Photo by Martin Cox (c), 2008
A bright Wednesday morning. I drove through my prize-winning community, down Echo Park Avenue on my way to Echo Park Lake, where the mayor was supposed to receive Echo Park's award for being a "Great Place." The award is a gift of the American Planning Association, which is based in Washington, D.C. and Chicago. Got there just in time to see Villaraigosa gripping the picture frame, which held the prize itself. Around him were Eric Garcetti, American Planning Association Cali official Vince Bertoni, a couple of other dignitaries -- soon joined by community activists Christine Peters (in hat) and Darren Hubert (T-shirt). In the crowd were neighborhood activist Malcolm Schenot and his dog Praeme (sp?), along with some bloggers, one for the Eastsider blog, Curbed L.A. blogger Dakota Smith, Chicken Corner waterfowl correspondent Martin Cox, and there was attorney Thomas DeBoe and an assortment of other people whose names I don't have the privilege of knowing. Also, some camera people and staffers. On the grass behind the audience a homeless man lay on top of his sleeping bag in mottled sunlight; he looked like he was feeling badly. In the water behind the port-a-dais the lotus were dead and a duck was seen dying. Martin Cox spoke to Dave Foster who manages day-to-day maintenance at the park. Dave told him the birds are dying of avian botulism.
The Eastsider blog has a perspective worth noting in regards to the prize. Click here.
When it was Garcetti's turn to comment, the council president addressed the issue of the lotus (in response to a question politely called out from the "crowd," which really should be called the "group," Chicken Corner supposes). He said the city is committed to seeing lotus blooming once again in the waters of Echo Park Lake. That is not a direct quote. But that's the gist.