4 March 2006
Saturday spottings (the splits)
May Avenue, said local historian Roy Stewart thirty-odd years ago, "especially from Northwest Thirtieth on north, is a glaring neon alley," and while neon has become a specialty decoration instead of a standard sign component, the glare remains, from 30th to 130th and beyond except at 8412.
The area north of the Wilshire twist and east of May, originally platted as "Nichols Hills Suburban" though it's not within Nichols Hills proper, was settled with smallish houses on medium-sized acreages (say, ¾ acre) from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Most of them are still there, along Dorchester or Elmhurst or maybe Drakestone, but the homes fronting on May were removed years ago to make room for development.
Except, again, at 8412: the Farha house, owned for decades by interior designer Jan Farha, has remained on its tract all these years, surrounded by empty space, thwarting plans to develop the 8200 through 8500 blocks. But Farha is gone, and the property was sold off earlier this year; today the little 1937 house is cut in two and will apparently be moved somewhere else. (The Assessor's office has this photo on record; it presumably will be removed when the site is cleared and new construction completed.) I'll hate to see it go; there are relatively few green areas along May anywhere in the city, and I consider myself at least slightly blessed to live near one of them.
A little closer to home, The Original Fried Pie Place, on NW 50th west of Portland where 51st veers off at an angle, suffered a loss some months back when its sign split literally in two: the pole remains in place, but bent over, and the sign itself, now upside down and presumably not readable from the street, is now actually touching the ground. Yet the Place always seems to have customers, which suggests to me that perhaps they can afford to fix the sign, but it's drawing so much attention in its damaged state that they've reasoned, "Why bother?"Posted at 6:09 PM to City Scene