Thursday, January 29, 2015

Holyland Exhibition: Corner of Lake View Ave & Allesandro Way Since 1924

Photo: Antonia Futterer, Holyland Exhibition, circa 1924.  Tour the Holyland Exhibition & learn more about its founder, Antonia Futterer, on KCET, h/t Eastsider.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Antonia Futterer also chronicled the changes in the Red Car Property Neighborhood on film, from 1923 - 1962. Years ago, Betty & Karen Shepherd, custodians of the exhibit, shared his photographs with us to help preserve the history of the neighborhood.  We are grateful for the fantastic photographs.

Watch the video: KCET So Cal Connected

Click here for all our Holyland Exhibition related posts.

SLNC History Collective: Feb 5th, Screening of "Los Angeles, The Early Days"

Photo: Security Pacific National Bank, circa 1930.  About 20 years ago, I encountered a guy on the Red Car Property trying to understand where this photo (without the street labels) was taken from.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Without the 2 Freeway, it's hard to understand where things are.  The Red Car Trolley tracks take a left just past the Holyland Exhibition, running north on what we refer to as the Corralitas Red Car Property.  The landscape was massively reshaped in 1960-62 when the 2 & 5 Freeways were built using countless tons of earth removed from the Red Car Property, among other local large lots.  Click here for a handy before/after 1905-2012 photo transition shot in the same location by Jonathan Vandiveer.

That guy wandering the Red Car Property with the photo almost 20 years ago was David Rapka, Echo Park resident & filmmaker.  The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council (SLNC) History Collective will screen his documentary, "Los Angeles, The Early Days."  The Red Car Property is featured in the film.

SLNC History Collective Meeting & Film Screening
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Meeting starts at 6:30 PM 
Screening: 6:50 PM
2411 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Red Car Property: Not Earthworms

Photos: Jonathan Vandiveer, January 25, 2015. Vandiveer's son found 2 Slender Salamanders (Batrachoseps) under a rock at the India Street entrance to the Red Car Property. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

There are 21 species of Slender Salamanders listed on California Herps, an excellent source for identifying & learning more about reptiles & amphibians found in California.  These are likely Garden Slender Salamanders.  Vandiveer found a pair hiding under a pot his backyard a few years ago.

Slender Salamanders are terrestrial salamanders found under rocks, logs & leaf litter.   A "lungless salamander," they breathe through their skin & mouth tissues.  They are nocturnal, most often found in the daytime hiding under rocks in moist areas.  It was surprising to find these guys at India St, where the environment is more dry year round.  Usually they turn up in Red Car Canyon where it tends to be moist year-round.

Photo enlarged from previous photo.  Those are little tiny legs (arrows).  Slender Salamanders are the only species in California to have 4 toes instead of 5 (if you can get that close to count toes).
Also hiding under the rock (in the lower left corner of same photo) was a tiny pale spider. 

Learn more about Slender Salamanders: California Herps

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Red Car Property: Rainfall Totals

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, January 25, 2015.  Red Car Property at India Street.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas Drive rain gauge...

January 26-27, 2015: 0.3"
Season to Date: 7.5*

* We've rounded up from 7.49" to 7.5" 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Red Car Canyon Lake: 2 Weeks Since Last Rain

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, January 25, 2015.  The ground is already saturated in Red Car Canyon. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Contractor Cleaning Street

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, January 24, 2015.  The drilling rig was picked up after being parked on the lower part of Corralitas overnight.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Vlahakis said the workers at the  2612 - 2614 Corralitas construction site, have "So far they've been diligent about cleaning up after themselves."  He notes the worker who picked up the drilling rig Saturday morning was sweeping the street (see above photo).
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, January 24, 2015.  Vlahakis said the crew has plywood stacked behind every fourth vehicle was used as a cushion every time the drilling rig rolled on the street.  (It's a good thing too, since the City repaved the street less than a year ago.)
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, January 24, 2015.  There was a lot of dirt in the street at the site while they were working, the dirt was swept up by Saturday morning.
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, January 24, 2015.  According to another neighbor, Thursday night, the rig had been parked up at the site, blocking a large portion of the road (in addition to being parked the wrong side of the street.)  

They only drilled near the top of the site.  We're wondering if they will return with a more compact rig for the rest of the work.  

Our narrow, curvy street was first paved in the late 1920s. It was not designed for heavy equipment, nor the number of cars that park here normally.  Then there's added burden of a construction crew's personal trucks.

Construction in existing Hillside neighborhoods is a pain in the ass.  Everyone needs to work together to lessen the impact on all of us. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Corralitas Drive: The Joys Of Hillside Living

Photo: Kristina Wagner, January 22, 2015.  This week, earth work began for a duplex at 2612-2614 Corralitas Drive.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

After only 3 days of construction, the neighbors are already fed up.  Complaints came in a steady stream to me from neighbors... street blocked; not allowing neighbors to drive up the hill to turn around; failure to control "fugitive dust" in an area where the wind comes up every day around 1:30 PM, carrying the dirt all the way up the street; no water of their own because it's not hooked up yet; workers' trucks parked on the sidewalk completely blocking it, including parking in the red zone on a blind corner; no sidewalk access on the blind corner.  

A couple of the neighbors asked to speak to an on-site supervisor about parking & street access.  Workers ignored their request.

Neighbors began calling Parking Enforcement and Building & Safety.  At least one neighbor has called the contractor with these issues.  According to the neighbor, none of his promises have been kept.

Corralitas Drive is a narrow, winding ,substandard Hillside street.  It is not a through street,  with limited parking.  It's also a No Parking on Red Flag Days street.  Let's hope they hired people who've built in the hills before or this could be one of those projects that takes 5 years to complete.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Birds Getting Drunk, Crashing Into Windows

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 11, 2014.  Cedar Waxwings flock noisily around Corralitas Drive, getting drunk on rubber tree fruit & other berries.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Yesterday, a Corralitas neighbor reported via email, "A bunch of birds flew fast & hard into one of the big living room windows. The hits were so hard and so loud, I jumped and thought the window was going to break!"  The neighbor continues, "Many were stunned, staggered about after a bit and took off. Five were either knocked out or dead." 

After herding the 2 cats into the house before they could discover the dead birds, the neighbor cleaned up the carnage.  Later, she discovered not all the birds survived the crash.  

"Apparently several of the birds that took off, didn't make it. How do I know?  Well, lets see, there were two corpses in the paper bag that the kitties play with in the living room, one under my bed and one I had to wrestle out of [one cat's] mouth. I may have them all. I may not. I'm paying very close attention to the little fur beasts who think dead birds are indoor toys!"

Searching the internet to ID the birds, the neighbor believes they were Cedar Waxings, who do get drunk on berries & rubber tree fruit in the yard. While the rubber trees are not in fruit, the date palms are. Cedar Waxwings are also known for flying drunk & crashing into windows in Los Angeles.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Red Car Property: 5 Years Ago

Photo: Diane Edwardson, January 23, 2010.  Snow on the San Gabriels as seen from the Red Car Property between Silver Lake Ave Public Staircase & India St.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Red Car Canyon: 10 Years Ago

Photo: Diane Edwardson, January 2005.  So many trees went down in Red Car Canyon, parts were impassible for weeks at a time as a result of record rainfall. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Riverside Drive: Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Wants To Clean It Up
Meeting Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 1, 2014.  The intersection of Riverside & Fletcher is a major commuter corridor as well as a designated secondary & scenic highway in the Silver Lake - Echo Park - Elysian Valley Community Plan.  (Click on  photos to enlarge.)

Looking back through years of my archive photos, the businesses along Riverside Drive keep their sidewalks clean.  However, both gas stations tend to ignore their rear & side walls which frequently sport graffiti for months until neighbors complain enough to the owners to get it painted out.  The historic landmark Pacific Electric Red Car Viaduct Footings are not included in the clean-up plans as they are on private property.

Silver Lake Neighborhood Council's (SLNC) Green Committee will devote a good portion of Tuesday's meeting to discussion of the issue of cleaning up Riverside Drive between Fletcher & Allesandro Elementary School.  (At one meeting last year they actually discussed the possibility of putting luminarias on the viaduct footings.)  

We'd like to bring up a few questions & encourage neighbors to attend Tuesday's meeting, since so many of us drive through Riverside Drive just to get to our homes on a daily basis.
Photo: Diane Edwardson September 6, 2014.  One of the problems is there are so few homes along Riverside Drive that are owner occupied.  Most are rental homes.   Many Riverside Drive residents south of Gilroy, park on the Red Car Property rather than Riverside Drive to reach their homes.  Bordered on one side by the 5 Freeway, Riverside Drive is a very dark street at night, making it easy to dump bulky items.  Many residents, myself included, witnessed the City recycle & trash trucks speed through pick up so fast they spew the trash all over the street & sidewalk on a regular basis.
Photo: Diane Edwardson September 6, 2014.  Riverside Drive at Clearwater has a bunch of vacant lots (where the new owner illegally cut down native trees last summer).  

We should be asking, why the sudden interest in cleaning up this portion of Riverside Drive?  Gentrification in Elysian Valley is exploding with way out-of-scale development & real estate speculation along the LA River.  If speculators want Riverside Drive cleaned up - they should be paying for it.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 17, 2014.  Clearwater Street at Riverside Drive has long been a dumping ground.  

Perhaps we should be hitting up CalTrans to take responsibility for picking up the garbage & bulky items dumped on their side of the street on a regular basis. Team Mitch, from our City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell's office, has been cleaning up the area for about a year.  No sooner than it's cleaned up, another load of dumping appears.

Yes, Riverside Drive should be cleaned up.  The SLNC wants to raise money from residents & businesses to pay someone to clean it up on a bimonthly schedule.  However, you should question how the funds will be collected from residents & business owners.  Who will  keep the payment records?  How can the public access those records?   

Tuesday January 20, 2014
7-9 PM
Citibank Community Room
Los Angeles, CA  90039

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mushrooms & Ecosystems, Connecting The Dots: Feb 5, 2015, Mushroom Expert Gary Lincoff Speaks At Los Feliz Library

Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 17, 2012.  Red Car Canyon is an ideal place to observe interesting mushrooms.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Loyal readers of the Corralitas Red Car Property Blog know how often we crawl around in the mud to bring you the most interesting, unusual, delicate, beautiful & downright bizarre varieties of mushrooms growing on & around the Red Car PropertyMushrooms are an important part of the ecosystem & help create healthy soil. 

Friends of Griffith Park lecture series  presents:
Mushrooms & Ecosystems...connecting the dots

Thursday, February 5, 2015
6:30 PM - 7:45 PM 
Los Feliz Branch Library
1874 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, 90027
Friends of Griffith Park's website is not up to date, but they are on Facebook


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Red Car Property: Someone Was Stuck In The Mud

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, January 11, 2015.  Playing with his kids in the mud on the Red Car Property meadow, Vandiveer noted, "Looks like a car got stuck here definitely not a 4 x 4. Looks like they had to use a shovel or two to get themselves out."  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Elysian Valley In The Mist

Photo: Corralitas Drive Neighbor, January 12, 2015.  Not only did Glassell Park & Lincoln Heights disappear in the mist yesterday, but so did the LA River, Elysian Valley and the 5 Freeway.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

On a clear day, sunrise looks more like this.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Red Car Canyon Lake: Mud Fun! Rainfall Totals

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, January 11, 2015.  Two days of light but steady rain brought Red Car Canyon Lake back to life.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

We're tracking rainfall totals in the Corralitas Drive rain gauge:

January 10 - 11, 2015: 1"
Season to Date: 7.19"

We're darn close to beating last year's pathetic rainfall total of 7.55"

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Red Car Property: Pile Of Migrating Dumping Gone!

Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, January 11, 2015.  The large pile of dumping that kept moving around the patch of California Black Walnut Trees near Rose Scharlin Nursery School, is finally gone! (Click on photo to enlarge.)
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, December 11, 2014.  A month ago, the migrating pile of dumping was substantial.

Click here for all our dumping related posts.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hyperion Bridge: Yet Another Plan

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 8, 2010.  

The City is proposing another plan reimagining the historic landmark Hyperion Bridge when it goes through an earthquake retrofit.  

Proposal 1A  leaves 2 lanes of vehicle traffic in both directions, but puts pedestrians in direct conflict with bicyclists on 8' wide sidewalks.  Expect lots of blowback from the bike & pedestrian lobbies.  Considering they can't share a 12' wide path in Elysian Valley - this will be a huge sticking point.  

Lots of Red Car Property neighbors have asked me what can be done to alleviate traffic in the area - particularly when it comes to losing car lanes to bike lanes.  If you care one way or another, pay attention & speak up to your City Councilmembers now.  

See all 3 plans: The Eastsider

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Red Car Property: India Street Gate Crashing

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, January 7, 2015.  Guess reusing the ancient gate posts without checking to see if they were securely cemented into the ground was not necessarily a good idea.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The neighbor who shot the photo, discovered one side of the gate  crashed into by a vehicle yesterday.  The neighbor reports the gate had been wide open when prior to the crash.  There was also a vehicle's side view mirror on the ground.  The neighbor did not witness the incident.   The incident was reported to the Red Car Property owner's rep yesterday.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Red Car Property: 2 Months And Almost 6" Of Rain Later...

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, December 29, 2014.  The north end of the Red Car Property greens up nicely with rain.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 26, 2014.  Just 2 months earlier, it was far more dry.  As of November 1, 2014, we had 0.59" in the Corralitas rain gauge. By December 31, 2015; 6.19".

Monday, January 5, 2015

Riverside & Fletcher: Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Thinking About Cleaning Up

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 2004.  The City of LA Cultural Historic Landmark Pacific Electric Viaduct Footings haven't looked this good in years.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council (SLNC) is discussing how outreach to the community to clean up Riverside & Fletcher.  Rapid gentrification can't be far behind. 

The fact that it's a major commuter corridor doesn't help matters. As part of their effort to keep the district's neighborhoods safe & clean, City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell's staff (CD13) along with the LA Conservation Corps has cleaned up the Riverside Drive sidewalks between Fletcher & Gilroy and Fletcher into Atwater fairly regularly for the past year.   

Cleaning pastel paint off the vandalized viaduct footings will likely not be on the agenda at tonight's meeting.  The viaduct footings are on private property.  It's not a park, it just looks like one. 

SLNC Joint Community Liaison & Outreach Committees
Monday January 5, 2015
7-9 PM
Neutra Institute Museum & Gallery
2379 Glendale Blvd, LA 90039