Category Image Finding the Los Angeles River 


Updated 1/14/04
Jasmin tagged along for the conclusion of the trek down the length of the Los Angeles River today. We visited Compton Creek as well. A new album of pictures is on the PeteOfTheStreet Pics page. Enjoy.

I spent all day yesterday driving as much of the length of the Los Angeles River as daylight would permit and I've put up a gallery of images on the PeteOfTheStreet Pics page. The pictures have more in-depth comments than you'll find here.

The impetus for the trip was reading Blake Gumprecht's The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth, a book that's apparently on everyone's list of important books about the political and ecological history of the river. Moreover, as a "forcibly" transplanted Angeleno I have traditionally had little interest in the history of Los Angeles. I don't know why that has been the case, but there you have it. However, the discovery of the mystery neighborhood near LAX began to change things. Maybe it's all the free time I have on my hands, but I really enjoyed traipsing about to learn about that neighborhood (ideal next step: find original residents and talk to them about the area and the exodus). And thus it was with the Los Angeles River yesterday. I suppose it's simply a way to personally experience the history I'd been reading about. I'm certainly not the first to photograph the river (in fact, I've since found that us river photographers like to shoot from the same spots and have similar aesthetic attractions!), but I didn't set out to be. As you'll see, what interested me the most was the same sort of lived detail that I found in the neighborhood.

Update: I've put together an iPhoto/QuickTime slideshow of the images if you'd rather see that. The music is "When the Levee Breaks" by Led Zeppelin (1971) and, through a bit of serendipity, is exactly the length of the image slideshow. Download the .zip file (7.7 MB)

For those of you wanting more information about the river and the issues, I suggest the following sites:

Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR):
• The most visible river advocacy group.
The Los Angeles River: Past, Present, and Possibilities
• A web exhibit with lots of maps and rather out-of-the-box ideas for restoring the river's floodplain
Los Angeles River Connection
• Built by students at Jefferson High School. Contains a lot of material and more links

Each of those sites has extensive links to everything associated with the river.  

Posted: Wednesday - January 14, 4 at 03:08 PM