September 11, 2004

Come a long way

In my 10 years in LA I lived in 7 houses from Santa Monica to Silverlake. Today in Santa Monica I happened to drive past house #3, my little cottage on 12th and Idaho. It was tiny but was smartly designed and strangely soothing. Even twelve blocks away from the beach I could always smell the sea air in the morning. I have nothing but fond memories of the place. Today I was pleased to discover the plants I put in have virtually taken over the façade and the tree is a decent size. When I moved in there were no plantings whatsoever.

I try to plant trees wherever I live. I like seeing how the trees I've planted along the way have grown. It gives me a yardstick with which to measure my life. The first tree I planted was in Houston at the age of 5, a red oak. In a picture I wear a NASA jumpsuit and am proudly holding a shovel. I went back and visited a few years ago. That tree dwarfs the house and shades the entire lawn.

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This mornings house visit made me feel like I should visit all the houses before I go, so tonight I visited house #4 which I shared with several friends up on Lincoln Terrace. It was owned by Rick Rubin and featured incredible views (and an attic filled with perfectly aged rock & roll t-shirts). From my desk I looked out over the Chateau Marmont, the Marlboro Man, and the city itself. I am about as anti-smoker as a man can be (I'm not proud of it, and know it's not rational, but I judge most all smokers harshly and think they are weak.), but I miss that Marlboro Man sign. Sunset just isn't Sunset without it.

This is what the place looked like tonight:

And this is what the little street looked like when we were there:

LA is full of secret places hard for someone outside to see.

posted at 06:32 AM by raul

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