Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Went to our favorite beach again today, and on the way back, I realized that another reason I like the beach so much is that the drive there takes you through the Ballona wetlands.

This area has fortunately been protected from development, and exists as an immense marshy plain, bisected by Playa Vista road, and bordered by the marina, cliffs, the 90 overpass, and the hideously ugly 40-foot wall of the Playa Del Rey lofts. With the condo towers of Marina Del Rey like foothills in the distance, it's like having a scale model of the original valley in your own backyard. As can be seen above this swath of negative space is oriented such that it collects the sunsets every day, washing its interior with smog-enhanced reds and oranges. Somewhere between the waterlogged ground plane, the sulfuric sky full of pelicans, the immense void and a single road both scenic and free of traffic, a uniquely local public space has collected. It is primarily a vital component of the local ecosystem, but with all of the fencing and culverts helping the wetlands to regain a foothold and build in biodiversity, I prefer to think of it as a gigantic piece of land art, LA's own Smithson. A bird/plant/amphibian/sunlight collecter for the West Side.

1 comment:

d - b said...

My nickname in highschool was Ballona Wetlands.