I live in a part of Los Angeles known affectionately as The Valley. Our neighborhoods line the 101 freeway and shot to national prominence as the poster child for 80’s culture with the exaggeration of a stereotypical valley girl through film originally titled, Valley Girl, and song, innovatively named, “Valley Girl”. Like, oh my god, have a unique thought and like picking on us, is like so lame.
The Valley grew in population and housing expansion in the 60’s and 70’s as many of my parent’s generation made a mass exodus from cold locales and city dwellers sought larger property for less money, less traffic and an increase of generally 15 degrees in temperature from “The Westside”.
It used to be a pretty nice place to live. Now all the vampires walkin’ through the valley move west down Ventura Boulevard.
Frankly, it’s a total shithole now. Like way worse than Haiti or El Salvador. I regularly drive past homeless encampments that rival Skid Row, see needles in my Trader Joe’s parking lot and read of car break-ins and robberies of my neighbors daily. But my house still costs a fortune.
Perhaps the only positive result of this decay is the banding together of neighborhoods. Through the use of apps like NextDoor and sharing Ring videos, people have become vigilant in alerting their neighbors of possible threats.
But because people suck, even the best of intentions go awry. Now I get pounded with the stupidest alerts. Look, I’m the first to make a person question the purpose of their existence if they have had the gall to walk through my closed gate, posted with do not enter unless I know you signs and ring my doorbell. But I also realize most of these people are trying to make a living, not casing the joint. But heaven forbid a person of color is soliciting door to door ‘round these parts, we’re going to get an alert. And people do not censor themselves. I repeatedly read the phrase, “doesn’t look like he ‘belongs’ around here”. It’s like my dad must be the group administrator.
Also fun are the limitless coyote alerts. Yes folks, you live in the basin of the Santa Monica Mountains and there are hungry and thirsty animals seeking sustenance. This is not newsworthy. They were here first. Keep Fiffy and Mr. Kitty inside if you are not intending to serve snacks during cocktail hour. Honestly, I favor the demonstration of natural selection. Does the world really need this many Bichon Frises?
However yesterday’s alert takes the cake, “Coyote spotted corner of Woodlake and Erwin just now about 10:30 PM Tue. Called 911 who are worthless…
The side of the LAPD cruiser does not say “To Serve and Protect Your Shitty Little Animal”. While I am disheartened at the deterioration of my community, I am also so hopeful that the tape of that 911 call will be released soon.