Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Payoff

Sometimes I ask myself the question that renovators throughout history have come to ask:

"Why am I doing this to myself?"

Why have I wreaked this renovation havoc on myself, my family, our lives? We had a house. It was finished. It had beautiful views, and working plumbing, and books on shelves, and a green lawn. Is it worth giving all that up? Is it worth the dust and the parade of laborers, and the money -- of course, the money -- and the stress and the heartache and the perpetual, never-ending mess, just for a better location?

Today feels like the answer is yes. Jim, Poppy and I finally got a chance to make the most of our neighborhood a little bit today. We walked from our house up Beachwood Canyon to a flea market in Hollywood Village. You know Hollywood Village. It's right below the Hollywood Sign and grew up around the original real estate office for Hollywoodland Real Estate. I won't digress to a history of the Hollywood sign, but if you're interested, NPR's got a quick primer.

(Disclaimer: These pictures are somewhat lacking in authenticity as I forgot my camera on our actual walk and had to return in my car after the fact to snap where we'd been. I might have gotten away with it, too, except that the frame of my car found its way into the picture below.)

Before hitting the market, we dropped in to the Village Coffee Shop for cups of joe and some grits for Poppy, which she consumed -- but reluctantly, and with a look of utter disgust.

Across the street, the flea market was small but friendly, with a bake sale at the entrance. There were babies, and people with dogs, and lots of stuff that looked like one-time swag for sale, including a Holga camera that I think Jim is still regretting not buying. The vibe was just surprisingly neighborhoody and sweet and casual and NEAR.

So, we moved to the Jewel of Hollywood for the commute (or lack thereof). But now that we're here, we're liking the neighborhood more all the time.

As for whether or not it's all worth it, I'll have to get back to you on that one.


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