Friday, September 9, 2011
West Hollywood...Gee, it's always great to be back home! Enclave nurtures the soul!
Whenever I hit the home stretch into West Hollywood after a jaunt out-of-town, a sense of well-being overwhelms me, and my mood is likewise elevated.
It's probably the sight of the picturesque cottages hugging the canyons, exotic palms whispering in the breeze, or even the dreamy-eyed lovers dining al fresco at trendy waterng holes that have triggered the warm and fuzzy emotions.
"Out there" the world may be a cold cruel place , but WeHo is a safe welcoming respite from it all.
A casual stroll along the boulevard, catching a few rays on the lush grass at a the park at the edge of Beverly Hills, and a carefree day of window-shopping on trendy Robertson Boulevard remind me that I've safely made my way back home.
Of course, WeHo was not always the affluent neighborhood it has come to be.
Film buffs may recall that West Hollywood was depicted as an outlaw town in the period thriller LA Confidential starring Guy Pierce and Russell Crowe.
Once the city achieved incorporated status many moons ago (free of the clutches of Los Angeles County) City Council set out to implant their style (in this instatnt case it was visionary).
The bus stop shelters that were installed were not only pleasing to the eye, but also aesthetically-pleasing.
And, a smattering of pink dollars in the city coiffers, were earmarked for landscaping throughout the city.
The stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard that reaches from Beverly Hillls to La Cienega Boulevard was virtually transformed into a lush exotic garden-like setting.
Once City Council got a bug in their ear about the need to implement a comprehensive plan improve the traffic flow, they dove in with vigor.
For example, a cramped left-turn lane at San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevard (which jammed rush-hour traffic and was prone to trigger heated confrontations and foul insults) was widened and boldly marked.
Now, motorists sail though the intersection usually with ease.
By the way, at one point, I thought alll of the City Counsel members were toilet-trained too early.
Their attack on every little blight in the neighboord was a classic sign.
Although a "bump" warning etched on the pavement ahead is generally the universally-accepted -way to mark such a phenomenon, Council pondered the issue.
Suddenly, there was a "Eureka" moment.
"We'll call it hump"
Camels have humps, city streets have bumps.
City Hall was also mindful that Art should play a role on the thriving cityscape.
For the past few years, residents and tourists alike have been blessed with a myriad of exhibitions of Art (some of top qualiity, others not) to ponder.
They don't call WeHo the creative city for no good reason!