I used to dream of living here for a bit, one day.
& it was a big deal for me, imagining that, then.
Because I otherwise couldn’t bear the idea of wholly being anywhere for a very long time. So much so that it became a working tenet of my arthead life.
So to be in the midst of this week, actually doing it this way… is great.
Wait. Let me explain…
Before Manhattan Beach got me to ” come see wtf it was talking ’bout” in November 2021 I was on my way out of LA. I’d recognized I’d been looking up and down the coast of California incessantly for the current Cali travelogue I’d been working on from a different place than I’d realized, and had made peace with it.
But every time I have been close to giving up on my energy making sense in Los Angeles’ vibrational programming, God, my arthead crew on the far side of the veil (who swore up and down this was my savannah just under the surface, if only I’d open my eyes to see it) & the spirit of the city of LA would collude and conspire to get me over here to decompress & recalibrate.
To the top of Bunker Hill.
This is two decades of ins and outs deep.
In 02 someone dropped my ‘stranded due to a gig falling through because a genius musichead decided to pause his Ascending career fucking around heavyhandedly with Crack & God knows what the fuck else‘ ass off at that wild “church” up on Temple. I’d been biding my time in Scottsdale when industry friends in Tokyo heads-upped me about the debacle from across the ocean before I had been alerted to it from nyc. I’d arrived in LA blind.
… I remember looking up at it & going “…the Fuck?!”
“Trust me. Ya asked for a church… itsa church…Angel~good luck.” He shoved me out the car and sped off.
I’d walked in…and the goddess of the joint swooped down and bearhugged a bewildered & angrily bawling me.
“LA?! Me?! Wtf am I supposed to do fn Here now?! I was just supposed to be flying out of here! &God-! Who IS dis woman?!”
“Welcome, Prodigal~” The Lady of Guadalupe had growled all kinds of whathaveyous into the top of my get me the Fuck outta here! head. It was my first time meeting her.
My guardian Angel had chuckled “See the line…look at the name of the church, dammit~”
And…I’d paused as something in me got it and snickered, pacified. I looked around and muttered “…hullo.”
“Don’t worry. It’ll make sense… eventually, ” the technical Queen of Heaven muttered before my heathen ass had Any idea who she was. I knew God then, but not religiously at all. More in an incessantly howling, blustery”wtf, God!?” way … that he’d happily always answered all the same.
From that ground zero out here- that was my first real touchdown after fleeing all the “was supposed to be at the ground zero that morning” shit that hounded me for years- through years of Union Station layovers I’d run to the library and pole vault up Bunker Hill, past Gehry’s music Hall and through those Colburn performing arts kids towards the high places strung between the Ahmanson theater and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
It was an unconsciously drawn-to beachhead, a space where I’d always been able to breathe. I’d go sit in that Omni & chill and write after paying my respects and then could effectively get back to whatever had me In LA-proper that time. It was a weird, wild routine, but it worked.
Once, walking the sensory fill-in for the Highline behind the MOCA, lost in thought after that Yayoi Kusama Longing for Eternity infinity room, God cut through my fog.
“…Look up. “
As the condos started to register, God went “Can you see you living here?”
I had been like “Who even lives up here lol? ” I was already #ontheroadagain in my mind and life, 8 hours into a 12hour layover. But that day is cut into me as the day I realized they did. Do that.
Fast forward to December 2019 when I left the Headlands and Sausalito for the Arts District in dtla (with a cabin near the grand canyon & time in Venice tossed in for good measure on the way) to power through a clusterfuck of grievechronic’s redlines and rewrites.
Before SCI-Arc (the Architecture school down the road from my basecamp) blessed me with research workspace as a visiting writerhead chick I was over here, breezily hopping between the glut of Bunker Hill coworking spaces in straight geterdone mode. And I still was somehow active on my old Equinox membership so I was doubly high, steamed and sauna’d to perfection on the daily, writerhead reward-style.
It was natural. For me. Here.
The Only place I could always say that about in LA, too.
Bunker Hill is a vortex to & for me. I now see that the rest of LA washes up on its shores in a poetic sense to my psyche. It has always hit my spirit like a long sought sanctuary. It’s the creative “who shot the dawg?” Sector of the city to me, the one keyed to all that I came up in in Cleveland’s art scene and had migrated to NYC for to continue in the vein of lifetimes ago.
Or it always has had the bones to be that to me once I started Letting it do what it was doing to & for me.
And seeing this sector wrap artistic sinews around those bones sporadically since the late winter and spring of 2002 has been special.
It is the future, city planning-wise.
It is where the Sci-Fi Brave New World soma trees were planted long ago, and they’ve sent down some deep roots.
I only saw how much deeper that goes in me the last few days, basecamped here this week to cover a few things for Globalboho.
Walking around I finally got why the Spirit of LA was so serendipitous with me during the dog days of our first collective covid summer.
As the city churned & burned post George Floyd I’d been tucked away safely up in the bird streets, ordering supplies up the hill and trying not to fear that supply chain being cut. Suddenly God spirited me away to the 26th floor of a tower of condos overlooking all of downtown in case the city burst into flames, thanks to the same landlord. Not only for the same rent but also with a grocery store in the belly of the beast.
Most of downtown was boarded up on street level, as much due to fears of rioting, looting and protests as it was due to places going out of business in the chaos covid hit small businesses with.
Four months I walked around this picturesque dystopian Sci-Fi fantasy land devoid of most people daily to stay sane. None of the few of us defiantly around speaking to one another, yet giving silent nods of recognition each time half a face we’d seen before crossed our paths.
I could stop anywhere inspiration hit…and just …write. & I did. Incessantly. Nobody bothered me, even when I got adventurous and would venture down Bunker Hill to see how everything else was holding up.
Not just due to covid. Because of Here. That summer and fall here were the best of my writerhead life up to that point.
Wandering around empty streets that were finally fixed in the absence of traffic. Watching them stealthily move in & put all those 5G towers up. Witnessing the construction boom refusing to wane. Getting to spatially plan out scenes for Grievechronic in the empty stretches of the zones that’d inspired them that first spring here in 02. I’d wake up at 413am to see the purple sky outside my window, then fall back asleep until 528am, when I’d groggily pull myself out of bed to do 8 brocades with whomever else had kept up with it with me during that time.
Here also gave me a plethora of realms beyond Grievechronic, even as I finalized the rewrites & new launches in the series.
I gave birth to Firestarter here.
The little girl that opens Firestarter came to me everyday as I traipsed past a building site across from the Gehry music hall until I gave her a world of her own. After that the shortstories didn’t stop.
Even this very Magazine you’re reading, a project that’d been a dream for years…was birthed here.
And just like seeing the sinews of the sector align across 20+ years, I witnessed the bones of the building I am writing this in go up the summer of 2020.
Three years after I’d recognized people do live here I was living here in the solitary tower west of tonight’s basecamp, by the grace of God as the world burned, safe as a pea in a pod.
& this week… the poetry of it just sings.
They’ve now even got a stop on the Santa Monica subway right on second. Three months old. That’s Santa Monica pier to the Broad in under an hour, straight shot.
This Bunker Hill vortex is why all the book babies that came through me in 2020 were delivered so gracefully. God let this zone midwife me so deftly that I didn’t even notice it was her. Until I started writing incessantly again back here this week.
So I just must give it it’s flowers for its…friendship to every creative aspect in me.
Before Manhattan Beach got me to see it for what it’s worth…this is the only area of Los Angeles that I’ve ever felt like I was all the way me and mine within. & it totally went over my head , even as it has repeatedly pulled me back in & gotten me right as rain. Because it was that weirdly natural.
It’ll be interesting to see what’s next now that I’m aware… of things that I had glossed over.
Sometimes things can’t be seen correctly by you until certain things heal.
2023 has had alot of that .