A sensory walk in Los Angeles

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My favorite sign that I spotted at the end of our block. The broken English was endearing to me for some reason. But seriously, how bad do things have to be that you create a sign like this for the side of your building? And this is much bigger than a sheet of paper. It was a huge sign.

Over the course of my time in Los Angeles, I made an effort to re-engage my creative side. I had a few books with writing prompts to help me focus on something. One of those prompts meant going on a detail hunt. Take a walk and jot down all the interesting details you observe. Focus on sensory impressions. And while looking for the extraordinary, don’t ignore the ordinary.

I wish I had pictures of many of these items, especially the trees. I found their formation fascinating. Sadly, I didn’t take pictures. While I doubt many of these items will be as intriguing to someone who hasn’t walked this neighborhood, I figured I’d go ahead and share anyway.

If nothing else, at least it will offer a more realistic impression of my experience in the city. We certainly didn’t live in a fancy neighbor.

What detail stands out to you?

  • Tree looks like a sling shot
  • Bikes tied to a no parking sign
  • Lady in her window folding laundry
  • Kid practicing skateboard moves on the front porch
  • Trees fighting — one falling backward
  • Trees twisted together in a punching battle
  • Christmas lights on the balcony (it wasn’t Christmas)
  • Everyone hides behind gates, fences, electrical gates and barbed wire
  • Use umbrellas to shield sun, not rain
  • Chips Ahoy wrapper mixed in with plants
  • Trees aren’t safe from graffiti
  • No hidden camera gags here: “Smile, you’re on camera!”
  • My street is filled with trash: oil containers, old rags, plastic cups, Crest toothpaste box, Taco Bell souvenir cup crushed, El Pollo Loco napkin, Inn N Out ketchup packets
  • Shopping carts full of blankets, sleeping bag, beer cans
  • Tagged parking meters
  • Straw wrappers and receipts litter the ground
  • Skateboard stunds on a volleyball court
  • Metro bus carrying a bike on front with a jug of watter on the handlebars
  • Abandoned vegetables on sidewalk — cucumbers, green beans
  • Apartment building with gargoyle lions on the corner
  • American Red Cross Building with graffiti all over the facade
  • Yellowed newspaper
  • Old mattress and newspapers for makeshift sleeping arrangements
  • 5 or 6 newspaper stands on most corners
  • “Please slide mail down door” DOWN?
  • Se habla espanol
  • The American Cement Building is not made solely out of cement
  • At MacArthur Park, people are reclining on the ground. Purplish blue flowers
  • There’s a pregnant woman in a pink polka dot shirt with a little boy running, trying to scare the birds so they’ll fly away
  • People rowing on the lake
  • Guy selling food from a cart, there’s a bell
  • White ducks, fluffy — cleaning feathers?
  • Life guard looking for one of the ducks. It had duct tape on its leg. Fellow duck began calling for it — maybe trying to call it back
  • Lone duck still squawking for friend. Can see his whole body move as he squawk
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