Sunday, October 23, 2005

Looking For Peace In MacArthur Park

A few weeks there was an ad in the L.A. Weekly about Thich Nath Hanh having a
walking protest in MacArthur Park. It was to be a silent walking meditation for peace. No protest signs, no verbalization just a walking exploration of quiet and humans attempting to manifest a huge amount of peace.

The park is located in the Mid-Wilshire district, just outside of downtown. That song, MacArthur Park was about this section of town. This is the same MacArthur Park that was a haven for hippies for what the calendar say it was a century ago.

20 years ago it was a haven for prostitutes, all types of addicts, bad, bad and extremely wicked people and a resting place for poor souls who had no where else to go.

It had such a reputation people didn't go near it in the daytime. Not through it, near it or around it. It smelled awful. If you could go someplace else, you wouldn't be caught dead in MacArthur Park. Folks were found dead; the former occupants of the park had a tendency to kill people.

So having a peace walk in such a place got my attention. I also knew that because of the Red Line train and the hots for land and lofts (not to mention the added police patrols) many of the former citizens of the park had been forced or strongly encouraged to move on to higher or lower ground.

It is not the same place. This is the view of the current surroundings. I got there in time for the silent lunch.

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