Passage #333: 9 January 2016

Porosity



Each week on The Passage, we attempt (amongst other things) to tease out the subtle gaps in the city. Unsanctioned holes in barriers, nonsensical connections, and the always popular inconvenient passageways: these are, as they say, our bread and our butter. Any city is full of such fissures and yet Los Angeles, being so big, so spread out, it seems to be especially riddled with them.

When one thinks of Orange County, however, one is more likely to think of things being a bit more controlled down there: planned communities, gated communities, decidedly non-porous communities. But, really, nothing could be further from the truth. As an exurban outgrowth of Los Angeles, Orange County is itself especially sprawling, open, a loose weave. First, with abundant space at hand and therefore less need for density, built right into the plan are a large amount of open spaces: parks and trails and so forth. But even within the more seemingly controlled, tight spaces one can find plenty of gaps — open spaces of a different sort, closed off generally not by any physical barrier but rather by their relative invisibility within the context of such environs and our willingness to respect such perceptual boundaries.

For this week’s ride, then, we take advantage of those both planned and unplanned spaces (or, at least, not planned for human traffic) to travel a relatively long distance while only very rarely using a road open to car traffic. We will navigate around, between, and (weather permitting) under the controlled spaces of Orange County to find spaces of our own.


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