Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
A Los Angeles blog
from Echo Park

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Travels in the neighborhood


I couldn't help it. Saturday I was on my way home from an Echo Park garden party that celebrated 70th anniversary of the airship Graf Zeppelin's round-the-world flight, August 8, 1929. Driving home on Echo Park Avenue, I almost passed a seemingly abandoned stuffed animal -- a bear, no less -- with all of its obvious pathos. I pulled over to record it. And the cars driving past.

So we have Honey Bear, 8 pm, August 8, 2009.

Honey is at a street sign at Paul Place, one of the many dynamic pinpoints of the neighborhood, places in steady flux. The light-blue eight-plex (or more) to Honey's right, and out of view, turns over quite a bit -- there's often a for-rent sign, or a shadless view into what looks like an empty apartment. A few doors down door is a halfway house. And next to that is Vega Meat Market, which is now Skatehouse, a designer's workspace and prototype gallery. In the last ten years the mustard-colored building behind Honey has been a food market, an empty space, an art gallery, a clothing designer's shop and gallery, a thrift shop, a notary-tax-service-travel agency business, and now also a bird-themed boutique of sensibility.

But some things at Paul Place do not change. Facing Honey is a large lot that is surrounded by a TALL hurricane fence, threaded and re-threaded with at least nine inches of creeping ficus. In the 13 years I have lived in the neighborhood, I have never seen through that fence, and I have never seen the gate open. (The gate is also hidden.) God could not see into that lot. Not from the outside.

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