Monday, January 13, 2014

Parklet Mosaics in Highland Park

This week's Mosaic Monday site was featured in Westways Magazine last June, in a story about the first few mini-parks, or parklets, or even "street porches," that are opening all over Los Angeles.

Located just outside Bobby's Auto Parts on York Blvd. near Avenue 51, the very first parklet (opened February 2013) is full of mosaics. And redwood benches.

The parklet is about 20 feet long and 6 feet wide, really just a spot for folks to pause and sit down and maybe talk with friends for a bit.  Formerly, it was a red curb, so no one has lost a parking space.

From LACurbed I learn that the park structures sits on concrete piers that are bolted to the curb, bot the street, so they can be moved if necessary.

I'm not sure whether they're calling it the Highland Park Parklet or the York Blvd. Parklet. Not that it matters.

And from the EastsideLA blog (which has pictures of the construction itself): about $10,000 was allocated to build the parklet, and the city government worked with LivingStreets to make the plans.  The LA Conservation Corps and its youth volunteers did a log of the construction work. Once concrete was poured into forms around the planters and allowed to dry, the mosaic panels were applied.

What is LivingStreets, besides a website? It is an initiative of Green LA to make our streets safe for all users. They list four members/officers: an architect, urban planner, landscape designer, and the director of Green LA, Stephanie Taylor.

Cathi Milligan is the mosaicist, and she embedded lots of pictures. She's also very active in her community/ies, serving as the Economic Development Chair of Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, and Executive Director of North East Los Angeles Art, or NELA Art.

As you can see to the left, a screenshot of Reservoir Dogs is baked into one large tile (the top of the aquamarine stripe on the right). The street scenes were filmed on York Blvd, although I'm not sure if these are the scenes from the bank robbery and shoot out. It's been a few years since I saw the movie. That was Quentin Tarantino's first big film, right?

I have no idea who the cute little dog is, or the significance of the chicken.

Tiles came from The Glass Studio, which is Cathi Milligan's business , right on York BLvd.

This picture, from the opening of the parklet last year, shows former mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel with City Council Member Jose Huisar. I use it for perspective. In the other pictures of the park, the mosaics look much larger to me.

There are lots of beautiful shots on Flickr, taken by someone called Walterrrr.

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