by Sara Black
Perhaps it’s the cold given to me by a recent house guest, but I’m feeling a low on both Pop and Culture, so this month’s post will follow suit.
Last night I was relaxing in bed and enjoying the premier of season two of Heroes (there’s the pop culture part!) when a news spot comes on and a woman starts talking about this house that has been sitting on the shoulder of the 101 for over a week, complete with footage.
“Hey-” I start even as the boyfriend’s eyes widen.
“That’s our house!” He says.
Back to the beginning. I’m at my writing spot waiting for the words to pour forth when this horrible jackhammer noise starts up. It sounds like it’s right outside my window but it’s actually across the street. They’re finally getting rid of the house that has had the notice of demolition sign up since we moved into our apartment three years ago. Soon we’ll have ‘affordable’ condos there instead.
Only, despite some very vigorous jackhammering and other intrusive construction noises, the house doesn’t actually appear to be getting demolished. Then one day, when I pull on my sweater and decide to take one of those clarifying walks, when I stop short in front of my apartment. There is a house parked across the street. I pull out my cell phone and take a picture.
Then retreat back into my apartment, not prepared to deal with the kind of world where a house is parked across the street. Later I peer out long enough to see that it’s gone, and figure that’s the end of the madness.
But when I join my boyfriend in the car that night to go out for dinner, we see the house, now down the block and parked at the end of the cul-d-sac, two police cars parked outside. We try not to stare, but it’s hard not to. We’re almost disappointed when we get back and the police are gone, though the house is still there.
And it stays there for at least a week and a half. Prompting various guests to greet me with: “You know there’s a house parked down the street from you, right?” And a series of jokes about real estate and the new neighbors.
It goes on long enough that we have almost forgotten about it until we’re in the car again, miles from home. The traffic report drones on underneath our conversation, but during a pause in conversation I hear a warning about the 101. Traffic is jammed for miles, and has been for hours, thanks to a house lodged in a freeway underpass. Startled, I ask the boy if he’s heard that and then have to repeat the whole story to him.
“Think that’s our house?”
“How many houses can there be moving around Los Angeles on any given day?” He asks.
Sure enough, the house was no longer down the street. I looked online to see if there are any pictures, but traffic in LA isn’t a big enough story. A week later though, after I see the spot on the news, I can find dozens of pictures that confirm that it is my house (okay, the one from across the street) lodged underneath the freeway. I can understand the distinction, a house in the middle of a residential street for a week is nothing to write home about, sticking out into 101 for too long and the LA Times will take notice.
For more information on this strange debacle, just google “house 101 Freeway”.
Sara Black has a degree in Cinema/Television from USC. She watches far too much television, eats way too much sushi and is always writing a romance novel. This is the sixth in a series of posts on Pop Culture.
She lives somewhere in Santa Monica and now occasionally worries about waking up in the middle of a freeway.
Ohmigosh, that was “YOUR” house! Too funny. Okay, maybe not. The news reported that it was supposed to become a shelter for the homeless, but it was vandalized while it say along the freeway. Oh, yeah– and part of the roof was torn off by an freeway overpass.
This really was a comedy of errors all the way around. Nothing surprised me in LA.
– Sue Phillips
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