We Love Urban Campfires!

No, not the gritty kind one finds under bridges and behind dumpsters, but the California State Parks variety with city skyline, marshmallows, and power point. LASHP began the Sunset Campfire program in November of 2008 as the culmination of previous year’s “Virtual Campfire” program. The Virtual Campfire program brought State Parks and its award winning Interpretive Team to the most urban of settings, elementary schools in and around Los Angeles. Now, the kids are coming to us as the Campfire really heats up against the backdrop of downtown Los Angeles.

Old-fashioned fun
Old-fashioned fun

This past Saturday, Park Interpretive Specialist, Thomas Carroll, really wowed the crowd with some games, songs, and a presentation on the railroad history of early Los Angeles and LASHP in its original incarnation as the Southern Pacific River Station. As, if that weren’t enough, Thomas followed it all up with a sunset marshmallow roast! Attendance at our campfires has been slowly growing and the next Campfire on September 19th promises to be the biggest and best of all.

Everybody say power point!
Everybody say power point!
Now for a little railroad history
Now for a little railroad history
Big finish - marshmallows for everyone!
Big finish - marshmallows for everyone!

Campfire tomorrow!

Come To The Campfire!
Come To The Campfire!

Hi Everybody! Tomorrow we are having another Sunset Campfire here at Los Angeles State Historic Park. We will be learning about the Rail Road history of Los Angeles State Historic Park! So come on down for fun, family and, of course, a marshmallow roast!

Touch the Water

Cornerstone Theater Company
Cornerstone Theater Company

For those of you with an interest in the the Los Angeles River, or any curious Angelenos who enjoy theater in an unusual setting, be sure not to miss the Cornerstone Theater Company’s production of Touch the Water. Part of Cornerstone Theater’s four year series, the Justice Cycle, Touch the Water fittingly focuses on environmental justice issues related to the turbulent history of the Los Angeles River, from devestating floods, to channelization of the river for flood control, to current revilatilaztion efforts. Told from the perspective of characters with deep connections to the Los Angeles River, be they animal, human, or spirits in between, the play explores the complex intersection of nature, community and a wildly heterogenous urban environment.

The setting of the play is ideal, occuring in an undeveleloped section of Rio de Los Angeles State Park. The stage set overlooks the Glendale Narrows which is the longest natural section of the Los Angeles River. The natural riparian environment provides habitat for egrets, heron, black-necked stilt, and other water fowl that may sometimes also be seen in the less scenic regions of the 52 mile concrete river channel. LASHP staff was on hand last Saturday for a pre-performmance reception and viewing, and was throughoughly enchanted by the natural river beneath an immense and spectacularly cloudy sky. If you are interested in seeing the play, it is running for only two more weeks, so hurry up. Click the link below for more information.
Touch the Water

Pre-Play River Walk
Pre-Play River Walk

Glendale Narrows
Glendale Narrows

Archaeology in the Park

Last week, state parks archaeologists began digging in the center of the park in hopes of uncovering more of the rich history of Los Angeles State Historic Park. Bucky Buxton, Mike Sampson and their team uncovered parts of the foundation of the “car shop” dating back to the late 19th century when Southern Pacific Railroad owned this land. The main function of the car shop was to build train cars from the ground up to add to Southern Pacific’s fleet.

Arch Team at Work
Arch Team at Work

Talking with archaeologist Bucky Buxton, he mentioned that “most archeological discoveries are made in lab,” making the point that they may not know exactly what they have found until they are able to carbon date artifacts and examine them under a microscope. Bucky also pointed out that the lower strata of soil appears silty and is most likely part of the historic flood plain of the Los Angeles River. The layers of history at LASHP are certainly deep and multi-faceted, be they artifacts from the park’s industrial railyway history or ecological history and connection to the Los Angeles River.

Bucky sifting for artifacts
Bucky sifting for artifacts

If you are ever curious about the archaeology happening here in the park and you see the team out working, don’t be scared to approach them and learn about what they are finding.

"Dig" the view
DIG the view

The circus has come to town

Cirque Bezerk
Cirque Bezerk

If you have been within a half mile radius of the park in the last few days, it is likely that you have spotted a gargantuan tent in the center of the park. The reason being, Cirque Berzerk has returned for second time, this time in a tent four times as large as the one they had last and with many more performances.

The circus opens on June 18th and runs until July 5th, with seven performances a week as follows Thursday 8:30pm, Friday 7pm and 10pm, Saturday 7pm and 10pm, and Sunday 5pm and 8pm. For more information check out there website here.Cirque Berzerk

Goats…Part II

This afternoon the Metabolic Studio aka Farmlab brought the goats back to Los Angeles State Historic Park. They are housed in a new fenced in area still in the confines of the anabolic monument at the north end of the park. Much like last time the goats will be here for a only a short period of time, so hurry down if you interested.

The goat clan
The goat clan

Goats and their offspring
Goats and their offspring

Cheesed Off

Krafty Grilling
Krafty Grilling

Lounging on the Lawn at LASHP
Lounging on the Lawn at LASHP

This past weekend, LASHP got down and cheesy welcoming the 1st 7th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational. The day was cool with a nice breeze and couldn’t have been better for all that hot grillin’ action and thousands of eager Angelenos who lined up throughout the day hoping to get in on the cheesy deliciousness. And as far as I could tell, the real competition involved actually getting a morsel of sandwich. Crowds jammed the competitor tables with us “judges” screaming and waving tasting tickets wildly. The Los Angeles skyline became the backdrop for the floor of the grilled cheese commodities exchange. Unless you had a inside contact, it was pretty difficult to tell what you were begging for or what you were going to get. When I finally ended up with a paper plate, ballot, and solid square inch of “sammich,” it was the Krafty Bastard that I sampled- entered in the missionary category of nothing but good old, grandma-sanctioned bread, cheese, and butter. Then came the Kama Sutra category and things got creative with the arrival of an open-faced noodley number, the Spaghetti Western – just a bit too much carb-on-carb action for my delicate sensibilities. Should have jumped on the sammich with tchotcke, that’s more my speed!

XXX
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Good Clean Fun
Good Clean Fun

Say CHEESE!

Whose hungry?
Whose hungry?

That’s right people, The 1st 7th annual Grilled Cheese Invitational is coming to Los Angeles State Historic Park this weekend.

There will be four separate categories of grilled cheese so there is sure to be one to satisfy any cheesehead. It will be happening this Saturday, April 25th from noon to 6:00pm; admission is $5.
For more information click here

March for Water 2009

marchfor
Come to Los Angeles State Historic Park on Sunday, March 22 at 9:00am to march for water conservation and water awareness. From MarchforAwareness.com

This march seeks to help bring attention to the present water crisis taking place all over the world, our nation, the state and the City of Los Angeles. We believe that the current “crisis status” stems from the poor management of this resource at all levels.

We chose March 22nd so our march would coincide with World Water Day. Through this march we take on the commitment to bring people together on this most important topic and resource. While bringing awareness to local issues relating to water, we also have an opportunity to bring attention to world water issues impacting fellow humans around the world.

Only about 2.5 percent of the Earth’s water is fresh and suitable for drinking. Climate change, pollution, and the unsustainable use of water are depleting this limited supply. In Peru, nearly all drinking water comes from glaciers that are melting fast and may be completely gone by 2015. Across Africa, all 667 major lakes are drying up. Lake Chad, once the third-largest lake in Africa, has shrunk by 90 percent.

The march is from LASHP to Rio de Los Angeles State Park (roughly 3 miles), so wear good walking shoes, bring money for food and your own reusable water bottle. Click here for more infomation

Campfire Tomorrow

Campfire on Feb.20th at 5:30pm
Campfire on Feb.20th at 5:30pm

Come on down to Los Angeles State Historic Park for our third Sunset Campfire, tomorrow at 5:30pm. We will be sitting around a campfire, singing songs, learning about the variety of state parks in and around the Los Angeles area, and roasting marshmallows. It is free of charge and fun for the whole family. Meet in the center of the park at the historic round table at 5:30pm, Friday February 20th. Any questions call (323) 441-8819 or email tcarroll@parks.ca.gov

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