At twilight, last night, the new Ralph’s in Sherman Oaks, stood glistening under cloudy skies.
Dressed up and standing alone on the corner of Hazeltine and Ventura: metal panels and squash-colored inserts, coffee-tinted siding alongside creamy towers.
And a profusion of plants everywhere, succulents in the thousands, and grasses, and trees and roses and brown bark, bark laid down in trenches all around the building, even along the loading dock.
Hygienic, modern, urbane, green.
Friendly to pedestrians and the disabled.
A bright RED plastic sign with the oval circle encircling RALPH’s FRESH FARE.
A new supermarket had come to Sherman Oaks, vaulting over old timers and neighborhood groups and homeowners fearing “urban” might bring the shvartze, the illegal and the hipster to this corner of the valley.
But at 7 pm last night there was no sign of humanity on the sidewalks around Ralph’s.
It had passed the Los Angeles test for a great building. It looked good and kept the streets clean and empty.