21 Memorable Quotes of 2011

After two installments, several StoryShares and Community Initiatives, we discovered (unsurprisingly) that L.A. has much to say about itself. As we get closer to ringing in the new year, we pulled some memorable quotes from our projects that recap the thoughts that resonated in 2011.

'The Pool at Sunt' by John Frost

You look at one of these paintings by Bischoff or by the other masters of the Arroyo Seco, you get immediately what the meaning is because its something you see everyday. Something you live in, it's part of your life its part of your soul, its nature at its most beautiful. This is the real value of having these artist is they remind us where we come from and we come from the land, we come from nature.

I noticed there were of lot of paintings depicting Mexican people with sirapis and cactus and that's all I ever seen and I said 'What kind of nonsense is this?'
L.A. is the center of the movie making world and television, and the music industry and all of these 21st Century technologies and industries. It's always really strange to me that I spend my time and my career sitting alone in a room making things in this way that's 500 years old.

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Power of Place Contest Entry by Nate Schulman

Behold, Little Bangledesh.
-James Foster, Power of Place Contest

Highland Park is not branded by its Chicano art history; it's branded like Boyle Heights, like most other Latino, working-class neighborhoods--by the negative elements.
-Ruben Martinez, Departures: Highland Park
Hermon Avenue! NOT Via Marisol.
-Nate Schuulman, Power of Place Contest
My grandfather one time said, 'the rich missed the bet in that they didn't come to these hills.'
Latin American cities are designed around the plaza and the plaza is where people come together. So i think that many Latinos and many immigrants create those spaces [here]. That's where that tradition of public space or public life is resurrected... The experience of public life cultivates an appreciation of diversity and of difference whereas the privatizes city discourages that kind of diversity because we tend to insulate ourselves within these communities that are homogeneous according to race and class.

The Arroyo Seco

Clean it, green it. Don't you concrete it.
-Little Rattlesnakes, April 30th Story Share

The people up on Orange Grove, they thought of the Arroyo Seco as not a safe place to be, so it remained natural. And they said it was a nice place to walk, but you must come in at around 4 o'clock--you must come back up to civilization in other words, because the vapors take over.
Right now the LA River is an unmarked landscape so It's virtually invisible...if you ask someone who lives even a block away they'll say 'I've never said I live on the river.'
-Jenny Price, Departures: LA River
There's a powerful reflex in Southern California to control nature thereby to put pavement inside the Los Angeles River...to control those waterways, to keep them cemented literally in place so that the great metropolitization of the landscape could occur.
-William Deverell, Departures: Highland Park
The biggest problem with the river is that it doesn't flow through affluent areas...We don't have a constituency of wealthy west side liberals who support what we're doing to the river and see it as a resource. We are trying to convert people who have formerly used it as a disposal site.
-Brett Goldstone, Departures: LA River
The beaches scream, don't trash on me. The hills are far, but cry in pain. Different worlds in one city. As everyone plays, we fight in vain.
-Erendira Hernandez, National Poetry Month Calendar

Passengers on the Gold Line

When you can go to a city hall meeting and all the council people--the young staffers-- have been on midnight rides for the last two years, you don't have to sell it. They understand, they want that happy life. You know cars are ok, but they're not the only way to get around and we want to make the streets more equity distributed
-Josef Bray-Ali, Departures: Highland Park

The notion of co-existence, not to fear sharing this platform with any person of any color of any race of any income is critical in how we engage ourselves in the city of Los Angeles...the businessman who is on the 54th floor of a glass tower versus the guy who is attending to the restroom at the base of that tower could find themselves here, and its o'kay to share that experience.
In other cities they have a tough time--especially colder cities-- trying to sell bikes that are brightly colored, but at this shop, oh my god it's crazy. This is the one town where all the European bikes that are red and pink and purple sell. Because when you're in L.A. it's really image conscience.
-Josef Bray-Ali, Departures: Highland Park


Brown people deserve good food.

Some of my students are gang members and when they're in my class its sort of hard to believe that they're part of a group that has such a bad reputation...when they're in my class they're just normal students just like any other student.
The changes in L.A. from immigration has deepened and strengthened what it means to have a vibrant [city]. Whether it's in the plaza culture--the idea of walking and biking, which is the way one does get around in immigrant communities--whether its in the new forms of art that are spinging up, whether its in a deeper connection to family as part of the fabric of community, you want to emphasize and identify what it means to be an immigrant city
-Robert Gottlieb, Departures: Highland Park
Lost at the edge of America Already ghosts And each poem Already a farewell

About the Author

Kelly is a proud member of the KCET Departures team!
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