I’m glad I didn’t just take off like I wanted to. Two evictions and a bunch of filing kept me here – didn’t want to leave my successor at La Leyenda a giant mess. So I’ve spent an extra month in LA and I’m very glad I did. I got a chance to savor my life here.
This new loft we’ve been living in is possibly my favorite place I’ve ever lived. The freeways, the trains, the concrete-lined and graffiti-covered Los Angeles River. The old abandoned (and some say haunted) Lincoln Heights Jail. The majestic palm trees keeping watch at the summit of the Elysian Park hills. It’s a soon-to-be-gentrified, semi-industrial neighborhood in the Northeast corner of Los Angeles – still very rough around the edges but with all of the continually evolving energy that is what I love about this city.
The loft itself was carved out of a retired paint factory from the 1920’s. The façade of the building has the fancy concrete artwork that makes 1920’s Los Angeles architecture so magnificent, and the developer added two ultra-modern stories on the top. It’s the tallest structure in the neighborhood and presents a magazine-worthy view for miles around.
Of all the vibrant urban environments where I’ve found myself living…this is possibly the “urbanest.” And tomorrow I depart on my journey to move into a Norman Rockwell painting. The charm of Los Angeles is in her imperfection. The way I’ve often described this charm to outsiders is that LA is filled with beautiful sights but more often than not you have to look behind something ugly to find them. Her imperfection is, I think, what I love the most about LA. One of the reasons I left Seattle is because it was getting too perfect; too quaint.
Hibbing, Minnesota is, however, kind of the exact opposite. At first glance he is strong and proud and, yes, pretty quaint. But as you poke around a bit, his weaknesses are exposed. There is definitely work to be done in Hibbing and those who know me well understand that this kind of work is just too tempting a prospect to ignore. So off I go to the historic heart of my family’s story – Norwegian immigrants leaving the old country behind to make a better life for themselves in America. I’ve never actually lived there, but if it worked for them, it can work for me. The next chapter of Uncle Kevin’s life will take place on the Iron Range. Tomorrow I embark on a journey that I undertake in honor of my ancestors who made the Range their home at the dawn of the 20th century.