Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Homeless in the Central Park of Huntington Beach (!)

This picture was downloaded to my National Geographic account, here

The Library and Central Park of Huntington Beach, Southern California, is one of my favorite places.
I've been there many times, buying books and taking pictures everywhere, in different seasons.
Sometimes we go for a walk with my husband, like anybody else in Huntington Beach, because this is not a park for tourists, but for the neighbors, and we are proud of its beauty and peace.
Today, I went alone, and decided to venture away from the walkways to take different pictures from the ducks and landscape. I wanted to focus in textures and fallen Eucalyptus. 

The first things that caught my attention were pretty worn out clothes hanging from the trees. That was unusual because there are no seats around, and people were away from this spot.
Then, I walked to the new circle of pine trees and went to the woods in the area surrounding the lagoon. A jade green pond was bright and beautiful with moss and I got closer to take pictures of it. I was surprised to see the blue and the red of someone's belongings, plus a sign and a big picture frame. That was a nice composition for my shot, the first one I have here.
But when I looked up, I saw in astonishment that more colorful things were everywhere, clothes, toilette paper, bottles, plastics, etc. as you can notice in the following pic, though I wouldn't dare to go farther, just in case. Music was being played from a radio, coming from this spot. A hidden place for homeless.

I've felt somehow nervous, evaluating my situation. A lady alone, inside the woods, if something happened, who could hear me? I went back to the library and on my way I managed to take more pictures, there are narrow paths that lead to areas enclosed by nature, and every time I could see covers, toilette papers, bags, remains of human habitat. In another wood, children were playing seek and hide with plastic guns, pure fun, unaware of the homeless protected by the wet and dense trees. And of course, the worn out clothes were still hanging on the Eucalyptus after my long walk.

Here I am sharing my pictures, even graffiti I've found on the trees. I've spoken to the person in charge of the Library security and he said, I know, and this is not one person, there are four over there, another two....etc. Now I was upset. So, did you know it already?
The security guard said as they are not inside the Library area, the problem belongs to the police department, and that when they are called, they make a few tickets, get rid of the homeless and then, they immediately come back to their settlements. And there is still more, people living in their RVs at the parking lots under the trees. Though there were complaints, they would stay the whole day, it doesn't matter if the park is closed at night.
And I insisted, don't you think it's dangerous? (He totally agreed with me). Who could hear if something happens in the density of the trees? I am not against the homeless, but when they are on the streets, you can watch their behavior, they are exposed.
In Huntington Beach Central Park there is no way they could be exposed, not them, not anybody who would venture to come across with them. What happens after the park is closed? Who knows. Maybe they are just poor people, it doesn't mean they are dangerous. But maybe not.

I have to confess it took me by surprise. Huntington Beach is a very safe city, not to be compared with any other in Los Angeles County. I remember once, two kids were about to fight in the corner of my house, there were a few more surrounding them. A neighbor called the police and there were police cars and a helicopter in minutes. Just for a kids fight!
The Security guard suggested me to contact the police as a citizen, do not send them emails or do not call them, speak to them directly, show them the pictures and please do us this favor. If the citizens complain, they will have more power than us public employees.
I've not contacted the police yet, but I'll do, and most probably I will update this post.

If you reader, are living in Huntington Beach, and like to walk in the park with your family, please be aware of this situation and help us to denounce it. Let's keep this city as safe as always and let's help the homeless to live in better places than the lagoon surroundings.
Your comment is very welcome!.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The colors of Los Angeles Harbor. San Pedro, California

All pictures by Myriam B. Mahiques, taken in September 2013.

A homeless sleeping among colorful urban fixtures

The red, the white, the blue.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The colors of the Ecological Reserve of Huntington Beach

We are always passing by the Ecological Reserve of Huntington Beach, but from Pacific Coast Highway, it looks pretty different, just water, birds, grass, sand, native bushes. 
And it was by chance that I´ve seen from Google maps the colors of the Reserve beyond the highway, the patterns of sand, water, minerals, the tracks, the paths, from the sky, everything looks like abstract paintings.
My son, while watching the video, said, ¨is this true?¨ He never imagined the Reserve the way it´s shown here.
I have navigated the map, changed the zooms, selected, cropped and enhanced the images with more contrast and a little more saturation.
Enjoy the landscape.

This is my digital intervention of a picture I took with my cell phone, from PCH.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Architectural grids concepts

I have generated the ones above, but the ones below are works on pictures I took myself. They are part of my explorations on architectural grids concepts, lights and shadows through grids.

There is also the next one, a picture I have taken at Sherman Gardens and Library. The place is covered by trellis that give different shadows patterns on plants.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Succulents and cactus gardens

Rancho Los Alamitos

These are some pictures I have taken this year, at the Historical Gardens of Rancho Los Alamitos, at the Mission of San Juan Capistrano, at Rancho Dominguez, at the Sherman Gardens and Library in Newport Beach. All the places in California.
Do not reproduce without my permission.

Rancho Los Alamitos

Sherman Gardens

San Juan Capistrano

Rancho Los Alamitos

Rancho Los Alamitos

Rancho Dominguez

Rancho Domínguez

Creative Commons License
Succulents and cactus gardens by Myriam B. Mahiques is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Philadelphia´s Magic Gardens

I didn´t know about the existence of this place, until I shared a picture from Pinterest. Whoever pinned it, left little information about the picture, and the reference was ¨Philly¨ what I figured out Philadelphia???
But the artist´s name, Isaiah Zagar, showed up immediately in Google.
I was moved by the story of the place, more than the folk art, and it´s funny but not so intellectual-artistic from my point of view.
Here, an excerpt from the web page and pictures that I´ve selected:

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens (PMG) is a mosaicked visionary art environment, gallery, and community arts center that preserves, interprets, and provides access to Isaiah Zagar's unique mosaic art environment and his public murals. The Magic Gardens site, Zagar's largest artwork, includes a fully tiled indoor space and a massive outdoor mosaic sculpture garden that spans half a block on Philadelphia's famous South Street. Inside, visitors can view folk art statues, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, Zagar's hand-made tiles, and thousands of glittering mirrors. The installation pays tribute to Zagar's artistic influences, along with community and personal experiences.
Open to visitors daily, PMG has become a unique Philadelphia destination, hosting year-round, low-cost public programs within its own distinctive venue and the surrounding community. PMG, a nonprofit organization, inspires creativity and community engagement by educating the public about folk, mosaic, and visionary art. (....)

Zagar has devoted himself to beautifying the South Street neighborhood since the late 1960s, when he moved to the area with his wife Julia. The couple helped spur the revitalization of the area by purchasing and renovating derelict buildings, often adding colorful mosaics on both their private and public walls. (...)

In 2002, the Boston-based owner of the once-vacant lot located at 1022-1026 South Street decided to sell the land in response to rising South Street property values. Unwilling to witness the destruction of Zagar's neighborhood art environment, the community rushed to support the artist. His creation, newly titled Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, became incorporated as a nonprofit organization with the intention of preserving and promoting Zagar's works at the site of the Magic Gardens and throughout the South Street region. 

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens is now a permanent art institution that is open to visitors throughout the year. Trained guides are available to lead tours of the Magic Gardens and Zagar's surrounding public murals. In addition, PMG offers monthly mosaic workshops led by Zagar himself, and regularly hosts concerts, dance performances, and other public events.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My bright surrealistic landscapes

I've been in all the places shown here, and except for the third photo of the Wetlands in Huntington Beach, that I've taken with my cell phone, from my car, the other are screen shots from Google street view. I didn't use my own pictures because the sun effects were better in Google and inspired me to create these surrealistic landscapes.


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