Saturday, April 07, 2007

Atwater to Silverlake - Birthday Project #1

Today, I came home from seeing my dying grandmother and father, stepmother and stepsister and their new puppy and decided to take a long walk. It was cool and overcast and realy the perfect time to see the neighborhoods from 4mph sidewalk vantage point.

So, I pulled on my sneaks, patted the doggies goodbye, turned on the alarm, locked the door and closed the gate. As you can see, just leaving the house can be an ordeal. I hit Fletcher and took off towards the meandering L.A. river. Fletcher is an industrial no man's land of auto shops, stripshows and graffiti. It ain't perty, but it's home...or close to home.

At Astro Family Restaurant -- beloved local diner and cop commisary -- I made a left and ankled my way down Glendale Blvd, past the wannabe writers and hipsters in Starbucks, past the giant minimall with Ralphs and now CVS (with its 666 number, my old doctor used to always call it the satanic Savon -- when it was Savon), past the line of banks and to where Silver Lake Blvd. is and where the new Silver Lake branch of the L.A.Public Library will be.

Is it really necessary to build another public library when there are perfectly good ones in Atwater, Los Feliz and, I believe Glassell Park? Are those places not good enough for the Silverlakers?

I digress.

Down Silverlake Blvd. I trudge, now on the walking path around the resevoir. Oh, how I do love walking around the resevoir. Eventually, the city might actually make it nice like they did on the W. Silverlake side. Now, you do it and wonder if you're gonna be mowed over by a car or SUV or, cause it's Silverlake, an alternative fuel vehicle.

Anyway, I passed the dogeared dogpark -- can the city please plant some grass? it's like a dust bowl, already-- and by the cute little hip shops, Spaceland, little casitas and homes in the hills until I get to Sunset.

On Sunset, I turn right and it's pretty heavily latino now. I walk by little madre & padre shops, alterations, immigration centers, tiny churches, el 7 mares and then again I find myself in hipsterville. There's Conquistador with its fabulous tiles and flaboyant waiters, good, the gelato place, the furniture spots, the comic book store, the casbah, the chicken corner (pollo loco and circus of books), the new buildings going up on Myra and Sunset and then I hit Hyperion.

I actually take Effie up to Griffith Park cause it's straighter, so to speak. I pass large apartment buildings, townhouse, again the little casitas and a throwback to an earlier, seedier gay time -- a "no cruising" sign put up by the city. Please.

When I reach Hyperion again, I check in at Da Gianino, which changed owners, to see what their new menu is like. I open the door, music is playing, but everyone must be in the kitchen. I open a menu and it's exactly the same. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess. Reassuring and then not so much.

On the Hyperion Bridge, I cross two guys making a movie -- it is L.A. after all -- and walk down the bridge, over the 5, over the L.A. River, and back now on Glendale Blvd. A very different Glendale.

I cruise -- no sign here -- by the Ferarri Gallery (a show tonight!), the seemingly never will open new Starbucks and Pizza place, past Romi's, Villa Corona, the Pampered Bird place and then down Larga back home.

Man, was that a freakin' good walk, but boy are my dogs barking. Oh, and, yeah, I figured out what I'm doing for my birthday. Stay tuned.

No comments: