November 20th, 2006

pacific_electric_1906

Nostalgia Again

I've spent several minutes tonight looking at particular pictures in the Mt. Washington section of Walking in L.A.. The picture with the bench in it, in particular, held my attention. Though the neighborhood is tonier, and the section of it depicted in this photo more bucolic and a bit more rugged than the one in which I grew up, there is a resemblance between the two areas. Mt. Washington is also considerably closer to downtown Los Angeles (about five miles at its greatest distance) than was my old neighborhood, but both areas sit on peculiarly shaped hills of adobe clay and have, in places, views of the San Gabriel Mountains. I thus find these scenes highly provocative of nostalgic feelings. The sky in these pictures is only slightly hazy, and my memory contains a lot more smog, but I can still almost smell that dry October air, scented with native chaparral and exotic eucalyptus. Maybe I can't go home again, but pictures such as these insist on dragging my brain back there, leaving me mindless in the chilly northern night.