Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Dumpy, Frumpy Culver City

 Years ago there was a local rock radio station that had a unique tagline. Something to the effect of "...coming to you almost live from a dumpy little building in downtown Culver City."

It was memorable because the radio station was never LIVE, it was all pre-programmed, without any DJs, meaning without any banal DJ banter. Also interesting because it harkened back to what Culver City once was - dumpy. And frumpy. And as it turns out just the way I like it.

Since it seems, everyone in Los Angeles is now coming to Culver City, and by everyone I'm also including Amazon and Apple, who are eating up real estate faster than Chinese real estate speculators with their all-cash offers, you might recognize some of the landmarks that are still standing. 

In the photo above, you can see the Culver Hotel, which has now been fancied and gussied up. Though they still maintain a window display proclaiming the hotel to have been the home of the munchkins while filming Wizard of Oz. I'm guessing today's kids have never even seen that movie as it is 1000 times longer than any Tok Tok or Instagram video.

On the left, you might notice the circular-faced brick building which is now Akasha, home of the $25 Old Fashioned Cocktail. 

But most striking is the lack of people, with the exception of the shadow in the lower right hand corner of the amateur photographer. And, when there's no people, there's no cars. The only time I've seen the streets so clear and devoid of humanity (traffic) was when we first went in to Covid lockdown. 

Ah the good old days.

Don't get me wrong, since buying our modest little home in "dumpy little Culver City" we have seen the property value skyrocket. The selling price on my home is nearly ten times what we paid for it. Minus all the additions, the obligatory refinances, the taxes, the maintenance, and the remodeling, often with unscrupulous Israeli contractors (I'll save that for another blog post.)

So while I appreciate the appreciation, I do yearn for the quieter, sparser, dumpier days of yore. When my wife and I could walk downtown and get a booth at the S&W cafe and immediate service from one of the friendly waitresses who we knew by name. 

BTW, prior to the maddening crowds, the place was called Sam & Woody's. And it was favored mostly by lesbians, who were friends of the lesbian owners. I was often the only male in the place. And caught quite the dirty side eyes. "Fucking Breeder."

Prior to all this development, you could zip down Overland Ave. and catch every green light. At the time it was one lane on either side. Now it's a 6 lane boulevard that often feels like one of the three exit gates at Dodger Stadium. 

For the life of me, I can't figure how they widened the street. 

Maybe this nostalgic grumpiness has been brought on by an extremely busy and tough time at work. Perhaps I'll be feeling better tomorrow if the 18 person committee for my freelance client approves of the latest banner ad.

Fingers crossed.


george tannenbaum said...

My city home is ten miles from where I grew up. About every three years, some old friend passes through and says, "Why don't we make like old times and meet at ____________." To which I reply, "Every place we used to go is now a Home Depot."

Write Josh said...

Had they not considered that it takes a breeder to breed a lesbian?