From one Silver Lake blogging mom to another, rest in peace, Cathy Seipp. I've known Cathy for several years -- our kids went to camp together, and I loved her L.A. Times skewerings in Buzz magazine. Her friends have said it far more eloquently than I ever could, but whether we agreed with Cathy or not, we were always enriched by her wit and articulateness, her L.A. press club parties, and her amusing take on Silver Lake dads. I can't seem to link to the post, so I'll take the liberty of posting the description of Silver Lake she wrote for a faraway blog reader who was unfamilar with the neighborhood:
"Silver Lake is where some guys open a dog grooming parlor named Doggy Style across the street from an elementary school, where a 400-pound principal whistles a happy tune as he puts up new Priscilla curtains his first day on the job.
In the morning at Trader Joe's, you can sometimes hear the foul, peculiar mating call of local Jerry Stahl, trying to Permanent Midnightishly impress some girl by loudly describing how he's "getting fucking built, man" with all his fucking weight-lifting at the fucking gym...while I shop for potstickers and consider telling him to fucking shut-up.
And if you're very quiet, you might hear the ghost of Judy Garland -- who lived on my street when she was a teenager -- declaring, "I don't care if you DO think he's 'that way,' Mother! I'm marrying him!"
Silver Lake is where bossy Silver Lake moms guide their progeny down fabulously decorated Armstrong Ave. on Halloween, followed by helpful Silver Lake dads, who carry coolers full of gin and tonics. A couple of pirates -- set decorators in real life -- hand out candy at the most festively spooky house.
Silver Lake is right next door to Los Feliz, where James M. Cain wrote of the murderess's mansion in "Double Indemnity": 'It didn't look like a House of Death when I saw it. It was just a Spanish house, like all the rest of them in California, with white walls, red tile roof, and a patio out to one side. It was built cock-eyed. The garage was under the house, the first floor was over that, and the rest of it was spilled up the hill any way they could get it in.'
Lots of houses look like that in Silver Lake too, although we have an especially high concentration of Neutras. Get a good guidebook about L.A. architecture and you'll see." -- Cathy Seipp, 2003