We missed the first-ever Los Angeles episode of "This Old House" on PBS last night (we blame it on dirty liar and former Los Angeles School Police Officer Jeffrey Stenroos, what with his shameful breaking news), but judging by the preview, looks like it was cute as hell.
"Oh Norm, I could get used to this," says Kevin O'Connor, co-host of the show, in his gooberiest tourist voice while skateboarding down the Venice Beach Boardwalk. "A house project in sunny California. This place has got everything!"
We can kind of guess where things went from there.
The house in question is actually two-hours-in-traffic east, in the "people love living here because it's got a great scene" neighborhood of Silver Lake.
Of course, that love is sometimes hampered by no-show street sweepers that leave gutters lined in grunge while residents' cars gets ticketed anyway, but that's a whole different story.
Kevin Roderick over at LA Observed, for one, has a rather pessimistic take on the renovation:
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"Home base, though, is a 1933 Spanish-style house on Balmer Drive [Ed note: We can't find it on Google Maps; fishy], in the same block west of the reservoir where ex-councilman and planning commissioner Mike Woo has a house. Plans are for the renovation to add a story, leaving some neighbors steamed about the lost views. It's such a narrow street anyway the construction disruption must be pretty horrendous. You probably won't see that on PBS."
He also mentions that, at the opening of the episode, the cast/crew visits Beverly Hills and Hollywood for some glam L.A.-glorifying shots/inspiration.
Leave it to PBS to do what hipsters have done to the Eastside: Make everything that was once cool and weird and dangerous kind of uninteresting. So... Silver Lake's Spanish-revival love shacks are now two-story fakes that evoke a collective awww! from around the nation. Isn't the point of having a funky 1930s home to love it for its funk and hold tight to your Mexican thigh-formed shingles until the roof caves?
Ah, well. If Planning Commissioner Michael Woo's already living there, the gentrification process was finalized long ago. And one lucky young couple has the cutest mansion ever!