Above the lagoon

The horseshoe-shaped mansion on the hill above Malibu lagoon and pier was previously owned by Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, now vice-president of Equatorial Guinea. “Known for his lavish lifestyle, he has been the subject of a number of international criminal charges and sanctions for alleged embezzlement and corruption.” (source) The US Justice Department forced him to sell this property in 2016, and the sale itself is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit … but that’s another story.

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.