Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Getty Museum Gardens

Griffith Park Observatory

Hasta Siempre Sally Grace: Another US Activist Murdered in Oaxaca

Over the weekend some friends and I received some sickening news. I didn't know Sally personally, though I'm sure we met through No Borders organizing. I'm incredibly saddened by this, and not really sure how to process it, but more so I am thinking of my friends who were close to her, I wish I knew what to say to them, anything. The gathering for Critical Resistance over the weekend combined with this was really just too overwhelming, but led me to really question how we/I react to such things, and how not to rely on the state for a suitable response.

Hasta Siempre Sally Grace: Another US Activist Murdered in Oaxaca

Sunday, September 28, 2008


As part of the annual bicycle collective gathering 'BikeBike', Cyclecide in S.F. put on the party to end all parties. Crustier than crusty, more clowns than you could poke a bike at, 'bull fights', tall bike jousting, rocket bikes, dancing bicycle troupes, and fire a-plenty. Oh and did I mention bicycle powered merry-go-round type rides? I now have a mild concussion and severe lower back pain, I really should have read the warning sign on the gate closer.

Check out www.cyclecide.com

Full House

After 5 trips to the bay area finally I find the Full House houses. No Danny Tanner sadly.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sunken City San Pedro

It has been awhile since I've done any worthwhile urban exploration of late, but yesterday we made it down to San Pedro to the Sunken City. Just off the cliffs of San Pedro, the area is now heavily fenced, though incredibly easy to sneak in to. According to the Urban Exploration Resource:

"When they said that California would fall into the sea, they weren't kidding! Well, at least that was the case of San Pedro, California. In 1929 a sizeable section of land in the southern tip of San Pedro began to unexplainably slip into the sea. The 600 block of Paseo Del Mar began moving seaward in 1929 and continued to slip until the mid 1930s. Movement was measured as high as 11 inches a day. Due to quick action, all but two of the houses on the seaward side of the street were moved before toppling into the sea. The eastern section of Point Fermin Park was lost and the entire area is very unstable, yet not moving at the present time. Geologists have termed this phenomenon as a "slump" and this area has been featured in many geological studies and books."

Turns out it was also featured in the Big Lebowski, this makes me smile.

The Goats of Bunker Hill

Recently the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) of Los Angeles decided that the hillside situated in downtown L.A./Bunker Hill is too steep to access, but needed weed removal. Their answer, 100 or so goats, for 2 weeks. Regardless of the sanity in the decision, it makes for fun times petting goats in the middle of the financial district of L.A.

Watts Towers

After 4 years of intending to visit, I finally made it to the Watts Towers. Sadly they are closed to the public until March 2009, and one tower was completely enveloped in scaffolding, with the site being surrounded by a fence. Still it was great to see them. The towers were completely built by hand over the span of around 30 years, by one guy, Simon Rodia, mostly using reclaimed items. Thankfully they have been preserved for people to see

For a history of the towers check out: http://www.wattstowers.us/index.html

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mt. Baldy

Best time to write a post? When you havent slept in days, and can barely sit upright, were it not for the pain radiating through your legs.

My housemate off-handedly suggested I join him for an overnight hike to the summit of Mt. Baldy, where we would camp, then wake a few hours later to operate a checkpoint for a three summit trail running race. The runners set out at 5.00am, and would top-out on three summits in the region, the first being Mt. Baldy, at 10,050 feet, give or take. Having never really hiked at night, nor being in that altitude, it was an adventure to see if I'd puke from altitude sickness, or fall off the side of the cliff. Thankfully neither occurred, well I almost fell off once. We reached the summit at 1.30am, and with the bitterly cold wind immediately set up camp in one of the "wind breaks", a pile of rocks stacked in a C-shape to deflect some of the wind. We woke at sunset around 6am to a 360 degree view of the Los Angeles basin, and out across the desert, one of the most stunning views I have ever seen. After we checked off all the racers, it was back down, running, at a pace I was not really able to sustain it turns out. Amazing adventures all within 1.5 hours of home...

Hiking up at around midnight with no headlamps was a good challenge to my depth perception and night vision

Sunrise at 6am over the high desert north-east of L.A.

Our tents in the not-so-effective wind break. You can see the lights from the L.A. basin in the distance

Brian setting up for the checkpoint

The first three at the summit, 1.5 hours after the start

Around 6.30am I started to regain feeling in my hands

The view out west

Some of the trail runners coming in

Plane wreck we found whilst lost from the trail

Running/hiking back down from the summit

'Baldy Bowl' - where you can back country ski in the winter. You can see snow on Baldy from my house on a good day in winter

The Sierra Lodge half-way up