February 27, 2013
Last month I visited my son who lives in the Arts District of Downtown LA, you know, the Warehouse District, south of the 101 and west of the LA River.
And from my visit, came this poem.
Roots in Downtown LA
Even in downtown LA,
Amidst century old warehouses,
There is opportunity
To do the improbable.
To grow lettuce on his warehouse roof,
Daily my son climbs the metal utility ladder
In his rustic loft, hefting a jug of water,
Surveying the skyline and nurturing a dream.
His roots, like those of his lettuce,
Are in downtown LA.
One hundred years ago, his grandfather’s grandfather
Also did the improbable–
Moving a family of eleven
From a gritty Pennsylvania city,
By train, to downtown LA
In search of opportunity.
Here’s an excerpt from my earlier blog essay, Open Ground about gardens, community and opportunity in the city.
As the train approaches Union Station, we pass under ornate bridges from the 1920’s. Above the train, East 4th Street crosses the Los Angeles River. My father traveled across this bridge. Now my son, Tim does. He resides nearby in a live-work loft building in the Arts District, adjacent to the rail yards. He works in a design start-up business. This is his neighborhood and he too sees possibilities. I see five generations of my family connected to this place and drawn here by opportunity. Read more
I’ll share more images from Tim’s garden in my next post.