Fields of Gold

Friday night, the L.A. Critical Mass took off from Wilshire and Western, and wound our way through the streets of downtown. We ended up going through Little Tokyo, around the corner to Olvera Street, and then through Chinatown, and out the other side. Which is where, riding down Main Street, we realized we were above the Not A Cornfield – and there were drums and fire down there!

ears of cornThe corn is hung up to dry right now, but the field is still a field, and there was a harvest ceremony of sorts happening. Dance + Drums + Fire. And it was definitely surreal, to stand there, at the bonfire, listening to the drums, smelling burning sage (and other things) and watching the dancers go by, just outside downtown L.A.

One of the things I love about this city is how, in the core neighborhoods around downtown, you can go through layers of history so quickly. In half an hour, on bikes, we went from the 1920s buildings around Koreatown and MacArthur Park, past the turn of the century offices and neo-classical bank buildings in downtown, around the 150 year old buildings at Olvera Street, past the 30s art deco of Union Station, and finally into a Native-influenced harvest ceremony. I suppose that can be said of most cities – but I’m used to even newer cities than L.A., or cities that have done a more thorough job of purging their old downtowns, like Dallas. Seeing those leftover buildings represents, to me, a series of eras where the city vision was completely different from what came before, or what would come after, as the city’s population, ethnicity, finances, industries and technology shifted, again and again.

Anyways. The cornfield is neat. The Not a Cornfield, rather. If anyone is looking for a brisk February walk or jog, it’s definitely worth a loop around the paths for a couple miles of cardio.

And for those who want to join us on the next Critical Mass, L.A. meets at Wil/tern at 6:30pm, last Friday of the month. Santa Monica meets next week. Midnite Ridazz meets in two weeks. Come join us!

3 thoughts on “Fields of Gold”

  1. I haven’t even heard of that one! The 3rd is the big Santa Monica Mass though, the 1 year anniversary followed by a party to celebrate, so I’ll be there. What’s SCI-Arc & is there a website?

  2. Here’s the info that’s posted on the Bicycle Kitchen website:

    RIDE-Arc- 1st Friday of every month, 9pm meet/ride by 9:30 PM. RIDE-Arc is a bike ride in the cool evening air with a loose, vaguely referenced architectural theme, inspired by Midnight Riddazz and originally based out of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Awesome rides, good vibes taking you to places that shape the Los Angeles urban landscape. In an effort to expand to new places and directions in the LA area, start locations may vary depending on the theme so it is best to inquire before hand ([email protected])or join the mailing list (even better!).

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