The Black Dog has been upon me lately. Of course there are always reasons to be less than cheerful, but it’s the nature of the Dog that these things get blown up out of all proportion. Walking has always been a reasonable way for me to keep the Dog at bay and it’s true that recently I haven’t been pounding the pavement as much as I’d like to. The LA summer has been long and hot, and it’s not over yet – it’s going to be 100 degrees again at the weekend, so I thought I should get some walking done while I can.
Monday being a cooler day, and since I had a dentist’s appointment (no big deal this time, just a check up on last year’s root canal work) and my dentist being within walking distance, I decided to walk there and back, probably an hour in each direction, itself no big deal by serious walking standards.
The route offered the opportunity to walk by the newly-completed Emerson College building, properly referred to as a campus, and just as often referred to as a “futuristic outpost.” It’s on a slightly bleak stretch of Sunset Boulevard, and it’s designed by local architect (starchitect in some accounts) Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis. It’s a fine and eye-catching building and if it doesn’t as yet look totally at home in the neighborhood it does at least seem thoroughly, excitingly LA. And right around the corner from it work was going on to refurbish this rather wonderful building, which in many ways seems even more LA.
On the way to the dentist I happened to notice other dentists’ offices, something I suppose I wouldn't have done in other circumstances – one with this sign:
I personally wouldn’t have spelled esthetic that way, but that’s just me, and then there was this one with it’s own roadside library out front, Richard Ford, the Simpsons, a guide to the best places to kiss, a book on astrology. Well I guess everything starts to seem very LA after a while.
And of course there are those curious little LA ironies, that you always see when you walk, some of which seem a little too obvious like this Gideon’s bible on top of a trash can:
And these goofy stick on eyes on a fire hydrant:
And finally as I was getting to the end of the return journey, as the temperature was getting above 80 degrees, I saw that classic Batman had returned to the streets in this very fine depiction, front:
And was the Black Dog slain? No, but he was tamed a little, and by the end of the walk he, and I, were a little too hot and sweaty to get into much of a dog fight. Sometimes I’ll settle for that.