Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Venice, California
Tell me this doesn't look like everyone's dreams of the ideal California. Or this house:
It's almost dreamlike, somehow. What sort of people live there? How do they afford such beautiful places when it's so incredibly expensive?
SCBWI, (more on that from Debbie, who covered it in much more comprehensive detail than I'll ever be able to) was intense and amazing and left my poor brain in a muddle. I went back to visit with Paul's family and as a sanity break, I went out on a fun walk/stroll/photoshoot with Stacy, who is a wonderful, innovative photographer with a wry sense of humor. She's a kindred spirit, and it was a lovely afternoon and evening, wandering the streets and alleyways of Venice, then going out for Indian food.
Venice is of course known for its counter culture, its beach with lots of colorful characters and all the avant garde art and lifestyles Venice is famous for. But back a bit further from the beach are the canal streets, built in the 20's as the 'Venice of the West'. I'd never seen them, so we went walking in search of them.
It's a small but really lovely neighborhood with incredibly high-priced houses, big and small. Lots of pretty little bungalows from the 20's lovingly restored, and many that had been torn down and rebuilt in grandiose California Excess Style. It was a bit of a shock to run across this lovely little stucco bungalow house:

It was rather run-down and had a For Sale sign out front, so we poked about a bit and a rather disgruntled man came out and wanted to know what we were up to. When asked about the house he said it was for sale, but as a 'tear-down'. Apparently you buy the property and tear the house down and rebuild. For only $750,000, you get the land, the run-down house, and any further expenses to tear down and rebuild are of course your own.
Damn straight, that's a lot of money. Yet in that neighborhood it's only a small amount of money. We felt sorry for the house; the man who was in it seemed disgusted with it and uninterested in any potential buyers who looked like us. Obviously we didn't look like we had $750,000 to spend on a run down little house in a high priced neighborhood. But we would have liked to rescue that little house.
But there were lots of lovely little bungalows still. I took a ton of pictures of whatever struck my fancy and put up a set over on Flickr. I haven't been doing much photography for fun lately and this was something I really needed.
 The light in LA is odd; it's sunny but it's a cool blue light. I kept having to stop down because I was overexposing. Stacy said the light is like the cool white light from movie set arc lights, and she's right. It might explain why the movie studios liked this area, besides the even, consistent weather.
Anyway, it was a much-needed break and very enjoyable time spent with my sis-in-law.
Thanks, Stacy.
Tomorrow we're driving back down to the Grapevine to retrieve our poor van, which blew out its transmission trying to get us over the pass. It's getting older and has served us well, so we opted to get it fixed. Hope the little garage at Gorman does a decent job of putting in a new transmission for us; it's costing a ton of money we weren't prepared for. Isn't that always the way it goes?
Why can't life be more like this more of the time?

1 comment:

  1. We wouldn't know to appreciate it so much if it were like this all of the time. Neh?