They had promised rain.

We were going to be drenched, drowned, and flooded.

The clouds would stay overhead for months, and there would be endless days of mudslides, dark clouds and gray skies.

They had promised rain, clearly, and said it in English, many times; the word was rain, but there was so much of it and they had renamed him El Niño.

For maybe one or two days there was rain and it came down and drenched the garden and it seemed that relief was on its way.

But the heat and the sun, and that blinding light, the kind that throws deep shadows on surfaces, came back.

The hot winds, the cloudless skies, the bees and the mosquitos, the dust and the fires, and the furnace of the car parked in the sun with black seats that burn your ass when you sit down.

IMG_0244 IMG_0243 IMG_0242

In Hancock Park, last Saturday, the air smelled like smoke, and lungs labored hard to bring in oxygen.

But on curved streets with swept sidewalks and trimmed hedges, homes glowed, in the inferno.

Movie star beauties, these residences, from the 1920s and 30s, photographed like Garbo and Gable, in black and white.

They retained dignity, reserving in elegance, those rights given to the rich, to remain unaffected by external events, to quietly succeed by dint of elitism, and transcend the hot weather through graceful form.




3 thoughts on “They Had Promised Rain.

  1. Remember a recent comment? La Tapatulcheca may be going–to be replaced by. ab6!story mega bloc apartment.

    Fans of Van Nuys past will remember it as the 1960’s Equitabke Savings of Bart Lytton and the “go go savings and loans” of the 1960’s. (Editor’s note–I had $12.00 there in 1965 as a 12 year old.)

    The high ceiling, the arches and canopy, the required Mllard Sheets mural all had been reported for landmark study by City of LA–so reported to one VNNC member by the LA Conservancy.

    But developer says “no one’s even asked.”



      And skylights too–greyed out from the bright canopy I remember. (I had to go back and look to remember.). And a gold grill over the rear window–the sunset sun setting window. An iron grill over marble–out front–as art–later I understood that the grill’s design came from the Thomas Bros map of Van Nuys.

      The flashiest building in Van Nuys

      Quite a space–did you ever go look? Yes a homeless person sleeps in the recessed front garden along VN Bl.

      Ina different Van Nuys someone would have appreciated this long ago.

      Not against progress but this isn’t quite a “win–win” situation.


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