A Drive Through Bunker Hill and Downtown Los Angeles, ca. 1940s

The first two minutes of this footage is the background process plate for Douglas Sirk’s film “Shockproof”, 1949. This is from scene when parole officer Griff Marat (Cornel Wilde) rides with Jenny Marsh (Patricia Knight) from her house to him.

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Danshui & Keelung River Bicycle Path, Taipei

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Dadaocheng Wharf to Guandu Temple along the Danshui and Keelung River Bicycle Paths.  Taipei has not only recently began to boast a vibrant bicycle culture, but also a series of lush rivers and wetlands that weave through the city.  Thus, it was no surprise to me to find that the city created numerous river bike paths and infrastructure that are for the most part connected to each other, creating a network of arterial paths that encircle the entire city.  Along the paths are major nodes, which usually feature public amenities such as a park, a playground, fishing piers, or city bike rental stands.  Dadaocheng Wharf is one of these nodes where Chris and I rented our city-owned bicycles, and headed north to Guandu Temple.  The first stretch ran along the Danshui River.

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Zhoumei Expressway Overpass

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A public cyclocross course!

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The Keelung River Bicycle Path & Guandu Bird-Watching Bikeway.

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Guandu Temple.

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Overall, the bicycle path was heavily utilized not only by recreational cyclists, but also by commuter cyclists going home from work and the markets.  And not only cyclists occupied the riverpath; there were plenty of causal joggers, runners, and even fishermen.  The city infrastructure for the paths covered a lot the bases: wayfinding signage, clearly marked road paint, covered bench seating, overhead lighting, and even a cyclocross course!  Chris and I ended up biking around 20 miles round trip along the scenic and lush riverpath, all within view of the Taipei city high-rise skyline.

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My Mom’s House in Taipei

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My mother grew up next to the Wanhua Train Station in Taipei.  The unit that her parents and 3 other siblings shared was single-storey, 2-bedroom, wood framed house within a courtyard complex of 3 similar units, previously Japanese police officers’ quarters.  The last time I visited the house in February 2009, the complex was still standing, though many of the units were already vacated, and notices of demolition were pasted on doors.  When I went to visit the housing complex this past November 2012, the units had been demolished, and the empty lot lay behind a chainlink fence.

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I’m not sure what the plans are for the piece of land.  It’s in a centrally located, bustling part of town, next to the Longshan Temple.  A similar neighboring lot, which contained a 3-storey building, was also demolished.  In its place is a new park.  That’s promising for this dense, park-poor area of the city.

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Taipei Streets

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Taipei streets are great.  They accommodate All modes of transportation, not just cars, but also pedestrians, bicyclists, scooters, and buses.  

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Painted sidewalk.  There is no curb.

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School.

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Glendale Blvd. _ Disappearing Environments

Rethinking Glendale Boulevard" Workshop w/ James Rojas @ Echo Country Outpost on Glendale Blvd.  When I moved to LA (the second time), I lived right up Glendale Blvd. @ Fargo St., and had to bike the dangerous stretch north of Sunset Blvd. all the time.  Disaster.  Glendale Blvd. really is an unpleasant street to be a pedestrian, cyclist, or business owner.  The workshop really inspired me to start some investigating….  we’ll see what happens.  Lots of neighborhood friends were there : Rachel Klein, Autumn Rooney, Ashley Atkinson, Erik Yesayan, Greg Wittmann Craig Collins (President of the Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy), Eric Garcetti (City Council Member).  

Stopped by Materials & Applications’ test run of Disappearing Environments in frogtown.  The team had decided on a final form and configuration.  They built two of the structures and lit some flares to test them out.

Ready for Pacific Standard Time!

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Downtown LA

I spent much of the day in or around Downtown LA.  First stop: Occupy LA @ LA City Hall.

Second stop: Tour de Fat @ LA Historic State Park

Donald, Amanda, Avishay

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Cat in the Porta-Potty Karaoke

Third stop : Bonaventure Adventure @ Westin Bonaventure.

Walking tour with Dan Koeppel of The Big Parade through the LA City Planner Calvin Hamilton’s 1970’s 'Pedway' plan for Downtown LA, connecting nodes of downtown through public pedestrian walkways, lifted above vehicular streets.  The center of his ‘pedway’ plan - the Bonaventure Hotel.

Bank of America

"Participants in the event will walk interiors, exteriors, fly-aways and walkways of the seemingly unnavigable spaces of this landmark structure of Post-Modernism that is referred to by political geographer and urban planner Ed Soja as the epitome of getting lost . At the juncture of public and private urban spaces and within BROODWORK’s exploration of Time, BONAVENTURE ADVENTURE takes the time to rediscover and reclaim the very idea of getting lost.”

Looking down Flower St.

Dan Koeppel

Interior of the Bonaventure

Third Street Tunnel

Fifth stop : The Flying Pig @ Little Tokyo.  Birthday card writing to Byron.

Sixth stop: Occupy LA General Assembly Meeting @ City Hall.

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3-Way Street from ronconcocacola on Vimeo.

"For his master’s thesis at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Ron Gabriel created a campaign called 3-Way Street to examine how “pedestrians jaywalking, cyclists running red lights and motorists plowing through crosswalks” combine to make our urban streets totally dysfunctional and more than a little dangerous.

As part of the campaign, Gabriel trained his camera on the intersection of Park Avenue and 28th Street in Manhattan to capture examples of this dysfunction. In the resulting video, annotated with Gabriel’s graphics, this otherwise average urban intersection becomes the stage for a series of near-accidents and death-defying dodges. From this bird’s eye view the chaos on our streets is apparent, and the video is one more reminder that our cities have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to serving cyclists and pedestrians.” - GOOD

Moral of the story : Wear Your Helmet, People!

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