I immediately fell in love with Avon Street when I first ventured to check out the house that I would eventually move into four years ago. The gradual ascent up Echo Park Avenue excited me — I knew I was heading deeper into an urban canyon, 3 miles from downtown, but surrounded by wildlife and Elysian Park. But once I took the right turn onto Ewing and inevitably downshifted to make it around the broken-up corner to Avon, where it keeps going up on a steep angle before arriving at my house, I knew I had found my shangri-la. You know, for a broke grad school student this was clearly paradise.
The surroundings reminded me of lush hillside villages I had visited in the foothills of the Andes Mountains of Peru and Ecuador. Houses and guesthouses were impossibly built into hillsides that — without a car, or at least a horse — seem more or less uninhabitable for any non-self-sustaining non-hermit.
Even the streets — not only are they broken up here, but these are exactly the kind of two-way roads you see in the third world. These are arguably two-lane roads WITHOUT one side being filled with parked cars, which it always is. And you just have to assume that everyone follows the unwritten rule of travelling South to North on the 2000 block of Avon because come hill or corkscrew turn at Baxter, you’re not going to see an oncoming car until it’s in your lap.
So is this hillside coming down? Compare the photo above to this one taken the morning after some rocks came down. Small trees are sticking out into the road mid-tumble. To compare, check out the Google Streetview image of this spot:
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Will the city need to shut down this block of Avon completely in order to do any construction or repairs should things get worse? And what of these rumors of a new landowner of the impossible strip of property on the steep hill wanting to build directly on top of this unstable mess? And a pool too?!?Always keeping it interesting up here…