I’m finishing writing a PhD about love and concrete, and resuming writing a memoir about dating. Here is a glimpse inside: Peter’s mother was dying. Her final days had brought him back to Sydney from life lived almost forever in Europe. He had a villa in France, home base, and from there travelled the world, writing […]
Today was a treat day, spent listening to superb panels and lectures at Sydney Writers Festival. Here’s a quick wrap, because I wish you could have had the day I had. Went to: The Writers Habitat: Michaela Kalowski in conversation with authors Caroline Brothers, Jenevieve Chang, Sara Foster and David Francis Writing Through Fences: Hani Abdile, […]
I’m still close enough to my parked car to press the keypad to double-check it is locked, and already history is inscribed and readable in the landscape. Of course, it isn’t readable in the open-a-book-in-your-native-tongue-and-effortlessly-read sense of the word. Rather, it is readable in the way that makes history such a richly engaging discipline, where […]
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 […]
The interplay of perfection and imperfection has long characterised writing about Los Angeles. In a guide to the city in the 1930s, the project supervisor John D Keyes promised a publication which aimed ‘to present Los Angeles truthfully and objectively, neither glorifying it or vilifying it.’ He goes on to lament that ‘for many decades […]
My very earliest forays into discovering the Los Angeles River, from a distance in Australia, had me thinking that it was all wide, trapezoidal flood control channel, like in the film Grease where Danny and Leo race hot-rods along the downtown stretch, their respective admirers watching on, every shot filled from edge to edge with […]
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 […]
The river is not a consolation prize for those unable to live somewhere more naturally beautiful.