South of Fletcher: Stories from the Bowtie

South of Fletcher: Stories from the Bowtie, Fonografia Collective, 2018
Photo: Bear Guerra

South of Fletcher: Stories from the Bowtie explores the past, present and potential of the Bowtie Parcel.

Once one of Southern California’s most important rail yards, this site will soon become the next urban California State Park, joining a patchwork of other river-adjacent green spaces that are shaping the course of LA River revitalization. Through personal interviews with people who have worked, lived and otherwise made their marks at this post-industrial site, Fonografia Collective explores some of LA’s biggest challenges, and speculates about what change at this site might mean for the rest of the city.

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Written and co-produced by Ruxandra Guidi
Edited by Ibby Caputo
Music by Luis Guerra

Podcast Episodes


South of Fletcher:
Stories from the Bowtie

August 8, 2018

2 minutes

Follow along as we explore the rhythms of this unique site on the brink of major change. New episodes will be posted bi-weekly, starting in early September.

Episode 1

Taylor Yard

September 10, 2018

19 minutes

Back in the '70s, the Bowtie Parcel was a bustling rail depot better known as Taylor Yard; a place where Southern Pacific diesel trains came from throughout Southern California for maintenance and repairs. In this episode, Bob Ramírez & Don Tortorice share what it was like to work at the site.

Episode 2


September 24, 2018

16 minutes

How do we thrive in less-than-ideal living conditions? In this episode Rux and Bear talk with CA State Parks certified interpretive specialist Luis Rincon, ecological historian Travis Longcore, and longtime Frogtown/Atwater resident Liz Vega about disturbance at the Bowtie and its surrounding communities.

Episode 3

The Pocket

October 8, 2018

15 minutes

There's only one way into and out of the Bowtie — through the Pocket. This little section of Atwater Village, sandwiched between Fletcher Drive the 2 freeway, is home to a diverse community with mixed feelings about the soon-to-be-park next door.

Episode 4

Open Space for Everyone

October 22, 2018

21 Minutes

The Bowtie is a rare plot of wide open space in a city that's becoming more densely populated by the day. What will happen when the site becomes a park? Who will get to use it?


Long Live Ryan

October 29, 2018

14 Minutes

In this episode, Rux and Bear share how they uncovered the story of Ryan Coreas, a local teenager whose life is memorialized at one of his favorite places to hang out: the Bowtie.

Episode 5


November 5, 2018

11 Minutes

What's next for the Bowtie? Sean Woods, Stephen Mejia and Kat Superfisky are all actively trying to answer that question. Listen in as they recount past and current battles, as well as ideas for the park's designed future.

Live Recording

Designing Open Space

October 17, 2018

1 Hour 25 Minutes

In this wide ranging conversation about the politics of open space, responsive design, and community engagement, Ruxandra Guidi discusses South of Fletcher: Stories from the Bowtie with Christopher Hawthorne, Chief Design Officer for the City of Los Angeles; Kat Superfisky, Urban Ecologist at Studio-MLA and Executive Director at Grown in LA; and Helen Leung, Co-Executive Director of LA-Más. In this discussion, the panelists consider the Bowtie and its relationship to the rest of a rapidly-changing Los Angeles.