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The Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time #234 - The Afterlife of Architecture

01.29.14

One or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives
for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities,
and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the
encounters they find there.

It's a bike ride.

Started by user nathansnider and user theroyalacademy.

It meets every Wednesday at 8:30pm
at California Donuts #21.
We ride at 9pm.
We'll endeavor to return before the last red line trains (around midnight),
but often it is not possible.

On this bike ride, you might expect:
- inconvenient passageways
- oblique strategies
- Oulipian constraints
- disorientation
- reorientation
- "cover" versions of other people's rides, performed with amateurish enthusiasm
- amateurish enthusiasm
- pool halls
- bowling alleys
- karaoke
- geocaching
- full moon picnics
- traffic median tea parties
- rivers that no longer exist
- smell tourism
- Couchwick v2.0

Furthermore:
- usually 20-35 miles
- usually some hills
- a medium pace (probably not for beginners; certainly not a hustle)
- few stops, short stops
- but we're not in a rush; we don't need to run every light
- victory donuts!

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This week:

The Afterlife of Architecture


Los Angeles is known as a place ready to bulldoze its past in order to make way
for what it sees as its future. This has less to do with instances of individual,
architecturally-significant structures being demolished (though examples of this
are not hard to find either), than the city's willingness throughout its history to
erase whole neighborhoods from its grid in the name of economic development --
or, all too often, highways. The callousness (and classism and racism) needed
to see people's homes as, essentially, empty space on the map is galling.

This is perhaps the big story, but it is not the whole story. Because the city's
relationship to its built environment is quite complicated and probably unique.
For one, there is the seismology factor: many older structures that would be
perfectly satisfactory in most other places come to be understood as unsafe
here. Some are torn down; some sit unused for decades as they await their fate.
And then there is the motion picture industry: buildings that, elsewhere, would
probably either be actively repurposed or otherwise meet the wrecking ball live
on as only occasionally occupied shells here. Countless "available for filming"
signs designate this ubiquitous backlot crosshatching the city.

Other stories exist as well, of course, but there's only so much one can (or
should) say in an event announcement, right? So let's get to the point: this week's
ride will visit a few sites that have managed to escape the urban cycle of erasure
and live on past the end of their initial usefulness in one way or another --
sometimes heroically and sometimes decidedly otherwise -- be it through conscious
and caring preservation, reuse and recycling, or merely historical accident.

(<25 miles; little in the way of climbing; no off-roading; mildly educational)

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For the latest information about each week's ride, join our mailing list:
groups.google.com/group/the-passage-announcements

For more information about past rides, visit our website:
ThePassageRide.com

For miscellaneous images, information, and links, take a look at our tumblog:
thepassageride.tumblr.com

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All cities are geological;
you cannot take three steps
without encountering ghosts
bearing all the prestige of their legends.
 


Posted by theroyalacademy