I do have a camera. Veronique de Turenne* even offered to teach me how to use it (back in April). But who among the living needs a picture of dirt? Who needs their nose rubbed, visually-digitally, in the insult to Echo Park that is occuring at Chicken Corner? Would a word picture be kinder? Bare chocolatey dirt, the end of the Chicken Corner ranch era. The loss of open space. Trees chopped into five-foot segments. Noxious bamboo and stinkwood (ailanthus) felled, but still... they were green. Suddenly the lot that has been empty for so long and seemed so large looks small. I tell myself, well, maybe it will get city-like in here and bustling, more alive than ever. But it was the sleepy dustiness in the middle of the city that I liked, the illusion of the neighborhood being a little lost planet, separate from the megalopolis, LA County, the no-eyes fire giant. So much for being precious about it. We lost a lovely bungalow. And a piece of open, breathing space -- unoffically ours as it was. I used to look at old tin-type photos of the city I grew up in (I had an internship at the city's planning commission) and wonder at the open spaces, thrilled both by how much the same and how different they looked from that present moment. And now I can imagine someone else -- years from now -- in the middle of a project (artistic or otherwise) looking through Chicken Corner pix and marveling that it ever looked that way.
*Hall of mirrors alert! Veronique also writes for LAObserved.