Sacha Baumann is an artist and designer living and working in Los Angeles.

and then we kept walking

After what seems like weeks of sunshine the skies were gloomy today. But nothing else was--all the fresh foliage was bright green against the gray skies and the air felt alive. I was antsy to get out in it. The pup and I headed out for an urban walk, starting in Chinatown.

Probably didn't want to go in that tunnel anyway. Our destination was Radio Hill. Didn't take long to get there–turns out we went the back way.

It also turns out to be the saddest park. There is nothing very garden about it unless you squint a bit and let your mind wander to nicer times. 

There were some beautiful plants, but they had be neglected or, worse, abused.

Nothing sweet about a cactus carved into a heart. We didn't linger too long. It was also a bit sketchy. But first we went to the tower of radio dishes and repeaters. It reminded me of my Gramps.

Onward. We came to a bridge over the 110 and I saw the ramp that was on the map I had printed out of roughly what I wanted to explore. The bridge was narrow and a little scary. We went quickly across it.

The ramp was okay, lots of graffiti and trash, but felt safe and then...LOUD, we were walking right alonside the Freeway with cars zooming at us. The path in front of us looked long and I wasn't sure what would be ahead or where it would end. The dog was a little skittish too.

Kept on walking. The path got progressively more jungle like and filled with bigger, bolder graffiti. Lots of metalic gold and black, silver and black, fuscia and silver. We kept on walking. There was a guy far ahead of us on the path, walking in the same direction, otherwise it was just cars wizzing by.

It started to get really jungly. 

And then it ended. Stairs, more freeways, the river. I was a little confused about where I was. And how to get back. I did not want to turn around and go back on the path. So we went down the stairs.

It felt a little crazy and like we shouldn't be there. But we continued. And then it really felt like we shouldn't be there.

Yeah. That's no good. I chose another path, going the other way along the river. The river really looked beautiful. I could have lingered longer at certain views, but I was feeling like I needed to head towards our starting point. Somehow.

 

We came to more stairs, leading away from the freeways and river (but towards urine) and took them. At the bottom of the stairs was some fresh wheat paste art.

San Fernando Road. We were back to familiar ground. And within a couple of blocks, a really welcome sign:

So beautiful, the sign. We crossed the street and headed over to Spring St and over the river again. A big, lopsided loop. I spied a cool garden behind a warehouse.

We ended up at the California Historic State Park. Lovely. It was pretty quiet, but there were a couple of joggers, a family with their dog, some Corps guys fixing up the grounds, and: fire ants.

And the perfect, most beautiful tree.

Twenty minutes later we were back at the Chinatown parking garage. Total distance: 4.93 miles. The walk was terrific. But I won't be doing it again anytime soon. At least not in its entirety. 

 

seeing red

all in for the 99%