For much of the time that I worked at Paramount Studios, I had an office that overlooked Gower Street.
Gower Street was usually featured in stock footage of the entrance of RKO Studios in the thirties and forties,with cars to match.
RKO went out of business, and my office, which used to be part of RKO, was now part of Paramount.
I don't know what you'd have seen if the cameras were turned around and you'd have seen the other side of Gower Street in the thirties and forties.
But if you'd looked out of my window in the seventies, what you'd have seen was a very seedy, slum-like neighborhood, populated primarily by Mexicans.
I'm not attempting to be racist here.
I'm just reporting the facts.
You didn't want my office because of the view.
It was a nice, roomy office, but the view was not one of the selling features.
I always tried to avoid driving down Gower Street to go to work.
I usually took Vine Street directly to Melrose Avenue, which at the time was also pretty seedy, but didn't seem as inherently dangerous as
I did this because I was deathly afraid of finding myself stranded on Gower Steet trying to fix a flat tire.
This was NOT a safe neighborhood.
Even though it was right next to a major movie studio.
I tried very hard to ignore my exterior surroundings as much as possible.
Many days, you'd find me with the window shades pulled down.
But one day, something rather extraordinary happened.
I pulled up the window shades, and noticed that one half, (the left half, from my point of view) of a two-family house was painted bright pink.
I don't mean just pink.
The kind of pink you might associate with Pink Elephants.
Or the Pink Panther.
Or Pepto Bismol, but much more intensely bright.
The other half was gray.
This caused interesting things to enter my imagination:
The first, of course, being "Why is anyone doing this?"
The second being, "Why only half the house?"
You'd think that discussions between the two owners would have led to some negotiations and perhaps arguments as to whether this was a good idea.
And some settlement would have been reached to avoid this eyesore.
But maybe the two parties hated each other.
To quote the late, great Fats Waller, "One never knows, do one."
Now, I've never considered myself any kind of architechtural aesthete, but even I knew that this was an atrocity.
Literally two months went by.
I'd look out my window and see a half-pink two family house.
The other half remained gray.
And the owner of the gray half had to have been worried about the loss of property value of his home, being planted directly next to the pink half.
Not that the house could have been worth that much to begin with.
I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Would the owner of the pink half revert back to gray?
Or would the owner of the gray half bite the bullet and go pink?
A month after this, I opened the window shade to my office one morning, and the matter was resolved.
The two-family house was now entirely pink, in the exact same shade as the other half.
The concession was made.
Or perhaps the owner of the gray half found the pink starting to grow on him.
We'll never know.
In any case, it was Peace in Our Time, but the house now looked twice as atrocious.
My new book, "Mark Rothman's Essays", ones that were culled from the blog and are no longer there, along with a surprise bonus, is available for purchase.
Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."