Talbert Marsh

On Sunday, I went for a walk by the beach, where the Santa Ana River drains into the Pacific Ocean. I hesitate to call this place a delta, because this river, the victim of massive amounts of concrete and man’s will to use every inch of real estate in So Cal, is severely channelized and is is really just a massive rain gutter. As I was walking by, this area really started to remind me of the Yodogawa.
The following pictures, on the top of the bodies of text, are those of the Talbert Marsh (Huntington Beach) area, and those on the bottom are of the Yodogawa (in Osaka).
Input/Output
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North of the river, the Talbert marsh is flanked by a sewage treatment (I’m guessing this because of the smell) or some sort of wastewater treatment facility.
The Yodogawa doesn’t stink, but I wouldn’t eat any fish I caught out of it, nor would I go swimming in that water. That being said, the residents of Osaka depend on the Yodogawa as a water supply. This is one place in Japan where water does not taste good straight from the tap.
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Life by the River
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There is a whole community living in improvised housing next to the Yodogawa, and the trailer park on the Newport/Huntington Beach border have a similar appearance. A key difference would be that the people living in Newport are paying (and I bet rent isn’t really that cheap, relative to other trailer parks), but the community living across from the Osaka side of the Yodogawa are very resourceful homeless people.
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Waterfront Property
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Another thing that these two groups of people share is that they both live in an area with a fantastic view. These wetlands provide a home for people and for a great assortment of birds.
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Invisible People
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There are homeless in both places, but not so much in Newport Beach. In both cases, I found their makeshift houses under the bridge, and out of view of the public eye.
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Juxtaposition
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Concrete, asphalt, and rusted iron girders don’t blend into their beautiful surroundings. These are the places that people explore and fewer have to depend on for shelter. It must get cold during the winter time, especially along the Yodogawa. Where do they go when it floods?
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Boundaries
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In this one block of Newport, the Pacific Coast Highway divides the wealthier from the trailer park. You can see that the people who live next to the beach have a glass wall that blocks the noise, while the trailer park has little to mitigate their situation (the top of low brick wall is at street level).
The Yodogawa is the border that separates the more upscale Umeda from the seedier Yodogawa-ku, across the river. I liked to spend time on both sides- Fireworks, house parties, and festivals were more fun on the Yodogawa-ku side, while Umeda offered more places to shop, eat, and go out with friends.
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4 thoughts on “Talbert Marsh”

  1. Yeah, those homeless people are pretty cool. I like the riverside lounge open to any who wish to chill out there. We gotta go share a beer with those dudes next time we’re in Kansai.

  2. Fantasstic juxtaposition of both sides of the social/cultural coins!
    I wondered if you saw any resemblance of our homeless haunts or if the fact that OC regularly ships out the homeless back to inland “dumping sites”, makes it less appealing.

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