waiting room

​​I spent some time in a light-filled chemo ward yesterday (I’m fine, I was there with a friend). Everyone who came through, both patients and staff, seemed cheerful and gentle. There was an air of optimism that felt good. I think it was partly the design of the space, and partly, I suppose, the quality of care. Patients are there to get better, and that was reflected in everyone’s tone. It was actually quite a lovely place to wait an hour or two.

lewis macadams

Lewis MacAdams (1944-2020) was an American poet, environmental activist, journalist, and filmmaker whose passion was to re-wild the LA River (which was encased in concrete and fenced in 1938) and make it accessible again to people and wildlife. He co-founded Friends of the Los Angeles River in 1985, an organization which educates, empowers, and mobilizes Angelenos to repair habitat and fight for the policies that will reclaim a healthy river.

Today Urban Sketchers Los Angeles met at Lewis MacAdams Riverfront Park at Glendale Narrows, a nine-mile section of the river that has a natural soft bottom, instead of a concrete floor, allowing native river plants and animals to thrive. It was great to see egrets, herons and ducks enjoying the water. I wasn’t that happy with any of my river sketches, but here’s one of the park itself.

overcast

Behind me, a flock of Elegant Terns kept rising, wheeling and calling before settling down again. A Great Blue Heron swallowed an enormous fish after slapping it about for a while. We each did our thing, and I came home sated and peaceful. I never regret visiting this place.

la parrilla (“the grill”)

This restaurant facade is actually a garish combo of red, orange and yellow, but I thought I’d save you from getting a headache, and just serve it up in gritty city shades of grey. Every time I have to go into the deeps of Los Angeles I come home so very grateful that I don’t live there.

I never promised you a rose garden

The Exposition Park Rose Garden is a historic 7-acre site containing more than 20,000 rose bushes and more than 200 varieties. My favourite parts of it are the corners, where no roses are growing. This is the south-west corner, tucked between the Natural History Museum and the space shuttle’s external fuel tank.

at starbucks

I was attracted to the colourful vessels on the shelves, and found myself a seat facing them, at the end of a long table. It’s only now that I’ve scanned and cropped the image that I see how skewiff (one of my Mum’s favourite words) those shelves are! It’s quite comical, really. That upper shelf is ready to take off into orbit!