Every now and then there is a special word that weaves in and out of our thoughts, like a string of pearls, rises in conversation, insinuates. Today's word is Gateways -- and it came into my life Sunday when we crossed from closed water to open near Long Beach. On Monday, I write a post mentioning the breakwater in Long Beach, and imagine a new kind of gateway -- one that would lead into north Echo Park from Sunset.* No sooner do I commit that thought to blog than the following morning I go to Chango with my 10-year-old cousin, Lydia, and my daughter, Madeleine. While the girls eat cheese sandwiches, I browse Coagula and see that The Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park has advertised. CCSEP seeks submissions of designs for five gateways to Elysian Park. And now I remember a conversation I had a few days ago with my friend Jim Schneeweis about the Gateways residential mental health facility on Lake Shore in Echo Park. Every now and then Gateways tries to buy one of the bungalows on Lobdell Place where Jim lives; but the neighbors raise their pitchforks, and the Gateways beast goes back into its cave behind the great high walls.
In any case, Tuesday. At Chango, I find the scene much as I left it last time I was there about a month ago. Across the room, Nikki Monninger of the Silversun Pickups chats with Kime Buzzelli, artist and proprietor of Show Pony boutique, a few doors down on Echo Park Ave. Monninger has shed the rollerskates she always seemed to be wearing last year. I just checked the Silversun Pickups MySpace space and found that the band has more than 57,000 friends, in addition to her pals at Chango. THAT is a lot of friends.