At the bottom of the hill
Thorpe Avenue. A street that comprehends about four blocks, if I recall correctly. I don't even know it well enough, as I don't drive the stretch between Cypress and San Fernando Road that often. Ours is the last house on the left before the open hillside. It seemed like a good idea to be this close to nature. I love hearing the birds singing in the morning, seeing the flowers growing on the dirt wall that comes into our property -- an incline made more of fairly solid rock than of actual dirt. Yet, all kinds of vegetation are currently growing on it. Previous owners left this natural-looking garden ready for us...to an extent, of course. Plenty of trimming needs to be done, and we are removing a couple of bushes that begin to grow incredibly quickly and whose seeds and branches could teach us a thing or two about propagation.
Our street, I was told by a neighbor, doesn't really belong to Mt. Washington. It is really part of Cypress Park, the older woman said. She added, however, that Cypress Park doesn't really take ownership of it. Cypress apparently believes this is still in Mt. Washington. It seems no one wants to claim it. Why would this short but cozy little road be forgotten by the city, and the areas that could claim it? What little pavement remains is cracked, and more and more of it falls apart daily in little crumbs of concrete or asphalt that roll down the hill as cars drive up and down to the adjacent homes. Cars park facing the two homes on the left side of the street (looking at the hill), and somehow a lot more vehicles than residents appear on this forgotten block. It may not help that we have as neighbors a couple of auto mechanics who seem to utilize the street as an extended garage. Not legal? Well, police do not come by often enough to do anything about it. Listen, I don't mean to deprive someone of a decent living, but the truth is that such treatment of this little street only discourages others from doing the proper upkeep in their front yards, driveways, and perhaps even to their vehicles. The street belongs to all, and it would behoove us all to maintain it and make it look more livable, more welcoming to ourselves, our friends and family who come to visit on occasion.
As my husband and I undertake a couple of remodeling projects, we look forward to our first spring and summer on Thorpe Avenue. A couple of bar-b-q's, some friends over to enjoy the back yard, the view of the city, and some fresh lemonade from home grown lemons that are longing to come down from the tree. We also look forward to taking a few hikes up the hill, once the grass dries a little to make it a more comfortable walk. By the way, would anyone know who the hills belong to? Who is in charge of removing all that overgrown grass and weeds? Quite a job ahead for sure. It'll be a year filled lots of learning and discovering, I am certain.
We trust Google maps and the information on the WWW that tells us we are part of this community, by virtue of being located north of Isabel Street. We look forward to meeting some of our fellow Mt. Washington residents this year!