I’m halfway through my time off to raise my new human, which is in many ways like a sabbatical… one where you end up working harder than you ever have on the most rewarding job of your life. But I will say it has been rather invigorating not doing any kind of writing or speaking, just lots of observing and absorbing. (And walking. Lots and lots of walking.) I’ve actually learned an entirely new way to participate in my city, and I’ll have many thoughts on the topic—as soon as I find a few hours to string them all together coherently.
This week, however, I’m making a single exception and coming out of post-baby temporary-retirement for one evening to speak at the first event of Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne’s newest project, The Third Los Angeles. From his description:
Most Angelenos have a sense that the city is in the midst of some marked changes, with a new emphasis on public space and civic architecture, such as building transit lines instead of freeways and apartment buildings instead of single-family houses with private gardens. But this is more than a mere shift in planning priorities or spending. In fundamental ways, the city is moving into a profoundly new phase in its civic development, one that brings encouraging change along with new political, architectural and environmental challenges.
How could I not participate in an event so aligned with my own interests? And seeing as one of my current interests is suddenly becoming an international fascination, I’ll be presenting a follow up to my Hollywood Sign saga, speaking about the the current issues around access and how it’s part of a larger story about the changing ideas of public space in the city.
Besides Christopher, I’ll be joined onstage by many of my other LA heroes, inducing Rick Cole, Bill Deverell, Dana Cuff, Ruth Estevez, Mark Vallianatos and Hadley Arnold. It’s sure to be a great evening for LA lovers and the kickoff to a fascinating series exploring the most exciting and swiftly changing city on the planet. The event is at 7:30 p.m. at Occidental College in Eagle Rock, all details here.