November 21, 2006

Atwater Village, Back in Time, Via Google Books

A perusal of Google Book Search brings me back in time, decades before I added my 1,100 square feet of yuppie do-dads to the gentrification of Atwater Village. And I don't even have to read a whole book to do it.

From Education of a Felon, I get a page about the "fierce summer of '43" and "a cocktail lounge on Fletcher Drive near the gigantic Van de Kamp bakery." Is the cocktail lounge still there? The bakery is not.

Then in The Clustered World, I find a section about the Atwater Village of 2000, just six years ago, where "the American Dream lives on streets where a family of four rents a one-bedroom apartment with a sloping floor and the children find safety from rival gangs at a busy rec center supervised by protective eyes."

Another one-bedroom apartment, this one on a page from Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America, sits "down by the Los Angeles River, close to Griffith Park, a blue-collar section in the middle of nowhere."

Finally, in I Am Alive in Los Angeles, the author maps us into the "Eastside indie circuit, a magical realm of creativity" with "undercover 'hoods like Elysian Valley and Atwater Village."

Maybe you can judge a 'hood by its excerpts.

1 comment:

Miles said...

The cocktail lounge might be the Nude Nude Nude bar by the freeway entrance on Fletcher. Before its current incarnation, it was the city's first Gay Video Bar (ah, I understand they played music videos and funny clips) for many years. So, it's very likely that it's been a bar of some kind for many many years. I'm sure somebody who's been around longer than I have might know more, though.