collective, produced by Clockshop.

Once one of Southern California’s most important rail yards, the Bowtie is now an open site overlooking a lush stretch of the Glendale Narrows, where plants sprout up from building remains, and migratory birds glide gently across the nearby river’s surface. California State Parks purchased this plot of land in 2003, and Clockshop has been producing programming at the site since 2014. But outside of these official uses, the Bowtie has a life, and a dedicated following, of its own.

Ruxandra Guidi and Bear Guerra of Fonografia Collective have been working at the Bowtie for the past year, talking to people who frequent the site, and learning more about its historic, present day, and potential uses. Through their research, they’ve uncovered that some of Los Angeles’s biggest issues — the housing crisis, lack of open space, effects of climate change, and forces of urban development — come to a head at this unique piece of land next to the LA River. South of Fletcher: Stories from the Bowtie will present their findings through a podcast series, three public discussions, and a photography exhibition.

In partnership with Oxy Arts, major themes from this project will be woven into Occidental College’s CORE Program for incoming freshmen, complementing the South of Fletcher photo exhibition that will take place at Occidental’s Weingart Gallery September 13 – November 4.

Our biweekly South of Fletcher podcast launches September 10."]
ruxandrguidi  bearguerra  losangeles  podcasts  fonografiacollective  2018  losangelesriver  lariver  bowtie  clockshop  photography  srg  photojournalism 
september 2018 by robertogreco
Elena Dorfman
Dorfman's "Sublime: The L.A. River" caught my eye.
artist  photographer  photography  LosAngelesRiver  ElenaDorfman 
july 2018 by JJLDickinson
Frogtown Art Walk
This event makes for an interesting evening out in this transitional, riverine neighborhood.
Frogtown  LosAngeles  art  LosAngelesRiver  walking 
march 2018 by JJLDickinson
www.flickr.com
Favorite: And I Shot the Story Because I Didn't Hear it That Way, by Thomas Hawk
IFTTT  Flickr  america  california  losangeles  losangelesriver  robingriggswood  usa  unitedstates  unitedstatesofamerica  reflection  river  fav10  fav25 
january 2017 by pauljacobson
Tacos, bras, bars and patriarchy - LA Times
"The California section's Amina Khan recently took a stroll along a surprisingly lush stretch of the Los Angeles River with Kate Johnston, a co-founder of the Women's Center for Creative Work. Since 2013, the center has roamed Los Angeles without a permanent home, whipping up projects such as the Feminist Library on Wheels, a bookcycle offering a crowd-sourced collection of feminist writing. Now the center has settled into a space along the L.A. River, not far from the historic Woman's Building in Chinatown. After the river walk, we emailed Johnston a few questions. We've crunched the conversation into this.

What is it with you and the L.A. River?

The L.A. River is an in-between space: between pavement and nature, between freeway and railroad tracks, between beautiful and abject. In-between spaces are generative; new ideas can slip in where things are not fully formed.

Creative medium of choice?

Graphic design.

Rock, paper or scissors?

Rock. I collect rocks everywhere I go, and they're all over my house.

After a year roving Los Angeles, your organization finally got a space. Is it better to rove or put down roots?

Both are important. When you're mobile, you get to exist in that in-between space with infinite potentiality in all directions. When you're stationary, you get to create a home. We will never stop doing mobile programming, even though we now have a brick-and-mortar location. Now we just have more options.

Favorite thing to eat in L.A.?

Tacos are the quintessential Angeleno food: Inevitably there is more than one, so your plate has several centers. The structure of meat on tortilla is loose and filled with potential; you can choose to make each one into what you want with various toppings.

In the space of a tweet, what is feminism?

To paraphrase bell hooks, feminism is the process that works to dismantle the imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy.

Who isn't a feminist?

Todd Akin

Someone tells you that feminism is about bra-burning and husband-hating.

Bras are amazing tools that keep your boobs in place when you're working out; why would you want to burn one? Also, if you hate your husband, that sounds like a personal problem. The myth that feminism is a separatist movement of humorless extremists was started as a way to shame women into not feeling like they deserve things like equal pay. I tell people to come to our events, then they find out that feminism is more about having dance parties. I personally appreciate wearing a bra at a dance party, but to each their own.

L.A. has a reputation for being a difficult place to develop "community." What does that term really mean?

A community is a group of individuals who are brought together by a shared intention. The usual line is that we have to be very deliberate about building community in this city because we have so many centers and a paucity of public space. But temporary communities count too: If you're standing in line at the grocery store and a child drops a glass bottle and juice goes everywhere, everyone turns and looks at the same thing for a moment; maybe they even say something about it to each other or to the child's parent. That's an instant fleeting community, and it's super real.

Is there a specific 2-foot-square spot you'd go stand in when you're feeling low?

In front of a bar. Few things can't be cured by a drink with a friend."
aminakhan  losangeles  art  lariver  losangelesriver  feministlibraryonwheels  women'scenterforcreativework  liminalspaces  via:davidtheriault  permanency  ephemeral  liminality  community  ephemerality 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Just Subtract Water: The Los Angeles River and a Robert Moses with the Soul of a Jane Jacobs - The Los Angeles Review of Books
"Archival photographs taken in the late 19th and early 20th centuries show the LA River as a spreading arroyo of sand and gravel, crazy-quilting the basin for much of its length. It coursed into Santa Monica bay in the early 19th century before shifting to the Los Angeles Harbor, leaving Ballona Creek in its wake on the Ballona Creek watershed. The LA River as it eventually ran from the Valley toward Long Beach was never a miniature Hudson or Mississippi or Nile — wide, flowing, and storied — but a rugged and dry wash for most of the year, crisscrossing the alluvial fan and changing course and direction in a swath eight miles wide in places.

The character of this indeterminate river of changeable mind, alternately casual and violent, was transformed big-time after the 1938 deluge, when 3 million barrels of concrete were dedicated to a single purpose: flood-control management. From Canoga Park in the west San Fernando Valley down to the harbor, its wild, open, and sprawling Zane Grey character vanished into a canyon of concrete.

The river in this form was not designed as a social amenity. The goal-oriented engineers conceived the LA River as a highway for floodwater, to be left virtually vacant otherwise, for most of the year. For some, the river has seemed entombed by a brutal material cast in cold, hostile geometries. After a storm, the river was also treacherous, the pitch accelerating the flow. If the Mississippi seems lazy, it’s partially because it drops about 800 feet in 1,200 miles (if you start at Minneapolis). No rush. The LA River is amphetamine by comparison, dropping by about the same elevation but in only 51 miles.

The ripple effect of the channeled river wasn’t pretty either. The newly defined and protected shoulders of the river were dedicated to electric transformer substations, high-tension wires, warehouses, factories, jails, sanitation truck parking lots, rail lines, and rail yards. It was an industrial service corridor that wasn’t riparian and verdant.

But then it never really had been.

The invisible tributaries to this river of concrete were the street and drainage systems, and as the drought forces hydrologists to look for other sources of water through an integrated program of water usage, including retention, conservation, and recycling, they have come to understand that the river is symptomatic of a paved-over landscape. Focus has widened beyond the Narrows and even the entire 51-mile length of the river to a macro scale and a more holistic understanding of the basin and region.

The drought has changed the game, but another primary factor is the leadership of Mayor Eric Garcetti, who early in his term identified his mayoralty with the river: soon after his election, photos of the mayor kayaking in the river went up in LAX terminals. Perhaps because he grew up in Encino, where he walked alongside the river with his sister and father, and because he represented Silver Lake and other river communities in the City Council, Garcetti has dedicated considerable political will, energy, and capital to a cause he has cared about for decades.

In 2014, he established the multidisciplinary, multi-departmental LA Riverworks department within his own office to coordinate the implementation of the whole river vision, including the 2007 Revitalization Plan, the Army Corps’s Ecosystem Restoration Study, and other plans. “To get anything done in LA, it helps to have the headquarters in the mayor’s office to show the issue is central to the City plans,” Garcetti says, back to normal just a day after a terrorist threat shut down LA schools. “This was a way to centralize cooperation and formalize commitment to the river. It’s a one-stop shop for people to cohabitate, and a reflection of how important the issue is to me.”

The river is playing a role in Garcetti’s bid to bring the 2024 Olympics to Los Angeles: several sites along the river are being considered as possible venues for Olympics-related structures.

Early last year, the independent Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation wooed Frank Gehry, inviting the Los Angeles architect to study the river and make proposals encompassing everything from the river to the watersheds. “Frank called me and asked me if the invitation was real, and whether it had my support,” says the mayor, “and since I was committed, he committed. Then there was a spillover effect: if he was involved, others wanted to be involved.” Tapping the glocal Gehry, a popular avuncular figure, switched the kliegs onto the river, galvanizing public attention — and lately governmental support: the state has just awarded a $1.5 million grant for Gehry to complete the first phase of a study on which he and his consultants have already worked pro bono for 10 months.

When his involvement was announced, Gehry’s first comments pointed to issues beyond the prevalent notion of the river as a landscaping opportunity. Like Mr. McGuire in The Graduate wanting to say just one word — plastics — to Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman’s character), Gehry memorably uttered hydrology: he would only be interested in the river project if addressed from a water-reclamation point of view. To recharge the basin, he would have to look at the whole river in the context of the larger water ecosystem, and not just the 32-mile Los Angeles city corridor."



"Besides expanding the scope of the inquiry, Gehry has already challenged assumptions. By admitting “concrete” to the palette of ideas, he has expanded the basis of the investigation from plant materials and river cross-sections to include other architectural and cultural issues. There is a place for intimacy and a place for monumentality, and for all the talk about speaking for the river, holding the microphone requires closer listening to what the entire length of the river says it wants to be. The LA River is many rivers, and its character shifts along its course, especially because it widens downstream, as more water enters the channel. Total landscaping is not the answer when the river might be calling for sports stadia with bleachers nested into the embankments.

Confronted with perhaps the largest project of his career, and what could be the commission of an already remarkable lifetime, Gehry didn’t balk at the scale of the endeavor but immediately expressed founding perceptions — hydrology and concrete — with large-scale consequences that break through existing assumptions. The concepts establish an expanded basis for going forward. Angelenos and others have wondered why he has parachuted into the problem. But few people, if any, are better qualified to see the river in all its complexities, and then answer the complexities with proposals. And few figures have the skills to coalesce a broad-based effort that can unite the city. He is a Robert Moses with the soul of a Jane Jacobs.

No one asked for the drought, but it has arrived and is shaping imperatives for the basin’s hydrology, and with it the shape and character of the river and the city itself, recentering it with a common core. In a short period of time, Gehry has assimilated and expanded a complex and lively conversation.

Garcetti explains that the river is not just the geographic heart of the city but also its historic heart. The waterway, which predates people, set pathways for the Tongva, then roads for the Spanish, and then our freeways. A quarter of LA’s population lives within walking distance of the river. “Running from the Valley to Long Beach, it’s really the backbone of the city. Reclaiming the river gives us the ability to reclaim our past and set our future. To me it’s more dynamic than just a magnet or a center. As I’ve said many times, it’s the zipper that can bring us together.”

After the devastating fire of 1871, Chicago remade itself into a modern city, based on innovative architecture and progressive urban planning. Through what seems a propitious alignment of political will, public interest, talent, and momentum, this is LA’s moment to seize its day. A revitalized river running through our megalopolis has the potential not only to revitalize the river, but also to revitalize Los Angeles itself."
losangeles  losangelesriver  lariver  history  cities  california  floodcontrol  2015  josephgiovannini  ericgarcetti  urbanplanning  parks  nature  rivers  urban  urbanism  lariverworks  architecture 
february 2016 by robertogreco
What Happened to the Great Urban Design Projects? - The New York Times
"— Dave Eggers, “This Bridge Will Not Be Gray”

This new book, a collaboration between Eggers and the artist Tucker Nichols, who created the deceptively simple paper cutout illustrations, is a love letter to infrastructure. Eggers’s proclamation that the Golden Gate is beloved because it’s outrageous and weird may fly in the face of just about everyone’s attitude about infrastructure, but it also gets at exactly what we should be feeling about bridges and tunnels.

Awe.

American infrastructure is deferred home maintenance on a massive scale. We just keep putting it off until something major — and often catastrophic — happens, and then it ends up costing twice as much as it would have had we taken care of it proactively. This is a bad strategy — yet it’s the strategy that seems to define United States infrastructure.

There is no awe. There are issues of structural integrity. There are mind-blowing cost overruns. Accidents. Sinkholes. Problems with bolts.

The first design proposed for the Golden Gate was, writes Eggers, “the strangest, most awkward and plain old ugly bridge anyone had every seen ... people compared it to an upside-down rat trap.” (Here is what it looked like.) The public demanded something better — and they got it.

A century later, we’ve lost our collective faith in the power of great projects like the Golden Gate, not to mention our trust in the government to fix a pothole on time and on budget, let alone create an inspiring bridge. How can we restore that faith in possibility?

Let’s take some inspiration from Atlanta — yes, Atlanta! — which is putting the finishing touches on the Atlanta BeltLine, one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs currently underway in the United States.

The BeltLine is a 22-mile loop of old railroads encircling downtown Atlanta that connects 45 neighborhoods. The project repurposes this historic rail corridor as a new transit greenway, featuring streetcars that connect to existing rail and 11 miles and counting of trails for running, walking and biking. Mostly underutilized industrial properties surround it. These are now becoming perfect sites for new mixed-use, dense projects, including 5,600 units of affordable housing.

The Atlanta BeltLine began as a master’s thesis project. (I don’t know about you, but my master’s thesis project is in a cardboard box in the garage.)



"Yet engineers, planners and policy makers tend to focus on wonky stuff like percentage of parkland per person. They’re awash in acronyms like V.M.T. (vehicle miles traveled), too reliant on planning terms like modeshare that don’t resonate with the general public. These things may be useful in measuring the metrics of a city, but they sure don’t get to the reasons people want to live there. You don’t move to one city because it has 35 percent more parkland per person than another city. You move there because you fall in love with it, or with someone there, or you get a job there, or your family is from there. We need to address metrics, but the bigger goal is to make cities that we love.

Los Angeles, a seemingly even more unlikely candidate to bring awe to infrastructure, is nevertheless doing it, with a dazzlingly ambitious transportation plan (the city’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, has even publicly crooned for road improvements), and also by rediscovering the long-neglected (and abused, frankly) river it was built around. Now, the once largely paved-over 51-mile L.A. River, like the BeltLine, has taken on this mantle of the future again.

Elon Musk’s fanciful Hyperloop may never be built, but let’s give him credit for capturing our collective imaginations. (For a look at other examples of bold, courageous and unusual infrastructure that do, see the slide show.) We can take a lesson from Musk and from Gravel, too, that infrastructure shouldn’t be viewed as an obstacle or a headache but something to behold. That it’s part of something bigger. “People don’t love the physical thing of the BeltLine,” says Gravel. “They love that it’s changing the city. It allows us to look beyond the shortcomings of the city and look ahead to the future and be excited about that.”

In an age of cost overruns, project delays, safety risks and the other, seemingly infinite obstacles to infrastructure, this all might sound awfully reductive, even naïve. But keeping our eye on what’s possible is certainly as important as fixating on what isn’t."
2016  atlanta  planning  metrics  urbanplanning  allisonarieff  daveeggers  infrastructure  goldengatebridge  history  ryangravel  atlantabeltline  beltline  transportation  housing  funding  politics  policy  losangeles  elonmusk  hyperloop  lariver  losangelesriver 
february 2016 by robertogreco
25 Photos of the Los Angeles River Before It Was Paved in 1938
This is the year and especially the summer of the Los Angeles River--on January 1, it officially became a river again (not just a flood control channel); this May it opened for recreation for the first time in 75 years; at the end of this month the Army Corps of Engineers will announce their plans for some kind of enormous makeover that could involve unpaving large sections; and it finally just feels like there's a critical mass of politicians, planners, architects, and plain old Angelenos who are working to make the river great.
history  losangeles  photographs  curbedla  losangelesriver  river 
april 2015 by brendanmcfadden
Garcetti makes new pitch for L.A. River plan - Los Angeles Times
Faced with losing an ambitious $1-billion plan to revamp the Los Angeles River, Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday raised the stakes by offering to split the cost with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps, which manages the river as a flood control channel, last year recommended a $453-million package of parks, bike paths and other enhancements to make the river more inviting to Angelenos. It recently informed the mayor's office that it was sticking with that plan rather than pursuing the $1-billion version, known as Alternative 20, that Garcetti backs. The federal government would contribute $140 million under the smaller plan. Under the $1 billion alternative, the federal share would rise to about $500 million. City officials, backed by environmentalists and real estate investors, have been fighting for eight years to finalize a plan to broaden and transform an 11-mile soft-bottom stretch of the river, just north of downtown. The improvements would spawn more restoration efforts
Spring  2014  April  notes  USWest  California  LosAngeles  LosAngelesRiver  rivers  GreenPlanet 
may 2014 by ahasteve
L.A. River advocates wait for watershed Army Corps study - latimes.com
A nonprofit dedicated to the L.A. River announces plans for a 51-mile greenway. But it's a decision from Washington that everyone is waiting for.
California  2013  GreenPlanet  USWest  LosAngeles  July  Summer  rivers  LosAngelesRiver 
july 2013 by ahasteve
City of Los Angeles :: Los Angeles River Revitalization
"The City [of Los Angeles] has created a 'one-stop shop' web portal that encourages users of all ages to learn about the latest events related to its landmark resource: The Los Angeles River."
watershed  conservation  bicycling  LosAngelesRiver  travel  recreation  hiking 
january 2013 by JJLDickinson
Los Angeles walks and hikes - latimes.com
A Griffith Park hiking path for newcomers. City views from Baldwin Hills park. Silver Lake Meadow. King Gillette Ranch in Malibu. Walk along the L.A. River near Griffith Park. Cherry Canyon in La Cañada-Flintridge. Naples in Long Beach. Upper Franklin Canyon Reservoir. Southwest Museum / Eldred stairs. Hollenbeck Park / Boyle Heights. Radio Hill. Malibu's Sandstone Peak. Beachwood Canyon and the Hollywood sign. Will Rogers State Park. Rancho Palos Verdes, Del Cerro Park. The Arroyo Seco in Pasadena.
Winter  2012  December  USWest  California  LosAngeles  SouthernCalifornia  BaldwinHillsPark  BaldwinPark  SilverLakeMeadow  SilverLake  KingGillette  KingGilletteRanch  LosAngelesRiver  GriffithPark  CherryCanyon  LaCanadaFlintridge  LongBeach  Naples  UpperFranklinCanyonReservoir  SouthwestMuseum  Eldred  HollenbeckPark  BoyleHeights  RadioHill  Malibu  SandstonePeak  HollywoodSign  BeachwoodCanyon  WillRogersStateBeach  RanchoPalosVerdes  DelCerroPark  Pasadena  ArroyoSeco  hiking  trails  GreenPlanet  notes 
december 2012 by ahasteve

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