Invisible Trajectories

Daino in Riverside

On Sunday morning at 11:00 we met Daino in front of Back to the Grind in Riverside. Deena and I were already geared up and riding across the street when he showed up on his BMX 'trick' bike. We met Daino when we went to talk to Cosme at Division 9 Gallery in June. He said he would help with the project so we kept in touch.

Daino took us to the "other side of the tracks," aka the East side of Riverside, showing us a variety of paths and routes that continue to have some meaning in his life. He first showed us where a string of Victorian homes had been burned. Daino speculated on the reasons behind the possible 'arsons’ and left us wondering just who was involved and why. We followed him to his family home and let his dogs bark at us from the other side of the fence. He pointed out various places where gangs once congregated and where drive-by shootings have happened.

He took us to the alley where cops chased him one night. Daino also showed saw all of the schools he attended in the area. We were able to get a sense of what it must be like to have grown up in his area. Daino is a very good storyteller, and many of his tales relate to his pedestrian life. One story dealt with the level of respect paid to another's area while visiting. Another dealt with a flock of attacking crows that targeted him during his lunch breaks in the downtown area.

Daino pointed out all of the invisible boundaries between areas, and took us to see the development projects he was most critical of. He has an apartment near UCR, his family lives about a mile away, and his job is right in downtown Riverside. He doesn't own a car and so his movement patterns aren’t as extensive as the typical citizen of Riverside. From what we saw, his life seems to take place within five or six square miles, if that.

Daino took us to see a section of downtown slated for redevelopment. His criticisms of these projects seemed valid, and his concerns regarding such a project’s potential were clearly expressed. He couldn't understand how outside development interests could see the area of downtown Riverside as a place to make money. (A week later we would talk with a major stakeholder in the redevelopment of downtown Riverside. This individual would take a stance much different than Daino’s.)

All three of us had lunch at a spot not far from the University. We talked about the area mostly, and Daino showed us an example of his graphics work for a local paper.

Overall, we found Daino and his travels to be very interesting. We are grateful for the time he spent with us. --CW