Charles Lummis was quite a guy! Adventurer, author, editor of the L.A. Times, cross-country hiker, archeologist, photographer, and founder of the Southwest Museum.
He was also somewhat infamous for the parties he held at his home, El Alisal, in Highland Park. You can see my post about Lummis ‘s home here.
Now, almost a hundred years after his death, he has become the namesake of a celebration of life, fun, music and art in the Arroyo in northeast Los Angeles. Here is a link to the Lummis Days organization. I understand that the Arroyo Arts Collective also helps with this event.
On Sunday I came across the official parade for Lummis Days after visiting the Southwest West Museum‘s pottery exhibition. Parade participants gathered in front of the museum entrance, then marched to Sycamore Grove Park where a concert and puppet show were held.
I only stayed for the parade and here is some of what I saw.
For almost a century the League of Women Voters (LWV) has focused its efforts on registering voters. Women, men, whatever party they prefer–they are actively encouraged to register to vote.
And now young people age 16 and 17 are allowed to pre-register and be ready to vote when they turn 18. This means that the LWV members are now visiting high schools around the nation registering prospective voters.
This week the LWV Pasadena Chapter set up a table in the plaza at East LA College on Wednesday and Thursday and here are some photos of what happened.
I love the original Metro stations for the Gold and Red lines here in Los Angeles. The artwork is exuberant and wildly creative as you can see by the examples I’m including in the post. During the construction of the Gold Line extension I had heard that some bureaucrats at the Metro headquarters were complaining that the stations did not have a standardized appearance. Their argument was that visitors could not easily find the stations unless they had a standard look.
What a silly comment! As far as I can tell the ‘standard’ used to recognize the stations is the big blue circle with the big white ‘M’ in it. It’s visible on appropriate street corners all over the city.
Sadly the bureaucrats won. The new Metro stations beyond Sierra Madre Villa are boring. Boring. Boring. Tiled benches at Azusa, tile on the base of the pillars at another station, a tall ‘vase-looking’ thing at the City of Hope.
In this post I’ll show you examples of the amazing artwork at the original Gold Line stations. In my next post I’ll show the art at the Red stations. Those works of are, too, are breathtakingly original and memorable for visitors and locals alike.
For whatever it is worth, there seemed to be more passengers than usual when I was on the Gold Line on Saturday. I’m sure it is far more convenient for residents out in the burbs to come into the city on the Metro, than drive on the 210 Freeway.
I went to Wacko to see the Boombox Creators show at the art gallery in the rear of the store.
When I stepped inside the front door I was so astonished and mesmerized by the merchandise in Wacko that it took some time before I made it back to the art gallery.
Near the front is a kinkily curated bookstore. Next aisle back come bobbleheads. Want a SuperWoman bobblehead or a Star Wars Ranger bobblehead or even a Queen Elizabeth II waving at you? They’ve got it. Going further back into the store, I came across their sock display. I have a weakness for colorful and funny socks. They have them and more, including some far-out hand-puppets.
In the far back was the occult section where skulls and bones plus rubber masks could be found alongside stuffed animals.
But there is even more. The shops next to Wacko are equally interesting. Tell me–would you go to a barber shop called ‘Sweeney Todd’? I looked inside and there were men getting haircuts. Brave dudes! And next door to that a store proudly announced that their ‘ugly’ sweaters were in stock.
So even if you don’t need immaginative gift ideas, it’s worth a trek to East Hollywood (near to Barnsdall Park and Los Feliz) to visit this area. There’s a coffee house across the street, too.
The Mariachi Plaza is true to its name: it is the place in Los Angeles to go to hire a mariachi band for your party. While it is now a stop on the Metro Gold Line, the plaza as a center for musicians has existed for decades. These photos were taken on a Saturday and some of the musicians were dressed in mariachi costumes, others were not.
Below ground the Metro station is is boring as two day-old refried beans. The “art money” designated for this station was invested in the grand and glorious bandstand in the plaza. The roof covering the station is an art work itself and always reminds me of a peacock fanning its tail. To see photographs of the incredible art at all the Metro Gold Line stations go here.
The murals on the walls around the plaza, including the ubiquitous Lady of Guadalupe stuck away in a narrow alley, are all privately created and maintained.
CicLAvia begins at 9 a.m. on Sunday, October 5th, and the streets on the 10 mile long route will be free of cars until 4 p.m. For more information go to the CicLAvia site.
Until about three years ago I had always thought of East L.A. as an area of small, drab houses and a fair amount of crime. Not a place I was even slightly interested in visiting. Then I decided to photograph the art at all the Metro Gold Line stations and when I arrived at the East L.A. Metro Station I was astounded. First, there is the station canopy modeled on California Golden Poppies. Inspired! Extraordinary!
Then I began to wander around the buildings and grounds of the East L.A. Civic Center and continued to be surprised at every turn by the art and design and thought that has gone into creating what should be a ‘must-see’ for locals and tourists.
Next weekend on October 5th CicLAvia, the Los Angeles’ bike-riders dream of cycling with zero traffic on the streets, will have as one of its hubs, the East L.A. Civic Center. CicLAvia starts at 9 a.m. on Sunday and the streets on the 10 miles route will be free of traffic until 4 p.m. In my next post I will show photos of Mariachi Plaza, another hub for CicLAvia. Here are a few photographs of the East L.A. Center. (You can see photos of the art at all Metro Gold Line stations here.)
Drought tolerant grasses and fan palms that are native to California and northern Mexico make up a garden in the East L.A. Civic Center.
For someone who spent most of her adult life living on the West Side of Los Angeles, a trip on the Metro Gold Line to East L.A. was a revelation for me. I made the excursion while photographing all the art at the Gold Line Stations. And the art is amazing! It’s definitely worth taking a few hours and going from station to station to see it all.
But perhaps the most surprising was the fact that there was art everywhere at the East L.A. Civic Center, starting with the “shelter” at the Metro Station which is in the form of California Poppies!
East L.A., by the way, is not part of the City of Los Angeles. Anyway, I’ll let some photos do the talking about this area.
Across from the station is the entrance to the East L.A. Civic Center, and, as you can see, it is contemporary art. There are also hand-crafted tiles embedded in sidewalks. Many of the building walls have murals. And in the center of the lake is a large fish fountain.