Thursday, May 23, 2013

MMM ThemeFriday Hometown

This Friday's Me-Made May 2013 theme is our hometowns. That's actually not an easy call in the metropolis of Los Angeles, where one town blends into the next. Is my hometown Los Angeles? The South Bay*? The Beach Cities**? Redondo Beach? The "Felony Flats" (FF) neighborhood of Redondo Beach?

In the end, I decided to show all scales. We took this photo at the corner of McKay and Artesia--where I pick up my CSA box, shop for groceries and hardware and dine. As you can see from the sign, this grocery store serves a diverse clientele.
Have you played around with the North American Census Dotmap?  Each dot represents one person from the US, Mexico and Canada censuses.  You can zoom in and pan around.  Too much fun.

I took a screen shot of Los Angeles, and marked the locations of where people live  in Hollywood movies (sparse whitish areas) and where they live in reality (dark semi-solid blobs).  In the movies, Angelenos drive everywhere because they live so far away from everything.  In reality, Angelenos have the lowest carbon footprint among American cities because .most. people live with incredible density--on par with New York City.

Have you played around with the Walkscore Heat Map of Los Angeles?  You can also zoom in and pan around to explore different regions.  Areas marked in red mean that you can't walk to any services from there.  Areas in green enjoy high walkscores (low walk times) to amenities.  Notice the deep red color of Malibu and Hollywood Hills--home of most Angeleno characters in movies.

Compare that to the Walkscore Heat Map of Felony Flats.  The intersection where we took the photo has a Walkscore of 89 under the old scoring system and 96 (out of 100) under the new system in beta, earning FF the coveted "Walkers' Paradise" designation.

If you play around with both maps, you will notice that some densely-populated areas such as south-central LA endure very low walk scores due to lack of services.  Places that don't generally get much respect in  the media, such as the San Fernando Valley and pockets of the South Bay, enjoy some of the highest amenity levels within walking distance of large populations.

Our family likes our urban places urban and our wild places wild.  I think that is why we enjoy living here so much.

Myrna asked what type of scarves I make out of jersey scraps.  It depends on the shape of the scraps.  For this one, I cut two bias strips and seamed them together to make one long scarf.  Bad Dad managed to take a good shot of the scarf, but caught me with my eyes closed.  You want to see the scarf and my dinner more than you want to see me, right?

I'm wearing a linen shift, Burda 8511.  I've used it to make this dress and several shell-style tops.  Carolyn has made this dress so many times, she gave it it's own label.  Sometimes, you just want a well-drafted basic.

The gray linen comes from SAS Fabrics, an odd-jobber in nearby Hawthorne.  The bolt probably came from a local manufacturer.  I purchased the jersey from Trash For Teaching; they told me that the jersey came from American Apparel's nearby factory.  Many LA-region factories throw leftover materials into T4T barrels rather than trash them.  T4T collects the barrels and then sells the castoffs for $1-2 per pound.  To shop at T4T, you need to be involved in education.  Blogging about sewing from cast-offs counts as teaching.  So does teaching someone (yourself or others) to sew.

* The South Bay is generally considered the area bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west, Interstate highway 405 to the northeast, Los Angeles International Airport to the north, Los Angeles Seaport to the south.  Proximity to a busy international airport and two major seaports attracts many international companies.  In turn, this attracts a diverse and international populace to the South Bay.

** Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beaches


  1. I think LA gets a bum rap. We love coming up to explore and always manage to find some place quite walkable to stay (a key criteria for our weekend without the kids getaways).

    I looked up my neighborhood on the walkscore thing. We don't score well, but I actually find it fairly walkable. Not as good as our old neighborhood by the beach, but... we can walk to our library, some restaurants, a grocery store, a drug store, a park, and a few other things. Plus the houses are all different, so the walk is interesting.

  2. My home has a good walk score... if you like hill climbing. Going is good. Getting back is a real workout.

    Thanks for posting the scarf. LOVE the way it look so soft and draped.

  3. great map work! i love getting a visual sense of the data---definitely helps me understand more.

    have a great weekend!


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