Intersection Mural Version 3.0

Volunteers painting the central bicycle-wheel design - photo by Yuki

A quick blog post to show off some photographs of last Saturday’s (March 12th 2011) intersection mural painting. This is the third time Eco-Village and our neighbors have painted this “intersection repair” mural. It’s inspired by the work of Portland’s City Repair. This weekend, we mostly freshened-up the mural painted in 2009 – covered here – while adding a few new twists. It was a great opportunity to bring people together. Lots of  kids and adults in our neighborhood helped make something beautiful we can all be proud of! Continue reading

Misty Night

mist-shrouded intersection

mist-shrouded intersection (click for larger image)

I was walking back to my place just now (nearly 1am) and struck by the beauty of the misty night. It has just cleared up after a wonderful day and a half of rain, the first rain of the season here. An excellent rain – enough for a good soaking of the garden, but not so heavy that I couldn’t bicycle where I needed to go. Though it has stopped raining, the air is still really full of moisture.

I took these shots on my cell phone… the collaged them together the way Federico does. They don’t quite do justice to the haunting diffuse grainy light.

Intersection Repair Event 12 September 2009

A view of the mostly-complete southern half of the intersection mural - photo by Yuki

A view of the mostly-complete southern half of the intersection mural - photo by Yuki

We enjoyed another great talk by Mark Lakeman of Portland’s City Repair last Friday night, and on Saturday we were inspired by their example to paint a new intersection repair mural.

 These photos are worth many thousands of words – thanks to Kathy Hill and Yuki Kidokoro for documenting the event!

We had a lot of help from the youth of the neighborhood - Jennifer (in red) did a lot of great work - Photo by Kathy

We had a lot of help from the youth of the neighborhood - Jennifer (in red) did a lot of great work - and that's me on the right - Photo by Kathy

 

Young eco-villager Jean Michel prepping the area before painting

Young eco-villager Jean Michel prepping the area before painting

Another hard-working neighborhood youth named Mohammed - photo by Kathy

Another very hard-working neighborhood youth named Mohammed, he has just finished outlining that triangle in purple - photo by Kathy

 

Adonia and a youth whose name I can't remember (sorry) putting down our new crosswalks - photo by Kathy

Adonia and Christopher putting down our new crosswalks - photo by Kathy

 There’s a lot to say about it… and a lot more folks that did a lot of work whose picture I didn’t get in to this quick blog entry.  I am still exhausted and have other work to catch up on… so this blog entry is all too brief, and hopefully others can help fill in more details in comments, etc.

The central wheel of the design is based on a bicycle wheel, extending its spokes into a circle design about 15 feet across - photo by Yuki

The central wheel of the design is based on a bicycle wheel, extending its spokes into a circle design about 15 feet across - photo by Yuki

Josie at work on the northern part of the mural which features a water swirl design that commemorates the historical waters of Arroyo de la Sacatela and the Bimini Slough

Josie at work on the northern part of the mural which features a water swirl design that commemorates the historical waters of Arroyo de la Sacatela and the Bimini Slough

Kwanwoo did a lot of excellent detail lettering in this, the northmost section, which featured a commemoration of the railroad tracks in our street which used to convey the H-line streetcars.

Kwanwoo did a lot of excellent detail lettering in this, the northmost section, which featured a commemoration of the railroad tracks in our street which conveyed the H-line streetcars.

LINKS and LINKS to more articles about the intersection repair:

More historic info on the Bimini Slough, Sacatela Creek, and our train tracks here.

Earlier Eco-Village blog articles in anticipation of this event here1, here2, and here3.

There’s excellent event coverage over at Homegrown Evolution. (Check out the comments there…  looks like the new crosswalks we painted look almost too official!)

Eco-Villager Adonia Lugo has more excellent coverage here,  including much better descriptions of the railway section where she and Bobby took the lead. She and contrasts how different parts of L.A. approach their common spaces. 

Here’s a link to Kathy’s photo gallery on Picassa and to Yuki’s photo album on Facebook. (I am  not 100% sure that these are completely available to the public… if they don’t work for you, email us and we’ll see what we can do.)

I covered it on my art blog, too.

At the end of the day we painted handprints and footprints of all the folks who worked on the mural. Here's Mark Lakeman getting his foot painted blue, so he can print it on our new crosswalk. Photo by Yuki

At the end of the day we painted handprints and footprints of all the folks who worked on the mural. Here's Mark Lakeman getting his foot painted blue, so he can print it on our new crosswalk. Photo by Yuki

Intersection Repair Videos!

Portland City Repair’s Mark Lakeman will return to Eco-Village in two weeks. He’ll be speaking Friday September 11th at 7:30, then Saturday September 12th from 10am to 6pm he’ll be leading an intersection repair project here. For more event details, see this earlier post.

Lakeman is an excellent speaker – whom I highly recommend. His presentation expanded the way I think about public space. It also changed  my ideas about how to get things done in making changes locally. For many years I have been involved in excellent urban environmental non-profits that spend a lot of time pressing the city/county/state/etc. to do things. City Repair’s approach teaches us that social capital and taking things into our own hands can be much more effective – especially at a neighborhood scale.

I thought I would promote Lakeman’s L.A. appearances by running a couple of videos about intersection repair as it’s done all over Portland Oregon. Both videos include Mark Lakeman.

First up is a 10-minute documentary from StreetFilms (a phenomenal resource – part of the StreetsBlog family.) “It’s a great community event. It’s great for families and kids and just for creating a sense of place”

And here’s an 8-minute film that the Portland City Repair folks did themselves. “Design the city for people and lots of other things that are wonderful and healthy will happen”

And if that’s not enough, here’s a half-hour interview with Mark Lakeman on Permaculture in Urban Spaces.

Intersection Repair Mural Designs

Jimmy, Josie, Lara, Doran, Melba, Angie (youth from Bresee) and I put our heads together and came up the rough scheme for the intersection repair mural that we’ll all be painting on Saturday September 12th. For more information about the event, as some photos of the previous intersection repair mural, see this earlier post.

Here’s the basic idea:

The Planned Mural Design

The Planned Mural Design

It will have a central circle based on a bicycle wheel. Wrapped around that will be a salamander/lizard. Where the crosswalks go, we’ll be doing lighter colors. In the crosswalk, participants will paint their footprints. Along the lizard, we’ll be writing welcome in multiple languages (likely at least Spanish, English, Korean, and Bangladeshi.) Extending from this will be stylized swirling pattern representing waters. Most of the details will be worked out in the street in chalk on September 12th.

This all grew out of an in inital salamander sketch of Jimmy’s, that has been brainstormed on top of here:

Initial Salamander Sketch

Initial Salamander Sketch

We wanted the creature to help delineate the crosswalks, so we ended up swirling her/him more like this:

Salamander Configuration

Salamander Configuration

These are blurry cell phone pictures… but perhaps they’re enough to communicate the basic ideas. The actual drawings are taped up in the lobby of 117 Bimini Place. If you have suggestions, ideas, etc., please let us know what you’d like to see.

Mural Painting Street Party September 12th

Eco-Village intersection repair painting from a few years ago - the street was later repaved

Eco-Village intersection repair painting from a few years ago - the street was later repaved

Portland City Repair‘s Mark Lakeman is returning to Los Angeles in September. He’ll be speaking at eco-village on Friday September 11th then will lead an all-day intersection repair project on Saturday September 12th from 10am to dusk.

The first time I heard Lakeman speak it really changed my thinking about public space and ways that communities can work in a very guerilla do-it-yourself way to reclaim our space. I highly recommend that folks come hear his presentation. It’s Friday September 11th 2009 at 7:30pm at Los Angeles Eco-Village, 117 Bimini Place, L.A. 90004. There’s a suggested donation of $10, with noone turned away. Reservations are recommended, either call 213.738.1254 or email crsp [at] igc.org

Another shot of past eco-village intersection repair in process

Another shot of past eco-village intersection repair in process. The central design was based on a bicycle wheel.

On Saturday September 12th from 10am until dusk, we’ll be putting Friday night’s lessons into practice on the ground at the intersection of Bimini Place and White House Place. We’ll be painting a new intersection mural, and probably a few other projects. The Saturday event is free, all are welcome. Lots of hard-working volunteers needed. Wear clothes that you can get paint on, bring potluck food to share. We’re especially reaching out to families and kids in our neighborhood. There will be music, piñata, arts and crafts, face-painting, and much more!

Plan to participate on Saturday September 12th!

End of the day celebration of the completed mural!

The neighborhood celebrates the nearly-completed mural!