Monday, October 19, 2015

Heart of LA CicLAvia - 10/18/2015

Yay! Yesterday, October 18, 2015 was once again a heart of LA CicLAvia in downtown LA and was the 15th(!!!!) CicLAvia in the last 5 years! My love for CicLAvia was immediate at the first event. Although the fun that comes from the newness of a route isn't quite there with this downtown LA route, I still never grow tired of the happy people, the number of attendees, the chances to explore and see new things, dog in bike baskets, simply enjoy the act of biking and spending time with friends. In these last 5 years I've seen CicLAvia outside my front door of my home in the Valley and work in Pasadena, downtown LA, up Wilshire, East Hollywood to Boyle Heights and East LA and down to the fashion district and little Tokyo, out to Venice and Culver City, down to South LA and so many little spots in between. I've biked with more friends at CicLAvia events than outside of them. They make LA seem like a smaller place to me in a good way... people suddenly realize that the challenges of biking in LA aren't necessarily the distances, but more of the lack of infrastructure and over reliance/encouraging of car usage. As it turns out, the trains DO go where you want to go and once you pull people out of their cars and let them interact on a more human level, it turns out we all have a gushy, happy humaness that was hiding inside that cage of steel all this time.

at the Boyle heights hub there was a flower making booth, so we sat down a crafted for a bit!

like I said, I never grow tired of dogs in bike baskets. These guys even had a little grass patch!

it was interesting to see how the birds interacted with the lake full of balls... they definitely segregated themselves and as you can see, seagulls enjoyed these dividers... I think I only saw seagulls perching on the balls

feeding squirrels in MacArthur Park (the squirrels did eat from his hand!)

This bike shop a little off the route seemed to be doing great business! Yay!

Finally made it to the Bradbury building! It was much smaller than I thought, but still awesomely impressive and worth visiting if you enjoy looking at architectural details of the past...

my friend and I were admiring the tile work in the Bradbury building and then noticed that this mural (as viewed from inside the Bradbury building) was depicting a man inside of the building we were standing in... the tiles were the same and you can see the slight arch framing the photo is the same as what's in the mural!

detour at Grand Central Market

GCM was packed and based on the biked outside, CicLAvia had at least something to do with it...

This Ghost Bike (#downtowndia Fall Bicyclists Tribute) art piece was stunning and yet heartbreaking. The care with which it was constructed was obvious from all the details from the ghost bike and skeleton, the sugar skull helmets arranged all around the bicyclist offerings and the individuals remembered. Seeing this ghost bike and remembering all these bicyclists that lost their lives was in stark contrast to the joy and safety all of the CicLAvia bicyclists were enjoying this day. Each of the bells along the railing in the foreground had a person's name and age on it... someone that lost their life while biking. This is how they are able to participate in events like CicLAvia now. Nearly everyone that stopped to see this art knew what safe bicyclist infrastructure looked like and felt like. And with Los Angeles city hall in the background, it was a way of saying "Come on LA, the ball's in your court. This isn't the kind of blood you want on your hands. If you build it, we will come." LA has adopted Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths in 10 years, by 2025. I hope leaders and residents of Los Angeles take it seriously so these types of tributes become a thing of the past and we can all live in the happiness of the CicLAvia all the time.

after the heaviness of the Ghost Bike display (it was the first time I nearly cried at CicLAvia), it was awesome to discover countless ways to express yourself artistically at Grand Park called "The Big Draw LA" & was sponsored by the nearby Ryman Arts. I'm not sure who sponsored this, but there were art stations all over the place! Weaving (seen above), drawing (including w/ live models), painting, tape for decorating the sidewalks and all sorts of activities were laid out and much enjoyed by many.

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