Hunting Bollards in the Wild - Atlas Obscura

Los Angeles, California

Hunting Bollards in the Wild

What are bollards, and why are they so beautiful?

Los Angeles is a place defined in the popular imagination by its car culture, its traffic. And where you have cars and traffic, you have bollards.

Bollards are short posts, often made of concrete, that form obstructions to traffic in order to protect buildings, equipment, and/or pedestrians. Their use has been traced from ancient Rome, where they doubled as mile markers and tethering posts, to medieval Europe, where captured enemy cannons were placed in the ground to signify success on the battlefield and demarcate town boundaries. The most common shapes and sizes we see today are still based on the look and feel of cannon tips.

Join artist Andrew Choate, aka @saintbollard, on a walking tour of bollards. You will learn about the history of bollards and discover a wide variety of bollard formations in the context of iconic, small and large businesses in Silverlake.

Andrew Choate, born and raised in South Carolina, has been living and working in Los Angeles since 2001. He is the author of Too Many Times I See Every Thing Just The Way It Is (Residual Press, PRB Editions), Language Makes Plastic of the Body (Palm Press) and Stingray Clapping (Insert Blanc Press). He has two books forthcoming in 2017: Learning, which will be published by Writ Large Press and I Love You More: Performance Texts for Insert Blanc. He is a member of Inner Dinner, a performance art dining collective, and is the host of The Unwrinkled Ear radio show on KCHUNG every other Tuesday from 5–7pm PST. Choate produces a monthly concert series dedicated to improvised music in Los Angeles, and he has been publishing his writings on improvised and experimental music since 1998. He is devoted to photographing bollards; he is @saintbollard.


  • This is a two-mile walking tour.
  • Meet at Cafe Tropical: 2900 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (meet on the sidewalk in front of the cafe).
  • Street parking is available, please read signs carefully and park at your own discretion.
  • Water and sun protective wear are encouraged!
  • There are no restroom facilities available during this tour.
  • Photography is encouraged! Tag @atlasobscura and @saintbollard.
  • Rain or shine! This tour will run as scheduled unless we're expecting dangerous weather in which case we will cancel via email. Tickets will be refunded or transferred to a rescheduled date, depending on your availability.

Questions? Email

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