Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

You are beautiful...

Taken at Olympic/10 Freeway, East L.A.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Carson velodrome/UCI track racing

Last night a few of us rode down to Carson for the UCI worlds that comes to L.A every January. After stopping off in Compton for tacos and beer in the park (the true sign of an athlete) we got to Carson and set up at turn 4. It's always a lot of fun to watch the track racing, to be able to sit only a few feet from the action, and only a few seats away from riders like Shane Kelley who I have been watching race since I was a kid. Australia cleaned up on a number of races, and Sunderland took a track record in the kilo. Then people looked in disgust on as I sat through my own country's (and many others) national anthems...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

House update...

We decided tearing down the kitchen and re-drywalling it would simply be too much effort, so instead we took the "paint over everything" approach, and it actually worked surprisingly well.

The contrast shot

Matt's candid photography

Taking it to the roof, the circle-A had to go sadly. So not the punk kitchen anymore

All finished in a blinding shade of white. Now to cover the rotting floor, fix the mysterious gas leak, and replace the sink pipes and remove the make-shift grey water system

A reminder of what it looked like

During a break Max's tall-bike came out, further confusing the neighbourhood about the white-kid house on the block

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ernest E. Debs Park

Another chilly 75f/24c degree Los Angeles winter day made for a good opportunity to explore a local and not-so well east-side urban oasis yesterday, Ernest E. Debs park, home also to the Audobon environmental education center (which as a side note is totally off the grid, self-sufficient in energy, water, waste etc). Only a 15 minute ride from home, I can escape the city and gain a 360 degree perspective on the megalopolis. Yesterday it was possible to see to the ocean, to the snow covered mountains, and across the entirety of L.A. city (not quite the whole county).

The lake at the top of the park, I think I'll be spending most of my summer here

Looking south to downtown (and beyond that to the ocean)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Little Rincon

Against better judgment and a severe lack of sleep, we traveled up to Ventura to surf Little Rincon/Muscle Shoals today. Its been a while since I've been scared in the water, but today did it, with a few 10 foot freak waves coming in. There were a few broken boards to be seen, and I got put through the rinse cycle at least once. It's an impressive spot to surf though, with a huge pier that runs out to an industrial island for oil mining, lined with palm trees to look more 'natural'. The coastline is a dramatic hill/mountain range, just across from the where the La Conchita landslide occurred a few years back. The dirt mound from the landslide with crosses on it still remains as a grim reminder.

I left my camera at home, but here are some stolen photos from a few years back. The size was only slightly smaller than you can see in the first shot. It was impressive to see the wave tearing through from the other side of the pier. Even better were the few who skipped paddling out and just sneaked around the fence on the pier and jumped the approx. 20 feet drop into the big waves pushing through.

2 wheels good, 4 wheels...

Taken on 4th Street Boyle Heights on my ride home

Friday, January 11, 2008

House update #3

This week the drywalling of the bathroom was completed. Though there was very little original drywall left, a small section of ceiling still had to be tore down. This was particularly fun as years of the roof being "pigeon central" led me to being showered in pigeon presents from the sky as I tore the ceiling down.


Next stop Matt's room. And avoiding being taken to court by the City for being quote "a blight on the neighbourhood".

Things walkable from la casa:
- Smart and Final and Food for Less
- Several bus-stops
- Numerous panaderias
- Post office
- Veggie burritos
- Cafe
- Bank
- Mariachi Plaza
- Public pool (lookout summer)
- Hollenbeck Park (the non-gentrified version of Echo Park lake) and skatepark
- 10 minute ride to downtown
- Burnout neighbours playing foosball 24/7

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Viewing Platforms

A recent write-up on an exhibition in the L.A. Weekly caught my eye the other day, a series of photos of 'viewing platforms' from Germany, used by hunters to shoot game, in turn protecting local farmers crops. I came across these during the G8 protests as we were hiding in the forest. The structures were quite striking in the landscape, and interesting to me, as at the time I was unsure of their use. A few moments later I watched as a group of black masked kids tried to carry one through the forest and onto the road we were about to block, followed by being chased back into the forests by German riot cops, all entertaining in hindsight.

(all photos are the artists)

So I went to the gallery to check it out today, located inside the supposedly oldest book store in Los Angeles, with books costing well into the $1000s. I had joked to my housemate about meeting the artist to tell her we had destroyed one of her photographic subjects whilst fighting the cops. Well she walked in whilst I was viewing the exhibition, and my friend who happened to be working in the gallery mentioned I had a story for her, I'm not so sure how impressed she was by it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Good ol' Lou

Nothing like being welcomed by the glowing face of a racist on your entry to East L.A. (taken at Cesar Chavez and Mission)