Sunday, July 01, 2007

Of Art and Whimsy

The Farmer's Market that used to be down the street from my office on Wilshire is gone. I believe they moved further down the street but when I called the phone number for the association that handles organic farmer's markets in the city, I only got voicemail. I left a message and stated my inquiry for their new location, along with my name and number, but no one called me back. I really needed a good peach.

So it was decided that Saturday morning we would take a walk down to the Silverlake Farmer's Market via the back streets that connect to steeply-steep Micheltorena, and wind our way back down to Sunset. There we would bag us some goodies at the farmer's market and have breakfast at Millie's. Later in the afternoon we would haul about 40 cans of old paint from the basement, and Joe's leftover motor oil from the garage, load it into the back of Will's truck and take it to a hazardous waste disposal center in Glendale. Which is relatively close to Fish King where we can pick up some soft shelled crabs for dinner. And Foster's Freeze just happens to be on the way home and by 3:00 in the afternoon we could use some ice cream dipped in chocolate running down our chins.

So that was the plan. And all of those things we did. Right down to the last drop of dripping ice cream.
What wasn't in the plan was a yard sale in full swing at a nice little house on Maltman as we wound our way down to be deposited back on Sunset and the Farmer's Market. As we walked by the front of the house we spied some very interesting bits of glass, pottery, and figurines place mosaicly into cement interweaving between the plants and shrubs along the curb.We began taking pictures and as we looked around some more saw baubles poked onto cactus arms and other oddities. I walked along a bank of fold up tables lining the driveway and a man passing me said "You can go into the backyard. It's very artistic." I didn't even get a clear look at him, there were so many people eyeing the treasures for sale on the tables before us. But the words found their way to my ears through the din of all the other voices swirling around, and I crooked my finger at Will and motioned to him to follow me. We entered a narrow walkway along the side of the house and through a gateway we were in the backyard.

There we found an wondrous display of art, baubles, bottles, figurines, statuary, shrines, beads, and winding paths all intertwined within huge tropical plants and palm trees with an art studio tucked away in the back corner.
We believed it must be the home of the much loved local resident of our Echo Park/Silverlake community, Alberto Hernandez. His garden was featured in the movie Quinceanera and I remember first hearing about him in a feature in the Times or the Weekly. Though photos can not do justice to the live experience of being in his garden where nearly every inch is a work of art and whimsy, I shot away. When we arrived back home Will did a quick search to confirm that it was in fact the garden and art studio of Alberto. What a special treat it was to stumble upon this yard sale and be allowed entry to the magic garden of Alberto Hernandez. More on Flickr.

1 comment:

mom said...

Absolutely wonderful!