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I live on an island in the Salish Sea close to the Canadian border. I love human beings but am horrified by the way we are treating our environment. Society is in crisis I hope we can give up on greed and avaricious and create a more sustainable and equitable culture..

Small Public Outdoor Spaces

2 min read

At the intersection  of Pike, Madision and 15th is a small park  with a concrete ping pong table. Busy traffic moves by and passengers rarely notice the park. This is  McGilvra Place Park.


According to the City of Seattle "McGilvra Place was created in 1901. The small triangle of land is named after John J. McGilvra, whose homesite was on Lake Washington at the end of a road the would became E Madison Street."  The park is a private / public partnership with the Bullet Foundation and the  City of Seattle. Because it sits adjacent the Bullet Center, it should be well maintained over time. 

The trees are century old Plane&nbsp(Sycamores?). The short street on the east side of the park was removed to make the median a little larger and to make a friendlier pedestrian space.

The median strip before renovation:

Photo courtiesy of Berger Architects.

Spots like McGilvra Place help humnaize a busy neighborhood, having old trees on the site give it a gravity and history. There was one man sitting in the park the day I visited (saturday) maybe during the week there is more foot traffic.  

Oasis in the desert

1 min read

Next to the oldest highway in Los Angeles, the Arroyo Seco Parkway other wise know as the 110, is an island of calm, shade and history. The Lummis House, also known as El Alisal,   was built by Charles Lummis between 1897 and 1910. The  Arroy Seco Parkway was built in 1940, it is my favorite freeway in Los Angeles.

Today the house is a museum dedicated to Charles Lummis. The three acre property is a showcase of The drought-tolerant and native plants. The grounds are open two days a week this makes the area quite and some what secluded. Caravans, RVs and traveling folk park on adjacent Carlota Boulevard like wagon trains from a past era.