So, I'm relaxing like I have been a lot lately – traveling back in time to 20th century Los Angeles.
It's amazing to me that I feel nostalgic for a place I fled from in terror 25 years ago.
But it's not actually that Los Angeles I journey to in my mind. Mostly it's to a Los Angeles I never knew; before WWII, when it was a real city – a downtown that people actually lived in, as opposed to commuting to.
The freeways changed all that, though. The freeways bled the life out of Los Angeles. By the time I was born in the mid-'50s, most working folks had already left the city for suburbia.
I think this postcard photo was taken around 1950. (That's a '49 Buick in the foreground, and I can't really see any cars on the freeway that look much newer.) It's the Hollywood Freeway westbound just as it's leaving the city center.
It's a pretty view, but from a historical perspective, what's interesting to me is seeing all those houses and trees on Bunker Hill (above the billboard). It was still a largely residential neighborhood in 1950. I don't remember it being like that when I was growing up in the '60s. I do remember when the fate of the last two houses on Bunker Hill became a matter of public debate around 1968, though. That's when I as a young man first really became aware that there ever was a neighborhood there (and a quite wealthy neighborhood it was in its time, too).
*chuckle* I still think it's strange that I think fondly of L.A., though, at any stage of its history. Strange it may be, but that's where my thoughts have been going a lot lately when my mind wanders, which has been fairly often. ;-)