Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Militant Update: RFK A-OK - Public Space After All!

Back in July, the Militant stumbled on a curiously new mini-park being finished up along Wilshire Blvd. Why, he even wrote a blog post about it!

After several weeks and much speculation, Robert F. Kennedy Inspiration Park is finally open to the public, having opened this week in conjunction with the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools just over the fence.

It looks like this other blog (which is run by another local blogger you may or may not know) covered the opening, but the Militant got to set foot in the park on Wednesday afternoon and test it out.

There was a uniformed security guard on the premises, but when the Militant walked his bike in, he didn't even flinch. Good sign (or is the Militant really that stealth?).

The park is adorned by a row of trees through the center over a patch of freshly-grown grass and native, drought-tolerant plants like the spiny blue festuca grass, frame the park's sections. A circumferential pedestrian dirt path lines each section.

The most interesting feature of the park? A speaker on the extreme west end of the park that pipes in -- jazz music! No, not 94.7 The Wave crap, but actual jazz music! Maybe as a crime deterrent. Maybe all our future public spaces, like the under-construction Civic Center Park, should have jazz music playing. Especially that classic Central Avenue and West Coast Cool Jazz sound that originated right here in Los Angeles. Awww yeah.

Despite what some of the comments in the Militant's July post about the park feared, there is no fence, steel or chain link, covering the park. Which is a good thing. Great cities have great monuments and great accessible public spaces -- even better when they're of a historical nature. Now, the Militant has yet another place to add to his list of locales he takes his out-of-town guests to. And you now do too.


Anonymous said...

The music you heard was originally played at the Cocoanut Grove. Go back and you might hear a personal recollection of the hotel or a speech given there. It is part of the public art program.

Margaret Pynchon said...

Are those ROBERT F KENNEDY INSPIRATION PARK letters free-standing? If so--any bets on how long they'll last? Did you know that RFK was really just a choirboy who slipped just once--maybe--with Miss Monroe? I know this because I just watched The Kennedys on a schlocky channel called Reelz. Good production values, but only the standard history of the Kennedys. Tom Wilkinson as old Joe stole the show. Katie Holmes looks zapped--lost--but I digress. (Can you tell I have the day off and it's rainy here today?)