by B.J. Delas Armas
on 8/19/2004 09:10:00 PM
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An Art Park or More Low Income Housing ?
"Belmont Art Park United is a group of Los Angeles residents who request that the land located at 1304 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 Assessor's ID Number 5152-007-013, know as the Belmont Tunnel or Toluca Yard be turned into an art park and general recreation facility open to the public. This piece of land is of great historic value to the community of Los Angeles for two main reasons. The area should be preserved as a historic place due to its past use as a subway tunnel portal and train yard for Los Angeles’ first light rail subway system, the Pacific Electric Railway’s Red Line. Secondly the yard has been used as an art park by local artists and muralists who have painted the walls of this site for over 30 years. This is a valuable resource for young artists and muralists to express them artistically as they develop their artform into a constructive, and useful trade such as mural painting, fine art on canvas, graphic design, scenic design and commercial illustration
Basically, some corporation wants to build a bunch of low-income housing condominiums in what is considered a place of great artistic achievement (though the culturally retarded will call it rubbish graffiti with no artistic merit).
I may be an idealist, but I side with those who want to keep the park because parks like that are not only great places of art, but also a way of empowering people in those tough neighborhoods and keeping these alienated minority elements happy. Ironically, most of the time, it would be low-income housing on the verge of being eliminated on which I'd side with in favor of something for some white dude's recreation like say. . .a park.
However, in this particular situation, the art in this park operates as a great way for people in these communities to express themselves in an extremely harmless way. This is one way of fun. This is what they can thrive on.
And it's not just a few elite artists. New art is constantly put up there and art that someone may have done just a few months ago may have been painted over 3 or 4 times. There's that whole website above dedicated to fighting for this one grain of sand in the sandbox that is Los Angeles.
Even if you really don't really care for the welfare of these people, this kind of place is the type that actually serves the society at large. Notice in my second paragraph that I said "expressing themselves in an extremely harmless way." With these parks, kids are able to stay away from gangs and drugs - one way to stop violence. Look at it this way if you're a Republican who thinks that anything like being a minority can be overcome with a strong mindset: They gain their own power by expressing themselves and their opinions (albeit like most minority art usually resisting white American culture by asserting its own). And when they gain some of this power, there's more chance for integration and another mini-step for your so-called color-blind societies. More importantly, they also still pump money into the economy by buying your expensive spray paint cans.
Belmont Art Park biotch.
Labels: City Planning, War on Poverty (or lack thereof)