6th Street Bridge
Since we are currently located in Los Angeles CA, we wanted to dedicate a unique space to the swarming outlets of cultures, noises, personalities, and never-ending happenings this city spits out.
Recordings of Los Angeles will be filled with not just people and their stories, but also random events and maybe most of all peculiar noises from all over the city.
First out in this series we are going right next door to the growing and vibrant art district in downtown LA on the west, and Boyle Heights on the east. More specifically the iconic 6th Street Bridge that a few weeks before its demolition had had an official farewell party held in its honor. If you don’t believe that this bridge was iconic you can turn on any of your favorite hollywood flicks, and you will almost certainly find a scene with the bridge or viaduct in it.
It was built in 1932 and spanned almost 3200 feet across the LA river. It’s been used to portray LA’s more “gritty” side and has appeared in countless TV shows, commercials, music videos, and movies. Especially those nerve wrecking river bed car chases with water splashing and cars going sideways paired up with intense music.
So, why did they tear down this iconic piece of history and threw a farewell party in it’s honor? Unfortunately, the viaduct had an estimated 70% probability to completely collapse from a major earthquake within the next 50 years. For the safety of all Angelenos, it had to be torn down. But, fear not. It is being replaced by an architectural masterpiece that will stand ready in as early as 2019. “The Ribbon of Light”(http://www.sixthstreetviaduct.org/) will open up the area with parks, open spaces, and community aspects with bike paths artist spaces and shops.
Up until the demolition took place, the LA natives decided to say farewell in their own way. This day, was no exception to the matter. For people passing by in their Honda Civic’s, Ford Explorers, and regular “plain jane” daily drivers it might have come across as one of those subcultures that has placed itself on the edge of society. Low-riders, 1930’s decked out cars, and screaming motorcycles with a blinding amount of chrome.
If you walk around and listen to the conversations you find more than just extraordinary vehicles and motorcycle clubs. What to most seem like a foreign gathering of unusual and eccentric people, turns out to be a group with a strong sense of community, belonging, and family.
Perhaps this weekend isn't dedicated to their kids soccer practice or baseball leagues, but that doesn't turn them into a challenge to the social norm. A subculture perhaps, but we all belong somewhere and this split fraction of life in the city happens to contain a creative group of individuals who hold a big part of their identity in noisy world and a tremendous love for cars and motorcycles. It is in moments, conversations, and pockets of random events like these that shapes the vast city into what it is. A big, loud, and surprisingly diverse creative place.
As the weeks went by, Angelenos from all walks of life made their way down to the bridge to say their farewell through different kind of gatherings and events. At least, until the new space is created and will shape the next 100 years of the area.