Monday, September 24, 2007

Some changes in LA

It was Park (ing) Day in Los Angeles on Friday. Activists put quarters in parking meters to legitimately pay for the space and then lay down turf, potted plants, and chairs to build impromptu parks. Read the LA Times article here.

How wonderful to see people taking control of their own built environment. After all, we may not have the power as citizens to raze a city block and turn it into a park - but we sure can send a message with these organized acts of protest. It's a welcome sight to see that in a city that has a reputation as a city of car-lovers, residents are beginning to aspire for other means of sustainable transportation. And when I say sustainable I mean both physically and mentally. Creating more green - pedestrian friendly spaces in Los Angeles will not only improve the air quality and reduce green house gases, but it will also provide a saner environment to live in. Traffic is so bad in LA, and has been for at least 30 years, that I wouldn't be surprised to find out that there are serious psychological affects on the population. And lest we want to see a situation ala Michael Douglas in Falling Down, we should, in my opinion, take these activists seriously.

Los Angeles also experienced something else unusual this weekend. It rained! Angelenos seemed thoroughly pleased and altogether happy at the sight of this odd wet stuff falling from the sky. While the windshield wipers squeaked annoyingly from non-use, my sister and I watched in giddy pleasure as otherwise strangers bonded together at the sight of a rainbow on Saturday. It appeared to be a temporary mood enhancer as normally cranky drivers let pedestrians pass while everyone stopped in awe to admire nature's beauty.

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