Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.
I live in my favorite neighborhood in Los Angeles. When I moved there, I didn't know that would end up being the case. Picking my apartment had less to do with where it WAS than where it WASN'T (namely, not the bum infested street I lived on previously, nor the somewhat snobby beach communities to the west). I was happy to simply be moving someplace safer and a bit sweeter, but which still had the feel of LA's east side that I love so much. It was in between my two sets of friends who happen to live on polar ends of Melrose. Those were the reasons I picked my building. (Oh, and it was cheap.)
The reasons I've continued to pick my building, month after month, when I could actually afford to move elsewhere, is that I've come to love my street and those that surround it. There are plenty of towering, substantial trees that remind me of home. There are bushes of flowers everywhere, and the whole neighborhood always smells either of those, or of a fire rising through a chimney (possibly my favorite smell in the world). I can walk to things (the grocery, many restaurants, a farmer's market on Sundays, flower shops), almost as if I lived in a real city.
The absolute best thing is that there are certain parts of my street in particular where, when I walk by, I feel completely transported, as if I were in another place entirely. There is a very European feel to many of the buildings near mine (except for the palm trees), and if I stand in front of them, peering upward, I feel worlds away from the Hollywood sign that I can see in the north, and the smog that covers it.