A field guide to love and the Los Angeles River

The shortest version of my PhD is “It’s about loving a concrete river!” My next briefest version is “This thesis is a contemporary environmental history that reshapes understandings of how people interact with the rest of nature in urban landscapes.” And, for the keen folks, the entire thesis is now available online at http://hdl.handle.net/10453/123262 If you […]

Thesis Snippets: Rivers and making better

Restoration isn’t about taking a riverscape back to a set point when all was well, as is the popular view of restoration. It isn’t fixing up. It isn’t undoing what was done. Rather, it is about changing the direction in which a river’s becoming moves, by intervening in both the geomorphic and socio-cultural landscapes of […]

Thesis snippets: the saving grace of water

Water has been the river’s saving grace. This may seem obvious, rivers and water are surely inextricably linked. So let me be a little more precise. The visible manifestations of water, and the life enabled by them, have allowed the Los Angeles River to survive extreme human alteration. Acres of concrete, without water, are just […]

Thesis snippets: Paint, Cats, and the L.A. River

I meet Leo Limon beneath the crisp winter sun in a tiny pocket park at the end of Oros Ave in Frogtown.[1] The pocket of land is called Steelhead Park, in recognition of the river’s indicator species, a trout that was last seen in the waterway in January of 1940.[2] We had planned to meet at the […]

A favourite place

We all have favourite places, right? I want to share with you one of mine. It’s  80 km of heavily reinforced concrete. It’s in one of the world’s mega-cities. It’s a convenient place to film car chase scenes, and also a place to horse ride, to wander, kayak, make art, and find space. It’s the Los […]