It's the holiday season. No, really. This year, I promise myself to start the holiday baking and related prep early. Like, now. I've already made the list of
No deep thoughts or burning questions today. Feeling kind of mellow and tired.
Walked in the rain with my friend Jenni this morning. It was glorious! I love the rain, even if it was a little windy and stormy. I don't know when was the last time I walked in the rain or even drove through it. Whenever I walk in the rain, I suddenly feel like I'm seven-years-old again, walking to and from swim lessons, marveling at the myriad of hydrangeas lining my walking route and the cascading shades of pink, blue and purple.
I've seen some hydrangeas in the LA area but they don't seem to be too popular. Do they require too much water? I guess they are not native to the area. Although I totally support the planting of native plants and drought-resistant plants to minimize the amount of water needed to maintain a garden and yard here, I do have a soft spot in my heart for hydrangeas. But the ones I've seen around here don't seem to be as full and lush as the ones in Japan. But then again, the rains in Japan are much different from the ones here so I suppose that helps to explain the difference. That, and the soil content. I love how the pH level in the soil affects the color of the hydrangeas. So scientific, yet artful. Very cool.
About where we walked - for the past nine weeks, we've walked up the steps of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. It is a project of the California State Parks, and supposedly one phase of a larger parks project that should convert much of the Baldwin Hills, including I presume a lot of the oil fields that maybe no longer produce oil, and connect to the Kenneth Hahn Regional Park. I didn't realize this until recently but the walking trail that was cut into the hills going up to View Park on Stocker Avenue is also part of the same project. Somehow they're all supposed to connect. I hope they do in my lifetime!
I remember many years ago when I was working as a community activist, I attended several information sessions on the need for parks and green space in LA, how LA City at the time (maybe still) had one of the lowest per-capita green space in the country. There were representatives there from the Tree People and LA Conservation Corps, as well as other groups, but I don't recall much tangible coming out of there. It seemed like an insurmountable task, really, to create green space in urban areas. Issues of acquiring land, cleaning and maintaining the park, and others stymied us as we knew there were very limited funding for these types of projects as a stand-alone project.
A few years ago, I was with my mom and she wanted to go walk around Lacy Park in San Marino so we went. I was shocked to find out that the park is free only to residents of San Marino (might even have been that particular area around the park) and, at least on the weekends, I think, they charge a couple of bucks to non-residents to "use" the park.
This was kind of sad to see. I daresay San Marino has a way higher amount of green space per capita than the city of LA or even neighboring cities like Alhambra. And yet, I suppose it's natural instinct to protect what you have, but for an outsider like me, it seems so selfish. I realize the residents are paying taxes to maintain the park. But is that reason enough to close it off or at least put up some barrier to entry for non-residents?
I guess one lesson is, though, that to have a successful park project, the residents surrounding the park need to really take ownership, and care for it and protect it. How do we do this in urban areas where people live in homeless shelters and worry about when they might eat next? Where people spend two hours on the bus after work and come home after dark?
I wish I could come up with answers for these problems. Actually, I think I need to come up with better questions. Somehow I feel like I keep asking the same root question. Hopefully this spate of daily blogging will trigger something in my brain and come up with something useful by the end of the month.
Need to do some testing for work and then off to bed. Another week of daily posting to come, I hope!