Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Photo Contest

My awesome friend Kirstin suggested I post one of the many chicken street art photos I've taken to a photo contest of street art offered through Good - a magazine. I decided that was a fabulous idea. After hemming and hawing I decided to go with a photo taken of some chickens being engulfed by an octopus along Echo Park Lake in LA. After submitting the photo, I stressed a few times wondering, was my photo good enough!? will it be posted!?

A few days ago I decided to stop worrying about it and decided that my photo probably wasn't going to be posted. Oh how I like being wrong sometimes! Today I received an email with a link to the approved photos! Mine is one of them! You can find my photo at this link:

And you can even vote for it! Not that I'm too concerned about winning. The fun part is how my enthusiasm for life rose, or shot right up, after seeing one of my photos posted somewhere other than facebook or flicker.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hollywood Sign Hike

Today, marking the birthdate of Cesar Chavez, a civil rights activist who utilized nonviolence as a means to improve the lives of Hispanic farm workers in the United States, I got a day off from work. Fun! Even better that the day off is for a revolutionary relevant to today's happenings. Way to go California.

I briefly attended a rally at Pershing Square that union members staged in an effort to prevent cuts to the bargaining rights of unions - this rally was in response to the union losses that occurred recently in Wisconsin. It was held on March 26.

Tons of people were there. Very inspiring.

Bill and I walked up to the Hollywood sign today. My friends Roxanne and Fritz gave me a gift of 50 City Walks in Los Angeles just before I moved to Los Angeles. This gift consists of 50 cards, each about twice the size of a standard playing card. Every card describes a walk to take in or around Los Angeles. On one side of a card is the name of the walk and directions on where to start and things to see while taking this walk and on the other side is a map. Great gift! It's kept me going out and exploring.

I created a map of mine and Bill's walk, using the Hollywood Sign card that came with this gift as inspiration. In the map I made there are differently colored lines to indicate the steepness of the trail. As you can see we walked along below the sign, next time we will walk the higher trail!

The walk was fun and a bit strenuous at parts. There were a number of other people out enjoying the hike and we saw a couple of horses and riders.

"Lots of the people we've seen look really fit," said Bill after we had turned around to head back to the car.

"I agree," I said, "I've noticed that we must look like we're from downtown."

Meaning we weren't perhaps as geared up as some other folks seemed to be for hiking a dusty trail - that or we were just less trendy. Either way.

Here's a picture Bill took at the point where we turned around to head back.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lemon trees

Sunday morning and raining.

I went to a hockey game last night with Bill, Kirstin, and Aaron. We met before the game at a bar in the Figueroa Hotel, a Moroccan-themed bar. Sounds kitchy but it works. The coolest bars in LA seem to not have signs out front and require some walking down halls and stairs, coupled with wonderings about whether you're going the right way, to reach.

Most of the seating at this bar is at table along a pool. Space heaters are set up by every other table. The easterner in me, I'm from Pennsylvania, loathes utilizing a space heater when temperatures must be in the high 50s. Once our heater had been turned on I felt much comfier!

Aaron and Kirstin joined Bill and I once we had been sitting by the pool for 15 minutes or so. They almost always get to the place we are meeting after us, a trademark I am beginning to grow familiar with. Talk turned to the bar's scenery once they had joined us.

"It's like an entire ecosystem," I said, "I've seen at least five birds while sitting here."

"There's a lemon tree over the table," said Kirstin.

Alas there was a lemon tree, so groovy! Someone must be using them. I refrained from taking any, it seemed un-classy, apparently this bar has held a part in numerous movies.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cowboy hat

A few days ago while walking around on my lunch break I found a variety of chicken murals located near a parking lot. They were such a fun surprise! Yesterday I went back with my camera to document these murals. I noticed the same man there both days, a parking lot attendant I suppose? wearing a white cowboy hat. I asked him if I could take his photo with some chickens.

"Ok, but I don't want these photos to end up on facebook or twitter," he said, seemingly pleased and weirded out by my request, "make sure you get the sign with the price of parking here in the photo."

"You got it, no facebook or twitter," I said, vaguely wondering about the appeal of having the sign with the parking price in the picture if he didn't want the picture shared anywhere.

We introduced ourselves to each other and he walked over to the sign that was also located near some chickens. I snapped a couple photos of him. His white cowboy hat was possibly the most charming part of the photo. Wish I could share it, along with facebook and twitter, I'd have to think he also wouldn't want his photo shared on blogger.

CicLAvia, an event which shuts down numerous streets of auto traffic for bikers and pedestrians alike, happens the second week of April. I'll be attending, in full Safety Demon mode.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Burnt brownies

Sitting on the futon listening to an excerpt of a book I want to read by Myla Goldberg - I'm not certain I've had a thought as artful sounding as Myla's written sentences, while Bill makes pink trees at his computer.

Bill came across software earlier this week that allows users to generate repeating and random images, or something to that effect, It's freeware. There is now a blue tree and a black tree sitting in my office space - the leaves on these trees are feather like and extracted from a children's story book that hasn't been written yet.

I get up from the futon to cut off some of the brownie I made earlier this week, slight worried that more of the brownies than not will go to waste. So I have a sense of "doing my duty" about eating them.

"These brownies are better than they were a few days ago," I say to Bill while standing over the kitchen sink eating.

"Oh yeah," says Bill, turning around in his computer chair, "better how?"

"Softer, I say, thinking it over, they were also less burnt tasting.

I'm going to make a map in the next two weeks examining the wonderfulness potential of downtown Los Angeles. The criteria I am using for my map will be novelty, enjoyability, affordability, and the potential for meeting new people. The bounding locations of this map will be the 10, the 101, the Los Angeles River, and the 110. This map will be subjective yes and I need to do some research on other areas in downtown than the usual circuit of spots I enjoy.

Broccoli happened not once, but twice, this week at dinnertime.