Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Riverside's Raincross Symbol

I was walking around downtown Riverside and I saw some guy sitting down with a tattoo of the symbol of Riverside on his arm. I asked if I can take a photo and he said yes.

I have never seen anybody with a tattoo of that bell symbol before. I've been looking around for a necklace of that symbol, so that I can wear it out of an expression of my hate-love relationship with Riverside.

Having spent my teenage years in Riverside (and my mid 20's/present), that symbol has a special place in my heart. And it apparantly does as well in Jeff Soto's.

Here is a painting he did back in 2006 that showed at Jonathan Levine's gallery in NY.

I found some information on the history of that symbol on Riverside's official website:

"The unique City Raincross Symbol is derived from combining a replica of the mass bell used by Father Junipero Serra, missionary priest and founder of the California Missions, and the cross to which the Navajo and Central American Indians prayed for rain. Called the "Raincross" symbol, it was designed for the Mission Inn and given to the city by Frank Miller. The Raincross symbol has been identified with Riverside since 1907. Variations of the symbol are used extensively throughout Riverside in architecture, street signs and lighting standards, and is used on the City flag."

Quite fitting for my awkard Chican@ context. That can be some useful imagery if anybody from Riverside wants to write a "Yo Soy Joaquin"/Corky Gonzalez style poem.


EL CHAVO! said...

What did his other knuckle tattoos read? The hell one is intriguing.
BTW, I'm glad to see someone else is using the "This Chicano(a) Life" tag! It is a very American life, only a bit different. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Urban Memo said...

I didn't see the other one. He had several tattoos that I was curious to look at. But he was having an intimatish conversation with some other girl and I interupted their conversation when I went up to him to ask if I can take a photo of his raincross tattoo.


i wish i would have gotten a better look at his other tattoos. he was as pretty friendly and chill guy, so i am almost sure he would have let m. but he was talking to this one chick who was smiling and gritting her teeth while i was up all over her man's forearm. in retrospect, i should have asked to have seen his other tattoos, sin verguenza. social awkwardness doesn't matter so much a few weeks later after it happened. particularly if its just a jealous girlfriend.


I was actually torn between naming this blog "this chicana life" or "towards an interactive urban environment".

cindylu said...

I took me a minute (I'm still mentally a little slow after my exam) to get the Yo Soy Joaquin connection. The raincross is a perfect example of mestizaje. I like it.

I wonder if my hometown has a cool symbol...

Pearmama said...

Oooh, the Riverside bell. Doesn't matter where I am, if I see that symbol, I'm looking for someone from home. The I.E. It's funny, I never thought I would claim the I.E. My husband used to do vinyl stickers at the local swapmeet...he did *lots* of those.

Anonymous said...

my homie has that some tattoo on his chest mail me at if you wanna see the pic

SMOKEE aka ELCHE said...

I actually stumbled upon your site while i was searching for the Riva Bell, because i need to make a stencil for a tattoo. Im looking to find the official one, anyways just wanted to show some "RIVA_SIDE" Love

ohh and I sport my Riverside shirt up here in Monterey County whenever i can..