That is how a "two-week vacation" becomes a yawning gap of months at Chicken Corner. One moment follows another, turns into a day.... And now, I look down into the gap, and I see quite a few things. To name a very few:
The world changing very, very fast this spring and early summer. The incremental falling away in the face of my husband being laid off, my own corresponding need to post more billable hours, many of my friends making plans to move away from Los Angeles...for starters.
Chicken Corner took a break. But, while the blog Chicken Corner was catching her breath, time kept stomping forward at Chicken Corner proper. Not to mention everywhere else. Bit by bit. The dreaded and seemingly inexorable condo project at Chicken Corner came to a sudden halt in March. A few weeks ago, a real estate agent gamely told me the "units" were still for sale. At the edges of the construction site, the Chinese Trees of Heaven, aka stinkwoods, aka Ailanthus are now about six feet; the mustard weed done gone and flowered. The framing -- for garages? living rooms? - is intact. I am hoping for a quick forest in the midst of the cinderblock foundations and open framing.
Meanwhile, across the street, Show Pony has been stabled; the legendary, lovely shop is closed. In its place is a new boutique, Tavin.
Magic Gas sells gas again. Even though someone stole the gas pumps a couple of weeks ago. The new owners got rid of the Cocteau-like lady gas station sign I loved, but at least their prices are competitive. Under the previous owners, the prices were so high you had to laugh and drive elsewhere. A few days ago a woman who works at Magic Gas told me that Aramis, who owned the place until a few years ago, came into the café part of the station. She didn't know who he was until he introduced himself. She said he did not remember if he had named the place Magic Gas.
So many walls have been painted this way and that. Expectations have changed.
The fabled lotus of Echo Park died last year, but then it was time for the Lotus Festival and the community did an amazing thing: Last weekend it put on a community festival in place of the Lotus Fest. On Sunday, the park was full of festival-goers, and the lake was busy with paddle boats. It was the boats' last day, people say.
On July 18, these are a few of the things that mark the time since February.
Here are two pictures of Chicken Corner that I took with my phone last week, and one picture Cindy Bennett took in June 2006 of the same corner.