Wednesday, January 26, 2011

surf's up

no, the subway to the sea isn't complete yet.  as much as i'd like to see it, the city is only going to go as far as culver city for now.  hopefully, the plan to extend it all the way to the sea works out.  traffic from downtown to the westside is pretty heavy; and though my suspicion is no traffic will be alleviated, at least a few sensible people will have an option to not pile on to the problem and make it worse.

the surfing i'm talking about is right in the l.a. river.  when it rains hard enough, you can see something like this from the gold line.

that's the broadway bridge's support turning back the water flowing downstream (up and to the right in the picture).  if you're truly a die-hard surfer, come try this one on for size.  instead of moving with the water, you'll be staying still as the water moves under you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

big chair

 image taken from

i'm not sure why there's this big chair outside l.a. mart at washington and broadway.  i've read vague things about dueling big chairs (pacific design center i think) and italians, but the whole motivation behind it still escapes me.  is it really even still a chair if no human being can sit on it?  i catch a glimpse of it from the blue line on occasion, but only after noticing it while driving north on broadway once.

now, if you look at it from a different perspective (links to google street view, hope you can view it), you'll see a different building in the background.  hopefully, you don't recognize this as one of the county's courthouses.

i can't be the only one who finds hilarity in the big chair being next to where tickets to the big house are issued, can i?  i know, it's just the traffic division of the county courts, so it's probably a rare day that anyone gets put away in that court, but still.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

parking ga RAGE!!!

found my driver-side wiper blade stabbed through this note the other day.  maybe i parked too close.  maybe i was presumptuous when i left equal room on both sides of my car and figured when i got out easily, the car next to me wouldn't have any problems.  maybe i was wrong when i thought that the person who left the note was out of line for being way closer to the 2" strip of paint separating the parking spaces (maybe it's all the parking garage's fault for using mere 2" strips of paint as separators).  maybe thinking the other person's car being parked on the end so that, if need be, the passenger door could be used presumed too much about how easy it is to climb from passenger seat to driver seat.  maybe pushing my side-view mirrors up so that when i went to merge onto the freeway i saw the sky instead of the lane next to me was meant to make me appreciate nature.

maybe next time, i'll just take the train.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

... still empty

this series of pictures was taken from a moving blue line train.  they show a 14-acre plot of land in south central l.a. (or technically now "south l.a.") that was devoted to farming for 12 years, starting in 1994. 

the satellite image (google maps) shows a pretty striking patch of green in the middle of an urban jungle.  certainly bigger patches exist, but this is an area that captivated america as the epicenter of west coast gang activity for over a decade.

farming in the city is gaining many city planners' attention (detroit was in the news not too long ago regarding this).  the people who farmed this land had to push the city to make it happen, not the other way around.

in 2006, the south central farmers were forced off the land by the l.a. county sheriff's dept.  i won't recount the events, as the details are readily available elsewhere on the internet (wikipedia's a decent start).

i feel hopeful about this land being put to good use some day.  after all, the south central farmers did and history has a habit of repeating itself.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

mta regional connector

i'm not generally one to echo the mta's claims of its own greatness.  far from it.  while i understand that there are many stakeholders on anything the mta touches and serving the diverse needs of sprawling los angeles is a huge challenge, you can almost always be assured that where there are so many dollars involved, corruption will follow.  i have no specific actions to condemn, but when you see just how tight a hold construction projects have on the city, well, even the victories can be a little sour.

nonetheless, i think the regional connector is a long overdue project.  it's always seemed crazy that a place called "union station" requires 2 train transfers to get to lax and being one gold line stop away from there requires 3.  the regional connector would bring some sanity, reducing the transfer count of both trips to just 1.  today, the project got some good news.  a lot of folks are gonna get jobs building the thing and when they're done, the rest of us get convenience to our travel.