Everywhere there are islands hidden in plain view. Surrounded by road, they are vehicles to study and interact with an urban landscape marked by transportation and neighborhood, public and private. Many are picturesque panoramas or concrete slabs of conceptual art to be appreciated from afar. Yet, countless other ones are gems of pedestrian accessible, publicly owned spaces that are also the freest place in the American built environment. On these specks of city in a sea of urbanization, you can enjoy a picnic, spend an afternoon painting, protest, serenade a lover at midnight, raise money, hold a small event or otherwise share your thoughts with the bustle of undifferentiated humanity humming along the way.
There are a variety of reasons to visit an island including to experience the unique sense of intimacy or to take a nap. You can also appreciate the variety of scenery or enjoy the local foods found on islands.[more]
Traffic islands are all over the city but not all of them are suitable for visiting or gathering. This interactive map highlights islands you can visit and hang out on based on their size and accessibility to pedestrians.
The right to peaceable assembly is of central importance to our understanding of what is a city and who creates it. The history behind this right, which goes back to the 13th century, has evolved greatly. In the U.S. it used to be a central part of citizenship and street life but this changed in the end of the 19th century.[more]
A California State Trooper at an exit off the 5 freeway in Orange County near Disneyland allows a small gathering and dinner on a concrete traffic island.[more]