Our long national nightmare is over. Nixon has resigned. Wait a minute. No. We have moved after 25 years at our last residence.
It has been horrific. Like scraping moss off a rock. And we didn’t have a lot of time either. I won’t go into details. We could have ended up anywhere. I can’t tell you of the horrors we have seen for near $3000 a month. Rents in Los Angeles are outrageous. We had enjoyed 25 years of rent control. Our rent now will double.
As bad as that is, it wasn’t the worse thing by miles.
The worst thing, the thing that, quite honestly, at this stage of our lives, hit us like a terrible medical diagnosis, was that our happy lives might be over. I will tell you and you can believe me or not but the truth is our very happiness and futures were at stake. LA can now be just a brutally difficult place to live. So finding the right place, or not, was a process fraught with some of darkest concerns either of us have ever had.
Well. Fuck it all, that’s not how it turned out. Now we can breathe. We’re going to be fine. Somehow we found a place that is perfect for us. It has an incredible history which I will share at some other time. Right now, I’m writing this last night. Or something like that. You can probably see that my brain is fried. We haven’t actually moved until tomorrow. Wow. That’s not actually English either. Anyway. By the time this is published, we will be there. Or here. Whatever.
Here’s a shot from the 1950s. That’s LA in the salad days of Hollywood’s Film Noir era. Or I’m thinking Val Lewton. Foggy night. Shadows and trees rustling. 😉
From The Park Plaza’s Wikipedia page:
Though the neighborhood has gone through a period of urban decay and now urban renewal, the building, replete with angels at every corner, has lost none of its ethereal beauty and elan, making it truly one of the classic examples of Claude Beelman’s architecture left standing in the modern world. The building is now vacant, mainly used as a rental for movie shoots and special events, however, the City of Los Angeles thought the architecture significantly important enough to warrant a City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department Historic-Cultural Monument No. 267, as far back as the early 1980s. This is significant in that many other Wilshire Boulevard area landmarks fell prey to the wrecking ball during that time period, such as the notable Brown Derby. Luckily, despite the demolition of important landmarks all around it, the grand entrance and ballroom of the Elk’s No. 99 / Park Plaza building still bears its old “jazz age” grandeur, much to the relief of Los Angeles architectural aficionados. The elaborate interior murals and decorative paintings were designed and executed by Anthony Heinsbergen and Co, noted painter of many Los Angeles cultural landmarks. The central design of the lobby ceiling is based on the Villa Madama, a Renaissance era project by Raphael and Giulio Romano.
Not our upstairs, mind you. We don’t have an upstairs. We have Leica GEAR! 😉 Our friends are very proud of all the work they’ve done. Their home is about a half mile from the Pacific Ocean, which you can see from their back porch and even better from their roof. So that light is the real deal. These were taken in a rush as we were given a quick tour on the 4th of July. I’d like to have a couple of hours down there shooting the great detail work with all that light and the great Leica and Zeiss glass I’m lucky enough to own. Instead of an upstairs. 😉