What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Artist Harry Gamboa, Jr. said when he was a boy in East Los Angeles, all the streets were filled with beautiful trees, but in the 1960’s they were cut down to accommodate the Los Angeles Police’s helicopter surveillance program.  Remnants of what the trees may have looked like still exist on Cesar E. Chavez boulevard, on a strip between Evergreen and Indiana, which by the way, is flanked by a jogging path and the oldest cemetery in Los Angeles (see the first picture above).  These non-native Ficus Trees, a distant relative to Fig Trees, provide a great source of nutritional support to the wildlife in the area, cool fresh air during the hot summers and somewhat of a sound barrier from the traffic, to us residents.  I have lived here for a few years now, and have noticed the diligent pruning of the trees on my corner, several times a year.   On further investigation, it appears that the City of Los Angeles maintains the Ficus Trees on my corner excessively stubby year long, to give traffic visibility to a privately owned billboard situated between four trees (see the second picture above).  When the whole nation is looking at ways to keep our country “green”, I wonder why the community of Boyle Heights has to relinquish nature to corporate commercialism.

4 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with this Picture?

  1. I remember My ELA street where I grew up (Kern Avenue just south of Whittier Bl.) being all beautifully tree-lined along with all the other neighboring residential streets. It was horrible when the city cut everything down and cut back the width of all the sidewalks. That’s also when they demolished all the homes on Arizona Avenue to widen it into 4 lanes with a median divider (they even had to move Safety Liquor to the opposite side of Whittier). To this day I wonder why the Hell they had to do that.

  2. You touched on a subject I feel very emotional about. Not only is it the city who mows down trees but I have quite a few neighbors who haven’t met a chainsaw they didn’t like. I can’t count how many Sunday mornings I’ve woken up to the sound of chainsaws cutting down: A 70 year Queen Palm (2 actually), a ancient Cypress and a mature avocado tree that gave shade to three homes. I have run out of my house to ask them to reconsider but to no avail. What is it about some men, that they love to chop things down? Is it some kind of conquering of nature?

  3. What the hell ? You have a great eye Victoria because I never really stopped to think about it or really pay attention. Not only are the trees being raped, by the stupid billboards are on peoples front yards. Every time I pass by them and look up them I think to myself how stupid it is to have the billboards there.

  4. Those ficus trees are so ugly, I am glad they cut them back. They ruin sidewalks with their huge roots and should have never been planted to begin with. Gross

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