Drifting and striding, in Hollywood and elsewhere, with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.
Showing posts with label CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. Show all posts

Monday, December 26, 2016


As I walk around the streets close to home, it seems that the old neighborhood doesn’t change much from day to day, and sometimes it’s easy to think it doesn’t even change so very much from year to year.  Certainly some of the neighbors put out the same decorations every Christmas.  I don’t blame them since I, of course, don’t put out any decorations at all.  I mean there are plenty in the house but not outside for passing gawkers/walkers.

One of the things my kind of casual local walking does is make you more observant of small changes.  So, the photograph above was taken yesterday, on Christmas Day, and any fool could tell that things weren’t quite as they’d been in previous years.  For one very obvious thing, it has been rather wet in Hollywood this last week or two, wet enough that your poodle decoration would definitely need some protection from the elements.   I took the photograph above, and knowing that I’d taken a similar photograph a couple of years back, when I got home I did some compare and contrast.

I saw they’d painted the mailbox for one thing (maybe I noticed that because I know my own mailbox needs repainting).  Also they’d got some new and more plentiful Christmas lights.  And some work had been done on the tiny patch of, for want of a better word, garden: goodbye to the agaves, hello to some things in pots that I can’t name.

Also the fine old car (was it a Buick?) that had been sitting in the driveway next door for a good long time, and looked like it was never going to move, has moved - to be replaced by a Mercedes.  Some would say that’s a step in the right direction.  Me, I’m not so sure.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Meanwhile while drifting  in East Hollywood in December …

Is it just me or is there always something incredibly melancholy and mysterious about seeing abandoned women’s shoes lying in the street, whether singly or in pairs? You assume there always has to be a story there, and depending on your taste in stories it may be incredibly banal – woman finally got fed up with her fancy shoes, found them too painful, decided to throw them away – and maybe she had a pair of sensible shoes with her.  Or maybe it's evidence of some noirish narrative – a chase through the night, escaping from real or imagined demons, shoes cast aside to increase mobility.

So what’s the story with these rather elegant, and as far as I could tell, perfectly serviceable black suede, high-heeled boots that had been carefully placed at the base of a tree?  A gift to the neighborhood?  They were certainly gone when I walked by again later in the day.

Of course it goes dark early in Hollywood these day.  When I first arrived here a decade or so ago it seemed that the neon of Hollywood was something very spectacular.  I seem to think there were organized bus tours.  Now I either don’t see it or the whole neon thing has dimmed.  Consider the Hollywood Downtowner Motel, which in neon form has become the Hollywood Downtowner Mo.  Is that a joke?

And just round the corner from there one of the apartment buildings has decided to make it a prehistoric Christmas.  I think this is just wonderful, while also being fairly glad that I don’t live in the building next door.