One brief look, and I am immediately flooded with memories of my childhood.
Stitched together before me is my hometown as I remember it. I see the YMCA, where I spent my summers learning to swim; Del Rio Lanes, where so many of my classmates celebrated their eighth birthday, cosmic bowling style. I see the Space Center, the field trip that every fifth grader looks forward to, and Bob’s Big Boy, where I’ve sat and eaten countless times with family and friends. I even see the Downey Patriot, the paper on my coffee table every Sunday morning.
"Downey Doodle-icious" is my story. In fact, for many of us young people, it is our story. Having grown up in Downey, there is a sense of familiarity, of home. From the iconic businesses and restaurants, to the schools and landmarks, "Downey Doodle-icious" truly captures the essence of Downey as many of us remember it from childhood.
While "Downey Doodle-icious" captures our treasured past, its placement in Downtown Downey is a symbol of exciting new beginnings. The art movement in Downey has quickly gained momentum, and we are seeing exciting new changes as Downey evolves into a creative community, enticing many of us who are currently deciding where to apply for college to stay local to be part of the community of change.
With the coming changes in Downey, this mural embodies everything we know and love about the city many of us grew up in. The Downey portrayed in the mural is where we watched the Christmas parade every year on Downey Avenue, where we shopped at All American with our parents, where our artwork was featured in DMOA; it is the Downey that created leaders that want to give back to the city that has given so much to us.
The mural is both a memory, and an exciting preview. This is only the beginning, and although Downey is taking on a new aesthetic, it will never change what truly has made this city what it is, its caring community, and the kids who grew up in the city painted on Downey Avenue are eager to see and be part of what is to come.
Kelly Salinas is Warren High School ASB president, class of 2016.