Mid-Wilshire LA

This is the name of the area in LA where Fabienne is currently living. It’s a nice apartment that she is subletting furnished for two months. In mid-January, with my help, she will move to an unfurnished apartment in a very nice area near the beach called Pacific Palisades. This apartment is much smaller, but it’s in an area that should have better air quality than where she is now and where her house is.

Part of the reason I came is because of the extra stress of moving out of her house, that has proven to be toxic to her chronic inflammatory illness, and into this apartment, then into another place that she will rent for a year. She is better now that I’m here, just knowing that she will have some extra support during this difficult time. Fortunately, she is still able to work, which is huge. Not only is she able to support herself, but editing TV shows requires complete focus on what she sees on the screen. She hasn’t really hit a hard wall until she is unable to do that. I’m so proud of her courage, sense of dedication, and the will to heal.

Although I was tested negative before I came, I promised to solemnly swear to quarantine for at least a week. But after three days of just being inside, I felt I had to get out. Coverdale Avenue, where Fabienne lives, is two short blocks from La Brea Avenue that crosses Wilshire Boulevard a few blocks away. I took some pictures this afternoon as I walked along La Brea for about six very long blocks. Other than a large furniture outlet, a Target, a Starbucks, a CVS, and a Trader Joe’s, all within 2 blocks of each other, almost everything else on both sides of the street was shuttered. Some stores were even boarded up. I don’t know if the whole neighborhood, where there used to be a number of small, upscale retail speciality shops, has all gone out of business due to Coronavirus or if they are going to tear everything down and rebuild something else. I suspect the former. And seeing that has really brought home to me just how ravaged the local economies are all over the US and beyond. I’ve never seen so much vacant space together before.

Just before I left France, the government decided not to open museums, movie houses and theaters and to impose a stricter curfew through the holidays except on Christmas Eve, Even New Year’s Eve has been canceled. No more that six adults are suposed to assemble indoors for family get-togethers and to wear masks at all times except when eating. The new curfew is from 8pm - 7am. Why? Because they will not come even close to the goal of just 5,000 new cases a day by December 15. The case load for the entire country is around 11,000. People are irate, but this is the responsible thing to do. Will the police go into every home on Christmas Eve and count noses? Of course not. And many, many people will give the government the middle finger and create new super-spreader events anyway. Houses of worship are supposed to be limited to no more than 30 people, but unless every church has 50 masses on Christmas Eve, it’s likely that there will be many more people inside. Even in LA, where the virus is spiking straight up right now, there are not nearly the restrictions in place as there are for all of France. It’s very scary everywhere, so please be safe.

Reflection from over a Block of Empty space


Street People in tents along La Brea Avenue