Passage #490: 30 January 2019

Domestic Bliss

Someone I know from back East once told me that he thought the L.A. area was ugly because "all the houses look the same." And, you know, the only way I can make any sense of this comment is to assume that because homes here don't generally fall into the look familiar in the East -- two stories, wood or brick exterior, chimney -- that unfamiliarity ended up looking "the same" to him (sort of like cross-race identification difficulties, but for architecture). Because, except in dispersed pockets of relatively recent cookie-cutter housing developments mostly found in the exurban hinterlands, houses here are crazy diverse.

I mean, sure, there are plenty of squat little stucco numbers. But there are also Craftsmans. And modernist supervillian homes. And various postmodern revivalisms. And bungalows. And houses with really big doors, most likely with really big hedges around them. We've got dingbat apartments. We've got high-rise lofts. We've got Geoffrey Palmer. Didn't say they were all beautiful, but they certainly aren't all the same. Whatever your taste (or lack of taste), you can probably find it here. And if people don't find it, they build it.

And, yeah, on this week's ride we'll pass by a whole lot of it. We'll see beach houses. We'll see mansions on hillsides. There's a house with a lookout tower and a house painted to look vaguely like it is covered in jewels. Around a circle we'll find wedge-shaped houses. And don't worry, there will be plenty of stucco. There are dream houses for a whole mess of different dreams. This is not, however, an "architecture tour." There are no specific landmarks or stops or histories. So, in a way, it isn't really all that different from most of our other rides, which probably typically pass by tons of homes. But we will travel through areas of disparate economic circumstances and therefore visibly disparate housing. And, riding during the day, we'll be able to appreciate the architectural mise-en-scène much more clearly. So join us as we find our bliss rolling residentially.

Route Map

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