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I never really knew

How much the rest of Los Angeles looked down on the residents of Hollywood. Many of us are elderly. Many of us are on disablity. Additionally, it’s one of the few places left for lower income families to live in our great city that provides good access to local transportation. The Red Line has three stops here. There are a plerithera of buses: DASH, Metro, Blue Bus, Red Bus, you name it. Given the number of clubs and dive bars, and the presence of the Musician Institute, there is a constant flow of young people, funky people, tattoo parlors, stripper wear boutiques, head shops; it’s all part of the carnival atmosphere that we Hollywoodlians have long taken pride in. Readers should note that very word carnival comes from Latin and can be loosely translated as: festival of the flesh.

The buildings that were built in Hollywood from its early conception until the late 60’s were playful, imaginative and fun. With a few exceptions (Disney Hall for one) most of the architecture in L.A. has become sterile and just plain ugly. People who applaud this kind of development (the Grove comes quickly to mind) are philistines. Plain and simple. I have nothing to say to them except that there’s no accounting for taste.

I’m including just a few photographs that illustrate the view that my “shit hole” apartment affords, along with a few photographs of the war zone that is my block because of the unbridled development. This construction work gone wild is destroying the special, dare I say magical character of my neighborhood. Those of you who live in gated communities or security protected buildings on the West Side, Pasadena, Century City, where ever: Just stay over there and read a book on the history of architecture of L.A. Then drop the gauntlet at me.

It never amazes me how seriously people take themselves, even in this ephemeral, substandard, non-peer reviewed environment. I’ve been called atrocious names and my ‘hood has been dissed beyond forgiveness. I’m also providing a link for what will replace the B.K. It’s another exercise of the powerful to impose a cheap, ugly façade that will eventually envelope this city. Please remember that this complex is going to be right beside the Wedding Cake Building. I wonder how many of you even know what that is, who’ve been so quick to jump in with your 2 cents about what should be done to Hollywood? To those people, I say mind your own business.

I’d like to thank LA Curbed for providing this link to the Jefferson Project@ Hollywood, try not to vomit:

Look who’s come knocking!

One last word: when an old building that is rent controlled is knocked down, it’s replaced with a new one that isn’t. Think about that before you condemn people on fixed income to evacuate. At fairly steady clip, the developers are replacing rent controlled units with ones where the sky’s the limit. And believe me, the sky WILL be the limit.


About Russell Smith

I was born at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. I find inspiration in the lives of so many people from Joan of Arc to Oscar Wilde. While my primary avocation is photography, I also enjoy philosophy, theology and most of all, history. My beloved wife, Robin Anne Smith, who passed away in 2013 is also an inspiration to me. My beloved partner, Dana is also a great support and inspiration to me. I'd be remiss if I did not mention my cats: Natasha, Maxwell, Tigger and Nigel.

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