Sunday, August 07, 2005

From Japan To Mar Vista - Two Parties

I don't want anyone to think we just work on the addition. We do go places and do things. This weekend was especially busy. Our new neighbors, John and Julia, gave a house warming party and invited everyone that lives in the Gregory Ain Mar Vista Tract. Here is a picture of the front of their house taken from my yard. I didn't take pictures of the party as I was too busy enjoying the great food, martinis and company. Julia even dressed the part by wearing a 1950's frock.

The party lasted until ten. Then this morning we got up and went to Meier Street, street behind ours, where Anni Michaelsen was hosting a brunch for the neighborhood to listen to the housing report created by a housing research team from the department of Architecture and Architectural Engineering from Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan. A year ago, these Japanese women with their professor Yoko Sone, visited the Gregory Ain Tract to do a study of our homes. They had received a grant from their government to study "Mar Vista 50 Years Later."

Anni is chairman of our HPOZ and she was quite involved with the team from Japan. Here's a picture of Anni in her yard decorated with tables for the party. More pictures of the party and Anni's Gregory Ain Home.

The food at the party was wonderful. A combination American, Danish, and Japanese. The Japanese women made several traditional dishes and brought summer desserts. Everyone had a good time. The woman carrying the chair is my friend Amanda and she lives down the street. She has been working hard to save the Lincoln Place Apartments and get them historical designation so they won't be torn down. Her husband Hans is on our HPOZ board. Unfortunately, he wasn't at the party as he is in Sweden on a visit. Hans also created and maintains our neighborhood website And here's a picture of Steve in his baseball hat at the head of the table. He didn't go to the party with me as he wanted to stay home and work, but Anni called him and said, "Just come and eat."

There was quite a crowd at Anni's, but as small as these Gregory Ain homes are, they can hold a lot of people because the house and yard become one. After eating - eating too much, I might add,(good thing I'll be working on the dry wall), we all took chairs into the living room and watched a slide presentation of what the research team from Japan had learned on their visit a year ago to our tract of homes. What interested the team was that the Mar Vista homes have been maintained and cared for for over 50 years. In Japan, a lot of the houses are no older than 30 years as they are not maintained or torn down to make way for more modern homes. Hoping to use their research to slow the destruction of older homes in Japan, the team seemed delighted by the Mar Vista tract and how it retains the sense of history. Just imagine if every architecturally designed home was destroyed after 20 or 30 years. What a loss that would be.

When I got home from the brunch, Dylan Thomas was waiting for a walk. The last two pictures are of our house from Dylan's view point as we stand on the side walk ready to go for his walk.

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