HOLLYWOOD, once upon a time

For 8 years my zip code was Hollywood. My post office was in Hollywood and was always an interesting place to visit. The last few years I lived in Los Angeles my mail carrier was kind enough to deliver my vacation hold mail instead of making me go to the post office. By that time there were far too many certifiable crazy people on the streets that I simply avoided Hollywood at all costs. Let's just say Reagan opened the doors of the institutions and when the people got out they were given a bus ticket. When asked where they wanted to go they said "Hollywood." Suddenly the lovely Armenian community was inundated with people who followed you down the street yelling.

These images of Hollywood are from another time. I don't know the date this was published, but I imagine it might have been bought by my mother when she took a trip across country in the early 40s with some girlfriends for a visit to Hollywood years before she met my dad.

Click on any image to see it larger.



This is one of those flip-down multiple image post card folders, published by the Longshaw Card Company. I have not included all the images. My favorite is the one of Warner Brothers, my old neighborhood. I lived right behind Warners and Universal Studios back lot. I used to walk by Warners every morning on my walk through Toluca Lake. My apartment complex was at the base of the mountain behind the studio and was recently in the news as the place actor Corey Haimes died. It was strange to turn on the news and see the complex on my screen. "Home!" was my first thought.

hollywood_fold-out 2_tatteredandlost

I haven't been to my old neighborhood for many years and the last time I drove through it was unrecognizable. It was all very corporate with high rises everywhere. Small apartment buildings and little office buildings were gone. At least the Smoke House restaurant is still there, just out of view on the card. It's a Hollywood institution even if it was in the "valley."

Hollywood_fold-out 1_tatteredandlost

Whatever you think of Hollywood it's still just a place where people live and work. It's a fun place to live when you're young, but not a place where I wanted to grow old.


  1. When those people were released, they did say Hollywood, and they said Carmel, and they said San Francisco, and Portland, and Seattle etc. It's really tragic. Although these people are potentially dangerous, they are also so very vulnerable. Yeah, thanks Reagan! But, Reagan's been gone for a long time. You would think that we could have addressed this by now.
    I offer a similar sentiment about my Portland neighborhood. It was great when I was younger, but now as I get older, I want less noise, garbage, and general commotion.

  2. Those people have no voice so nobody hears them calling. That's how I've always figured it. They are scary, vulnerable, and broken. I don't know how we put all those pieces back together. I had a woman living across the hall who, except for her husbands job as a night guard at Universal, would have been one of those people. Instead she lived in an apartment with aluminum foil on all the windows and a shopping cart in her living room. And I once had to talk her out of jumping off the roof of a three story building. And then I left on vacation. So it goes.

  3. I'm with you on that. We are very happy right where we are.