Janet Owen Driggs: Cautioned Against Living East of La Brea

Photo courtesy Janet Owen Driggs
Photo courtesy Janet Owen Driggs

KCET Departures asks, "What's your or your family's Los Angeles arrival story?"

Today, we hear from writer, artist and curator, Janet Owen Driggs:

"In 1995 I sold everything I owned and arrived in L.A. with two suitcases, ready to start a new life.

"That's a good story isn't it? And mostly true.

"In 1995 my husband, an animator, was transferred from Steven Spielberg's Amblimation studio in London to the newly opened Dreamworks in Los Angeles.

"We sold our house, stashed some books, photos and other precious stuff with friends and family and, with the assistance of a relocation company, arrived in L.A. carrying two cases each.

"The 'Relocation Bible' cautioned against living anywhere east of LaBrea so we found a place in West Hollywood. The abundant greenery was puzzling, as was the homogenous population of beautiful, mostly white, 18-45 year-olds.

"In London rain falls at random intervals from the sky, but in West Hollywood it rains from the ground up every day at 5pm. I haunted the bricks-and-bustle of Downtown during daylight hours.

"The plan was to stay for two years. After two years in West Hollywood I moved to Downtown. In August 2011, I celebrated sixteen years in L.A."

-- Janet Owen Driggs
(as emailed to Jeremy Rosenberg)