Tuesday, May 17, 2016

SouthEast Cities CicLAvia #17, Watts Towers+

I like getting photos from CicLAvia up as soon as possible to share with people, but I also like letting the experience float around in my brain a bit. In the last few days I've told people about my experiences during this past event (SouthEast Cities, May 15, 2016), looked at my photos and really though about it some more.

My conclusions this time? CicLAvia seems to bring out one of the better versions of Los Angeles. Not necessarily a shiny version, but a more intimate, more genuine version of itself. LA isn't always the movies, but the real life. It's not necessarily just the movie stars, but everyone of all different backgrounds trying to get through and enjoy life in the same place. It's the LACMA and the neighborhood art. Yeah, we do like being outside and we do appreciate the uniqueness and history the city. I love that CicLAvia isn't necessarily about just one place, but about an idea. This whole series of CicLAvia events over the last 5.5 years has been an awesome tour of the city for residents, letting people that have lived here for one year or 20 years see new parts of their city and even the previously seen thing in a new way. Something about the day seems to bring so much happiness and pleasantness in people. I really find a great deal of joy in having random, kind interactions with people that add to the event. I don't know how often that happen to people in cars vs. on bikes. Because there isn't much "goal" of the event, it makes it more of a place to just experience it.

This set is a little less CicLAvia centric, although it was all shot during the event. I had always wanted to visit the Watts Towers, but it never seemed like the right time & circumstances, until CicLAvia swooped in with this route! My friend and I missed the original turn and got a little off course. My friend noticed a sign and we stopped at this corner. After getting directions to go up a nearby street where you pass by an "I (anatomical heart) WATTS" mural and a church before noticing an oddly shaped lot was fenced off with all sorts of weird structures jutting up from it.

It's so crazy to see these structures! They have so many layers that make them both interesting and strong!

I loves the Watts towers because I really enjoy this kind of collage, mosaic art. I'm guessing this was the front entrance at one point because of the mailslots and multiple instances of the address embedded into the art. It makes me think of Earthships (whoa, I never posted about those when we visited in 2012!) and Salvation Mountain....

I loved how so many houses (because there are houses all along the street immediately across the street from the towers.... the towers were built on a residential property & there's now a park/ towers visitor center nearby) had all sorts of art and mosaics. This bench was so awesome and the house was painted so vibrantly!

Another house on the street with some awesome mosaics with ducks, palm trees and some ducks with an underwater view as well!

tree near the Watts Tower Visitor/Arts Center.

In the garden behind the Watts arts Center

sign on the fence said "TURTLE POND" and sure enough, there were turtles!

another instance of "spot the Burning Man bikes"! It looks like the lighter yellow one still is playa-fied. I really like how all the people on the street are reacting to the decorated bikes!

heading off towards the LA River bike path off of Atlantic

Along the LA River bike path

As soon as we got to this area, this bike path really felt like being in a different world. Even in the LA river bike path sections I've been in before, there's usually a fence between the path and the river... this was so open feeling..

I love these bird paintings!!!

Art at the Firestone Blue Line Station!

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