Day 64 (March 5, 2014) – Los Angeles, CA
“Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.” – Doughboy – Boyz in the Hood
I just had to make at least one Boyz in the Hood reference on this trip, since: 1.) I’m in LA!! 2.) I ventured to South Central to find my image for the day and 3.) technically I’m in the HOOD! To me, these three things brings out my inner Doughboy and has me pumping 2-Pac and Snoop as I walk through the hood. And, if this was 10 or 20 years ago you might even catch me rocking some Chuck Taylors, extra high socks and a Raiders sweatshirt just trying to blend in. Who am I kidding, I’m sticking out like a sore thumb here. I think I just have an east coast look to me. So, as I walk around the streets of South Central I’m a little extra cautious and fully aware of my surroundings. I took the the train out here…yea I said it… I took the TRAIN out to Doughboy’s neighborhood. No need to hop in a low rider or hail a cab…I’m on public transit with the people! And I’m on a mission!
Over ten years ago when I drove across country with a friend who was moving out west to be a star, Watts was our first stop when we got to LA. I had to go because I saw these strange looking towers in a few movies about guns, hopelessness, violence and death in the hood (I think that sums up most of the movies that uses South Central as a backdrop). I still have the photo of me proudly standing in front of an art installation that I knew absolutely nothing about. Over the years coming back to LA, I learned more about the origins of Watts Tower and the artist, Simon Rodia, who created them. He started building them in 1921, but didn’t finish until 1954 and they kinda look like something Antonia Gaudi would have created. But this is not Barcelona, it’s the hood and you just don’t see that much public art in places that “people” have forgotten (except, of course a random mural or two).