4.21.2012

On the corner of Sleazy and Tacky

Classic Studio City
I never thought I would act like an old lady who laments the deterioration of a good neighborhood. Perhaps that's because I was the one doing the deteriorating. But times have changed. I have dogs now. I garden, compost and recycle. My husband is always equipped with a bottle of spray paint remover should he see some idiot tagging something. 

the offending corner

the sign graveyard out back
Studio City is a wonderful place. It's the greenest place in the valley with Ventura Boulevard (made famous by Tom Petty's song Free Fallin') lined with cafes and boutiques between Laurel Canyon in West Hollywood and Coldwater Canyon in Beverly Hills. Wikipedia describes it as affluent , picturesque and trendy. CBS Studios is here, along with a Sunday Farmer's Market, loitering paparazzi and mansions in the hills. Do I sound like an old lady yet? If not, then here is is: we are pissed about the corner of Laurel Canyon and Moorpark. 

ahhh, punching bags & massage signs
It started as a nail salon. Then a nail salon and a massage parlor. Then a nail salon, massage parlor and teeth whitening place. Then a nail salon, massage parlor, teeth whitening and tanning salon. I could go on, but you get the idea. But what bothers us are the signs. Yellow signs, white signs, lit signs, sandwich boards, lettered vans and billboards latched to the back of trucks. At first the signs just plastered the corner, sharing the  blight with the Pro Boxing Supplies store also known for their rudimentary display. Now they're across the street, in front of schools and in adjacent neighborhoods. The massages started at $59/hr, then $49/hr, then $40/hr, etc. For all I know, massages are $3.50 at this point. Spas and salons are supposed to be designed for relaxation All the flashing ads make it look like an industrial town strip club.

drive-by skanking
yes, you massage. we get it.
across from elementary school
The cheap, primary colored massage signs seem to scream,"We like fuck!" I'm embarrassed to say I was once in a bind before a friend's wedding and ducked in for a quick manicure. It was a Thai establishment, and they seemed desperate to stay in business during this recession, which makes sense. But they spent so much on signs, I think it may have exceeded their rent. I don't want them to go out of business. I want them to know that all the massage ads are freaking people out and having the opposite effect. They need to class up the joint. As much as it can be classed up next to a liquor store and pro boxing supplies store.

 After I left, I felt dirty. I kept my head down so my annoyed neighbors wouldn't notice. I had gone over to the enemy. In my vanity, I forgot my principles. Never again. 

by the high school


in case you didn't see the first 10







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