Friday, August 11, 2017

Our Hollywood Neighborhood

If it weren't for these two, Stetson (left) and (Ida) right, I wouldn't get out much! I bring our two mascots to the office every day. I walk them separately. That means I get out twice a day to take in our Hollywood neighborhood. Our offices are on a busy road, Cahuenga. It's a major thoroughfare from the city side of Los Angeles to the Valley. There is an entire Wikipedia entry that addresses the history of our busy street. What I now know is that 'Cahuenga' is derived from the Spanish name for the Tongva village of Kawengna, meaning "place of the mountain". And, yes, we are located in the "hills"of Hollywood. (Note to Nancy. Write a blog with photos looking out the backside of our offices!)

Yesterday I snapped several photos from my walks with the mascots. We always meander into the residential neighborhood behind our office.  Most of the homes in this area were built in the 1920s. "Old Hollywood" is so appealing. We are always discovering new and fabulous homes and architectural features. In this snapshot, Ida & I were about to inspect this old door.

There is a huge range of homes in our neighborhood. Some are modest. Some are much grander. Check this one out. It has two stately lions guarding the entryway. Thankfully, the dogs know they're not worth barking at. Perhaps it's because they are very very still. Or very very grey!

Most of the homes in our part of the Hollywood Hills reflect the Spanish style of architecture popular in the 20s and 30s. In recent times, there have been many super contemporary designs popping up. Looking up, this is one of them. What I notice the most is that the owner of this property is patriotic.  A giant American flag is used to announce their fence!

Several times a week, I walk by this. It is the Purple Heart Wall of Hope. Funny, until today, I didn't know why this was there or what it meant. And now that I'm writing this blog entry, I performed a mandatory google search. You can read more details in the link above and this link from Viva Los Angeles blogger. An activist (or mentally ill) father who was denied the right to see his son created this tribute. I still can't figure out the whole truth.  The photo attached is how the wall looks today. Click Viva Los Angeles to see this wall and home from a different time. Crazy in Hollywood!

Another fabulous part of our neighborhood is all the vegetation. I'm always amazed by what grows here.  I remember looking up our Sunset Climate Zone years ago and learning that we were located in a small micro-zone. Now that I'm trying to find specifics, I of course cannot.  But heck, around the corner from my office there is a Banana Tree that actually produces fruit. I've never seen this in Los Angeles before. I've seen banana plants. Just not ones that fruit. Good thing I took this photo yesterday. I've been watching this tree for months. And yesterday afternoon the stalks were chopped away, not allowing the fruit to ripen on the vine.

And Apples! Who would think apples could grow in Hollywood, CA? For weeks I was walking by this tree filled to the gills with yellowish-red apples.  About a week ago I saw the owner of the home.  He told me there was a "real" name for these apples. They are "Beverly Hills Apples." Crazy, right? He told me to help myself. I've had two so far. I feel a little timid snatching apples from his tree. And guess what? They are delicious. They're similar to a McIntosh.  I expect to see citrus fruit. Lots of citrus fruit. (I even have a tangerine tree where I live.) Apples? I wouldn't expect these in my neck of the woods.

There are flowers everywhere. All types of flowers. On trees. From the ground. And, no we do NOT have tulips. We have lots of Bougainvillea in every color under the sun. Here are clusters of red, fuchsia and light orange I spotted today, yesterday and the day before. (Yes, this is a block we often walk.) You can also find it in purple, yellow, coral and baby pink.

Succulents and Cacti. Yes, we have plenty. And it seems there are more and more as many homeowners take to desert gardens that require less water. I love California!

Every neighborhood in Hollywood seems to have their own identity.  Our offices are part of the Hollywood Dell. You can find these vintage looking signs at various points of entry into this neighborhood. There isn't one on Cahuenga Blvd. Once you turn a corner into a residential area, you'll find the signs. Other area neighborhoods include Whitley Heights, Hollywood Heights and Outpost. Are you familiar with this area?

As in many neighborhoods in and around Los Angeles --> (and probably in your hood too), there are community meetings. There's one coming up. The funny thing is, it never dawned on me to attend a meeting in this area where I work.  We have similar meetings scheduled where I live - which is only 1/2 mile away.  Sometimes these neighborhood groups arrange social events. More often than not they discuss local road conditions, homeless issues and crime in the area.

Another post I could make might center around quirky things we find when we take our daily walks.  I should be carrying my camera (cell phone) every day when I walk. I almost always leave it in the office. In the spirit of fun, here is a little Hollywood Humor.  The sign on the backboard of this basketball hoop says "Notice: All activities monitored by video camera." My initial reaction was that whoever lives here better start getting his or her shot in the basket more often! -ND