If you made a list of all the different kinds of places to rent in Hollywood you might end up with some sort of architectural history of apartment dwelling in the 20th century. There are your former mansions from the teens and 20s cut down to a rat's nest of one- and two- room flats. The linoleum in them tends to peel up at the corners, and there's a fusty smell about them that one could call Eau de Old Man. In the 30s they built tall apartment buildings, modeled after those on
And then there’s the likes of DeMille Dwellings, where I live. It’s a clustered hodgepodge of duplexes and triplexes that share a central garden feature--and not much else. It was built in the late twenties and is, depending on who you talk to, either a relic of
You can't really see the Dwellings from the street. The entrance to it is a brick portico, covered with scraggily ivy and one die-hard
The fountain doesn't work any more, of course. Or maybe it does, but no one has bothered to try it. It has become a gigantic ashtray cum garbage can. People throw their trash in it as if they were pitching pennies at Trevi. In some ways, I itch to clean it up. I have a thing about old things and restoring them and letting them live again. But I don't expect to be here long enough to really care, to get invested enough to be willing to stick my hands, begloved though they be, into the layers of detritus in that fountain.
I live in Number 3 1/4. It’s a studio bungalow squeezed in behind Number 3-1/2. There is no Number 3.