Tag Archives: Maps

A Modest, Magnificent Exhibition Of Our City’s History

You’re probably not like me and are able to cope with the scope of the massively collaborative and on-going Pacific Standard Time exhibitions that fall under the ambitious region-wide initiative’s banner. Me, not so much. With so many institutions involved, I suffer from something of a paralysis when trying to decide whether I should go to the Getty or the Hammer  or LACMA or wherever. Case in point: I literally became immobile when I just now went to the Pacific Standard Time website and a banner popped up that told me there are 42 events taking place right this moment of 10:28AM — and that may even include a Big Gulp Cup retrospective at my local 7-11.

A few weeks ago I did manage to brush my intimidation aside and pay a first-time visit to MOCA to see the cool exhibition of Weegee’s Hollywood period photographs, but — pardon the digression — then I wandered around the museum’s permanent exhibit and found this piece of crap stuck to the wall, which reinforced both my abject disdain for “contemporary art” and my urge to punish whoever curated it with an extended indian-burn session to the forearm of his or her choosing.

Detail from the 1938 Kirkman-Harriman map depicting Los Angeles County in 1860.

So instead of getting all wound up trying to eenie-meanie-miney-mo to which big box the next I’d go, instead I brought along my inner map geek and together we ventured yesterday to the first floor galleries of the Central Library downtown where I spent an extended segment of the afternoon marveling at the selection of kick-ass cartography displayed as part of  its “As The City Grew: Historical Maps of Los Angeles” exhibit.

The 34 maps arrayed go back to the mid-1800s and offer an awesome and up-close glimpse back into our city as it was and as it became. Unlike the aforementioned contemporary bullshit I encountered, some of the maps are true and intricate works of art, and I would highly recommend paying them a visit whether you just find yourself in the library’s vicinity or are in between far better-decided visits than mine to the myriad Pacific Standard Time venues.

WHERE: Los Angeles Public Library, Central Branch, 630 W. 5th St, 90071
WHEN: Through November 4, 2012
COST: Free

Pocket Parks: Julian D Fisher Park

Tucked behind the Monrovia School District offices lies Julian D Fisher Park.  It is one of many pocket parks dotting Monrovia, but this one is special because of its 3 regulation size basketball courts.  Good enough that it is listed on the “Courts of the World” web as a place to go for pick up games and just enjoy the sport.

Bringing it closer to home for me, the Monrovia Mountaineers, a competitive travel basketball team for 14 and under age kids uses it for practice when local gyms aren’t available.   We (as in my youngest child who is a Mountaineer) are at this park for practices with his team several times a week.

Mountaineers practice early on a Sunday morning.

There is also a nice Picnic Pavilion and play ground area to round out the usefulness of this pocket park.  Fair warning, this park is packed in the evenings and on weekends.  Week day mornings you tend to find the odd Mom and kidlet in the play area.  Parking is limited on Almond Avenue, but not completely impossible to find a space within walking distance of the entrance to the park.

Easy access from 210 Fwy via Myrtle or Mountain Ave exits.

Pocket Parks: Culver West-Alexander in Culver City

If you look at a map of Culver City, you’ll see there is an arm that reaches to the Pacific Ocean. This is “Culver West” and it’s nestled between Mar Vista and Marina Del Rey.

There is a sweet gem in that arm called Culver West-Alexander Park and if you are in the neighborhood and looking for a great spot to spend an afternoon, you will love this one.

I remember this park from the very early 90’s as I used to work in the Marina. The big field seen here used to have a baseball diamond and one year I spent many an early morning practicing softball with our company team. (Go Hurlers!) Even without a baseball diamond, you can NOT get bored at this park. I dare you!

There are basketball and tennis courts, BBQ pits and picnic tables, tons of jungle gyms and swings and even a community center. If you are a Westsider, check this spot out, bring the kids and grandparents and a big picnic. You never know what you’ll see here.

How to get there (click on the image to go to the Google Map):

You want sports? We got sports!  One tennis and two paddle tennis courts (this is where my honey and I play a lot.)

Here’s a close up of the mural at the end of the tennis court. It’s like being inside Wii Tennis!

In case you were wondering:

And also:

This happy mural greets  you when you park on Moore street. Handball courts (three) are here on the backside of the tennis court.

Wider shot of Basketball and handball courts with informal running path in front.

Close on the Mural at the Basketball court:

Plenty of stuff for the kids to clamber over and around:

And when it’s time to eat, there are plenty of shady spots to spread out and grill up some yummy picnic food.

There is plenty of parking on Moore Street and also in a small lot near the jungle gym/tennis court side of the park.

Alas, Fido will need to stay on the designated path. But it’s a sweet path!

And if you need to just chill in a grassy, shady spot, there is plenty of that too.

Read more about Richard Alexander, after whom the park was named. (Click picture for bigger version.)

Stop by some time! It’s a gorgeous little park and it’s all yours.

Those Most Sporting of Street Closures: LA Marathon Monday

lamarathonIt’s that time again! I understand the LA Marathon is a world-class athletic event offering us humans the possibility to excel and revel in our physicality, but for me, the LA Marathon means one thing: road closures.

This year’s route begins in downtown, heading south on Fig, and jogs around Exposition Park; proceeds west on Exposition Blvd. to jog south through Leimert Park; heads up to Rodeo ROAD via Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd; north on Crenshaw to Venice; then zigzags up La Cienega to Pico, executing a u-turn via San Vicente to Wilshire & 6th Street, heading east again through the Tar Pits area & Hancock Park; meanders around in Hancock Park/K-Town a little bit before heading to Olympic, pointed east; and then returns to its starting point downtown.

Plan your routes accordingly. The map is here.

Photo by mil8 via Creative Commons.

There Be Bicycles Here

map.jpg

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times published an article about the surge in bicycle commuters in the city. It’s a fine article and for those who haven’t read it, it’s about bicycle commuters. And how there’s a surge. But what’s cool about the article, aside from the spellbinding photo of bike repair in action, is they included the LA Metro map for cyclists in the article. I did not know this map existed. Check it out here.

Confusing? I should say so. Look at all those squiggly lines! But don’t fret. I’ll take a moment to help disambigu-fy things for you. Soon, you’ll be zipping around the city as if it were the back of your hand. Check out the legend after the jump.

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