The stretch from the 405 freeway, down la Cienega towards my grandmother's house, which we would take a few times a year for various family gatherings and weekend getaway's (Lee, do you remember that these lined the first stretch?:
The Farmer's Market on the corner of 3rd & Fairfax, and the awesome junk shops which bordered it, before it was built into the eyesore-shopping center it is today. My other grandmother worked at a bakery stall until she died.
El Coyote, the bakery display at Canters, El Carmen back when it was a dive restaurant and not a dive bar...and on and on.I don't know why I'm so interested in other people's childhood stories, and the unfamiliar-to-me places where they grew up, but I find mine to be totally run-of-the-mill. It's not though, really.
My great grandfather (on my mom's side) collected and sold scraps out of his horse-drawn carriage in and around Echo Park in the 1920's.
My grandmother worked at the five-and-dime in the Miracle Mile during the Depression...she was the only one of her siblings who could find a job, and even though she was a hard worker, was almost fired for being a Jew.
My parents met at Fairfax High, where I sometimes go on a Sunday to peruse the flea market.
Their father's worked across the street from each other on Fairfax Ave. My mom's dad being the butcher at the shop next door to Canters, and my dad's dad being the barber/gambler in his little shop across the street.
San Francisco never felt like home. I had always wanted to live there, but once I got there, no matter how hard I tried, I always felt unwelcome and claustrophobic. I'm guessing my parents felt a similar loneliness when they denounced Los Angeles as their home and moved to Israel in their later 20's.
Los Angeles kept creeping back into my conciseness, and the list of places I missed and pined for kept getting longer, until the reasons I missed Los Angeles outweighed the reasons I was staying in San Francisco.
And now I'm back, living a few miles from where my maternal great grandparents immigrated to when they left Latvia for America almost 90 years ago. My points of reference to the majority of my life are located in Los Angeles, which is probably why I love it here so much, and am so happy to be living here again.