It's been exactly one year since we moved into our house! It's quite amazing how the neighborhood has changed in this short amount of time. Here's an article that the New York Times wrote.
Yes, things are changing here in Highland Park. My favorite little liquor mart, Star Liquor, just put up a new sign on their storefront. So did Tropicana Market, a little convenience store down on the corner... simple signs, granted, but a nice improvement over the previously painted signs. People are painting over graffiti very quickly after it happens now-- usually the day after. I still have yet to see how I'll react the first time I come upon someone 'tagging' a building here. My immediate reaction would be to tackle and punch them; although I've heard that confronting them might not be such a great idea. Yikes.
We couldn't have been more fortunate with the neighbors who live next door! Blaise and Rosa are constantly giving us fresh vegetables from their garden. Tomatoes, squash, zucchini, Japanese eggplant, kale, collard greens, etc, etc... They have great parties, with amazing food. Rosa should have her own restaurant--it would certainly be another great addition to the neighborhood-- but alas, she's a rocket scientist and would probably never leave her profession. Blaise is a musician, and it's been great to pick up my trumpet again and jam with them.
As a whole, people over here on the NE side of the city are much different than on the west side. When I'm doing yard work, people walking down the sidewalk smile and say hello (or hola, or buenos dias!), whereas most the people on the west side stare straight ahead typical L.A. style. I always found it awkward pretending not to notice anyone I passed on the street. Not only are the people different here, but there's different wildlife over here too. We have raccoons (yes the ones that used to live in my attic), opossums, and even a coyote living here in the neighborhood. We have hawks that soar overhead, as well as food for the hawks including squirrels and bunnies. We hung a hummingbird feeder outside our bedroom window that gets absolutely swarmed each morning. We have to refill it every three days or so.
So, lately I've been focusing more on living in my house, rather than working on my house. And it's been great. Is it strange that relaxation for me is a learned behavior? But right now I think I have about ten projects that are lingering in the halfway-done state. Work has been busy lately, so a lot of things are in limbo and I've been on a sort of hiatus from home improvement. I put up some Christmas lights last weekend, but it'd be a stretch to call that home improvement!