Rockcrit and A-Mama Ann Powers thinks way too hard sometimes

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

the smell


In Seattle, it was blackberries. In Berkeley, it was wild fennel. In Brooklyn, let's be honest, it was trash and pee. Everywhere I've lived there's been a defining smell. And now I know L.A.'s. It's this.

I finally got to take a walk in my new neighborhood.

Of course I was working while I did! Listening to the L.A.-centric Dave Navarro project, Panic Channel, which rocks in a very 120 Minutes kinda way. In fact, the lead singer used to be an MTV VJ. But it's Dave, so there are the arty tendencies. There's a really long song about a savior figure named Uncle Elijah! Still, the single sounds like Switchfoot. Whether you think that's a good or a bad thing depends on your view of soaring choruses and lighters (cell phones?) in the air.

But back to the walk. I drove up to the dogwalker and school's pass-through called Moon Canyon, strolled all the way up and down San Rafael past the Self Realization Fellowship (where middle-aged lovelies stroll about in long skirts) and Bebe's future school, yippee! Walked out on a vast plain where I could see all of downtown, and headed back, with a stop down Elyria street to look for the other end of Elyria Canyon. (I'd had an unfortunate encounter with poison oak earlier at our entrance to this overgrown "park." So far it seems to be under control thanks to hydrocortisone and perspicacious leg-washing.)

Then I scooted toward Crane, the other street I wanted to live on, and gazed at their lovely canyon views. But I still like ours, if not better, as much. After all, we can see glamorous downtown Glendale! And so for the first time in a while, I said, ah, that's why I wanted to live in this neighborhood. Getting out and into it makes all the difference.

ps if I were hip like my pal Daphne, I would have meant this smell. Oh well.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Joshie said...

Hey, Brooklyn smells like this:

http://423smith.com/index.php/2006/07/16/spicy-mangos-and-more/

and this:

http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/aial1.htm

but lately it's too hot to go out and smell anything.

8:38 AM

 
Anonymous Michael said...

Jeez, it was about ten years ago now but I went to Los Angeles and saw some friends play a show at the Whiskey, partied with them until the wee hours, and then went back to the hotel where I was staying, the Bel Age, and sat in the jacuzzi on the roof. And it was so still and balmy up there, just perfect after all the loud music, beer and banter. I was all alone, it was one of those perfect moments. And down from the hills above Sunset rolled this amazing smell of jasmine. It was almost literally divine. To this day, when I tell people Los Angeles is the best-smelling city I've ever been to, they look at me real funny.

2:40 PM

 
Blogger MLW said...

You forgot the pizza. New York smells like trash, pizza and pee.

Except at Coney Island last Friday night, which smelled like hot sugar, salt air and pee.

8:24 AM

 
Blogger Dex Wineslacker said...

What is it with all these writers who have blogs on top of everything else?? Don't your fingers get tired? Does the word "compulsion" mean anything to you? I get cramps over my homeowner's association newsletter.

2:19 PM

 

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