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Category Archives: homeless

Fire bugs and homeless young people

While some wacko pyromaniac was trying to burn Hollywood to the ground. I am still keeping an eye on the concrete hole outside my window. More than ever it has become a small encampment for homeless people, mostly youths. Check out the video of a few denizens smoking a bowl of who-knows-what.

I do not begrudge these unfortunate young people their right to indulge in a little marijuana cigarette to wake up and face the day. Nor do I begrudge them their choice of the lot next door for their encampment. Sometimes they get a little loud. One young lady in particular has the vocabulary of a sailor on leave combined with the volume of a drill sergeant. I’ve been tempted to ask her to keep it down, but it would be foolish of me to engage them in a negative manner. There is only one ending in that scenario. Me calling the police to clear out the whole encampment, which isn’t fair to the majority who are as quiet as church mice. Better to leave well enough alone. Wouldn’t you agree?


On the northwest corner of Ivar and Hollywood, the Scientologists have their SeaOrg HQ. It’s a nondescript building, giving credence to the saying about the banality of evil. Here’s a picture of one of their viewing devices. Remember to smile and say “cheese,” if you are on the north sidewalk of Hollywood Blvd just west of Cahuenga. I got accosted for taking a picture of it years ago. It’s okay for them to look at you, but god forbid that you look at them while they are looking at you. Smile.

© Russell Smith, 2011

Remember to click on the image to get a better look at the photograph. AND then remember to hit the back button to get back to the blog. Sheesh! Why does everything have to be so complicated? I ask you.


Don’t Fuck With Me! Hollywood Police Community Relations

It’s open season on anybody who isn’t a cop in Hollywood. Who’s got us in the cross-hairs? Why, it’s the police of course. They treat homeless people like dirt. They treat everybody else worse. Don’t let them pull you over or they’ll tow your car at the drop of a hat. Don’t say anything except, “Sir, yes Sir!” or your ass is grass. Any encounter with a Hollywood cop will end in public humiliation at best, a good beating perhaps and even arrest. Say “Cop!” in Hollywood and it’s as bad as yelling “Fire!” People will scatter like ants in the wake of boiling water. Let’s add some multimedia to this posting to give it some meat, or should I say, “edge?”

When I see a black and white police car coming my way, all I do is lower my head in an attitude of complete submission. To do otherwise is to invite hellfire to rain upon my head.

Then let us not forget about the intrusive ghetto birds, also known as police helicopters. Oh, how they stir up the skies above my head, and shine their lights into my pad. They are responsible for many an interrupted night’s sleep.

How fun was that?

Ever heard of razor wire?

After the big clean up

That very evening, the miscreants with half a brain found (or returned) to our little corner of Hollywood to roost for the night. Smoking whatever it is that makes their boat float, they freaked when the maid service returned at the crack of dawn to sweep up the last little bits of detritus that they left in their wake. Showing about as much intellect as the cockroaches that they emulate, they decided that hiding behind concrete columns was the best approach to their perceived dilemma.


We see you!

Maybe we should spray the place with imiprothrin and cypermethrin? But there’s a problem- they’d probably just get high off the stuff. Why, oh why, don’t the owners fix the gate properly and invest in about $20 worth of razor wire to secure the lot? It can’t be in their interest (the owner’s interest) if these miscreants come in every night, leaving their excrement in one part of the lot, while they engage in sex (shudder at the thought) and other nefarious acts in another part of the lot. It’s too disgusting. Next thing you know, rats will be coming in their wake.

We have it on film

I had to trim about a minute in the beginning and the same for the end in order to give you just the interesting part, so to speak. These tweekers spend a lot of time just running their mouths. They were aware of my filming, so that act of pissing was for my edification. Like any good reporter, I pass it along to you.

Editor’s Note:

In case you haven’t noticed, starting with this post, and all future posts, I will sign all pictures with my name and remove embedding from the videos. It’s too much trouble for people simply to ask for permission, or give attribution, for other people’s work. I had an individual from France of all places, who stole one of my photographs of Snake of Eden for their lousy blog. The thief goes by the moniker, Lucky22 and the server is Students of the World. I’ve sent this individual two emails and I’ve even emailed the administrators of this blog service for help. So far, nothing. I may write to the French Consulate down on Olympic Avenue about this copyright infringement problem. The funny thing is that I was born in France and have always considered it my country away from U.S. Before President Sarkozy, I am certain I could claim French citizenship, as far as France was concerned. Now I’m not so sure. They’ve gotten even more xenophobic than ever, if that’s imaginable. Vive la France? I am not so sure anymore.

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?

Life amongst the ruins


Welcome to the Yucca Street corridor!

Existence is probably a better noun to use. The word life connotes a certain joy, a spark of hope, a glimpse of a dream, and at least a shred of dignity. But for the people who live in the Concrete Garden, there is only despair. In addition, for the people around them, there are daily confrontations with fear, vulgarity, hatred, dirtiness. The dream of Hollywood is a tiny diamond amongst a whole beach of plain sand. For the majority, some kind of life is put together – acting classes, camaraderie, the occasional part in a play in one of those tiny theaters on Santa Monica Blvd., or even a part in a commercial! Then there’s the waiting of tables, or being a barísta at a she-she coffee house. One out of thousands gets a lucky break, most just end up going back to school, others find niches all of their own – after all, actors are creative people and some of them are actually talented, at acting and other things as well. It’s a tough life, but as the saying states, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” The people you will meeting in today’s post aren’t tough. They are idiots.

Some of us Hollywoodlians, I daresay, the majority don’t even think about a career in the business, as it is called here in Los Angeles. These people just call Hollywood home. They live in crappy apartments; they live in really nice apartments; a few even live in just okay apartments. I’m a bit of a snob. I like being from Hollywood, despite the reputation that it has of flop-houses and crack heads. Sometimes the reputation is well earned, and tonight was one of those nights when the reality of the dangers of Hollywood hit home, too close to home for comfort.

I call this first video, “The party begins.” Earlier in the day, cops came and rousted two young men from the abandoned lot at the northwest corner of Yucca and Las Palmas. The night before a group of six (5 males and 1 girl) slept in the lot. There are mattresses and couches that provide ample sleeping accommodations for the none-too-picky. The two who remained were late sleepers, I guess, but they were told to shove off, and off they went. This is the whole pack returning. They know I’m recording them from up above, so they move their party furniture against the western wall of the lot in hopes of avoiding my camera. Nice try, idiots.





The block of Yucca between Las Palmas and Highland has been squirming under the heal of gentrification for three years now. Potholes that look like they were torn by ice glaciers work in concert with the loud noises of construction, and inconvenience of heavy machinery blocking access to everything, to create an atmosphere of fatalism. When will it be our turn to be forced to pack up and move out? In this next video, our revelers get out of hand. The footage is shocking and I’ve given it a PG-13 rating. The rating is for violence. At first the video is a bit unclear and shaky, but be patient and stick with it. You won’t be disappointed. The woman in the foreground is being restrained by two men and in the background, three men are fighting tooth and nail. The woman apparently wants to come to the assistance of somebody, but the other two men explain to her that it’s a “man thing” and she wouldn’t understand, and mustn’t intervene. Please allow me to clarify one thing. It’s not a “man thing.” It’s an “idiot’s thing.” You have to be an idiot to understand their behavior. A drunken, violent idiot at that.

Let me end this post with a few brief words. Of course it is the responsibility of the owner of this lot to secure it in a manner that keeps the riff-raff out. It is the duty of the police, on the other hand, to secure peace and the rule of law. How did they respond to this situation? Poorly, as usual. I called the 9-1-1 dispatcher twice about this situation. The first time, the person I spoke with said that there had been other calls and that units were on the way. I waited over ten minutes then called again. The second person said that nobody else but me had called (a lie). I know she was lying because she read me information that I never gave the first dispatcher that I spoke with. She asked me if I wanted to leave my name and number. I said, “NO!” Because of the last incident, when the cops treated me threateningly, but then I said, “I know you have that information already.” With a curt, “Fine!” she disconnected our conversation. One measly unit finally showed up. It was pitch dark which necessitated the use of flashlights. It looked to me as if they took the drunkest and/or most beat up of the bunch, set him underneath a tree and called an ambulance for him. Job done! Was anybody arrested for trespassing, assault, public intoxication, or anything at all? To my war weary eyes, the answer seems, “No.”




Evicted from the Concrete Garden

Editor’s note : The title of the last post, Only the Homeless are Free is an adaptation of a line in George Orwell’s novel 1984. One of Big Brother’s quotes is that “Only the animals and proles are free.” If you are still confused, then read the book.

Video reveals Hollywood police in action!

Another Editor’s note : Title of this post is a reference to the Cement Garden (1978) by Ian McEwan. Adapted into a film in 1993.

Only the Homeless are Free

Arrest? Who? Me?

This morning I heard a man yelling insults, obscenities and threats at 8 o’clock. I looked out the window and saw a tall African-American man with a shopping cart full of stuff garbage bags, and a small Hispanic man who was walking his little doggy. The man with the shopping cart, who I assume is homeless, was extremely upset about the man’s dog, which probably weighed all of one pound. The poor man with the dog couldn’t understand fully why the homeless man was upset. He was just trying to walk his dog. Just then a police car pulled up to a stop sign and the man with the dog flagged them down. The rest is history.

Those silver bracelets!

Well of course the cops spent a lot of time keeping him in handcuffs, and calling the Wilcox Station to see if he had any outstanding warrants. He must have had some kind of I.D. or they would have detained him and taken him back to the station for a fingerprint check, or whatnot. I ran downstairs to give a witness statement. I told them what I saw. Did they write it down? No. Did they ask me for my name or address or any contact info in case they arrested the detainee? No. That’s because they already knew that they weren’t going to arrest him for assaulting the poor guy and his dog. Luckily a passerby was able to translate between the victim and the cop. It makes me sick what goes on in this city, this town of Hollywood. There really is much to say. After everybody left, the cops let the guy go. I took some other photos and pics, so here you go:

That will learn him!

¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ (below are videos)

Tammy Report

As you can mostly hear, but partly see, Tammy is never one keep her feelings bottled up inside. Maybe we can all learn from Tammy and start yelling “Fuck you!” at whomever we like. Oh, but I already know “people” like that. Today is one of those days when your Hollywood reporter-at-large wished the world would hurry up and run out of resources, that the last oil well will run dry. I want to be here, in the desert when it happens. But maybe that’s just the Tammy in me talking right now.