Tag Archives: trash

An Ugly Utopia

Dear Metblogs Readers,

I’m writing to you from deep inside a trash heap that is the former Video Market space at 3607 Sunset Blvd in Silver Lake. For the past few months, this space has been under renovation, which means anyone living nearby has spent the past few months living with constant construction noise, often starting before 8:00 AM, rotten odors, clouds of drywall dust, particle filled air and a parking lot strewn haphazardly with piles of construction waste.
Pile of garbage in the NaturalMind parking lot, as seen from an apartment complex driveway next door
Pile of garbage in the NaturalMind parking lot, as seen from an apartment complex driveway next door

It wasn’t easy for me to find any information on the business that is moving into this space. A Google search didn’t reveal much, but I eventually found a post on SilverLakeNews.com announcing the grand opening of “NaturalMind” in September 2009 (with September almost over I assume they have fallen behind, as the building remains vacant).

From what I can tell, NaturalMind is going to be some kind of beauty salon, owned by a guy named Arnaud Ozharun. I found his e-mail address on the SilverLakeNews.com post, which I assume he wrote. Unfortunately, the e-mails I sent him were returned with this message, “Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently: [email protected]

On SilverLakeNews.com, Ozharun posted a rather lengthy description of his business and also of himself, describing NaturalMind as, “A utopian take on beauty.” Which made me laugh out loud when you consider the pile of garbage he has been forcing his neighbors to look at for months now.

“Natural Mind is a place to contemplate things other than oneself, yet change.” – Arnaud Ozharun

Whatever dude. I’m a reasonable person when it comes to things like this and I understand that, from time-to-time, it is necessary to deal with certain urban inconveniences, such as construction. I’m totally fine with that. What really bothers me is the garbage. Aside from the fact that it is likely harboring vermin, it’s Continue reading An Ugly Utopia

Times on Illegal Dumping: Worse Than Ever


CC-licensed photo by Flickr user ‘SeraphimC

Julia beat me to the punch on raising this topic around hereabouts, but today the Times weighs in with an investigational piece on what I think is one of LA’s most pressing and scandalously overlooked problems: illegal dumping. Here’s a particularly telling bit:

Officials with the Department of Public Works, the agency responsible for maintaining the 800 miles of city alleys, said they were doing all they could to fight illegal dumping and keep alleys clean.

But records show that the number of arrests by department investigators for illegal dumping dropped from 359 in 2002 to 55 last year. The number so far this year: three.

Meaning our no-longer-so-fair metropolis is on track for a stunning six arrests for illegal dumping in ’08. Of course, it’s hard to blame Public Works for the fact that we’re on the path to a Robocop-esque future where the streets are full of burning piles of refuse. After all, it’s not their fault that their budgets are being rerouted to pay for more cops, and it’s not their fault that a sizable percentage of Angelenos are are self-involved fuckerheads and would rather spread urban blight than call for a bulky item pickup or pay a pittance to take garbage to a dump. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of discussion regarding solutions in the Times‘ article, and it’s not something I’ve seen addressed in any detail by anyone in city government. I wouldn’t expect to see a change any time soon.