Saturday, December 27, 2008

My New Favorite Juice Bar: Lady Fresa

Tonight Lisa and I drove by Lady Fresa on the NW corner of Garey and Grand. Lisa had been wanting to go for some frozen yogurt and I wanted some Rite-Aid(Thrifty) Ice Cream. Instead we decided to stop where we saw a sign that said "Donuts and Ice Cream" mind you this isn't where we went. When we parked Lisa (as she does) immediately began walking into Lady Fresa. I Think this place was recently erected because I only noticed it about a week ago. There is a sign above the store that says "Raspados Bionicos" Raspados is a snow cone with fresh fruit and Bionocos is sort of like a parfait

We walked in and the decor was quite nice, similar in style to Pittsburgh Broasted with three large photos os Marilyn Monroe on the wall. Apparently "fresa" means strawberry and is also a slang term for preppy unfortunately for us the nice lady who worked there didn't speak much english, but Lisa speaks some spanish plus it added to the excitement! We weren't sure what we were getting, but for $3.50 there is no way we could complain! We ordered the Mangorrico drink and the Chemise with guava pulp, mango chunks, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sprinkles. FREAKING DELICIOUS. The Mangorrico is like those mangos with chile powder in a blended drink with mango chunks. The Chemise is really thick so a spoon was needed while a spoon was only required to get the mango chunks out of the mangorrico.

The drinks are cheap and delicious and they also serve sandwiches, salands and blended cappucinos. We'll be going back to this place every weekend at least until we've tried everything on the menu.

I Highly recommend this place to everyone for some healthy drinking. Support Pomona's economy!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Second Hand Fur Coat: Vintage shopping in Pomona, Claremont etc...

So my GF and I ventured out to Claremont today. (boo traitors I know) but we had to visit a couple of yarn stores, and 2 Old Divas on Garey has been closed the last three afternoons we tried to stop by. So we finally decided to go to Phebies in Claremont. It ended up being a good trip, we met a Peruvian woman named Edda who worked there and we spoke for quite a bit about Peru she organizes trips out there and I'll also be heading out there in July with Green Empowerment to help some farmers in the Andes out with their sub-watershed. So we exchanged information and it was a good trip to the yarn shop.

I digress...

Afterwards, my GF and I stopped by downstairs to Replay for some vintage clothing window shopping. It turns out that they are owned by the same people as La Bomba on second street in Pomona, which we visit every so often. There is also a La Bomba in Long Beach and another store by a different name in Silverlake (I think that one may be a "replay" as well).

Let me tell you. These stores are some of the better vintage clothing stores, They have a great variety and the prices aren't too bad. The woman I spoke with at Replay in Claremont says that the La Bomba stores are more 60's to 80's clothing, the Store in Claremont is mostly 40's - 80's and the store in Silverlake has more 20's to 50's clothing. So if you're looking for decently priced clothes, try these stores out.

This brings me to my next point...
Reuse vs. Recycle
The glory of vintage clothing is that when you buy it and wear it you are almost always reusing it. This cuts out the process of, well, reprocessing. The only energy input into vintage clothing is the transport of the clothing. Recycling requires energy to reprocess and it almost always loses some of the material from the original piece. So when you buy bottled water, try to find a way to reuse them before you recycle them. same should go for clothing, donate your clothing, and buy used clothing. It's the sustainable thing to do!

That also brings me to another point.
Carbon Storage.
Simple and easy. Clothing, specifically clothing made of natural/organic materials (not synthetic) store carbon. think of it like this. All life is carbon based, trees store carbon, so when you built a house out of wood that carbon is stored until the house is torn down and the wood decomposes. Paper stores carbon but it is thrown away a lot, that's why when printing I always use the back side of other things I have printed on(reuse), and whenever possible I use recycled paper. I want to store the carbon as long as I can.

Another Point.
Reduction of Waste.
Reused clothing reduces waste, we. are. running. out. of. landfills!

One more thing before my last point.
Second hand stores are cheap (at least they should be or you're doing it wrong) In this economy these places are like heaven!

Now this brings me to my last point.
The Second Hand Fur Coat.
I've been fascinated with this idea of the second hand fur coat. The folks at PETA and all my "fur is murder!" friends would cringe at the thought of fur coats. HOWEVER, fur coats at second hand stores had already been purchased. they are often decades old, the proceeds do not go to the creator of the coat. Instead the purchasing of a second hand fur coat would provide income for a local business or a non-profit business like Salvation Army or Goodwill. The second hand fur coat would not be wasteful, less trash is a good thing. Second hand fur coats help to store carbon longer (especially good for the global warming generation we are in) and for some people it mitigates the purchasing of a new fur coat that may cause the death of another animal. The fur coats are already out there. No need to buy a new one. No need to even make more.

The same would go for leather. I had been thinking about this second hand fur coat thing for about a year since discussing it with a classmate. I even asked some of my vegan friends who are very anti fur, leather, dairy and meat. They seemed to understand. However they are friends and of course they'd be a little forgiving. And sure, I may be just trying to justify my actions. (but the idea came before the action!) "Some may say but it's the principle!" And I say "I believe I'm doing the right thing. I'll never buy a new fur coat."

So I bought my girlfriend a second hand fur and leather coat. and for CHEAP. UNBELIEVABLY cheap! Cheaper than what I was planning on getting her for christmas! by a LOT! I mean... HOLY CRAP! And the lady gave me a christmas discount just because I asked for it!
We actually both did our shopping for each other at the same place, she bought me a wool coat, a knit scarf, and a new gatsby hat.
We decided to not wrap our gifts and just give them to each other in the car. We only buy things for each other once a year and we both already knew what we got so, forget it!

Everyone! Go check out those stores! Support Pomona's Local Economy, Save some money in this bad economy! Go toLa Bomba! Buy a second hand fur coat! Of all people I'll understand!

Now you should know, serious vintage clothing shoppers (like myself) usually never share their shopping locations, but it's Christmas, and I'm in the giving spirit! Don't spill the beans!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Graduate Schools

Well it's obvious I've been slowing down. There are a number of reasons why.
I just got a new computer (I've had two posts since then... more like 1 and a half)
Finals week was last week, finals week is always rough.
and Graduate School applications.

Graduate school means a lot of things though. I'm applying for UCSB and Cal Poly Pomona and Humboldt State

"oh no but if you leave you won't be "student in pomona" anymore!"

well. guess what. I plan on coming back. Pomona is one of the greatest cities and I realize why. It's because there is room for someone like me to in one way or another be involved in the cities community and with the amount of potential that Pomona has it's like having the reward of raising a child. Other cities like Pasadena, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Franetc... already have a lot of what I consider an ideal city so there is no opportunity for me to voice what kind of improvements I think can be made. Call me an opportunist but I like being in places where opportunities exist.

With that said. I've got to get back to my applications.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Idle workers taking over factories.

This morning I read this. Idle Workers Occupy Factory in Chicago It's an article about Chicago factory workers occupying a closed down factory demanding severance and vacation pay that is owed. They were not given 60 days notice as is required by law and owners of the factory did not show up for a meeting.

What's interesting are the parallels that happened in Argentina in 2001.

In the documentary "The Take" The same thing happens but they factory workers end up taking over the factory and begin producing. They actually start working as a co-operative in order to keep their jobs. With the Presidents and CEO's out of the way the workers can keep that extra money and use it in order to keep their business alive. They are many cases of this in Argentina this particular documentary just discusses one such group.

I wonder if the Chicago group will eventually do this. I highly doubt it, but it would be smart if they would. They've already begun cleaning the place. Why not get it up and running and just TAKE IT. At least they'll have jobs!

This post has little to do with Pomona (specifically) or the Landscape but I do find it important. If anyone knows any of those folks in Chicago show them this documentary.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Landscape Phenomenon: Autumn Leaves, Rain and Material

Oh yeah, And I'm BACK! I got a new computer. debt inducing... but nice!
So, amazingly the same day I lost my laptop I was able to see some amazing sights with some help from the same autumn season and rain that had destroyed my beloved computer. This photo was taken at the Center for Regenerative Studies at school. A common phenomenon of the landscape is the falling of deciduous leaves (like the flowering of flowers). This phenomenon however was accentuated by the rain and the material that it fell upon. The cedar wood panels under the leaves are usually a paler grey then they were this day. This added contrast increased the beauty that I was luckily able to witness. These leaves are california grapes and the hues of the deciduous fallen leaves of this grape are beautiful paler colors that look great on the background of darkened wet cedar.

Another phenomenon I witnessed at the center was the fallen deciduous leaves of a Jujube Tree (that's the asian date) laying on top of Urbanite (broken concrete) This Urbanite retaining wall would normally be a darker grey when wet but because the way the pieces are lain there are dry areas on the sides with Jujube leaves laying on the tops. The wet leaves add a glossy yellow brightness that normally wouldn't be seen without the rain.

And another, I'm sure by now you can figure out what I'm trying to communicate. I hope you see something beautiful and I hope now you know why.

What makes this great is that these phenomena are created. Sure the leaves are going to fall naturally, BUT, would they fall on these particular materials providing the level of contrast and mixture of colors that make them so vibrant? The materials which these leaves fall on was chosen by someone. Was it intentional that these particular leaves would fall on these particular materials on a particular day after a night of rain? Maybe, maybe not. But for Landscape Architects I think these kinds of phenomena are just one of the many but important things that we strive for. How to create phenomena? How to enhance existing phenomena in the built environment? Not just with leaves, but with angles of the sun in the sky, cloudy days, bright blue skies, the existence of Wildlife, The other day I say a flock of hundreds of birds flying in one pack and then splitting into two and converging again, it was amazing and it looked like mercury droplets converging and separating in slow motion. These things all happen in the landscape.

How can we harness these phenomena?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Water Damage.

I woke up this morning to find a leaky roof. As if an act of God the leak was Directly above my laptop. That red square is where I generally leave my laptop, that thing has a puddle of water on it. The dry square is where I had a pile of books. the books soaked up all the water there. Bye-bye computer and files. Laptops are required in my major. I usually backup my files at the end of every quarter, our quarter ends in two weeks. so everything in the last three months is gone, like homework.

A good number of my homework files I've e-mailed, so those are retreivable, But none of them are the original raw files, I won't be able to edit them, which I need to do for my final project. I'm using my girlfriend's computer right now, she's sleeping and still doesn't know yet.

This also means I probably won't be blogging for a while, so get used to seeing this not updated. sorry folks.

despair, Tomorrow's thanksgiving. I refuse to let this bring me down! (too bad you can't build laptops out of bamboo)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Working with Bamboo

Originally uploaded by andrewkanzler
So along with this blog, work, and school, I've got a lot of other projects going on. Learning how to work with bamboo is one of them. There are a lot of resources I've found on the internet and I've also been able to ask a Japanese craftsman some questions I had.

This bamboo grows in my backyard, It's black bamboo (this one hasn't turned black) and it's very strong. The first photo is of some bamboo that is dry on some culms but not ready on others.

Here's a photo of heat treated bamboo. The top two pieces are heated treated and are thus shiny and polished. The bottom piece still needs to be heat treated. The top piece is of black bamboo that had actually turned black before it was harvested. Heat treating does two things. It melts the white waxy stuff and with a cloth you can polish it, and second the interior starches are broken down so that bugs won't eat the bamboo. Here's a closeup of how different it looks after heat treating.

one culm shiny and one culm not shiny

Bamboo is a grass so not all grasses are bad. BUT, with bamboo being considered a highly sustainable product be careful! Not all Bamboo products are sustainable. For example most(90% of) bamboo clothing products use a lot of chemicals to break bamboo down into usable threads. So unless that bamboo shirt you're wearing was turned to thread mechanically it is NOT sustainable. (there are no legal restrictions for calling something sustainable). The more the bamboo sticks to its original form the more sustainable it is.

Here's a single shot of a Bamboo pipe I made. It's the first thing I made with bamboo because it's very simple. I don't have much use for it so I might sell it on ebay.

And I just made this right now it took about two minutes. It's a bottle opener I learned how to make from Home Grown Evolution. scrap bamboo and a screw. I used it and it works wonders, MUCH easier than using the edge of my cel. phone

Friday, November 21, 2008

Transit in Pomona: Campus to Downtown and Back

With the growth of new businesses in Pomona including nightlife I figured it's important we all know the bus routes to and from Campus to Downtown. After all we want everyone traveling safely and responsibly that includes financially and environmentally.

Route and Schedule for 480

For you living on or near campus the latest bus to leave downtown back to campus on weekdays is the 490 it leaves at 12:28 am (the earliest if you're willing to wait is 5:38am) HOWEVER on weekends that last bus leaves at 10:00pm There are no stops in between and the route is direct.

I live in the city so I'll be riding my bike, so for those of you that ride bikes remember you CAN get a DWI on a bicycle.

There is another bus that goes through Phillips Ranch the 195 but the latest that leaves is 6:15pm but it goes a little out of the way and has five stops in between. On weekends the last bus leaves at 6:35pm route and schedule for 195

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Where the Sidewalk Ends

On my block, the sidewalk ends abruptly. Why? I don't know. It sure is a lot softer to walk on especially in the rain! There are also a number driveways that are just dirt.

Will this ever get fixed? It's been like this for a while. Does anyone care? Is this the image of Pomona? Where does the money for Pomona's infrastructure go? Come on council people, FIX OUR INFRASTRUCTURE!

BUT, What if Pomona isn't paving this stretch of sidewalk because they understand sustainable practices, conrete increases water runoff, makes water dirtier and doesn't recharge our groundwater(which would help us in times of drought like now). Maybe Pomona wants the water that lands here to percolate back into our groundwater! HA! Yeah Right! Then where's the Decomposed Granite? Why is the surface a layer of dust? Talk about mud on a rainy day!

Instead of getting a traveling Vietnam war memorial in our town, why not stop wasting water and fix broken irrigation?

Instead of military banners why not fix the potholes in the roads?

Not that those causes aren't admirable causes but shouldn't we be focusing on our infrastructure first? Shouldn't we be fixing our city first? It's like cleaning your house before inviting guests over. It's courteous. We should have a clean city and functioning infrastructure before we invite the Memorial to stay in our town or post up military banners in our town, we should be treating our guests, heroes, families, and friends with respect.

This stretch of sidewalk is a perfect OPPORTUNITY for Pomona to use some BMP's (that's Best Management Practices) and use PERMEABLE paving. It's already permeable but in this case that means mud for pedestrians or you'll have to walk in the street. At the least can we get some Decomposed Granite? How about some permeable pavers? It's not a problem it's an OPPORTUNITY!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fried Chicken in Pomona: Pittsburgh Broasted vs. Louisiana Fried vs. Donahoo's Golden

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It is time for some lighter news and some FOOD!

It looks like no matter where you live in Pomona there is a local walkable place to get fried chicken, so my girlfriend and I have been testing them out. So far we've eaten at Pittsburgh Broasted Chicken and Subs at Indian Hill and Holt, Louisiana Fried Chicken and China Bowl at Garey and Philadelphia to the south and Donahoo's Golden Chicken at Garey and Alvarado to the north. (There is a Church's to the west on Mission Blvd. even.)

Donahoo's is a staple in Pomona so that was easy to find, It is perfect for those in the historical district, it is take out only and it's very close to homes to walk to. Louisiana Fried is right next door to Food-4-Less where we shop sometimes, It is definitely close enough to walk to for us but I'd rather ride my bike. Pittsburgh Broasted we found through Inland Empire Restaurant and Food Reviews, it is close to Claremont and Montclair, it is more surrounding by businesses than homes but for those that work in that area it is a great place to eat.

Here are our verdicts, placed by Rankings.

3rd. Donahoo's. I know there are many Pomona faithfuls who may disagree but my girlfriend and I both agreed that Donahoo's was lacking in flavorful content. HOWEVER their sign and recognizability in Pomona is unique and deserves credit for that, however their fried chicken doesn't live up to the hype, I haven't tried their biscuits yet, I've heard they are tasty.

2nd. Louisiana Fried Chicken. If Pittsburgh weren't broasted-fried these guys would have won. Louisiana FC has very tasty chicken full of flavor and the hot sauce definitely packs that extra punch we often crave. Plus if you have the hankering for Chinese food that option is present.

1st. Pittsburgh Broasted. Though more expensive then the other two, Broasted makes the chicken healthier, less greasy and more juicy while retaining fried chicken values (since it is technically still fried just under pressure). Lousiana Fried has slightly better flavor than the Pittsburgh Broasted Original, BUT Pittsburgh Broasted has other options! We also tried their Cajun flavored broasted chicken and that was exceptional! One other option we did not try was their lemon pepper broasted. They also have sandwiches and subs and EVEN Korean Bar-B-Q chicken (chicken Bulgogi).

Interestingly enough Donahoo's owners are Chinese-American (Mandarin speaking) Louisiana's owners are Vietnamese-American and Pittsburgh's owners are Korean-American.

Next to try are Popeye's (which I haven't had since I was a kid) and Church's we won't be considering KFC for contention (maybe). And then we'll be comparing roasted chickens e.g. Juan Pollo vs Macho Pollo. In the meantime, here's a link for your enjoyment about someone trying to find an ordinance for keeping chickens in Chicago.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Protesting Prop 8 in Pomona: Defamiliarizing the Landscape in a Good Way

Jesus Loves Gays
Originally uploaded by andrewkanzler
Pomona isn't exactly known for its political activism, so when I see any sort of political activism of any sort that really draws any group of people together I get excited. On Saturday morning while riding my bike to Stater Bros. I stopped by the protest of prop 8 in downtown Pomona. Here is some footage, with a statement at the end.

From across the street along Garey. (Does anyone else agree that that massive parking lot at WaMu is a major waste of space?)

Crossing Garey on Second, protesters coming towards me. (please excuse the glare streaks from here on out. I don't have a real video camera)

Moving in the same direction of protesters Car/Bike's-Eye-View along Second st Antique Row. (note the police car keeping the peace, I actually caught one of them sleeping in his car with it on over by Sakura Ichi, must've been pretty boring for them. Don't worry, your secret is safe with me Mr. Officer. I don't want to get on his bad side and he clearly saw me.)

Protestors coming towards me at Second St. Antique Row, Cars are honking and people are on both sides of the street.

Wrapping the corner from Second to Third along Gibbs. The background is either crazy cloud cover or the Fires in Carbon Canyon. (this one's a little longer but the different chants are interesting, I'm glad they didn't rhyme 8 with 8)

Last Video, Corner of Garey and Third, being swarmed by protesters. After reviewing the video I spotted Bill Korthof the owner of Energy Efficiency Solar in Pomona(they install solar panel systems) He also owns the Regen Co-op houses in Pomona. If you don't know who he is, he's probably the most conservative looking one in this video.

Pomona looked different on this day. It was grand, and I wish there were more of this more often, about anything. The crowd wasn't that large, it was definitely minuscule only in comparison to the Anti-war protests just before the Iraq War in 2001/2 in Downtown LA, (I helped to film some of that for a documentary in China called "Run, China" with a real camera(please check it out, video is split in three parts)). The sound of the landscape was very different, the sounds of the environment seemed to have the most impact. If people were just marching, people would not be heard, it could be easier to ignore them if sounds were missing. In this moment people were in fact taking back Pomona. I'm almost certain that if this many people were out everyday violence and crime in Pomona would reduce. The presence of other people make people who are about to do no good more apprehensive. In this special case the presence of activists encourage others to be more active. I digress... Anyways, Pomona, Good job.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Time Banking & The Urban Homestead

Last night I made it out to Los Angeles, to
Materials & Applications
. They put on a workshop for Time Banking by the Echo Park Time Bank and short presentation by a co-author of "The Urban Homestead"

"M&A is a research center dedicated to pushing new and underused ideas for art, landscape and architecture into view." I'll show some photos of the place later on.

Time Banking is a very interesting concept developed by Edgar Cahn. Lisa Gerstein and Autumn Rooney explained to us the system of trade based on time. What you do is you work for someone for an hour and then you've earned a one hour time dollar which can be spent on having someone do something else for you! One issue of concern brought up was that some people may consider their time more valuable based on the work you do. Well, get over it! An hour is an hour. How many times have you helped a friend based on your expertise? Well that friend probably owes you a couple of dog walks, and with a time bank you can "purchase" an hour from anyone involved in the community! This system is not the same as bartering. The terminology is actually tax exempt, even the goods trading is tax exempt, but that trade is based on the honor system.

I think this form of exchange of services can be very useful, I wonder if it would work in Pomona. There is software to keep this all in order available from In fact if we had a time bank in Pomona I would offer my Landscape and Environmental Expertise in time dollars.

Shortly afterways Erik Knutzen
spoke to us about his book that he co-authored with his wife Urban Homestead

It's a great book (I haven't read it completely yet) about self sufficiency in the urban arena, It includes not just home gardening but also how to cook with passive solar energy, how to store food for the long haul, and also many other eco-friendly and cost effective ways to sustain oneself.

I had the chance to speak with Erik and he's a really nice guy, I asked him if he would speak at my school about his book at one of our community dinners. He said he has been meaning to come out and visit the Regenerative Studies Center, and well, this would be a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. I will keep ya'll posted as the events unfurl.

And about M&A there is an installation in the front called Yakuza Lou, I took some shots of the robotic ephemeral landform.

And a Cloud

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Need Something to do on Veterans Day?

Beyond Appearances II
1619 Silver Lake Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Urban Homestead & Echo Park Time Bank
November 11th 2008 gates open at 7:30 lectures at 8pm
$5 donation at the door

Erik Knutzen is the co-author with Kelly Coyne of The Urban Homestead a guide to self-reliant living in the city. Infused with the DIY spirit and distrust of the pre-packaged and the spoon-fed, they believe that in this age, gardening and the home arts can be a revolutionary gesture towards richer lives and better communities. Erik will be speaking about how the subject of home economics needs a revival and how the subject can positively influence our lives. Erik and Kelly also blog at

And the Echo Park Time Bank, a very interesting local solution to the hardships and injustices of global capitaliasm. The EPTB is a collective whose purpose is to facilitate the cooperative exchange of goods and services among it's members. Autumn Rooney and Lisa Gerstein, co-founders of the Echo Park Time Bank, discuss the concept of complimentary currency as an alternative to the cash economy, and share their own experiences creating a time bank in their neighborhood.

Our sixth lecture series, Beyond Appearances, will address the growing feeling in our society that we need to pay closer attention to the events that are shaping these times. Everything designed, built, created, used and disused requires an infrastructure and a plan to get it from concept to reality. Understanding the origin and trajectories of these systems is key to understanding and coping with our future. A deeper understanding of what others are doing, both regularly and radically, is a step closer to making the world a better place. These lectures will take place semi-regularly, but it is best to keep an eye out as we have not really discovered if there will be a rhythm to them.

M&A is a 501c3 non-profit organization dependent upon your donations to continue its programs.

Let's Build Something Beautiful!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Progress In Pomona?

So on Friday on my way to school again, I saw this on Valley near where it becomes Holt (that bridge is the 57 fwy). They're clearing the brush!

Before this I had to ride my bike on the road and others even had to walk on the road. BUT, since there is no bike lane I like to ride on the sidewalk when there aren't many people on it. NOW I can actually ride here. So, today, this morning I rode my bike to school and tried out the cleared sidewalk. It was better than I had ever imagined.

PLUS on the other side of the street they were fixing the sidewalk! Awesome! If only Pomona would do that on my street.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

You're a Bad Person if You Have a Lawn.

Food Not Lawns
Originally uploaded by andrewkanzler
Not really, but kind of. Thursday night at the community dinner at the Regenerative Studies Center, Todd from the Claremont chapter of Food Not Lawns came out to speak with us. Thursday was officially "Lawn Day" for me.

Here's Todd, he's a real friendly guy. And I think he's getting his Masters in Regenerative Studies.

Hopefully most people are familiar with Food Not Lawns (it says it all in the name and the Goddess blogged about it once before) so I won't get too much into it. But the organization itself, the chapter in Claremont is an ACTUAL community that will HELP you convert your front lawn into a full-on vegetable and herb garden including POMONANS. They will send out a BUNCH of people to convert your lawn in a single day. A colleague of mine, Anne, who lives in Pomona just outside of the "hysterical" district as she calls it, has had her lawn redone. Unfortunately it was taken over by the invasive nut sedge after some time BUT the Claremont Food Not Lawns group WILL be going back to take care of the nut sedge problem and replant the garden. So if you can't tell by now, they are a very supportive group.

The reason why they prefer to do front lawns is so that it is visible. So that people can understand that there are options to the front lawn. Paula Lantz's interview with the Goddess mentions that there are people that don't like that some homeowners choose to plant foods in their lawn. I for one think that is ridiculous.

Anne brought up a point made by Paul Robbins in his book "Lawn People", that people with lawns and the care for lawns is a cause, for some people, of great anxiety. It is because it is an image that one is upholding for their neighbors. Lawns have a bigger impact on ones life than you'd think. Todd mentioned that the lawn is sort of an extension of the interior home, bringing the well manicured carpeting outside for presentation to the neighbors. I would hate to have to be constantly appeasing my neighbors with my lawn.

One of my Professors Dr. Susan Mulley was also there and she brought up the point of how the shift between lawns and edible gardens has happened repeatedly and is also a source of discrimination. During the war effort (WWII) it was considered patriotic to grow your own food at your home so that more resources could be poured into our troops (those gardens were called victory gardens). Then when that began to calm down and the lawn was replacing edibles it was considered that only immigrants grew their own food and of course immigrants don't know any better and no one likes immigrants!(kidding... or am i?) sad. Now according to Ms. Lantz there are still people in her district that feel others should not be growing food in their lawns! Well... they're stuck in the 50's and aren't very patriotic! (kidding, for reals this time)

The Claremont chapter of Food Not Lawns covers the surrounding areas, so it includes Pomona. I say join them and convert your water guzzling drought inducing lawn into a food production organically grown produce oasis.

Oh and if you want to keep a lawn here are some photos of 241 Franklin in Pomona of the drought resistant Carex pansa

Friday, November 7, 2008

Waste in Pomona (Phillips Ranch)

On my way to school yesterday afternoon I saw this in the Phillips Ranch district in Pomona.

First, let's talk about the turf, the unused lawn. There is about a six foot wide buffer of turf between the street and the sidewalk. Because it is between a sidewalk and the street, no one, seriously no one is going to use that lawn area. Now for those of you that don't know, turf-grass is used as a standard for measuring water use. It's like this: Turf-grass is considered 100% water use, ALL other nursery stock plants are considered a percentage of the amount of water that Turf-grass uses. California native and California friendly plants are usually between 10% and 30 %. MOST nursery stock that people plant are between 60% and 90%, only turf-grass is 100%.

So the fact that no one is going to USE this turf-grass is a complete waste of water. But what else is going on here? A broken sprinkler! This sprinkler is SPEWING water out, wasting GALLONS more than normal, and our tax dollars are paying for it.

First solution? Fix the sprinkler. THEN, if the Phillips Ranchers really want a turf-grass like buffer for their sidewalk, they can replace it with Carex pansa (or Carex texensis) Carex Pansa is a California native and looks and acts and feels JUST like turf grass (Carex texensis is naturalized in California) and since it is a sedge and not a grass (the untrained eye would never tell the difference) it even looks great if you mow it only twice a year! It'll even save some gasoline!

(if you're wondering why I'm driving a mercedes and I claim to be a starving student, it's because it's an oldie, a 1984 diesel that i bought for 1,000 bucks, It will be running on waste vegetable oil soon, like my isuzu pickup)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Nanotechnology, the Environment and, the Landscape

Nano Landscape
Originally uploaded by andrewkanzler
Nanotechnology is obviously growing, it is expanding and moving into other fields. This map literally puts nanotechnology on a map(pulled from The colors show the type of work being done with red for tools and instruments and blue for energy and environmental applications.

My friend Tekena Tamuno-Koko (That would be Nigerian) and I were talking today about nanotechnology and how it could affect the landscape. It seems that much of it is already in R&D and considering that the environment is so closely related to R&D it is one of the most active arenas for nanotechnology. It is something that should really be discussed with Landscape Architects on a much wider scale, especially considering the relation we both have with energy AND the environment. There must be some common ground somewhere, for example this article discussing waste water cleanup

So you Landscape Architects (and students of)start discussing, 'cause it's going to hit us sooner or later and we better NOT miss it. Where is our shared information!!?? Is there anybody out there?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Homosexuality and Space, Christianity and Anarchy, Ownership and Stewardship

What do these all have to do with each other? You'll find out. This weekend my girlfriend and I drove through Chino Hills. On one of the main intersections (Grand Ave. and Pipeline) there were demonstrators for and against Proposition 8 (if you don't know what that is, it is to ban gay marriage) here's a video I recorded on our way to get some frozen yogurt.

There were many Christians there as well as some Anarchists. I was quite happy to see people demonstrating on the same corners for completely opposing views yet being quite peaceful towards each other. It was an interesting experience seeing how these demonstrators used the landscape to get their point across. Many People would stand at each street corner and wait for the crosswalk to turn green. They would then walk back and forth and often circle the entire intersection. I've always been intrigued by how the landscape is used during demonstrations ever since I helped film a war protest in Downtown LA in 2001.

Then on Sunday morning (when there's nothing good on TV) I left the channel on a preacher while I did my homework, after all I just recently had an encounter with a large group of Christians. Interestingly enough the man brought up the idea of "Ownership vs. Stewardship." Now this REALLY caught my attention. It caught my attention because what he continued to say is almost exactly the same things that Anarchists preach. I grew up as a Catholic (though I'm agnostic now) I was baptized and confirmed and even passed a course on teaching Sunday school. From my experiences in the church I knew that the Jesus preached that man should not be enforcing law (John 8:1 - 11) "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." But right in front of me was more proof that Christianity and Anarchy had much more in common (I'm surprised I never realized it before).

Anarchists also preach Stewardship over Ownership. Whereas in Christianity it is not a choice and people do NOT own anything because God is the owner of everything and people are just stewards of the Earth (somewhere early in Genesis). Anarchists lean more to it being a choice. That no one person should claim ownership over anything but instead be stewards of what exists so that all people can benefit.

A friend of mine (Olympia) is an open Anarchist and a Christian she is also transgendered, an Urban Planner and an activist. So there are people that are openly Christian-Anarchists. It really isn't that uncommon.

Then I did a flickr search for "ownership" and I found this photo. With a link to The Sexuality and Ownership of Space. It's about the Pansy Project, what it is is whenever the artist Paul Harfleet experiences verbal homophobic abuse he would plant a pansy thus creating a sense of entitlement to the space in which it happened. I feel it is quite powerful.

The Southbank Center calls it the ownership of space but I believe it is much more a stewardship of the space in which Homophobia has occured because as the artist states, "These self seeding pansies act as a living memorial to this abuse and operate as an antidote to it..." One could discuss the ownership vs. stewardship construct in this context to its death. Plus it's not my art, it's Paul Harfleet's.

The point is, beyond the relationship between Anarchy and Christianity, or the relationships between Political Activism and the Landscape, or even the relationship between Homosexuality and Space. What it is, is that I'm amazed how everything seemed to come full circle and have a strong relationship with each other. I'm also very amazed at the activism, creativity and the similarities people all share.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Drought: California Cutting Supply of Water!

Originally uploaded by freef0cus
I read this article yesterday, from the Associated Press. Read it then come back, it talks about how the DWR is going to cut the supply of water to cities and farms. What that means for us is a hike in domestic water prices. Farms will also not be able to plant as many crops for food. That will also inevitably increase food prices especially considering 85% of America's crops comes from California valleys.

Soon cities in California will be installing separate meters for landscape water so that they can determine how much water each resident is using just on their landscape. The water agencies can then charge you more for "overuse." There is also a new DWR ordinance going out limiting the design of landscapes so that they do not use as much water. See AB 1881

Well, it looks like since people aren't doing it themselves the government is stepping in to do something to conserve water. I know I've said this before but there are regenerative ways to deal with water use and reuse, but we continually ignore those ways. If only people really understood what treatment wetlands can do for our water supply.

So for you home owners. Kill your lawn if you don't use it to for play (or at least replace it with Carex Texensis yes you can mow it). Fix your irrigation so it waters your plants and not your sidewalk. Don't over water, don't use your hose to clean your driveway, take shorter showers, and learn how to capture rainwater (maybe i'll do a blog on that soon).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I.D. THIS! Super Mario Bros. Mushroom

Amanita muscaria (I)
Originally uploaded by .Bambo.
Some of you may recognize this from your younger days, from a variety of sources. Someone in class recently drew the cartoonish version of the mushroom from Super Mario Bros on the chalk board and wrote "ID this!" next to it. Identifying plants is something very familiar to Landscape Architects (and students) so it's often a running joke. But we never ID mushrooms because they're hard to garden with.

Strangely enough, I am actually familiar with this mushroom. It was also featured in "The Smurfs" as the homes where the smurfs live in. In Super Mario Bros this mushroom makes Mario grow when he eats it. It's a power up. There are variations of the color that do different things for Mario. I think that the inspiration for this came from Alice in Wonderland when she ate a piece of a giant mushroom (where the smoking caterpillar sat on top of) from one side it would make her grow and if she ate a piece from the other side it would make her shrink. This particular mushroom is also seen in a lot of mystical art such as faerie art.

What's even stranger is that this mushroom is a very strong hallucinogenic used by Shamans in Siberia for religious purposes. It is also claimed to be the Soma mentioned in the Rig Veda of India as well as a claim of being used by Nordic Vikings. There are also some lesser backed claims about its use by Biblical figures such as Moses, Adam and Eve.

I wouldn't suggest consuming this. It is also considered poisonous and has been proven to induce cold sweats, vomiting and delirium for hours at a time. Maybe that's why only shamans would eat it, no one else wanted to!

Maybe there is some sort of strange connection to this mushroom's hallucinogenic properties and the relation it has with Super Mario Bros and the Smurfs as well as Alice in Wonderland. Or maybe it just looks really interesting and the rest is coincidence. I don't think we'll ever know.

But for whoever was ever curious about the Smurfs or curious about the Mario Bros Mushrooms and for whoever wrote that "ID this!" in class your mushroom has been Identified.

It is Amanita Muscaria also known as Fly Agaric (because it's also a fly poison)

Halfway through the quarter and it's time to push harder

We're halfway through the quarter, that means a lot of things. Midterms, Burnout, Registration for next quarter, and since it's fall and this is my last year that also means applying for grad schools, taking the GRE's, building up my portfolio, Getting a Grad Check done, making sure I have all my classes to graduate.

In case you don't know I'm majoring in Landscape Architecture, with a minor in Regenerative Studies and a minor in Philosophy. I'm a Senator in the student govt. Since the president of the club that I was president of last year is in Italy I have to take over for him for now. I'm also helping to organize our department's student published magazine.

So as you can see I like to keep busy.

with that said, I have some posts up my sleeve so stay tuned.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Economy + Environment: This decade's environmental fad may be more than just that.

Money tree
Originally uploaded by neil-san
The other day I had a chance encounter with Mr. Bob Cordoza at school. Every chance I get I pick his brain because I never fail to realize something from what he says. Mr. Cordoza is one of the senior principals of Nuvis, he is an ASLA Fellow and I interned with his company two summers ago.

I asked him his thoughts on the economy and asked his advice about my graduate school options. Now we all know that environmentalism is a major trend right now. But, in previous environmentalism fads the "green" movement did not last. Such as in the 60's when it exploded on the scene, the environmentalist movement quickly died down afterwards. While there were still many people lingering around, it was by far a lessened movement. Then there was the hole in the ozone layer that was discovered in 1985 and the movement that followed in the late 80's and early 90's. The reason that didn't last is because everyone thought we fixed the problem, and so "out of sight, out of mind."

This time it is different it's hitting our wallet. While the BIG fad is global warming, there is much more to it this time around. What Mr. Cordoza made clear to me, though the reason was staring me in the face, was that the big difference is that previous trends had little or nothing to do with economic factors. This time the economy is so closely tied with the environment that the "green" push may actually stick around.

Peak oil is effecting nearly everything not just your car and big house like in the movie End of Suburbia. All plastics are made from oil and plastics are in just about EVERY product you own, Fuel and most of the world's energy is from oil, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are from oil. It's not just oil, We are running out of Landfills to throw our trash in, so hauling trash is getting more expensive. Farmers that practice contemporary methods are beginning to feel the pinch of their invasive methods, sterilized soils where nothing grows unless tons of chemicals are pumped into the ground, Monsanto and their legal "ownership of life" as mentioned in The World According to Monsanto

I don't see this environmentalist trend dying down any time soon. Its economic ties are too strong. It will soon force people to practice sustainable methods in their everyday life. I won't be surprised to see more solar panels on homes just for the purpose of saving money. We're already seeing it with people driving more fuel efficient cars. It may take longer for there to be a cost benefit in buying organic food, but food is already becoming more expensive in the regular market, a few things are already cheaper at whole foods and trader joe's.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weekend Repost: :Landscape Architecture Needs Fixing (Amenities)

Originally uploaded by aurastra
It's the weekend and it's time for a repost.

Park benches. Trellises. gazebos. hand rails. These are all things that are wrong with Landscape Architecture.

Why does this profession continue to order benches out of catalogs? who actually believes that they look good? Do designers really want the stamp of another company on all of their designs, the same stamp that is on hundreds if not thousands of other designers landscapes?

We are taught to design, why is it so hard to design a simple park bench that has a designers stamp? I visited an award winning dog park in the fall of 2007. It was recently featured in Landscape Architecture Magazine. When I saw the park the first thing that stuck out was the shade structure. The cataloged gazebo. It looked exactly like every other parks shade structure. nothing unique about it. some pillars and a blue metal roof.

If the park could win awards for its uniqueness why couldn't the designers design a shade structure instead of ordering it from a catalog? Are Landscape Architects lazy? A common response is "budget" let's face it, "budget" is a POOR excuse for a lack of creativity and creativity INCLUDES finding solutions on a low budget. not just ordering it from a catalog. I've SEEN these catalogs and I KNOW the costs. I also know how to build them and I know that with some creative thinking it can be done CHEAPER than what can be ordered in a catalog.

It's frustrating to see the laziness of designers in the profession I am going into.

I vow to not order amenities from a catalog. I hope others take this same vow and really push our profession to the respect it should deserve.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Oops!: Mistakes in Pomona's Landscape (California Fan Palm vs. Mexican Fan Palm)

One of my first impressions of Pomona, before I moved here, was of this mistake made in the landscape in front of the Pilgrim Congregational Church on Garey near Holt.

This image is more recent with the church undergoing some rehabilitation. It seems like most people don't notice, but considering the field I'm in it's very obvious to me. These trees are all different trees. Let's do this, the shorter and wider trunk tree is the California Fan Palm now referred to as (C), and the Mexican Fan Palm which is much taller and thinner will be (M). So in the picture it's (C)(M)(C)(C)(M)(M)(M)(M). That's 3 California Fan Palms and 5 Mexican Fan Palms all mixed together. Here's another image.

Now, if you are familiar with Pomona there is a row of California Fan Palms in front of the YMCA, which looks consistent and cohesive, and in other areas there are also Mexican Fan Palms (across the street from the church). So it is fairly obvious that it is meant to be one consistent Palm in front of the church. The question is, which one was it supposed to be? Because of the size of the palms you can tell that they've been here for quite a long time, but I hope it was the California Fan Palm since Mexican Fan Palms are invasive in this region.

When these plants are young it is easy to confuse the two especially to the untrained eye.

There is another place where the mistake occurs

This is on front of the Pomona Catholic School on Garey and White.

I sometimes wonder if these mistakes are a reflection of the disorganization of the city as a whole. If old street trees like these are hastily put together and gathered without a second thought or any sort of verification, then is the rest of the city put together like that? I hope not. I hope the next leaders of Pomona really put their best foot forward and really pay attention to the city's needs.

There are other places where this mistake occurs, and to be fair it is a common mistake when the trees are very very young. But I wonder if the mistake will ever be fixed, (if they do I hope they replant the removed trees).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Support Your Local Businesses: Lobos Glass in Pomona

Originally uploaded by andrewkanzler
A window pane had recently broken at my home and I had to replace it. Since I had also recently written a blog about Graffiti on Holt and Fillmore. The Graffiti next to a sign for a Glass business on that building.

That glass business is Lobos Glass. I decided I'd give them a visit and order a piece of glass. Though the address is on Holt the entrance is actually on Fillmore. The service was IMPECCABLE, very polite, and the person that cut my glass for me measured three times a side to make sure he cut it the right size.

If I had done the job myself by buying a glass that was a sufficient size and cutting it myself it would have cost me about 28 bucks. This glass from a local mom and pop was a flat 18 bucks, so I tipped the guy two bucks, for a straight twenty. So whoever says mom and pops are more expensive isn't really thinking about specialty shops.

So if you ever need to replace a pane, or a piece of glass from a framed work, I highly recommend Lobos Glass. I also read a review online that gave them high reviews.

Support your local businesses.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Get Lost!: A Better Way to Road Trip.

Originally uploaded by rudedog78
Early this summer my girlfriend and I went on a road trip up California. Our plan was to go North on inland roads up to Redding cut across to the coast of Humboldt County and take the coast all the way south back to LA County.

Unfortunately after camping for a few days in the Sequoia National Forest over 1000 (yes one thousand) fires developed across California. Seeing as how we were out in the wilderness without any reliable forms of communication we had no idea what was going on.

Once we left the forest we set on our way. I called my brother to let him know when we'd make it to his home in Humboldt. With that phone call I found out I had to stop immediately and take a detour. Our plans were all completely changed and we had to find alternate routes to get to my brothers house. The ultimate goal was to get to Humboldt so we HAD to find a way to get there.

We had already gone through Sacramento on the 5 but Redding was on fire and the stretch of road between Redding and Humboldt was closed. We stopped dead in our tracks and explored a map for about 15 minutes. We found an old highway by the number of 20 that would cut across to the 101 so that we could get to our destination in Humboldt. (though I didn't take this photo, it is of some of the scenery along hwy 20)

This detour was by far the best detour I've ever taken. The hills were beautiful like the drive from LA to San Fran in Gorman. But it also had the ancient rock formations protruding from the ground like the drive to Sequoia from Tulare. Parts of those hills were freckled with oaks (or black walnuts, it was hard to tell from a distance) This valley was hidden and beautiful with horses roaming and oaks telling their old stories. It started getting dark by the time we got to a city called Clearlake Oaks on a lake that's about 10 miles wide and 5 miles across (the lake is obviously called Clearlake). This lake was also very beautiful, the street front properties lining the edge of the lake reminded me a lot of Malibu. There were a number of quaint towns along this northern edge of the lake, and a number of unlisted campgrounds. I even began to fantasize about settling down here.

By the time we ended our trip along the 20 connecting to the 101, I was excited to have gotten "lost" just to experience this long stretch of road especially being able to see its tranquility at night.

On the way back home we even took a one night detour from the 1 to the 101 using the 20, we were able to see the rest of the stretch of road which was a dense redwood forest. My brother told me of a secret campground around the area which he won't allow me to share with anyone.

Had we not been forced to make this detour I may have never seen this stretch of highway. I could have ended up living my life never knowing this place was there. (who knows you may end up finding a secret camp ground.)

My suggestion? The next time you take a road trip, get lost, take detours,and like Robert Frost take the road less traveled (literally).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Motorcycles: The forgotten form of Sustainable Transportation.

Not too long ago, my brother completed his Chopper, this is my brother with his bike. It recently won an award for paint and was also a runner up for best custom chopper. It was also recently featured in "Horse" magazine. My brother is the machine shop foreman at West Coast Choppers so Motorcycles are essentially his life, like Landscape Architecture is mine.

With a closeness to motorcycles in the family and myself being so close to the landscape, I find that motorcycles are almost always looked over and forgotten. It is not uncommon for a motorcycle to get about 50 miles again, often times more than that and sometimes less. There are four types of street motorcycles, the cruiser, The standard, the sport and the touring bike. A chopper is almost always a cruiser your typical Harley (of more artistic), a standard (or naked) bike is a very basic motorcycle usually a throw back to the 70's or 80's, and a sport bike is also known as a crotch rocket (think speed).

If more people rode motorcycles fossil fuel consumption will be reduced and with a higher concentration of motorcycles on the road a heightened awareness of bikes from drivers would develop. Most motorcycle-car collisions are because the drivers of cars are unaware of the motorcycle, they often forget to look carefully when scanning the road.

If public transportation is not a viable option (as it often isn't in the Greater Los Angeles area) a Motorcycle or Scooter is another economical and environmental solution to hasty transportation.

So please, while you're out there, be aware of motorcycles on freeways, and all other roads. While you're at it, be aware of bicyclists as well. SHARE THE ROAD! My brother has already been in at least three motorcycle accidents. I'd hate to lose him because of some negligent driver. Remember, he's helping reduce greenhouse gasses AND keep the cost of gas down, he's your friend and he's my brother.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Weekend Repost: Building or Landscape (Semantics)

Two months have past. I know but I got too ambitious and found I was too busy to maintain a blog. But not too busy to look at others.

arkhi, chief + tekton, builder

So, I recently filled out a form that asked what my industry was. I looked for Landscape Architecture but it wasn't there and I looked under Architecture and it had two subheadings: Building or Landscape.

Now I find this interesting and I think that this language should be used more often. The next time someone says they are an Architect I will ask "Building or Landscape?" When I refer to what most people call Architects I will call them Building Architects. I plan to make this a normalcy in my vocabulary. After all both Building Architects and Landscape Architects are chief builders of their respective fields of the "Built Environment" A landscapes are often built just as buildings are.

My girlfriend, who is getting her masters in linguistics, always calls me on the use of terms and reminds that words are ever-changing. For example "orientate" was not a word until recently(Got a dictionary over a few years old? Look it up.), the correct term is orient but there is a growing misunderstanding that the root words for ALL words with the suffix -ation usually have the root suffix -ate. Hence Orientation causes Orient to become Orientate. Don't buy it? More examples... Conversation makes Converse become Conversate. Registration makes Register become Registrate. ( I actually expected orientate to have a red underline (indicating a misspell) when i typed this but it didn't causing me to change some terms on my post. (conversate and registrate still have red underlines)

The use of terms also change the way we think. In the past under forms, Hispanics were considered white when marking "white or colored" Asians were also grouped under one heading and even STILL we are often told to "mark only one". The differentiation of races is also a linguistic battle. Because Hispanics were no longer considered white a new minority was developed and it also helped to perpetuate prejudices because they are now "different". On the other hand this helped with the Asian cause because instead of grouping all Asians and assuming that their cultures, languages, and customs are all the same by using semantics on forms to differentiate Asians it is helping people understand that there are major differences (No, I don't speak Asian)

Architect is to Landscape Architect and Building Architect
Asian is to Korean and Chinese

So what I am trying to do is change the way we speak which will thus hopefully change the way we think. Architect and Architecture are the Suffixes, Building and Landscape are the Prefixes. Building Architects can't (or at least shouldn't) do landscapes and Landscape Architects can't (or at least shouldn't) do buildings.