In this second episode with Lewis MacAdams, Founder of the Friends of the LA River, the discussion turns to the River's best spots (including canoeing), FoLAR's advocacy regarding the 6th street bridge and his best and worst experiences. He goes on to discuss his art, his book The Birth of the Cool (to be an HBO series) and LA's East Bank as the next SoHo. Lewis closes up the conversation by sharing the importance of a sense of humour in the face of so much adversity.
Please note that after the brief introduction, the episode begins with Lewis discussing progress of his 40-year artwork, which partially repeats the closing of the first episode (approximately three minutes).
Lewis MacAdams, Founder of the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), has looked the impossible in the face and stared it down. Taking on the Quixotic campaign of transforming the LA River, which Wim Wenders described as violent and dangerous in the 1980s, MacAdams and his Friends have been speaking on behalf of the River for thirty years. They have created a critical mass to transform the former "flood control channel" created in the 1930s back to its natural state.
A major victory took place just a few weeks ago when it was agreed to take out eleven miles of concrete of the 52-mile long river, giving nature its first real opportunity to recover after nearly four generations.
In this first of two episodes, MacAdams provides an extensive introduction to the LA River. He recalls throwing himself in front of bulldozers (minute 7), the role of the adjacent communities (minute 13), his preferred bureaucracy and champions such as LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Governor Jerry Brown (minute 17) and a progress report after 30 years of his intended 40-year artwork (minute 23).
Throughout our talk, MacAdams shows humour, humility, honesty and an improvised creativity. He and his team have shown resilience and fortitude that has been to the LA River's advantage.
The next episode will air in late September and cover the best spots on the river, its architecturally stunning bridges, Lewis's best and worst experience, whether FoLAR is cool and the concept of LA's East Bank as the next SoHo.