Thursday, May 31, 2012

Another Reason to Garden in Los Angeles: Saving Water

When I first started gardening last year, I worried about whether it was right to expend all this water trying to grow things, especially considering Los Angeles' complicated history (and present) with water. I didn't want to be wasteful, or ultimately do more harm than good.

In an effort to assuage my conscience, I started to save water run off from my showers, washing rice, rinsing out my coffee mug and french press, from as many non-toxic water uses as possible and using that to water my garden instead. Admittedly, things have gotten a little grimy in my household, for which I will be eternally grateful to my roommate for tolerating. I guess the conservation is also an exercise in figuring out how to do things neatly as well. I have a tendency to allow my habitat to start looking like a zoo.

I store the salvaged kitchen water in these plastic orange juice bottles. I drilled holes in the caps, creating a makeshift watering can to avoid crushing delicate sproutlings. After about 8-10 months of use, the plastic eventually cracks, unfortunately, but at least their use got stretched a little bit. Eventually, I remembered how my family always had white five-gallon buckets around that once held various doughnut batters and fillings, and I asked politely for one from a beloved neighborhood donut shop. I use this bucket to capture water from my shower that otherwise just drains off into our municipal system-- perfectly good water that I waste by running the shower until it gets warm. Seeing how quickly the bucket filled up during this pretty typical routine has me considering taking bucket-baths as I did when I was growing up. (I distinctly remember the feeling of switching to showers and getting a thrill from the feeling of assimilation. Now, I want to turn back.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dayshot: Green Line Harbor Transitway Station

It's been a very busy spring, hanging in there through these last weeks of Public Allies, going to meetings after work, and trying to make it to some Tuesday Night Cafes. I am always so happy to get to pass these tracks under the 105 while it's still daylight. 
Thankfully, it's a lovely downhill ride from here, down Figueroa to 135th. I wonder what trains these tracks are/were for, and whether they still run.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Orange Line Extension & Hopes for a Kinder Commute to Stoney

Credit: Zocalo Public Square
The title of the guidebook for Stoney Point is Urban Rock, and I've been considering the prospect of taking public transit to Stoney for late afternoon boulderning this summer when I'll no longer be able to afford my (already-reduced-price) membership to Hangar 18. The thing is, right now, it looks like it would take me a minimum of 2.5 hours to get there, which means that I'd be better off sleeping amongst the rocks than trying to find my way home before dawn.

Earlier this week, however, I saw on the Metro website that a new Orange Line extension will stretch to the Chatsworth Metrolink station. This may mean the possibility of post-work bouldering sessions is a little bit more feasible, which may bring me ever closer to being able to getting comfortable with trying to go climbing without a car. It would be so great to be able to do this for a couple of hours after work. Hooray, LA.