April 21, 2014 § Leave a comment
. . . whatever happened to the birds that used to live on the west side of Silverlake reservoir, where Moreno curves east to meet Silverlake Blvd. West?
A sizable hen house and fenced yard once occupied the now empty space beneath this bougainvillea arbor. Five or six years ago, it was the first urban chicken ranch I had ever encountered. A sign announced the property as a registered “backyard wildlife habitat.”
I was so intrigued and spent so much time prowling about on that first visit that a resident (human, not fowl) raced from the adjacent house to inquire about my intentions. Apparently satisfied that my interest was harmless, he gestured towards the luxuriously large terraced yard beyond this fence and declared it to be the future home of an organic, urban farm. And vegetables were indeed growing there for the next several years.
I hadn’t passed that way for at least six months, however, and in my absence not only the hens but any trace of their home disappeared. The gardens lie fallow and the habitat sign has been removed.
I miss the chickens; even more I regret the loss of a site that pushed back urban constrictions and brought a bit of country life into the city. Asphalt, glass, and steel make our lives easier, but chickens remind us that we’re earth creatures like them, rooted in soil, air, and sunlight. That’s a service even better than eggs.
March 20, 2014 § Leave a comment
Chickens are so entertaining.
The Micheltorena School community garden is home to a hen house and eight birds. I stop by and marvel every time I’m in the neighborhood.
This being Silverlake, their shelter is no run-0f-the-mill shed but a redwood home with architectural flair.
This curious hen wondered what I was up to.
Not much, birdie. Just enjoying your company.
February 11, 2014 § 2 Comments
I’d probably need several years of psychoanalysis to determine why I’m so fond of this character, found on Sunset where Waverly curves down to meet the boulevard. Shouldn’t I find the dark scowl frightening/ disturbing/ threatening?
Instead, I read the face as determined/ take no bullshit/ ready for whatever comes. Walking to the farmers’ market on Saturday mornings, I give it a friendly nod, happy to know it’s made it through another week unmarred by graffiti.
The remainder of the mural is pretty cool, too.
January 8, 2014 § 2 Comments
He comes to mind periodically, usually when I myself am out walking. We called him The Walker and for years we’d see him striding briskly through Silverlake and environs, always shirtless and in gym shorts, his head bent down over a periodical.
Over time, he caught the media’s attention and through their stories we learned he was a cardiologist in private practice somewhere in the Valley and that he walked long distances–10 miles comes to mind–every day.
He became a fixture; if you mentioned The Walker, everyone knew who you meant.
I sometimes wondered how a busy cardiologist could have time for a daily 2-3 hour exercise program.
A few years back, we learned the answer when he was indicted for running an opiod prescription mill. The case had not progressed very far before the walking doctor was found dead in his hot tub. He had committed suicide.
Then there’s the artist who wryly inserted him into another Sunset Boulevard mural: Amidst chiaroscuro scenes of bygone L.A. days, The Walker is the sole figure in color. Now he, too, is gone.
November 11, 2013 § 1 Comment
Two Silverlake construction projects would appear to be moving forward. Mostly the progress is illusionary.
Months ago, workers dug trenches and poured footers at the plot where Glendale Blvd. makes a 90 degree turn and Rowena begins. And then . . . nothing. Dirt, concrete, rebar left as it was. Unconfirmed rumor: The developers are behind on payments.
Then there’s the site of the late, lamented Coffee Table on Rowena. Developers put up a large sign announcing “exciting” new construction “coming soon”; that was, oh, maybe six months ago. Other than brush clearing, nothing else has been done.
October 30, 2013 § 1 Comment
There’s a new entry in the low-water front lawn category, Silverlake Division. Our neighbor collected plants and rocks for three years, then spent months placing them just so. It’s a wide-ranging collection of shapes and sizes and every day –and at different times of day– the garden appears altered. Thank you, Allie & Eddy.