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06/28/2010: "A Bike Corral in an Unexpected Place"
I've belatedly come to realize that there is a bike corral within the Los Angeles city limits after's just not one that the city itself put up.

farmar_corral (118k image)Here at the Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax, a somewhat quaint but very real European souk, you might say, where Gina and I go, separately or together, several times a week. It's a short ride from home, and there's a wonderful diversity of food stalls, including Loteria, one of rootsiest Mexican eateries around, and a couple of excellent greengrocers. (There's also the rather plastique chain-store ghetto immediately adjacent, The Grove, but at least it has a reasonably good bookstore.)

Despite its scattering of tourist-trap curio stores, the Farmers Market is a wonderful place to eat, shop, and just hang out, with its hundreds of communal tables crowding a maze of aisles under awnings or even the open air, and it's music on odd evenings every week. It's been a true neighborhood hangout--the closest thing LA has ever had to a real town square--for three-quarters of a century, and I've been going there since I was a little kid.

Sunday we went there to watch Argentina (my homeland) play Mexico in the World Cup, sitting before the flatscreen at one of the open-air bars. After the match, we were unlocking the bikes when I realized that I had never photographed what was, after all, a genuine bike corral, bollards and all!

Bike parking used to be miserable at the place--crappy rimbender racks, impossible to use with a U-lock, and always full (and still in use at other parts of the Market).

But now, a bike corral! One I've been using for months without really noticing anything except how handy it was. So I asked Gina to take an iPhone picture of it.

Now, if we can only get the city to put up hundreds of these things all over town!

To paraphrase, the movie, you, know, LA, if you build them, we will park....

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