Monday, May 12, 2008

Why We Left Silverlake and Moved Downtown

Well, the main reason is that our landlord hired an incompetent air conditioner repairman who painted the inside of our air conditioner vent with a chemical approved only for use outdoors, thereby rendering our apartment uninhabitable. But there were other reasons to leave Silverlake:

1. Parking Nazi neighbors: We drive old Mercedes-Benz's. They're cheap so we have no car payments, they're roomy so we can stash baby gear without driving a mini-van or (shudder) an SUV, and they're comfortable in a rolling-sofa kind of way. One of our cars is a diesel Benz, painted brown, with a dent in the front. We call him Heinrich. Poor Heinrich has seen better days but we love him anyway. But our neighbors did not, as I discovered one morning when I put my key in the lock and a woman darted out of her house to tell me she'd called the cops to have my car towed. My reaction: "What the fuck did you do that for?" She babbled about abandoned cars but the real answer is that she didn't like having my old, ugly car parked in front of her million dollar house. She later threatened to call the EPA on my because the car leaked oil. Then there was the dude who kept chalking our tires to see if we were moving the car. He finally let the air out of one of the tires and pulled the pin out of the valve so it couldn't be refilled. Ah Silverlake, what a tolerant and progressive community, hm?

2. More neighbor nastiness: There was a protest in our neighborhood over a new apartment building going up because...I have no fucking idea why that sparked a protest. They weren't building a shopping mall or a twenty story building, just your run-of-the-mill townhouses. I guess that affects property values somehow? Then there was the crazy bitch who threatened to call the cops on neighbors who were having a yard sale. No, I have no idea why.

3. Insane earthy-crunchy parents: There was an anti-vaccination flyer posted on the Coffee Table bulletin board. Parents push around $1200 Bugaboo strollers. A friend of mine who teaches at Ivanhoe told me about a parent who protested when her kid got detention for wrapping his hands around another kids throat because, "He was just expressing himself."

4. Head-up-the-ass syndrome: One of the shop owners in Sunset Junction had a dachshund that she let roam loose up and down the block. Predictably, the dog ran into the street and was killed by a car. So how did the hipsters react? By having a candlelight vigil for the dog. Seriously.

5. Silverlake is just like San Francisco: This is not a compliment.

32 comments:

EL CHAVO! said...

"Silverlake is just like San Francisco: This is not a compliment."

That's pretty hilarious! As are most of the great observations in this post.
Saludos, EL CHAVO!

PS. you might want to change the settings to allow anonymous/url comments as many people still don't have google ids.

Li said...

Wow, El Chavo left a comment on my blog! I have changed the settings--thanks for the tip. Love your writing on the East LA blog and on Chanfles.

'Chola Con Cello' said...

Love this blog!!
You tell it brother.
Echo Park has been sadly contaminated with hipsters as well. Used to be a great neighborhood until the ill arrived. I totally understand why you headed downtown.
Cuidate y saludos.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you park your ugly Benz in your own parking space? In your garage? In your driveway?

Seems you are the offender here, not the lady who is trying to keep the street clean.

And before you mumble "My apartment doesn't come with parking" or more common approach, blaming the landlord "doesn't provide..." - if YOU were so tolerant and progressive, as you expect your neighbors to be, YOU would have arranged for off-street parking, or chosen to go car-free. Instead, you have the same Head-up-ass-syndrome you assign to the merchants.

Take responsibility for yourself before you go maligning others.

Sean said...

Bad neighbors exist everywhere. I don't think you can attribute your lady neighbor's bitchiness due to the fact that you lived in SL. Your rant just seems a little unfounded.

Anyway, enjoy living in the desolate downtown. Good luck getting a cup of coffee later than 5 or 6pm when everything shuts down. Enjoy your loft or wherever, and watch out for the post-USC-frat-boy-turned-bankers. I'd take SL or EP hipsters over those types anyday.

Brady Westwater said...

Great post! Downtown may have its crazies of one kind or another - but at least they are grounded in some kind of reality.... even if it's one of their own construct.

bgfa said...

Li, I suggest you TURN off the anonymous commenting. See comment #4. Your blog will get poisoned by those losers, just like curbed LA, which linked to this post.

Lionel said...

"And before you mumble "My apartment doesn't come with parking" or more common approach, blaming the landlord "doesn't provide..." - if YOU were so tolerant and progressive, as you expect your neighbors to be, YOU would have arranged for off-street parking, or chosen to go car-free. Instead, you have the same Head-up-ass-syndrome you assign to the merchants."

I'm confused here. What's wrong with parking your car on the street? You sound like a raging ahole.

AVN said...

I was wondering what happened to that shop dog in Sunset Junction. Thought it got cancer or something. Didn't know it was killed by bad parenting.

Anonymous said...

@4: Anonymous said...
Why don't you park your ugly Benz in your own parking space? In your garage? In your driveway?


Hey Starchy, is that you?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I've seen that ugly brown Benz around! It will be missed. My wife and I are coincidentally considering the same more. Long story short, we need a bigger place, can't find anything we like, and our deciding between a building in downtown or a house in mt. washington. I still like SL, and have never had neighbor problems. My only complaint is that whenever we walk down the hill to sunset to go to the farmer's market, 99 cents store, or to get ice cream or dinner, i normally feel underdressed. I feel like over the past 10 years, we've gotten our share of westside transplants.

Will Campbell... said...

Typical: I find your blog AFTER you've made your escape from my neighborhood.

Better late than never.

Pretty much I had the same reaction to the chosen method of mourning the junction weiner dog. I was sad but yeah, there were several times I saw the dog ripping around the corner at Casbah and up and down the sidewalks and I thought someday that's just going to end badly.

*daisy said...

And I thought I was the only one who felt under dressed walking down to the farmers market! I totally feel like I've gotten progressively unhip to be in my own neighborhood as well (and I'm a young working artist!) We've never gotten complaints about yard sales or ugly cars, but then again, we live with a halfway house down our block, so i think we're a special case. I feel lucky not to be in the thick of the SL drama (reservoir, anyone?), but still within easy walking distance of anything worth doing.

Still- I've noticed the same thing with a west side influx and UBER-hipsters over the past 5 years that's been changing the whole feel of the place.

(that's sad about the Pull My Daisy dog- haven't been down that way in a while since eatwell closed- makes sense, though- Sunset is so traffic-heavy, it's just not safe for any animal to roam free. Candlelight vigil though? that's a little much)

(PS- and there are waaay too many vegan places now. I don't mind one or two, but we're up to like, 5+? I want variety!)

Anonymous said...

Lionel:

What's wrong with parking on the street?

The street is for the public, i.e. visitors. Not residents.

It is not a free resource for your own private use.

Li said...

Anonymous, you do realize you're proving my point, don't you?

Anonymous said...

Great post Li! I was living in SL since 1987, when the artists, gays, and cholos were all living on the same block. In 2000, thank goodness my husband and I moved to central Hollywood, which is how SL used to be.

When I travel through SL to get to Echo Park I see the wanna-be, stick up their ass, posers who move to SL to to get their kids into Ivanhoe or Family school.

The peeps on here who attack you are the new SL migration who want to shut out the diversity and live with their own kind. Sad. SL sucks so hard that it's an equivalent of black hole that sucks all the energy out of the surrounding city. Ever notice that there is no cell phone coverage there?

Bravo and good luck in Downtown.

Anonymous said...

Its a good thing you moved. I would be pissed if a jalopy consistantly parked in front of my nice house too... Gotta be honest - if I pay a million bucks for a house I would certainly hope the neighborhood will continue to improve - like SL has. She shouldn't have freaked on you though - that is rude/not cool.
It think its great you moved downtown... in another 10 years DT will improve the same way
***CHANGE HAPPENS***

Anonymous said...

STARCHY here, and obviusly you have NOT been paying attention.public streets are public streets. free for all (lierally). But don't bitch to me if you can't find parking..

but the leaking oil of benz IS a problem. I would be pissed if there was a penzoil puddle in front of my house, $1m or otherwise...

but gotta agree on one thing SL is hipster ghetto. lots of nice parts but also lots of attitudeand lots of crap. we fled SL three years ago for you know where and glad we did. WAY too congested for my tatse...

STARCHY

Anonymous said...

Im from L.a...ive lived all through out l.a. even up the 110 in san pedro...just recently moved from huntington beach in orange county to silverlake..why you ask...because i needed a roomate and my friend works in downtown so he chose silverlake and i followed...

heres my two cents...i consider silverlake a suburb even though its considered Los angeles...the location is ok...but one thing i did notice recently is all the weird stares i get when i load up my surboards in my car and blast music thats not indie...yeah, i dont live by the beach but this is southern california!!!...i figure most of the people that live in silverlake are transplants from other states or counties, which isnt a bad things except usually its the transplants that take things way too far...its like watching a show about hollywood and believing thats how its really like...its like a bubble here...the hipsters have a bad rap, and i think they deserve it...from what i know so far about the people ive met here is that they need to chill out, lets get some diversity...its cool if your into certain things but i miss the grime of L.A...the real angelenos were replaced, by..people that ride bikes (this is the automobile state) and look down on everything conservative...but ill give the town a little more time....last thoughts....once my lease is up, im moving back to the beach hahaah

Anonymous said...

Silverlake itself dosn't suck, it's the doooooshbag hipsters that suck ass... most of you fools look like you crawled outta a garbage can...seriousley...the homeless look works in comidies like zoolander, but not in real life. go suck a duck

Anonymous said...

SL sucks turds in 2012. I lived there in 1986-89 and that was a scene. But a very Unpretentious one. Artists, REAL artists and musicians flocked there because it was cheap rent. There was mutual respect among the Gays, artists, and working-class Latino families in SL in those days. Yeah, AIDS was ravaging the gay population at the time, but that didn't matter.

I don't know, don't know where all these A-holes came from that now inhabit SL. It might also be a generational thing too. I was 26 when I moved to SL in 1986, you do the math. I've seen SL go from being an artistic enclave to something pretending to be an artists enclave, trying too hard to be hip and cool, while being way too expensive for TRUE artists to live in these days. It's a completely different type of personality that inhabits those streets now. And it's a damn shame.

Li said...

Thanks for the comment! We used to live just down the street from the AT Center on Griffith Park Boulevard and it felt like a slice of what the old Silverlake must've been like. Too bad about the way the neighborhood has changed, though truthfully, now that I live downtown I see the neighborhood headed the same way. Ah well. Knowing my husband and me, we'll eventually move on to the next thing but it's okay for now.

John Terry said...

Found your blog. It is full of really good information. Thank you for sharing. If you ever need service on your furnace, air conditioner or water heater please visit us at rheemteamcomfort.com. We would love it if you would have a look at some of our blogs and let us know your thoughts.

John Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Terry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Lee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
isabel lopez said...

Grew up in Inglewood, lived in Silver Lake, Alhambra and Boyle Heights.. I know this city like the back of my hand. Samo to sgv, the valley to signal hill.. Silver Lake is the most detestable place to live and drive.. No consideration

isabel lopez said...

PS you must not have stepped foot in dtla lately because it has definitely become VERY lively in the last 3/5 years

isabel lopez said...

Funny you say that about the real angelenos.. I moved in with my husband and mother in law, who had been living there 20+ years (we are mex-am).. I didn't feel welcome, we felt stared at in my plain jeans, t-shirts and chucks (local dress lol). 85% of the people walk around with their noses in the air. People aren't considerate when they drive or park.. Its just a hipster fest and an cultural echo chamber. And though this is beside the Point, the bar, El Diablo, ever since they tried to pass their ridiculously bland and flavorless Popsicles that they stick in beers as a "michelada," I have some kind of animosity.. Couldn't help but feel like it was cultural appropriation but they got it all wrong. It was just a beer with a popsicles.. Did not taste at all like a michelada. Anyway, now we like in Alhambra and we looooooove it. So much more chill and diverse. No longer living in a show off fest.

isabel lopez said...

I always wondered how these "suffering/misunderstood" artist can possibly all afford to live there. Not saying you can't make a living off your art but we all know that's a struggle.