Atop the San Rafael Bridge in Mt. Washington

Aug 18, 2010 by Lisa Newton

Each time I venture outside of the Westside and travel to other parts of Los Angeles, the more I’m fascinated by the various enclaves throughout our fair city–from Cypress Park, Eagle Rock, Silver Lake, and other neighborhoods, the overarching pathos of Los Angeles as a metaphor as the Great Melting Pot is true; and each time I venture out, it becomes that much more so as our city never sleeps, and all the places I go are distinctive and a little bit–to a lot–different from each other as I discover during each one of my jaunts–the different people, different architecture, different views, different shops, and different cultures.

One of the most common phrases used to describe Los Angeles is the term “urban sprawl.” However, often unseen by the masses is the character of each particular area comprising this label. Many an author, city planner, urbanist, cultural anthropologist, artist, and others have tried to provide a definition to neatly define the spread out character and physicality of LA, but there really is no one catch-phrase that can properly define our great urban jungle and oasis.

Last week, I was high up in the Mt. Washington hills. Although I was looking for something I didn’t find, in the pursuit of one thing, something else presents itself.

In this case, it was a bridge.

I’m not going to talk about the bridge, except to tell you the location in the hope that you’ll go there yourself.

That way, you’ll be able to see for yourself all of its small details, so you’ll get a chance to check out the to-die for views that only the Eastside provides the ubiquitous parcels of rolling hills that are part of the physicality of this giant swath of the city.

The San Rafael Bridge is located on San Rafael Avenue, just past the Self-Realization Fellowship’s Headquarters. There’s a few sidewalks to keep you safe from the zoom-zoom of upcoming cars, but it’s not really a pedestrian area. Although the area seems like a great place for either a morning jog or walking your dogs.

Apparently when the sidewalk was rebuilt, there were neighborhood schools involved in its construction. There’s small bits of tile, marbles, and personalized messages including hand prints left behind in the cement, forever to be a part of the community.

Take a moment and imagine bringing your own children to this bridge and being able to share this experience with them. Well that wish is indeed a reality. Personally, I think that’s pretty cool.

The designs sweep about half way across the bridge and, because many of them can’t be seen here, I shared but a few shots with you here:

Not only is Los Angeles the “Great Melting Pot” of a city; its ingenuity and creativeness are unparalleled.

Is it any wonder that Southern California and Los Angeles are one of the greatest areas and city’s in the world? Our creativity really has no bounds sans whatever our minds are made up to tackle and accomplish.

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Art, Culture, East LA, Family, SoCal
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