Greetings, dear friends,
Once again I write to you from that state of confusion, that unnerving feeling when one takes stability, a life humming along, and intentionally disrupts it. I parallel-parked a mid-size U-Haul tonight...that only took me about 5 five back-and-forths and getting out twice to see how far I was from the car behind me. To my credit, I had one Steinlager and it was on a hill...and the club down on the corner, the one that replaced the hip-hop club, is really bopping...so parking spaces are hard to come by, especially accommodating a U-Haul.
The reality of buying didn't really sink in when I cut that cashier's check for $25K, but when I had to load about 60 (I lost count around 30) heavy boxes of books into a truck, up and down my stairs for each one, well, I feel like I've really accomplished something. I'm also pretty stiff, but not enough to make me feel old. Just that if I ever move again, I'm probably going to save up and hire two or three of the day laborers who spend the day hanging out at the U-Haul on Hollywood Boulevard. Anyway, with Robert Barkaloff's gracious assistance, I unloaded them in a hour. They're safe under a cover in my new garage, soon to be brought out onto a nice 3-yard long double-sided bookcase...once I buff out an ancient wood floor. One step at a time.
The first day I hung out at my new abode, I put in a mailbox, had a beer lounging on the new carpet in an empty room (they always start out empty), and then we walked up to my new liquor store, Buddha Liquors on Slauson and Rimpau. There were two huge Buddha at the door, no shit, and it was more of a little market than just a liquor store, right down to the chrome turnstiles and the old-fashioned round turntables in the cashier's boothes. I bought my first food to put up in a cabinet, a jar of Nutella. I cleaned out the construction debris left over from the last owner's cheap renovation, and found a roach (the kind that a stoned laborer might leave in a closet, not a cockroach.) I thought about smoking it, but it had gone through five months of idleness and then a termite fumigation.
I've found my local BBQ (Woody's, actually semi-famous in the area), a pet store, a "smoke shop" and a decent place for fish. I'm one light east of one of the best African-American health food restaurant/markets on the West Coast. And now I'm committed...my bed, my desk, all my papers, my precious books, even my 14 year old TV have all relocated to another address. My bikes, my hand-me-down Beverly Hills couch, the desk lamp I've had since I was in elementary school...all passing through the jostling of a U-Haul to find a new place to manifest.
My computer, and the person typing this, are still in Los Feliz. I have to wait out the DSL and, well, there is still plenty to move. 15 years worth of art begged or bought off of friends...but Corinne, you'll be glad to know that your photo of us in Pearl Mackey's penthouse was the first out of the bubble-wrap. Anyway, until Wednesday I'll be packing, and taking advantage of a working shower, stove, fridge, etc. It's like camping indoors. If anyone in LA knows where to get an interesting shower curtain or a bead curtain, I'd like to know.
If you'd just like to wish me well (it is farther from nearly everyone I know in LA...but closer to the airport and the rest of you)...I'm having a party next Saturday, 26 September, in an empty apartment. There will be one chair, an old turntable and some records...and a fridge. If this e-mail was addressed to you, or fell into your hands through somebody you enjoy, then you are invited.
3747 Evans Street, Apartment 4
Los Feliz - Los Angeles - 90027
or from space:
If you are interested in my new house, it was built in 1925, a half-block from the northern border of Inglewood. At the time, Inglewood was a growing suburb at the foot of the Baldwin Hills, and my house was built on the side facing Downtown Los Angeles, about five miles away across the farms. One of the first bus lines in LA, the 52, ran down my street, Keniston Avenue, and the longest streetcar line of the Los Angeles Railway, the 5, rolled along Crenshaw Boulevard a few blocks east. You can see here a map of the city 5 years before the house was built; in the undeveloped area west of West Boulevard and south of 60th Street (the SW corner of the map.) Eventually the cities grew together, the hills filled up with mansions, and LAX was built on a bean field between Inglewood and the beach. Now Hyde Park, like a lot of LA, is in transition, and upon a transition; a mile north is a wealthy neighborhood, and east of that hip Leimert Park; south is the vast open suburbs of the South Bay, and south east a mile or so, the slow change from nice ranch homes to small bungalows, and then the rundown apartments and finally projects of the "hood", a few more miles towards the 110. Here's what it looks like from space:
Look for the house at the center, on the east side of the street, with two cars in the driveway and two small trees in the backyard.
May we all see each other again soon,
20 September 2009
Greetings, dear friends,