Tag Archives: L.A.

Going green: gardens and divas…

Many of us try to do our part environmentally. Several years ago I heard of the plight of the South Central Farmers, struggling to maintain their hold on the 14-acre plot of land in the most concrete of jungles, South Central L.A. The 14-acre South Central Farm once was the heart of a poor, mainly Latino community and fed 350+ families, until a developer was allowed to bulldoze it to erect a bunch of storage warehouses.

I continue to be floored by the notion that the United States is looked upon by the world as a leading force in assisting third world countries to develop their own sustainable food sources, while a perfect and operating example of this model within the country is razed in favor of big business. The Garden, a documentary movie chronicling the journey to save the farm, has been nominated for an Academy Award, and the trailer can be viewed here.

Now… on being a Diva… if you are squeamish about “woman’s issues” (and I don’t mean the bra burning kind and groaning about glass ceilings and such), stop reading here, because I’m about to go into some detail about “feminine” products. Earlier this month I decided to see if I could stop supporting the disposable feminine product market, into which (pardon the pun) I flush hundreds of dollars annually… and am still struggling to keep from staining my mattress rather regularly.

SO… with that in mind, I picked up a product that has been around for a while but which I looked at rather skeptically, wondering how its usage could be practically applied to my life. It’s called The Diva Cup… it comes in two sizes… pre- and post-pregnancy.  I can tell you that it was a smidgen pricey… about four 20-pack boxes of tampons’ worth pricey… but if it will allow me to sleep through the night without having to worry about accidents, it will, to my mind, be worth the investment.  The experiment has begun… I’ll keep you posted…

Walking in L.A.

click on image to view photos on a separate page

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but Erin Mahoney’s book Walking L.A.: 36 Walking Tours Exploring Stairways, Streets and Buildings You Never Knew Existedis fabulous. My friend Bonnie and I decided to do Walk 16 today, starting at Hancock Park and the La Brea Tar Pits. We scaled the Page Museum’s steps onto the roof top terrace and surveyed the area. I was surprised by its airy quality, feeling as if it was floating. We peeked in to the museum really quickly and decided to return on our way back so that I could pick up a few things, particularly the largest and coolest mug I’ve seen in a while.

The book suggested a stop at Mani’s along Fairfax, so Bonnie and I sat down for a cup of coffee, some healthy desserts and a chat. The cherry-apple turnover I had was wonderful, but Bonnie’s chocolate almond mousse cake was so good, I almost regretted not picking that instead of the turnover.

I’d recently visited the Farmer’s Market with Pascale and Co., so it didn’t hold anything of great interest for me, and Bonnie was not all that interested in the shops so we quickly walked through that part of the trek and onto the next, which took us past Pan Pacific Regional Park and up to Beverly Blvd. We went into the Erewhon Natural Foods Market in search of some bandaids for my ailing right heel. Every time I wear these darned shoes (purchased at the Walking Company, no less), I get fantastic blisters on my right heel! The box of bandaids was $5 and not large enough to really be effective, so I decided to ignore the smarting heel and walk on. We poked into a photography gallery along Beverly Blvd. and continued on to Vista and Martel avenues. The houses were so quaint that I couldn’t resist snapping some photos.

Back at the start of the walk again, we stopped at the Museum shop so that I could pick up the coveted mug. I also picked up a few items for Gabriel, who had decided that he wanted to go to the skatepark instead (more on that later). As we passed by the L.A. County Museum of Art for the second time I decided that I would have to make a return trip just to see the museums and the galleries along this stretch.

We were hungry for some food and decided to drive to Little Ethiopia and stop by for a late lunch/early dinner at one of the restaurants that lined Fairfax. Across the street from the restaurant was a shoe store where I finally ditched my implements of torture masquerading as shoes and purchased some $10 slip-ons. The restaurant competition appeared to be stiff as there were several establishments side-by-side and across the street from each other. Interesting food… I liked the spices but the meat we had was tough, and the slightly sour flavor of the flatbread and the dumplings left me nonplussed.

I arrived minutes before Steve and Gabriel showed up, coming home from the Etnies skate park in Lake Forest. There’s a good reason why a) they make you suit up in protective gear and b) make you sign disclaimers prior to setting wheels in the park. Gabriel took a spill and banged his chin in one of the concrete bowls and his chin was lumpy, discolored (and apparently sore). So… we spent three hours in the Hoag emergency room waiting for a set of mandibular x-rays to be taken, to make sure nothing was broken (and it wasn’t–phew!).

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot… (c’mon, sing it with me…)

A handful of seeds at South Central Farm, L.A.
photo by Jonathan McIntosh, photographer
(click on image to get to http://www.indybay.org)

Ever feel that no matter how much of an influx of information you get, you somehow never know enough substantive stuff? That’s how I felt today, when I found out about South Central Farmers. This isn’t exactly paradise, nor is a parking lot going up, but they want to bulldoze this 14 acre bit of green patch in one of the most depressed areas of L.A., and put up a warehouse. This garden feeds 350 families, provides a green space for gathering, and serves as a space for the farmer’s market.

I struggle with these sorts of issues… when does capitalism get in the way of social and economic consciousness? When is it simply greed and not a sound business decision? We as a nation and populace spend a good chunk of change to help create self-sustainance in poverty stricken areas around the globe, how can we not do the same with our own? Granted, this doesn’t fall into the same category of direness as in the third world countries that receive assistance, but yet I have to question… how poor *does* one have to be before one is eligible for aid? How much of a disparity must there be before those who have help the have-nots? What blows me away in this case is that these folks are doing something constructive to help themselves and that possibility is being taken away from them because of some bureaucratic snafu.

If this speaks to you, you can donate here using PayPal… hopefully the little I was able to contribute today will be of some help. Time is a-wasting…