To walk the sidestreets of downtown Van Nuys on a weekend afternoon is to not understand what decade one is living in.
Part noirish, part Western, part mid-century time capsule, part zombie movie. I don’t understand why it hasn’t been put to cinematic service more often.
We don’t deal with weeds, but we’ll damn well tow your car. We don’t care what decade it is.
Van Nuys, simplified: Nature and utility at war. Beauty is forever encroaching upon blight here.
Inscrutable dogs park their disembodied heads atop concrete block walls and stare at us as we walk past.
Funghi popcorns from tree bark to announce an early spring.
…and people leave their bees nests in a box by the sidewalk.
The bees don’t stay in the box, believe it or not. They move five feet to the utility pole, and begin a new hive. They wiggle furiously into the seams. Unless I’m mistaken, these are honey bees, a diminishing natural resource. Are they queen-less now? Will they survive to re-pollinate the neighborhood, or collapse?
In Van Nuys we say ‘meh’ to nature, and nature ignores our indifference in return.