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Enjoyable Drive Foiled by Foliage

October 01, 2002

As I leave the 10 Freeway and pass the Convention Center to reach the downtown section of the northbound Harbor Freeway, I never mind being caught in traffic. It gives me more time to study my favorite painting. As an aging art major, I have studied a great many paintings in a great many of the world's museums and art galleries. Kent Twitchell's three-panel mural of musicians of the L.A. Chamber Orchestra, on the right of the freeway at 7th Street, is my favorite.

Each of the 12 portraits on that mural is exquisite. The slower the traffic, the more closely I am able to study each of those faces. If the traffic comes to a complete standstill, that is even better. But lately, instead of feeling soothed when I study the mural, I have found myself getting angry. Trees are growing in front of the mural. They have now grown to the level of the eyes of the woman on the left. Her violin is long gone, as is her green dress.

Can nothing be done before it is too late? Why did someone allow fast-growing eucalyptus trees to be planted there? How could that person be so shortsighted? Trees grow. Is it the responsibility of the city, or the people who own the parking structure, to move them or trim them? Can't we get something done before those exquisite faces are gone forever? Surely I'm not the only person in this city to whom that mural gives tremendous pleasure.

Ann Stalcup

Malibu

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