Another World

Russian_lady1-PP.jpg

On Tuesday, in the northern area of Palisades Park, I entered the world at the game tables. Before Santa Monica redid the entire park, older people would bring their own card tables and chairs to the park and play cards together.  It must have been quite a lug, but they did it for as long as the park's been there I would imagine.  People will do what they need to do.  When the city redid the entire park, probably sometime in the 90s (but I should check just for history's sake) they built tables and chairs and created this permanent area.  It's beautiful, under a canopy of trees, and functional and I bet everyone who plays there is so happy they did it.

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In the back, nearest to the fence on the ocean side of the park, I noticed two ladies and a man talking.  What made me want to sit near them was there was an older lady with a long gray ponytail, hanging gracefully down her back, reading to the other two.  I studied Russian in college and I could tell she was reading in Russian.  She was reading something from a newspaper to them, and would look up every now and then and smile and talk with them, to make a point or listen to them.  Of course I wished I could have sat right at the table so I could really listen, so the next best thing was the empty table right next to them.  It was close enough for me to see them but not so close that they would notice me snooping.  It wasn't only that she was reading to them that kept me glued, it was the way she looked so happy and interested and animated about everything she did and said.  Pretty soon after I sat down the man got up and left.  For some reason I had a hard time drawing the ponytail lady, I'm not sure why, but I wonder if it was because I was so interested in just looking at her.  I drew her many times and am only posting the halfway decent ones here.  I also ended up filling in the whole scene, in the above picture; the wheels in the lower lefthand corner are attached to someone's walker.Russian_lady3-PP.jpg

I'm not sure I ever really drew that lady to my satisfaction, she had this wonderful smile and she looked like she was from another world, but thoroughly at home in Santa Monica.  I feel like this area with the tables is a protected space, where people get together as if it's an extension of their home.  Also, before I walked through the area I just assumed they were playing cards or checkers or chess, but when I looked around they were all playing something that involved cream colored tiles with numbers on them, but I didn't know what it was.  Later I found out it was mahjong.

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@activeCoder mentioned @ link to this page. 2011-08-25 21:36:16 -0700
The story of the card tables in Palisades park in words and pictures RT @drawundercover: take a look at my new drawings! http://t.co/rAH7SL3
@activeCoder retweeted @ 2011-08-25 21:32:43 -0700
take a look at my new drawings! http://www.drawingundercover.com/another_world
published this page in Blog 2011-08-25 13:34:00 -0700
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