Going Through the City of Riverside


Prior to posting this, I was a bit hesitant because most of the works posted on this student blog were from LA. But after being reassured that it would be fine, I started to feel that it would be interesting to talk about my city, through its past and my life, as it’s considered a part of the “Greater Los Angeles area”.

I took this at a Carl’s Jr. on December 14, 2018 — I really liked the sunset that evening

Riverside, a city within Southern California 

A city not widely known within the various famous cities like Anaheim and Los Angeles 

A city I was born and raised in, but moved out to Moreno Valley and came back in the spring of 2009

Known for being the birthplace of the citrus industry 

Where rows of orange trees go on for miles on Victoria Avenue 

Where the streets are surrounded by trees live with leaves that chirp with the wind

Until business declined sometime in the 20th century

Home to the University of California, Riverside 

California Baptist University 

Mission Inn Hotel and Spa

The California Citrus State Historic park

The citrus park

Where those rows of orange trees and other citruses grow

On 248 acres of land surrounded by palm trees

With its trails that people walk through

A quiet city where not much happens

Things appear to be a small world

With life’s unexpected whirl

As its people coincidentally connect early or later in life

Everything is within walking distance, but we have bus and metro transportation 

To take people to wherever their adventure leads them to

Riverside, named after the Santa Ana River

Inhabited by the homeless community and delinquents tagging walls

Where little water flows through cities like San Bernardino, Riverside, Anaheim, and Santa Ana and ends in the Pacific Ocean

Modernization has made Riverside look more chic

But historical buildings are at risk for demolition in need of space

Chemawa Middle School on June 9, 2020 — Friends and classmates had joined in painting a mural for the school back in 2016. I painted the wave and temple with help, of course.

Hidden Springs and Collectt Elementary school, where innocence flowed

Jackson Elementary school, where naivety ate

Chemawa Middle school, where life was learned

Arlington High school, where maturity began

Stages and chapters in my life that I have a love-hate relationship with

Love, because I met a group of supportive friends 

Hate, because the bitterness of life’s lemons entered

Downtown Riverside is really beautiful and much quieter 

Life blooms with the various flowers, trees, and green life surrounding 19th century conserved houses based on the Queen Anne, Saltbox, and Spanish style

Like the Harada House and Heritage House

Where landmarks like the Fox Performing Arts Center

Held the first showing of Gone with the Wind in 1939

As well as Fairmount Park’s lake designed by Frederick Law Olmsted’s firm

The same guy who designed New York’s Central Park 

Fairmount Park on June 16, 2020

Collect Park

Don Lorenzi Park

Hunt Park

Don Derr Park

Fairmount Park

Parks where my I spent most of childhood in before getting immersed in technology 

On a flip phone at the age of 10

Parks now look empty not because of the pandemic

But because of today’s kids owning an iPad or iPhone at a younger age than me 

Looking back, life was more carefree and simple

Of course, times change

It’s no longer 2008 with cartoons and a recession at the age of 6

It’s 2021 with a pandemic and a somewhat hopeful future at the age of 18

Priorities were different 12 years ago then to now — makes me feel old

Riverside, the city I lived in for most of my life

A life I’ll probably leave behind

For a new start

A life of cherished memories made

Like the hangouts at Castle Park with my friends

And the pictures we took before covid

A rainbow I saw in my neighborhood while walking to school back in December 2018

Yes, the city I will reminisce one day

The City of Riverside

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