Thank you!

On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
The authors thank you for your readership and hope you will come visit them at their personal sites via the links to the left.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My 'Hood

By A.J. Llewellyn

I blogged today at EM Lynley's Place - a provocative post about the movie production of my upcoming M/M release "Bad Cops" which comes to on November 15. You can read the post here:

In the meantime, I want to post here about my own place, my 'hood, Studio City.

I've lived here for 20 years. I love my condo and often wish it was at the beach. But I have a fantastic, ramshackle house I own with my best friends in Honolulu - also not at the beach - but it struck me as I walked my dog this morning, how awesome it really is and how lucky I am to live here.

Studio City is famous for its TV and movie studios and the main shopping drag Ventura Boulevard has some great coffee shops. My fave restaurant Daichan, serves Japanese Soul Food. They know me well there and they welcome my dog who hangs out at the patio with me. They even bring her water.

Venus and I look at the ritzy window displays at Maxwell Dog, a boutique for dogs, but if I ever tried putting a tutu or one of the store's expensive outfits on her, I can guarantee she'll leave home. And file animal cruelty charges against me.

Many of our favorite places however, are gone. GONE!

My 'hood has been badly affected by the economy. My favorite places to pop in have curled up their tootsies...but we have coyotes!

Oh, yes!

Many a night as Venus and I stroll the section known as "south of the Boulevard" we see these pathetic, starving creatures roaming for cats (please people, put them inside) and anything else they can find. I saw them take a small, furry thing once and the sound it made was devastating.

Neighbors actually chat in my 'hood. Many of us have lived here for years.

There is a skunk that lives near our house and many of us feed it. It almost never sprays but the guy who just bought the place had a meltdown when he first saw it crawling under his house.

Studio City has the awesome, retro car wash (see above) where I take my car every couple of weeks. A lot of my 'hood is a throwback to older, gentler times.

Radford Avenue has a smaller version of Hollywood Boulevard's stars in cement. We also get tourists from all over the world lining up there every afternoon to watch taping of different shows at CBS. Radford is the main gate to the studio there.

My 'hood has cool cafes where I often take my laptop and work. I love the library and lament the closure of almost every bookstore - except Bookstar - but I love that in all the time I've lived here, neighbors come out in the mornings to fetch their newspapers in their pajamas.

Many of them have lived here for years. They know my dog's name. I've watched their children grow up. I've watched the same family throw the same shindig, with the same white tent in their front yard every summer.

Halloween decorations are out and I can't wait for Christmas, a big thing in my 'hood.

I hear Mariachi music from Mexicali and Shakira from somebody's iPod earbuds at the table next to me at Starbucks. The sun is shining, dogs are laughing.

It's a beautiful day in Studio City.

This is my 'hood, my own inspiration and I am thankful for it every day.

Aloha oe,


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