Lake Balboa: People or Nature

The sky was mostly blue

The sky was mostly blue

Sky turning gray

Sky turning gray

Not being able to walk these days, I miss Lake Balboa. It so happens that I have a proprietary pride in it. IMHO Los Angeles is not truly a city, but there are some wonderful pockets, neighborhoods and parks that can make up for it. Lake Balboa, with its manmade lake is one of them. It never fails to elevate my mood or change it. It also makes me think.

The place is beautiful, but for me it’s about the convergence of nature and people. I don’t have pictures of the cherry blossoms which adorn the park this season, but it so happened that I was looking for a picture of my granddaughter on my iPhone and I came across some pictures of Lake Balboa that were taken a while back. Being impatient with immobility, I looked longingly at the pictures and realized that I took a greater number of pictures of people than nature.

Almost rain

Almost rain

Being who I am it makes sense. The story is always about people. It’s either about the people in the picture, or about the ones taking the picture. There’s one blogger whose photos I love, but I enjoy his descriptions of how he took the pictures even more: http://krahnpix.com/2013/02/28/curing-owl-envy/

When I took my pictures, and please don’t get excited, photographer I’m not (thank you iPhone), it was as much about the plethora of people walking in the park, as it was about the beautiful cloudy skies and birds.

A bird of a different feather

A bird of a different feather

The fisherman

The fisherman

Any time I take a picture of any person I create a story. Obviously I have no idea what that person’s story is, but for me it’s like writing chapters in a book. This fisherman must be a single guy who has fears of intimacy, even though I know nothing about him!

"Can you believe that?"

“Can you believe that?”

The lovers bridge

The lovers bridge

In between the hikers, walkers, runners and families, I was struck by the calmness on the face of the bird man. His shopping cart next to him with all his earthly possessions, he seemed to derive  immense joy from feeding the birds.

You can't see the birdman sitting until you get closer

You can’t see the birdman sitting until you get closer

A homeless birdman

A homeless birdman

I don’t want to sound like an advertisement, but this park has something for everybody. The lake, the playground for the children, the birds, the walks, the cherry trees, the men who play with their remote toys, the couples and the single runners and the occasional homeless man who knows that when sitting there, he’s as rich as the richest man in the world.

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About rachel bar

Psychotherapist and supervisor.
This entry was posted in LOS ANGELES, Photography, Recreation, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Lake Balboa: People or Nature

  1. lylekrahn says:

    Yes it really is about the stories and what we see. I find it interesting that looking at the fisherman through my lens as an introvert, I see someone enjoying his own company – getting reenergized for human interaction. When do you expect to get mobile again? Glad you like my photos and stories.

  2. David Silber says:

    A beautiful depiction. I too am a fan of Balboa Park and its lake. Had visited the park often when I lived nearby in Encino.

  3. Roberta says:

    You have captured some very meaningful photos.. (: Take care!

  4. Anne Le May says:

    As always Rachel, I love your wit, wisdom, and stories. And the photos were great! I wish you a speedy recovery from your surgery, and know that you will be up and walking the park soon. In the mean time, I’ll walk a couple of miles for you. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

  5. Amy Ebert says:

    Great blog post, Rachel! Funny coincidence…Scott & I were just at Lake Balboa today…and then I read your blog. ;D I love this area too. We often go to Las Fuentes Mexican restaurant on Vanowen & then go walk around the park for some exercise and people-watching. We had a good giggle today because as we were walking along a path, we heard faint little kid voices calling, “Hi! Hi!” We looked over and 2 little kids were swinging in their backyard just high enough to see over the privacy fence and greet those walking on the trail. We, of course, had to excitedly wave and holler back. We also spotted a golden retriever with a big stick from a tree chomped between his teeth. He looked as content as can be. There’s your picture of Lake Balboa today, Rachel. I hope you get to adventure around it soon! 🙂

    • rachel bar says:

      Next time, go to Papas and Beer, a much better place IMHO. I’m glad that you walked there, and that I got to see the park through your eyes.

      • Amy Ebert says:

        Ooh! I like Papas & Beer too. I think it’s funny they had to change their name to Salsa & Beer. I’m addicted to their Spicy Green Enchiladas (with shrimp)!

  6. aFrankAngle says:

    Thanks for capturing one of your favorite places. I (like you) don’t claim to be a photographer, but if he can capture something and work it in around words, we accomplish our goal.

  7. godschool says:

    Interesting post, Rachel – thanks! I enjoy learning about places that are meaningful to others and also, why they are. Sorry that you are immobile, and hope you will soon, quite literally, be back on your feet.

  8. Missing you! Sorry to read you’ve been immobilised – hope your mended now!

  9. What a terrible mistake to make!!! “Hope you’re better now”!! What on earth was I thinking of!!!!!!

    • rachel bar says:

      What’s wrong with your first comment? I’m unclear. I’m doing better and most likely start walking normally (my friend Candace calls me the gimp) in less than a week. I have t been following blogs with my usual dedication.

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