Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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Plumbean Palace: The Shark House


This house in Echo Park used to look quite average. It belonged to friends of mine, who moved in 1996 or '97. It was (and is) situated nicely on a tiny hillside street, the house abutting Elysian Park, but otherwise, you wouldn't notice the then-boxy white stucco home. It never occurred to me to take a picture of it.

As you can see, it has changed. It is now a castle, though probably no larger than it used to be. It has become mysterious, weird, and lovely. Horror and whimsy are roommates in this place. The transformation no longer new, it has progressed beyond the stage of stage-set and is now unironically, aggressively The Shark House.

(If you're wondering about "Plumbean," he's the main character in a book called The Big Orange Splot. In the story, Plumbean decides he wants to turn his ordinary house into a tropical fantasia. To the consternation of neighbors who want to live on "a neat street," he convinces other residents to enact their dreams upon their houses. He says, "My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams.")


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