Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Visions of Hope

2007 was the beginning of my practice of walking with camera.  I'd walked and bicycled a lot before, and I'd taken photographs before, of course.  2007 was the beginning of doing it in a purposeful way, documenting changes.  I was walking around the newly opened Los Angeles State Historic Park.  In the corner past the place where the cornfields had been, just the other side of the metro rail service yard fence, under the N. Broadway Viaduct, I saw a painted plywood board behind a dumpster.  L.A. has visions of hope, it said. I ignored the symbolism of the dumpster.  I have visions of hope, too.  The park was a vision.  It had been a railroad yard, and big investors wanted to use the land for more ugly warehouses, but the people prevailed, and the land became a park.  Before the railroad came, it had been a cornfield, and it became a cornfield once again, when Lauren Bon planted corn, and called it Not a Cornfield.  The corn continued to grow in the park, along with millions of wildflowers.

Joggers, dog walkers, kite flyers and soccer players were among the many who enjoyed the park in its "temporary" phase.  Now it is closed for a year of improvement.  We will see whether it really takes but a year, and whether we like it anymore than we did before.

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