Return to the Center of the Seventh Street Bridge

November 24, 2011 § 5 Comments

Detail of the dedication plaque on the Seventh Street Viaduct

There’s a promising new report about possibilities for the future of the Seventh Street Bridge over the L.A. River, so I got another call to head into the bridge and show off the space. I plan to write about the new report, but I ended up with more than enough photo and video material for one post, so I am going write about the bridge here, then separately post about the report later.  « Read the rest of this entry »

A poison pen letter to a spraypainting fool at the Los Angeles River Walk

October 5, 2011 § 7 Comments

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For N.D.

Dear Man-Boy of Atwater,

Apparently your parents and neighbors are afraid of you, and your friends are probably as big assholes as you.  You are clearly overdue to be cornered in a dark alley  by a small army of cantankerous grannies, or the bad Vampire Slayer, or Batman.  Hope you meet your destiny soon.  Why you had to take a big crap on a significant park project, a signature landscape tying in a small naturalized creek to the blooming Los Angeles Riverwalk at North Atwater Park, before it’s even done is beyond me.  Maybe you don’t want your neighborhood to get any nicer, you don’t want your little brother or sister (or godforbid you have a child) to feel safe playing at the L.A. River.  You can’t stand the site of anything beautiful, crafted?  You drive up the costs of maintaining a decent environment, bring despondency to those who dedicate their lives to making Los Angeles livable, drive the undecided to believe that locking down our public spaces is the only way to manage land, and, yes, breathe oxygen into the fire of anti-government goons who see failure in all efforts to improve our lives through the expenditure of tax dollars.  You may be a punk, but you’re not punk rock.

So check yourself, pendejo.  We can see you know how to form letters, spell even, so eff’ing go out there and read.  Learn something.  Become somebody worth hearing from.


la Creekfreak

P.S. LA River + Atwater peeps, contact your council offices to let them know you want them to step up graffiti removal, park patrols, and general dickhead abatement.  They need to know this is a priority for you.

P.P.S. Did you know it’s been scientifically proven that the size of your letters are inversely proportional to your – well, never mind.







News and Events – 1 July 2010

July 1, 2010 § 1 Comment


MTA L.A. River graffiti - from, click for larger image

> Los Angeles Times L.A. Now blog reports that the L.A. City Attorney is seeking an injunction against 10 members of the Metro Transit Assassins. Their massive “MTA” graffiti art piece on the concrete wallks of the Los Angeles River stretched from the First Street to the 101 Freeway in Downtown Los Angeles. Their monumental tag was painted out recently – through a program funded by federal stimulus monies.

> The Downey Patriot reports that the city of Downey has approved plans for a new dog park, to be located on the San Gabriel River. The pull quote comes from Councilmember Roger Brossmer: “I’m all for the Lassies of the world, but I’m worried about vicious dogs.” The new park will be immediately upstream from Rio San Gabriel Park, which is just upstream of Firestone Boulevard. 

> I really enjoyed the above talk by Ellen Durham-Jones. She talks about the the “underperforming asphalt” in suburbia (mainly excess parking surrounding declining big box stores and malls), and how we go about Retrofitting Suburbia. Listen all the way to the end of the 20-minute talk to hear about her conclusions that some of our suburban development can be densified, while other parts of it can become more natural – including daylighting of creeks and 1000-foot buffers on stream corridors! I look forward to reading her book: Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs.

> Riparian Rap begins a new series examining errors in the way artists depict rivers and creeks. He calls these Geomorphically Incorrect Art. So far there’re part 1 and part 2.


> President Obama wants to know what you think our 21st century national conservation agenda should be. He’s sending some of his top folks to Los Angeles so they can hear the public’s ideas and priorities. There are two Los Angeles events next week, both featuring high-ranking cabinet members:

1 – An America’s Great Outdoors Initiative listening session will take place from 6pm to 8:30pm on Wednesday July 7th 2010 at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte. They’re requesting email rsvps by July 2nd. See details here

2 – The second local America’s Great Outdoors Initiative listening session will be from 3pm to 7pm on Thursday July 8th 2010, at Occidental College in Eagle Rock. They’re requesting email rsvps by July 1st – today. See details here.

News and Events – 2 February 2010

February 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

Cheongyecheon creek in Seoul, South Korea - photo: rinux via wikimedia



Graffiti, the Los Angeles River, and the Federal Stimulus

December 28, 2009 § 4 Comments

Graffiti pieces reflected in the waters of the mighty Los Angeles - photo copyright Urban Photo Adventures - click for info on their tours

“Glad to see drab concrete restored back to its pristine condition” writes one presumably-sarcastic commenter on today’s informative L.A. Times article about recent graffiti abatement efforts on the L.A. River.

The story of L.A. River graffiti goes back quite a while. It’s a mixed bag; there are lots of different types out there – from fascinating hundred-year old hobo graffiti to beautiful elaborate pieces to irritating irreverent tagging. L.A. Creek Freak won’t attempt to be exhaustive here… but what follows are some anecdotes and thoughts about graffiti on the river… and better uses for federal stimulus monies than a short-term paint-out. « Read the rest of this entry »

New and Events – 14 September 2009

September 14, 2009 § 1 Comment

Lots going on that many L.A. Creek Freaks will be interested in.


>There’s a big buzz on many graf-art websites about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ use of federal stimulus funds to paint out the famous/infamous huge SABER graf-art mural on the west bank walls of the L.A. River downtown. I am not the biggest proponent of graffiti at the L.A. River (I think that some of it is great… but some of it I find kinda frustrating) but this whiting-out project seems pretty pointless to me. There are many greener projects that could have moved forward with those federal monies… which were supposed to create green jobs, no?

>TreePeople has a good-looking new website, including a new blog by their founder Andy Lipkis!

> The Water Wired blog is a great very readable resource for coverage of very fascinating water issues happening all over. Put it in your RSS Reader today! You might want to check out their recent coverage of Mexico City’s water issues from centuries of overpumping and on the New York Time’s coverage of nationwide neglect in enforcement of the federal Clean Water Act. The actual New York Times article by Charles Duhigg Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering is here. Duhigg was interviewed on Demoncracy Now earlier today.

>Mark Gold penned an editorial California’s water reform legislation is all wet that ran in the September 8th 2009 L.A. Times. Gold’s Spouting Off blog is also a great read.

Inglewood Gate - click for article and larger image (Photo: Bill Campbell)

Inglewood Gate - click for article and larger image (Photo: Bill Campbell)

>Bill Campbell at Metblogs shows off Ballona  Creek’s beautiful new Brett Goldstone gate at the bike path entry point at Inglewood Avenue. Bike over and check it out!

>The “eecue” site has posted even more great photos of the downtown Los Angeles L.A. River bridges.

>The L.A. City stormwater program’s blog “L.A. Team Effort” details the city’s plans to use $30M in Proposition O funding to upgrade city Santa Monica Bay stormdrain dry weather diversions. During dry months the city sends the trickle of urban runoff from many stormdrains into its sewage treatment plans. This prevents contaminated runoff from getting into rivers and oceans during the summer – when recreational usage is highest. 

>The Malibu Times reports that officials are investigating an unexplained recent fish die-off at Malibu Creek (via the On Water blog.) 

UPCOMING EVENTS – lots to choose from this Saturday!:

>The Ballona Institute is looking for volunteers at a Ballona Wetlands clean-up and restoration event this Saturday September 19th from 9am to 12noon. For information, send an email to massa30 [at] gmail [dot] com.

>The free Frogtown Art Walk takes place this Saturday September 19th from 4pm to 10pm.

>Lots of great creek, river and beach sites to choose from on Coastal Clean-Up Day this Saturday September 19th from 9am to 12noon at more than 70 locations in Southern California!

>Food and Water Watch hosts a talk by Bolivian water activist Marcela Olivera – Saturday September 19th at 4pm. Details here in our earlier post.

For Your Viewing Pleasure: Turtles, Ballona Bikes, Dorothy Green and more!

October 25, 2008 § Leave a comment

Here are some on-line videos that all us creek freaks might enjoy:

>Los Angeles Times account of Aquarium of the Pacific’s healing and release of an injured San Gabriel River sea turtle (Great video – with fascinating x-rays of broken turtle flipper bones. Kudos to the great work of the Aquarium of the Pacific staff and the Times’ Louis Sahagun. There are also sea lions in the San Gabriel River.)

>KTLA news coverage of Ballona Creek Bike Path issues (via LA Streetsblog, includes Ballona Creek Renaissance’s Jim Lamm)

>Dorothy Green with Creek Freak bloggers (Jessica and Joe) talking with Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes on the city’s L.A. River Report public information channel

>Hook TV on How to fish for carp in the Los Angeles River

>Jeffrey Tipton’s Montage on the July 2008 Los Angeles River Boating Expedition organized by George Wolfe (Coming soon: an actual high production value trailer about this expedition. Also, check out George’s kayak commute video.)

>A group I don’t know about called LA River Story has done a somewhat accurate trio of documentaries beginning with San Fernando Valley tributaries: The Great Wall of Los Angeles Mural on the Tujunga Wash, the adjacent Tujunga Wash Greenway, and what they’re calling the beginning of the river in Chatsworth.

>Turn Here’s Down by the (L.A.) River (How many errors can you spot in Creek Freak Joe Linton’s brief appearance? Be grateful that I don’t plan to blog on restaurant recommendations any time soon.)

>Meeting of Styles Graffiti Murals Event (These murals were later painted out)

>Insidious Bliss (A bleak and beautiful documentary on crystal meth addiction and homelessness in the Glendale Narrows stretch of the L. A. River)

and lastly a couple of not entirely successful attempts at Los Angeles River Humor:

>Stewart Paap in search of the LA River (“Easy access, huh?”)

>Deep Sea Fishing in Studio City (My favorite part of this are the outtakes and the brief scene where the actor steps around the construction fence – I plan to blog soon about my frustration that the city of Los Angeles’ Studio City Riverwalk has been fenced off for more than a year.)

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