I’ll Miss You, Hippie Bubble

When HB and I first moved to Los Angeles, we looked at several neighborhoods, and right away we felt comfortable in Los Feliz/Silver Lake. Why? Because it’s the part of Los Angeles that most feels like the Oakland-Berkeley hills. Tucked in the hills there are narrow, wooded winding streets with no curbs (a huge fire hazard). The views are wonderful. Los Feliz backs up against the country’s largest urban park, Griffith Park. Silver Lake is on a distinct bump nearby with a couple of reservoirs in the flat sections.

We instantly found our niche in Los Angeles. For a time, HB could actually bicycle to work in Burbank by riding through the park. I enjoyed our 1950s pseudo-traditional/ranch. We had a view south and east to downtown Los Angeles and the library tower.

And of course, we brought home the Cutie Nubbin to this house. He crawled on the wooden floors that we refinished and he learned to walk there.  He chased the cats all over the house. He enjoyed the view of downtown from his high chair. As a toddler, he cried when I put him in the fenced postage-stamp sized yard while I did yard work, not understanding the concept of being “outside in the yard.”

Now we live in…well, suburbia. It’s not the city of Los Angeles by any stretch of the imagination. Whereas before it was impossible to do anything more than walk on the sidewalks in our hilly neighborhood, now we live on flat, square gridded streets where children walk or bike to school daily. We have a yard with a decent patch of grass. A driveway where we can shut the gate and let him ride his bike or scooter up and down the drive.

It’s safe, quaint, the schools are good kindergarten through high school.

And yet.

I’m worried about our smooth transition into this new place. I joke that I knew I could live here when I saw anti-Iraq war protesters at a major intersection. It felt like what I might see in Los Feliz on that crazy pie-shaped corner near the Vista movie theatre, one of our neighborhood’s little protest spots.

I’m worried about all the Yes on 8 lawn signs I saw during the past election.

Believe it or not, I’m worried about having to live among so many Republicans. (Now that’s hilarious as three of our immediate neighbors in Los Feliz were Republicans and they did not seem to eat children. In fact they were very nice and we liked them lots.)

I think what I’ll miss is living in my bubble. I’ll miss having to live in a politically progressive and uniformly liberal, for the most part, neighborhood.

Most of all, I’ll uneasily check myself for slippage into suburban conservativism. In the end, that may be at the heart of my trepidation at this move. So, radical mommies and Burning Women, if you’re out there I’m looking for you, too.

4 thoughts on “I’ll Miss You, Hippie Bubble

  1. I don’t live in your suburb, but my own is pretty darn conservative too, so I think I know what you’re getting at. (Thank goodness my work is near Hollywood to help offset it!) I understand the trepidation at sliding into the mindset yourself, since I’ve been bumping up against it for years. And we were overrun with Yes on 8 signs – although some did share lawn space with Obama campaign signs, so I’m not entirely sure what was up with that.

    On the one hand, going against the grain can keep things interesting – but on the other, as parents, we worry about making our kids’ lives more complicated than they need to be. It’s a challenge, but I suspect that if you’re looking, you’ll find like minds in your new neighborhood eventually.

  2. I used to live in East LA and drive through Griffith Park to get to work in Burbank!
    not sure which suburb you’re in, but I truly hope you find some like-minded souls there. If not, you always have us.

  3. The day you become a suburban conservative will be the day that pigs fly on the seond Tuesday of the week by skidding off a frozen slope in hell.

  4. Awwww, Florinda, April, Kady–thanks for the comment/blog/hippie love.

    Apparently two of Sandra Tsing Loh’s “Burning Moms”–wild-eyed mamas ready to rip Sacramento a new asshole if our kids’ public schools sink any further into neglect–live in my town. Yay! Just my kind of women.

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