Posts

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If I Only Knew

Hollywood (the district, not the ‘idea’) has some serious history. When I was a kid my sister and I left Tulsa and joined my older sister and our mother, who had been living there for a couple of years. My mom wanted to be there to simply be insinuated in the glamor, she didn’t want or need to work in the Industry. She was steeped in the history, the Hollywood stuff. And though she would have denied it up and down, I suspect she even embraced the seedy side, and oh yeah, that place was seedy. This was Hollywood, circa 1979.

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Even More Villa Elaine

This March my quixotic quest to regain entry to the courtyard of the Villa Elaine (an apartment building in Hollywood I lived in for less than a year in 1982) came to a sudden and surprising fulfillment.  The building has always had a security gate but in my attempts to access I was mostly hindered by the fact that I (over the years) lived at least a thousand miles away and was back in LA pretty infrequently.

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The Villa Elaine

Sometimes the outside appearance of a building gives no clue to what the inside looks like.  The Villa Elaine on Vine Street was not only an example of this but also a serious case of false advertising.  From the outside it looked (and still does look) like a sleazy set for some old film noir movie.  It stubbornly stood on Vine Street, right in between Fountain and La Mirada Avenues, an apartment building of dubious repute for many decades. I was nothing short of astounded when I’d heard it survived the Northridge quake back in ’94.

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