Some Recommended 2011 Pieces

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I got inspired by Alissa Walker’s recent piece highlighting her top ten stories from 2011… so I figured I’d curate some of my 2011 output. Drive up some web hits here and there! Here are ten pieces from 2011 that I am proud of… and they’re so all over the board that I can’t imagine anyone out there reading this would actually like all this stuff.

These are from various places where I blog – here, L.A. Creek Freak, CicLAvia, Eco-Village, L.A. Streetsblog, and my art blog Handmade Ransom Notes. Yah – a lot of it is insider rants that only a hard-ass bicycling urban creek freak like me would really want to read.

Drawing of my mom - 1987

1. Remembering my mom, Margaret Gerhardt Linton, who died on July 31st 2011. I wrote about her in a few different places… but perhaps most memorable are the following: a three part piece about her home and my sketches of her in the hospital.

For a broader biographic sketch of mom, read this and/or follow the links here. I miss her a lot… especially around the holidays and the turning of the new year. She made me who I am in myriad ways. I am glad that I’ve been writing about her and posting others recollections… so I can keep her memory fresh.

2. Some of my best pieces are really long complaining indignant rants… one of my favorite rants was about the city of Los Angeles’ unnecessary project to tear out the historic 1929 North Spring Street Bridge. The project as initially proposed was, in my opinion hugely awful… then, through a many-year community activism campaign the project has been trimmed back to just awful.

3. Here and then I do celebrate – I really enjoyed last summer’s awesome  boating excursions on the L.A. River.

Photo of the year - click to embignify

4. I am not a great photographer, but I do a take a few cell phone photos that tell some of the stories that I think are worthwhile. My favorite photo this year was of the new green-colored bikes lanes on First Street in Boyle Heights.

5. I was really happy to provide L.A. Streetsblog’s coverage of the awesome new protected bike lanes in downtown Long Beach. They opened in April 2011. If you haven’t ridden them yet, resolve to do so in 2012.

6. I’ve been tracking the bicycle facility mileage that the city of Los Angeles implements over time. I think that city bike efforts have gone from dismal to decent, and still have a long way to go. These are all wonky insider tldr stuff… but I am happy that these stories got some attention, held the city to some accountability, and may have shifted some of the debate toward just a bit better facility implementation.

More of these sorts of stories are on the way in 2012, whether you’re into them or not. And even though I have a reputation for being a whiner complainer critic of the city of L.A.’s bicycling efforts, I do run positive bike stories too – for examples: celebrating new bike lanes on MLK, Exposition, 7th, 1st, Cahuenga, Spring, Washington Place, and Vermont.

7. I’ve written quite a bit about CicLAvia all year (and if you’re not familiar with CicLAvia – a.k.a. the most wonderful thing that ever happens in L.A. – watch this) but my favorite CicLAvia piece was Is a Snerl Human? (For more of my writing about comic books, see here.)

8. It’s still standing right now, but it appears that 2012 will indeed bring the demolition of the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge over the L.A. River. I was glad that this piece got me to finally sit down and document the history of that historic bridge… and happy that it proved to be a popular post.

L.A. River sketch from Sketchbook No. 58

9. I’ve done a fair amount of artwork, the best stuff I think has been in my sketchbooks. See selections from Sketchbook No.58 and No. 59 both completed in 2011. I like these sketches of Occupy Los Angeles, too.

10. A handful of other semi-notable output of mine (ok, so I totally cheated on the top ten thing by tossing another ten links into the last item. Hypographia meets Narcissism!)

Thanks for reading!

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One Response to “Some Recommended 2011 Pieces”

  1. dave stonerod Says:

    Joe,
    Thanks a lot for sending this. It’s all fascinating stuff. I’m trying to get more fit, from being very unfit. A neighbor lady is taking me for walks up behind Brand Library. Have to push, but it’s good for me.
    Paul and I are doing a bit in the garden. There’s so much citrus coming on this year. Hope we get some avocados too. I think Paul has a native plant from our garden in a pot for you.
    Dave

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