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Concrete Hole Dwellers

Will the indignity never end?

I like to call the hole in the ground next door, the concrete garden. It’s a play on the novel by Ian McEwan, The Cement Garden. It was later made into a movie. He never wrote anything very good after that first tour de force, but his books do sell, and win awards as well. The women in the video got rather violent after I turned off the camera. They began to break bottles against western wall of their hole. It is the wall that abuts our building, so it got loud in here where the non-homeless dwell. The contractors in the upper left hand of the screen did little to fix the gate. See for yourself. That picture was taken five minutes before it was just posted.

Doesn't look promising

Was that the best these guys could do? And they wanted to put a building up on that spot? My God! That thing would have tumbled, all five floors, right all over the Pointe (my building). These half-assed developers won’t rest until they buy up my building and the one next to it and the one across the street from us. We’re the last pieces of rental property that are governed by rent control regulations on this stretch of the Yucca Street cooridor.

The number of rent controlled units decrease every year, yet the L.A. Times published an op/ed piece last May that called for the end of rent control. Trust me Paul Habibi and Eric Sussman (who authored said op/ed) there are no high-priced lawyers living in my building. It’s composition is mainly immigrant families and young people starting up with their lives as grown ups. It also seems to provide student housing for the Musicians Institute. The developers are tearing down all the rent controlled units anyway, so your arguments are unwelcome. Why don’t you weigh in on another issue, such as Ayn Rand and how great she is? Paul Habibi is a real estate entrepreneur, according to Wikipedia. (It’s too easy) Eric Sussman lectures at UCLA. When he isn’t playing teacher, he’s “president of Amber Capital, Inc., a 15-person real estate investment company, which has acquired, rehabilitated, developed, and managed over 1,575,000 square feet of commercial real estate since its founding in 1993.” Just another fucking developer! L.A. Times is not unbiased. It is a tool of the real estate investors, in the grand tradition of old man Mulholland, who has a beautiful two-lane highway named after him. It’s hard not to think that everything is a fix. But that’s how they do things in Los Angeles.
The Jefferson Project is all finished and they’ve hung out their For Rent sign. At three thousand a pop, I wonder how fast they are renting apartments? Now they have twenty seven units set aside for people with low income. This is out of two hundred and seventy units- a measly ten percent. I wonder what the income requirements are for these units? Who decides who gets them? There are a lot of working poor families in this neighborhood. Will the recipients be from this neighborhood? I bet it’s a lottery system, and the only people who got invited to play were friends of the family, if you will- nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

So let us agree that the development company that owns this lot on the corner of Yucca Street and Las Palmas Avenue is irresponsible in the way it is conducting the disposition of said lot. They are not making it a secure site. Anyone can camp out there, and now they do. The people who camp on their lot are not nice people. They are mean, ugly and probably drug addicted people. Would you want them setting up shop in the concrete hole next door to your home?


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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