We have a new mayor in L.A. after our election this past Tuesday. It will be interesting to see how he makes his mark. We also voted to limit the number of pot shops (yes, I'm talking medical marijuana) to only 135. In the whole city.
I'm now regretting that I never did my long-planned photo essay on L.A. pot shops cuz I reckon I could count about 30 that I could walk to just in my neighborhood! Not that just ANYONE can come in and get some weed. As my recent houseguest from Hawaii just found out.
Sophie asked about my house...it was rebuilt in the 90's in a Bauhaus-ey kind of style by a TV actress. Hence the characterlessness of the street side that you saw in my honeybee post. The actress didn't want prying eyes so there aren't ALOT of windows on certain parts of the house, nor alot of curb appeal to attract interest. Instead, my house is all about the back. And what you can see from it. And which I share with you here.
My neighbors' roses in the morning, and sunset over the Santa Monica mountains.
So it all started a little over a month ago with the odd lonely honeybee
(First attempt: "Trap-out" luring bees to substitute hive)
suddenly appearing in our bedroom, and after fruitless attempts to find an exit and rejoin the outdoors,
curling up to die. A sorry state of things. (We have screens on our windows, so it was not practical to take them out seventeen times a day to let the poor bees out.) Mr. P. climbed up on the roof to see if they were coming in through the skylights or the chimney and instead he found a cluster of buzz, clinging to a tiny hole at the front of our house.
All this was distressing to Mr. Paradis and me on many levels so we decided to call in experts.
(Plan B: "Cut Out" and remove)
We found those experts at the Backwards Beekeepers. And found out ALL kinds of things we did not know about L.A. and BEES! The good news is, that urban bees are fluorishing! Unlike the agricultural bees that are being overworked, apparently, and under siege by mites, chemicals etc., etc., all those things you read about in the newspapers. But urban Los Angeles hosts a legion of healthy populations of bees and beekeepers. Are you as surprised as we were?
But none of us are surprised are we, that yes, I had a beehive in my house.
The beekeepers cut a big hole in the front of it, and removed TWO LARGE GARBAGE CAN SIZE quantities of honeybees and a comb. (And more...eventually.) How all those bees fit into that hole we still don't understand. Further small holes were made in the wall in order to locate other hives and bees but nothing turned up.
All this took place over the course of several weeks. Our first strategy had been to lure the bees out into other hives, and one of the beekeepers, Walker (who looks like a fashion model and has had a career in the movie and rag trades) - took them away with her to live at her house. (Most of the beekeepers in the L.A. area are women.) That was called a "trap-out". When more and more bees continued to accumulate in our bedroom, Mr. Paradis said: "Enough of being a nice guy!" because he was tired of them landing on him when he was trying to sleep. (And he never wears slippers in the house, so the bedroom was turning into a minefield.) So we called Walker and said: "CUT THEM OUT!"
That is when the big hole appeared. It is more traumatic to the bees than a trap-out, but they do recover. And we were told that these were quite happy, nice bees (of course! - unlike the very unhappy ones who killed the Doberman Pinscher in someone's back yard in the San Fernando valley but that is another story). So most of the bees went away to a home close by, and the beekeepers came back every other day for about a week to take home any stragglers and make sure the bees weren't trying to get back in to any other hives, or to reestablish one. And then we had Jaime, the mason, (who lost the Doberman Pinscher, poor guy) come over right away to close up the holes before any other crowd of bees could make themselves at home in one.
It was a fairly expensive and unexpected episode in our lives all the way around, and came at a bad time - so not something I would wish on anyone......but we now have a lovely jar of glistening fresh honey in our cupboards and we met some lovely interesting people.
If you'd like to know more about all this check out the Backwards Beekeepers site (above) and here is a different blog post and video about Walker. Our other beekeeper was Kirk, who's been beekeeping since the '70's. Underneath that beekeeper's hood, he sports a white mohawk. (Yes, a beekeeper with serious personality!) And his hives are at other peoples' houses extending from the San Gabriel Valley, to Beverly Hills since he lives in apartment!
This last photo is from David Lebovitz's blog. The hives are in Lebanon which he recently visited and blogged about in a truly tempting, soulful and beautiful set of posts. It reminds me that once upon a time, we lived much closer to nature, and having bees in such close proximity might not have been so alarming as it now seems to be to some.
So that's about all I have to say at the moment about bees. I do love honey and I think it's supposed to be good for you. I don't think I will ever become a beekeeper, but I am thankful for this brief insight into the natural world around me. And I'm glad to know that there is hope for the bees - as long as we turn them all into urbanites!
What about you, anybody out there interested in being a beekeeper?
And for flea markets. Because some days L.A. just seems like an endless enormous vintage extravaganza. Probably because of the film industry's perennial, insatiable requirement for authentic looking props. Nothing seems to be thrown away. If you can't make it to one of the many flea markets, La Brea Avenue is a good substitute.
Can't believe it's almost the end of May and that the longest day is on the horizon! What are your plans for the weekend? What are your plans for the summer? Because I guess it's time to talk about that, isn't it?
With everything going on last week, I completely forgot to wish all you Mums'n'Moms out there Happy Mother's Day!!!!
Hope it was a good one.
Here's a little eye candy. That was my Mother's Day gift.
After about six months of it just not happening for me, I finally got the right new prescription
for my reading glasses. And I can actually see my pics properly again. For my writing class I managed to come up with something that was meant to console me for the definitive loss of eyesight that I fully expect to come to me eventually. Maybe I'll share it sometime. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying it all.........
OooooooKay: Excavating the archives........for a little weekend smile.......
I took these almost exactly a year ago in May 2012, in Leicester, England.
Where topknots were rampant!
I think I remember topknots being all the rage in NYC in the summer of maybe '09????? They might have had a nano-second here in L.A. shortly thereafter but as with alot of fashion in L.A. they barely rippled the surface of the proverbial water. (Many people will tell you that, Rachel Zoe and the red carpets notwithstanding, LA is just not a fashion-ey town.)
So I was bemused that "the knot" seemed to be "de rigueur" in the West Midlands last Spring. And of course as always, I felt deeply un-fashionable because I wasn't wearing one. I felt the same in Leicester in years before when those skinny jeans appeared and I was still in my good old bell bottoms. Somehow in medium-large towns it's very problematic when you're not in the swim of things. Bigger cities seem to accomodate more variety. No?
Have you done the topknot thing? Did it make your head hurt? (That's what I imagine.)
Will you have a good weekend? I certainly hope so!!!!!!!!
I started this blog when I was transitioning from Hawaii to L.A. The name of the blog comes from a little alley in Paris.
I am an artist most of whose life has been spent "between two chairs" with my heart split and shared amongst many cultures and classes.
This blog is about the fleeting, the forgotten and the misunderstood.
I believe in the perfection of the natural of the natural world and the perfectability of the human world. Mostly, I believe in color - which is what you will find here.
Unless otherwise designated, all text and photographs on this blog are the copyrighted material of Passage Paradis and its author or are used by permission. You may use or link to material on this blog provided you include proper attribution.