I’ll give you a tour for 30 cents. The Bridges of LA.

Me and my friend BusTard were going to Alcanzando La Historia (a tour of the 4th, 6th, and 1st Street Bridges) put on by the LA Conservancy, but then we found out it was thirty dollars.

And in order to get the tickets I had to go down to smug SCI-Arc where everyone uses hyphens and parentheses for no reason and then I just was like, well how about I just do my own tour.

And killjoy, I mean BusTard was like, I’m not even doing this.

Don’t get me wrong I like SCI-Arc they are perfectly arty and shit. I love them and their little “I think interior design should be pragmatic. I made this kitchen slash bathroom while on a sabbatical in Amsterdam. My parents are quite wealthy you know, though I look as though I don’t shower. That is all for dramatic effect. So in my kitchen slash bathroom you take a shit and then the shit is put through this cleanser made from formerly used naturally clean apple scented ‘i care more the earth than you, so i drive a prius’ dishwashing liquid (20 dollars at Trader Joes) and slowly excreted into a mini kitchen garden as fertilizer, which vegetables and fruit you clean using your own urine, sanitized of course in a completely eco manner. I call it Re (U)-S-E/Re (P)-O-O.”

Re(U)-S-E/Re(P)-O-O

Yeah so I get there at around 10am after getting some coffee in downtown and using my credit card to buy a transfer, yeah I charged 30 cents. I look and there’s a line. When I look at the 4th Street Bridge I don’t see anything. I expected a banner or something; I guess they were keeping it real, anyways I decide to take pictures on my own when this happens.

I was attacked by yuppies.

I’m just minding my own business taking pictures and they yell, “We saw you taking pictures and we decided to take some too!!” So I go, “Yeah great.” Now you would think my not talking or even pretending to be social would have showed the yuppies to stop trying to engage me in conversation, but as I crossed the street to take picture of the Angels Flight cars under a blue tarp they close in on me, “Hi again.” Oh my god I hate ‘hi again’ people. And then they say, “Do you know what you’re taking a picture of?” Let’s see I guess in yuppie world morons put on shorts and tennis shoes and sun screen and pack a lunch so that they can go explore the wilds and wonders of the inner city and randomly taking pictures of whatever it is that moves and looks fascinating with no understanding of what is is they are capturing, but I am not a yuppie. I was confused as to why he assumed I was a moron like him. A moron who paid 30 bucks to take a tour that he could have taken on his own for free. I didn’t say that though, I just said “Yes, it’s the Angels Flight cars.”

Though I did just use a credit card to buy a transfer, so maybe I am a yuppie deep down inside, deep, deep, deep inside around the bottom end of my colon. I think that’s the part of me that makes me do bad things.

I bet they told their friends when they got back to Santa Monica that they talked to such a nice pretty black girl. That’s my name you know…

Modest condo just outside of skidrow, asking price $1.50

I have to admit I was already a little annoyed about the whole tour thing, before I even got to the event.

Reasons: Hey if you’re an environmental organization and you want to conserve LA, because several conservation and environmental type groups were sponsoring this event, what’s up with the no public transit or bike directions?

Not even bringing it up, yeah they brought up to bike or walk once you get there, but isn’t that obvious. Are there morons that drive from location to location during nature and conversation tours?

Yeah once you drive to the first bridge site (I mean park your car at SCI-Arc, Boyle Heights hasn’t been gentrified yet. Don’t want to encourage parking cars in the scary neighborhood. They don’t even have a Brewery like facility there to protect you against the townies. You know the Brewery the big art complex in Lincoln Heights where slumming future graphic artists yuppies pretend to do non-commerical artsy stuff in a place on the eastside, but they call it downtown.)

Anyways they encourage you to walk or bike along the routes, but why can’t you just bike to the event itself? It’s right by downtown. The Montebello 40 runs from Pershing Square directly to SCI-Arc. The 40 bus stop is literally spitting distance away from SCI-Arc. Their attempts at being green transportation wise were pretty freakin’ weak.
We're green, we care!!!!

Driving a car is the number one thing in Los Angeles that is destroying the environment. Getting people to walk around the freakin’ LA River and its bridges and getting people to build houses there is not going to do anything.

Just in case you think I’m being vague. I’ll be upfront and say I am slamming Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan because I think the consultants running it are total bullshit (because the partners and sponsors of this event smell like big real estate to me, Linear City, Nabih Youssef Associates.)

Something about the LA River Revitalization Plan smells like bad fish. I think I first got that impression when I went to a meeting in Boyle Heights about two years ago and the consultants tried to encourage everyone to pick the plan that did not include soccer fields (codeword alert) yeah I’m pretty sure that’s what it was.

Let’s go back in time to when I wrote this”

I was at one of the LA River revitalization community talks, where the community got to “choose” what path the LA River revitalization team should take. I learned from that experience the community doesn’t have a chance in hell. And I was positive initially when I went to the meeting. I was all giddy like a school girl, until I started to realize that suit people didn’t care what regular people thought. “If you wait until we’re done, we’ll answer your question.” A person annoyed at a person asking too many questions at a meeting, which point was, to answer questions.

After a very long boring talk that to paraphrase; was about how they were going to build lovely things, many lovely things for people to buy and shop at. And lots of talk about how it was going to be like downtown. Putting forth rhetorical questions like, “Is not downtown great? It’ll be just like downtown L.A.” So apparently their dream is to turn the LA River into a place where a bunch of yuppies that like going to bars and have an obsession with their dogs can hang out and live after they get off from work in TV and movie production.

Post presentation where we were allowed to ask questions in an individual non getting people riled up way, we all circulated around a bunch tables. Each of which represented a different section of the LA River. I remember distinctly a guy at one table telling me,

“You don’t want soccer fields, vote for this one.”

“This one” was the one with all the big condo developments. This meeting was in Boyle Heights, so since I wasn’t “visibly” Latina I guess he thought I was on his team or something. The rich people team. Possibly this guy was joking, but it wasn’t a funny joke.

Browne Molyneux- 2/ 2007 if you want my full article that did not get published, even after editing out the more ‘meanie’ and ‘you suck’ parts, feel free to email me.

If you care about the environment, you don’t encourage building in places that displace working class people and encourage asshole certified eco-builders (I’m not shitting you this actually exists now and not as some kind of ironic joke) to build more over-sized and over-priced crap.

The reason why people don’t conserve things in Los Angeles, is because everyone is in their car. The reason people don’t go to the LA River or it’s bridges or it’s historical sites, is because people pass by them in their cars.

You know why I go to the LA River, Griffith Park, Hollenbeck Park, Kenneth Hahn Park (i went by Kenneth Hahn park this weekend, i saw Bernard Parks and Diane Watson because my mom made me hang out with her and my weird sister) the beach, and everywhere else is because I ride my bike and take the bus and on the way I get interested in things I see.

I’m not trying to be judgmental, not exactly, because as an individual if you’re not there yet in regards to giving up your car that’s fine, but don’t you dare call yourself an environmentalist or a conservationist of anything (and ask me for thirty freakin’ dollars) if you can’t at the very least give directions that state alternative transportation directions.

I’m not meaning to be a critic, but you know this all smells to me of a plan to try to get people to buy those lofts that around the bridges and to encourage more building around the river of yuppie cement studios (otherwise known as lofts.)

And thirty dollars? We know who they wanted to show up.

F*&k this pre-school green sh*t.

Full DisclosureMy feelings on SCI-Arc may be tainted because my former best friend used to work there. She openly flirted with my boyfriend, taking off her shirt at Pete’s Café asking him is he would like to touch her perky breasts. Just doing the kinds of things that makes you want to kick a person’s ass. I stopped hanging out with her and she was like, “You’re not mad about that breast thing? In Europe touching breasts is like shaking hands.”

That was this chick’s excuse for everything.

Post Full DisclosureYes this is me mocking people who write something with an editorial slant and then make it seem ok that they have a conflict of interest just because they told you they have a conflict of interest. I think that’s bullshit, but you know whatever more for me to mock…

by Browne Molyneux

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About Browne Molyneux

My name is Browne Molyneux. I'm a lady. I'm a radical feminist. I'm black. I'm an Angeleno. I'm an artist. I'm carFREE. I'm a freelance writer. I'm a blogger. I'm a philosopher. I'm a humanist. I'm a journalist. I formerly wrote a column on transportation, Tracks for LA City Beat. The above are all of the things I have to work on being, got questions email me. browne@shametrainla.com My topics of interests include but are not limited to politics, transportation, dark green issues, economics, race relations, feminism, culture, working class urban life, media, art, Los Angeles and literature.

11 thoughts on “I’ll give you a tour for 30 cents. The Bridges of LA.

  1. Yer funny Browne! There’s another group that does tours of Eastside murals for around 50 bucks as well, which is absolutely crazy. But people keep paying, which is even crazier.

  2. Dude, you put credit card in a post and the autospambots attack.

    It’s amazing the ways that are completely ok to make money, like ripping people off for tours but on the other hand prostitution is illegal.

    How is that fair?

    I guess freelance prostitution doesn’t bring up the value of property, which is why it is illegal. That totally sucks, because I would be so good that.

    Browne

  3. Hey, just wanted to say “gratz” to the whole LAEastside crew for putting together a blog for us, I’m putting you in my daily feed. It’s about time.

  4. Off to a nice start, El Chavo and crew. It reminds me why I got started in punk fanzine publishing in the 1980s: a medium that offers nearly endless possibilities but nevertheless is filled with people writing in pencil about their inner-most thoughts despite the few (like this blog) that step up and swing hard and fast at the first pitch.

    Can I be the token white guy? Oh, wait—why am I asking? I am now the token white guy, so there.

  5. Great comments and perspective esp on the bike thing. I was really surprised the tour cost so much but I suppose its because its a fund raiser for an organization that is trying to save things that LA loves, the downtown theatres, etc. I mean, that takes money and time. But hey, if I could do a tour of the bridges with a guide who knows the history, its worth more to me than me doing it myself because I’ll actually retain more info. Call me crazy. I was almost one of those white people in shorts and sunscreen. Ouch.

  6. I painted the bridges plenty in my days(graff) mostly middle of the night having bums chase you ect most yuppies or hipsters would be too delicate or lets say normal people who don’t do Graff, but aside it was 30 dollars the knowledge and history its self it very interesting something I did not know as often as I been there. and if its for a good cause to conserve old LA fuck it

  7. The 30 dollars was for a good cause, to help sell the lofts that they overbuilt between skidrow and the LA River bridges.

    On my studio in Boyle Heights there are movie posters on my building. Commercial crap movie posters, but the kids always put graffiti on the building, but respect the commercial ads…I’m confused about that why don’t people do there messages on commerical graffiti(movie posters, buildboards, and ads of all kinds of variety), why respect these capitalist a**holes.

    Browne

  8. I doubt the money is going to the lofts thats usually are handled by some gazillionare developer, the conservancy is run non profit and all the people are volunteers. Now I hate gentrification and its happening in my town , But I cant be against the preservation of old buildings neither I know the best thing would be to make it affordable to all the people and that’s the problem they are not but in a sense the building being torn down is not any better.
    And believe me I had bad run ins with yuppies trying to act up, just the other day some girl was being a smart ass from her Toy Factory lofts balcony I felt like smacking her ass but I am sure she is lounging in her roof top pool right about now and that’s what’s wrong with gentrification is high costs and people like that.6 or 7 years ago them people would have never stepped in that area.
    As for the tours I hear your rant that it was to much or what not but if the money is going for things like perserving the old theaters thats cool i rather have that then some cult church lol
    but if you don’t want to pay you didn’t have to it was super easy to just walk up like the everybody else nobody is checking ids and the old ladies working it wont chase you away lol and you could do the same for every single tour if you don’t want to pay 10 bucks for the other ones. But you can’t hate on actually wanting to know history from someone who knows it. A lot of people have this LA pride but don’t know a thing about facts and history?? I actually give props to a lot of the old ladies walking all up in the dark tunnel of the 6th st bridge with a bum chillen ,right on Agnes! lol.
    As for painting and graffiti on commercial movie posters believe me its done but them people are freaken thirsty and actually buff them things quick or pull them off , so we go for shit that will run ya know.

  9. The money isn’t going to the lofts, this was simply pr to showcase the loft under the guise of a LA River bridges tour, look who sponsored it. Click on the LA Revitalization River Plan link, lots of real estate developers involved.

    So you’re right the money didn’t go to the developers, but they got some rather cheap publicity owing to the LA Bridges tours.

    Lots of good causes sleep with the devil, but we have to acknowledge the devil is there.

    Browne

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