here’s a quick one.
i was hiking around my neighborhood earlier today and i saw this little house (well, it looks little from a distance, maybe it’s not actually so little up close).
it’s nestled bucolically at the base of some hills and forest, and is possibly inhabited by some benign grimm’s fairy tale character (assuming there are benign grimm’s fairy tale characters). which, of course, is nice. but which, of course, in most circumstances, is rarely all that remarkable. except in this case the house in question is about 1/2 a mile from the center of densely weird hollywood and about 1/4 mile away from one of the busiest freeways in the united states. which, as someone who was born on 148th st in nyc, still seems odd and strange and kind of magically remarkable. that there’s almost no delineation between the urban and natural in l.a, just some odd and random demarcations that rarely, if ever, make much municipal sense.
for instance: you’ll be driving down a street in my neighborhood and looking at a big expanse of trees or scrub brush and wondering: is that a park? is it part of the reservoir? is it someone’s property? is it brigadoon? is it where elephants go to plot the demise of their human overlords? can i hike there? will i get shot? and these are all equally valid questions.
quotidian urban sprawl juxtaposed randomly with relatively untrammeled nature.
oh, and sorry for the big-ish pretentious grad-student-y words, i didn’t have a lot of friends growing up so i spent my summers reading my mom’s books rather than playing outdoors with the normal children.
oh, a p.s/codecil to the update about the bridge…
chris nichols sent me this picture of the bridge when it was an actual bridge. apparently at one point it was a real, actual bridge, for real, actual trains. but given l.a’s less than amazing history as regards public transportation it’s now just a gathering of giant concrete pilings in the river.
poor l.a, always eating the best parts of itself.
as tonight is the oscars i thought i’d put up a picture of the hollywood sign.
well, actually the back of the hollywood sign.
i love that the hollywood sign has become this iconic image, representing l.a universally, far and wide.
what makes it amazing is that originally the hollywood sign was erected as temporary advertising for a real estate development.
originally it said ‘hollywoodland’ (the name of the real estate development), but the ‘land’ part fell down.
paris has the eiffel tower, nyc has the empire state building, rome has the colliseum, and l.a has a big old sign advertising a real estate development from the 20’s.
which, if you dislike l.a, you probably see it as a symbol of the quick, vapid, and disposable nature of l.a culture.
or if you like l.a (as i do) you see it as something kind of odd, modern, accidental, impermanent, and endearing.
so here’s to the world’s most famous and recognizable real estate development advertisement.
ok, happy academy awards.
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