Went out to the Albany Bulb earlier tonight. It’s a former landfill peninsula in Albany, CA that seems to be populated by urban artists and local homeless. Be aware that, along certain parts of the walk out to the Bulb itself, this downright NASTY combination of wild fennel and dogcrap will assail your senses. With the beauty comes the irritation of too many people that can’t be bothered to pick up after their damned dogs.
The bulb itself is a web of trails that wind through tall grasses, Himalayan blackberries, raspberries and various other bushes and trees. Tents and shanty lean-tos dot the landscape at various points along the trails, tucked in between the scrub brush and groves of trees.
Along the trails also lie some really gorgeous artistic pieces constructed from the refuse that can be found around the area. Small villages connect like minded souls that inhabit the Bulb. Large chunks of broken concrete line the edge of the peninsula, slowly being worn down by the waves in the bay. Many of them are spraypainted with a riot of colors, and with a variety of messages.
The most overwhelming piece on the Bulb is “The Castle”, which seemed to be constructed of mostly large concrete slabs, rebar and plaster. Bright murals decorate The Castle, which has apparently been used for informal concerts as well as a production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, at one point. A documentary about the Albany Landfill Encampment, Bum’s Paradise was released in 2003.
I tried to be as respectful as I could of the occupants, making sure that I didn’t take pictures of anybody’s home. The art installations along the coast are completely fantastic.
The rest of the pictures can be found here.