October 13, 2014
First American Aerial Photo
The first aerial photo shot in the U.S. was by James Wallace Black, and it was of central Boston on October 13, 1860. The photo is now in the possession of the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the Gilman Collection.
(Here's a link to a version that I edited to adjust contrast and sharpness a little which might assist in picking out smaller details.)
The significant landmark that's easy to pick out is Old South Meeting House.
After the Boston Massacre in 1770, yearly anniversary meetings were held at the church until 1775 featuring speakers such as John Hancock and Dr. Joseph Warren. In 1773 5,000 people met in the Meeting House to debate British taxation, and after the meeting a group raided a nearby tea ship in what became known as the Boston Tea Party.
Old South Meeting House still stands at the same spot, very little altered since 1860 - since 1773, for that matter.
This is from roughly the same viewpoint as the 1860 photo. You can just barely see the steeple on Old South.
October 6, 2014
East Los Angeles
Yesterday's CicLAvia extended much further into East Los Angeles than it (or I) had ever been, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to start at the east end and walk as far as I could.
My route which was about 9 miles (RT).
The next CicLAvia is December 7, 2014. I believe they are trying to put together a route in San Fernando Valley for sometime next year.
Anthony Quinn Public Library. Anthony Quinn lived in East L.A. as a child.
Belvedere Park, the eastern terminus of yesterday's CicLAvia.
Evergreen Cemetery. Perhaps the most well known celebrity buried here is Eddie Anderson. The cemetery is racially segregated, but never barred any race. It's also where Joseph Winchester Robinson is buried. He came from Waltham, Massachusetts, and founded the "Boston Store" which became Robinson's and then Robinson's May. George Ralphs (founder of the supermarket chain) is buried here as well.
Atlantic Station, the eastern end of Metro's Gold Line.
Boston Gets A Literary Cultural District
The Boston Literary District went live last week. Here's the district's website. These newly authorized cultural districts don't seem to have taxing power, so they seem mostly to be tools for organition, coordination and cooperation among the many cultural institutions in Boston. There is already a Fenway Cultural District that includes the Gardner Museum, the Mary Baker Eddy Library, Berklee College, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Symphony and many more cultural institutions in that neighborhood.
September 15, 2014
Walk Los Angeles
Some organized walks coming up in L.A.:
- Saturday, September 7, Three Is A Magic Number. Twelve mile loop walk starting at Grand Park, downtown, 9 AM. The 12 miles is broken into three parts, and you can bug out when you want to.
- Friday, November 28, Post-Thanksgiving Epic. Starts at Chinatown Gold line station, 9 AM. Fifteen mile loop.
- Saturday, January 17, Ten Bridges Epic. "Walk over every bridge crossing the Los Angeles River between Broadway and Olympic Blvd." About 12 miles, 9 AM at the Chinatown Metro station.
- Saturday, February 7, Stair Trek VIII. 25 miles which include 92 stairways. Meet the in Laurel & Hardy Park, across from the Music Box stairs at Vendome & Del Monte, 8:30 AM. "You will walk every single staircase in the area bounded by the 101 Freeway (south); Riverside Drive (north); Elysian Park (east) and Hillhurst Avenue (west.)"
August 18, 2014
For A Sense Of Scale
August 12, 2014
Sunset Strip History
Atop the very tippy top of Chicago's John Hancock tower with a GoPro. Warning: depiction of tobacco smoking.
August 10, 2014
Pueblo del Rio
Pueblo del Rio is a low income housing project in South L.A. that is an example of mid-century modern architecture. It's just outside of the City of Vernon. Richard Neutra was one of the people who contributed to its design.
August 8, 2014
Public Art in the Arts District of L.A.
August 5, 2014
The City Hall wraps around eight little bungalows on one short street. I thought that might represent the entire residential district of Vernon. As you can see the city school (PK-6 - with 300 students!) is directly across the street. But the internet tells me the population of the city is 112 (the city's website says 115), and even in Vernon you wouldn't cram that many people in 8 little houses.
Here is the City Council of Vernon. The bios say that four of the five are residents of the city, and I imagine the fifth one is as well. Let me assume that in California there is some statewide law requiring city council members to be residents of their city. But if somebody wants to tell me there are exceptions, I won't be too shocked.
This page lists the city's bodies that have public meetings. To my surprise they have both a Housing Authority and a Housing Commission. The Authority meets once annually. Probably goes like this: convene, roll call, approve agenda, approve minutes, close meeting, pick up paycheck. The Commission, OTOH, meets quarterly.