The apartment we're staying in is absurdly cool. It's in Palermo Hollywood, named for the many TV and movie studios in this low-slung, shit-strewn part of town, which is apparently mega-hip—read: gentrifying rapidly. Our side of the tracks (literally) is the "up-and-coming" part of the neighborhood, the poorer cousin to the shopping/eating/boozing district of Palermo Soho—we might as well be on Montrose and Leonard.
Our apartment is in a "PH"—propiedad horizontal—also known as a "casa chorizo" (sausage house): a low, long building that was once probably a single private home, but has now been turned into a small series of apartments. Ours is a duplex of sorts, with a solarium for a dining room on the first floor, together with the kitchen and living room.
There is a dangerous, narrow, and short staircase leading to the second floor, which has a sunny bedroom with an outdoor terrace, complete with hammock.
And we're here, of course, to dogsit Emmy Lou, a sweet and hilarious scaredy-dog:
She's scared of everything, but ridiculously smart: She's learned that my camera occasionally produces a flash, which she mistakes for lightning, causing her to go hide under the bed—so just the sound of my camera turning on, or even just the sight of me picking it up, sends her scurrying upstairs.
Just a few days into our stay, we've become hyper-aware of the immense scale of gentrification in this neighborhood. On every block, there are high-rise apartments and condos going up, often towering over the nearby (sometimes crumbling) belle-epoque homes. More on that later. For now, remember (with thanks to the neighborhood chapter of the Workers' Party):