Some thoughts on this nippy rainy day.
I have lived in the same Echo Park house since 1999 and in Echo Park since 1995. But it feels as though I've moved.
Within the space of five months, 12 of my friends have left Los Angeles. My friend Cindy moved to Wyoming; Nandi and family moved to Mumbai; Paula and family moved to Switzerland; Ann and family moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I stopped shopping completely at Trader Joe's because of their awful seafood policies, which meant I changed my dry cleaners and other ancillary errands. I now shop regularly at Vons in Echo Park -- it has been renovated, and their parent company scored high on Greenpeace's seafood-policies chart.
I used to be able to stay in Echo Park almost all of the time, if I wanted to, but now I have started driving regularly to Culver City and to Pasadena. The freeway is now part of my landscapes. So is traffic. I read the newspaper less and listen to NPR more.
With my daughter in kindergarten I no longer go to Echo Park Lake. Not by design but just because there isn't time or need.
The former map of my local life has jumped off the page, done some crazy break-dancing, fallen to pieces and put itself back together as something new. My address is just a collection of sounds in relation to a new place. Because Echo Park has changed enormously in the last three years. (One of the most recent changes is the new dog parlour/shop intriguingly named "Blue Collar" -- it's housed in the same place where Lucha Libre Mexican wrestlers used to practice.)
I contacted mapquest about this, but they said there was nothing they could do: Sorry, they just draw the pretty pictures. Which means Chicken Corner will have to record its own Thomas Brothers guide to Chicken Corner.