In the suffocation of Los Angeles traffic, in the countless hours lost commuting to and from, as we move along at a snail space, I started looking out the window. Looking at what Los Angeles has become in the 30+ years I’ve lived here. As I drove, I decided to stop at two separate sites that had grabbed my attention: Valencia Triangle and Lafayette Park.
Valencia Triangle is located at the corner of 8th and Valencia. Here there is a statue dedicated to Francisco Morazan, whom helped unify Central America after its independence from Spain. More unique and strange, is the tombstone of Maria Washington (died 1888). On that headstone, the inscription reads: “Who served as a nurse in war from 1862-1865” (the American Civil War). There is no grave, there is no plaque. As a matter of fact, it is buried (no pun intended) behind some well-maintained shrubbery.
Not too much further down the road, at the corner of Lafayette and Hoover is Lafayette Park. At that site there is a spectacular sculpture sanctioned by the PWAP (Public Wars Art Project) of the 1930s as part of the New Deal. It is a monument title “Power of Water” by Henry Lion, Jason Herron, and Sherry Peticolas.
Maybe, that traffic slows us down on purpose, to help us survey and think about the history that has shaped this spectacular city.