Have you ever been to Noho? Street
banners declare its Arts District along Lankershim Boulevard
(the LB somewhere NE of Universal Studios). Eclectic Café
gone Wine Bar/Grille (non-eclectic prices except for Sunday
Brunch--the stark-gray interior is friendlier by day, anyway).
Tiny Noho Gym with houseplants in odd corners, like by the
leg machines, the trainer there with the tiny sweater-wearing
white dog comatose in her arms as she pedals the lifecycle.
A plethora of small theatres--Deaf West, The Road, the Avery
Schreiber (remember Avery?). One of those paint-your-own-pottery
places. Sunny Meyer Fine Art. The Pit Fire Grill and the usual
Starbucks and ramshackle-ish second hand clothing stores and
non-descript recording studios and suddenly a couple of blocks
over on Tujunga a long, leafy, plush park bearing a long,
low library. Out front--a statue of Amelia Earhart (breif
resident of nearby Toluca Lake). Once a year Noho closes down
Lankershim Boulevard and holds a street fair--with nothing
too artsy or eclectic about it, except for the contemporary
dance demonstrations from Millennium Dance hipsters, game
folk bands, boxes of tye dye clothing for sale cheap (cheaper
than a Venti Drip). The rest is overpriced--for the locals,
anyway--art, jewelry, impractical wares moderne. But it is
pleasant to sit on the Pit Fire's shady patio and listen to
the indie acoustic up for the hour, watch The Zipper terrify
kids spun in its mesh cages in an intersection normally clogged
with traffic. Construction zones are staked here daily--pleasing
Scott, whose favorite refrain of late is For the love of
god let them build.
spirit of the Arts District in which we live, we colorfied,
colorama-ed, color-amazed our walls. Tuscan Pomegranate offset
by Lakota Lambs Wool in the living room (orange and yellow).
Mexican Red and Incan Sunrise in the kitchen (red and yellow).
More Mexican Red in the dining room (but it works!) offset
by Phinneas. Just Phinneas. Drop of Green in the bathroom.
Bottle glass blues in the bedroom. We're ready: the LA Times
Sunday Magazine (nee West) can drop by with the camera
and hip notetaker. We'll serve bruschetta and escargot and
other conveniences from the Toluca Lake Trader Joe's eclectically
stocked freezers. Non-alcoholic martinis (shaken) displayed
on our retro coffee table (meaning one of the few items surviving
my childhood). Our caption will read: Scott and Pamela in
their Noho Hideaway. We'll be wearing no smiles, non-wrinkle
clothing and big bling--instead of sweats and ripped T shirts
that say Patriots or Beam Me Up!. As long as
our interviewer leaves out the hideously industrial wall-to-wall
and the kitchen cabinets and the back of the front door we
'forgot' to paint and the sad gouges in the sides of my inherited
piano from getting it up mean-spirited concrete stairs, we'll
look fine--very Noho. In fact, we are Noho. Except when it's
104 degrees and the A/C breaks, or I lock myself out--again--or
someone forgets to buy toilet paper. Then we're just--normal.
For instance, this morning there was cat vomit on the industrial.
And tonight Charlotte is sure to puncture my elbow. When all
the construction around here causes our property value to
rise just enough, we will sell and buy a house extremely Northwest
of Noho...So in truth we're fickle Noho. Nomad Nohoans. Traitors
And though home is now a long way from my ocean, sometimes the park is like a
breezy--very green--sea. And there's always, forever Mr. S.
Here in Noho, in fact, I have everything...
Our thing of late is asking married couples how long it took them to find their
groove. The last answer we received was '7 years'. That shut us up.
The Hoir Poets are giving a Spring
reading at Bergamot. I think I'm part of a thing at Barnes
& Noble in March. The first batch of potato soup of the
year on Sunday. I am very hopeful.
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