Apr 16, 2008

Sunset juncture?

"Brentwood-ization," or some similar term, is what an article in the Los Feliz Ledger called what is going on in Silver Lake now, with the list of empty shops and restaurants growing weekly, it seems. (Metblog's Will Campbell is keeping track.) One of the used furniture stores had a sign that said, "Landlord won't even negotiate." It's the pack mentality of local commercial landlords driving these closures. They smell Pinkberry money, I'm sure.

Sunset Junction has always struck me as being a bit soul-less and I mean that in a good way. I like soul-less. I'm always amused when I see shopper flotillas on weekends looking a bit let down as it dawns on them that it's less than they expected in a total-consumer-environment kind of way.

One recent afternoon, I watched (and waited, and waited,) as a group of four women in front of me on the coffee line at the high-end Intelligentsia cafe and who were all dolled up west side style, made a snap decision to relieve there shopping-deprived frustration by impulsively running around the cafe and snatching T-shirts, coffee mugs and coffee makers off the shelves in the middle of paying for four lattes.

It was a sudden mini-orgy of consumer lust that built to a climax of competitive credit card waving as they vied for the opportunity to pay for each other. It got me sooo hard-- and I'm gay, godammit!

Anyway, there are a couple cute, very niche-specific shops, for the sneaker and comics obsessed for example, but the Junction has not been a vibrant, bustling place for many years now, according to what I've heard about bakeries and groceries gone missing.

Too bad about Eat Well but they closed at 3PM and the service was slow. (I miss that Buddha Bowl though.) I read that the original owner sold the chain a couple years ago so he could open trendy bars Downtown. It's all a sign of the times, I'm afraid. CBGB in NYC is now a boutique. Other examples abound throughout major cities.

This same scenario will be playing out in Boyle Heights in 10 years. Or less.