My friend Meeno just sent me a note that he and Richard from 2or3things did some urban archeology of an apartment building at 826 S Berendo. Meeno took pics and Richard wrote a bit about this location:
“In 1939 John Fante, recently married to his young wife, Joyce, moved in and in a period of a few weeks wrote Ask The Dust. They lived in 826, one of the front units. After a while they moved away, and then at some point in the next two years, they moved back again, this time into one of the garage units. Fante had spent the time away from Berendo racked with writer’s block, and hoped a return to the building would inspire him.
“Meeno and I climbed through the fence, and found the doors to one of the garage units open, as well as the one to 826. I have spent my share of time in abandoned structures like this, makeshift drug dens, squatter’s lairs, but this was still hard to stomach…
Fascinating stuff. Check out the above links for more photos and story behind this.