Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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Graffiti pit

Graffiti Pit Speaking of graffiti, this is the graffiti pit of Elysian Heights. The footprint of a house on what has been an "empty" lot for decades. On Ewing Street near Elysian Park, the site has served as a set for the Allison Anders film Mi Vida Loca. And it's a party spot both for the guy who owns the lot -- who occasionally invites his friends to enjoy the sunset and, I presume, a cocktail or two from the west-facing parcel -- and for taggers and skateboard kids, layer upon layer upon layer. Probably generations of gangbangers and taggers have memories of the spot. I have my own memories of poking around here, wondering what happened, why it has been undeveloped, where the front door would have been. Below it and to one side are "empty," read beautifully wooded, lots. There is an architect/developer who has plans to build two houses on those lots. She scaled back her plans, from "four to six" luxury dwellings (wine cellars in Echo Park!) to two, after various neighbors opposed her efforts. At one neighborhood meeting the architect stood up and said that as a tax payer and property owner she had a right to develop the lots. (Consider the idea of luxury-home-sellers complaining of NIMBY-ism!) If you assume the laws are current with morals* then she does. Which wasn't exactly the point to those who don't want to see the neighborhood turn into "Brentwood." The irony, of course, is that the classic gentrifier's argument -- don't overbuild! Preserve green space; don't kill the trees! -- is here the rationale behind trying to keep away snazzy modernist houses that would raise property values.

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