Despite a slight fear of becoming too localized on these pages, given last week’s piece on the (still standing at last check) Griffith Park Tea House, I wanted to share a quick letter we just sent Councilmember-Elect David Ryu with regards to the recent lawsuit against the city some of our neighbors have filed in an effort to close access to Griffith Park at the top of Beachwood Canyon.
You can read more about the lawsuit in yesterday’s LA Times article, and a more pointed, no-pulled-punhces version at Curbed. If, after that, you feel inclined to reach out in a similar manner, please contact Ryu’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Above, our dog Owen just up from the trailhead in question.
Our letter to Ryu’s office:
My name’s Troy Farmer and my wife, Katie, and I live on Glen Green Street, just off of Beachwood Drive in Hollywood. In case you don’t know it, Glen Green’s a beautiful little dead end street that my wife + I happened upon when we moved here from Brooklyn some years back. At the time, we had absolutely no idea what a small, tight-knit, personable, and open community we were moving into with Glen Green and Beachwood Canyon. Shortly after moving to the neighborhood, we both became involved with a number of local groups and non-profits, including The Hollywood Orchard, on whom’s board Katie now sits. Long story short, we love this place and the small-town-in-the-big-city feel it gives. Most of all, we love our neighbors. I’m continually surprised at what kind, generous, impressively talented people so many of them are and I count myself lucky to have been welcomed among their numbers.
But I sincerely fear that the small-but-vocal minority of neighbors who are calling for the closure of the Hollyridge trailhead are steering our community in the wrong direction. My wife + I use the trailhead on a nearly daily basis, to exercise with our dog or simply escape the non-stop pace of our work days for the pristine wilderness that is Griffith Park, one of the nation’s largest urban parks. I’m constantly left wonder-struck when I think about how amazing it is that I can walk to both some of the city’s best restaurants, concert venues, and cultural spots and our city’s best example of pristine wilderness from our home in Glen Green.
When we originally moved to Beachwood, I remember seeing flyers posted around the canyon from members of the very same group trying to shut down park access today. The flyer spoke of how those who owned homes in Beachwood Canyon and the Hollywood Hills earned their position through hard work, superior intellect, or the grace of well-to-do family members and said that the only true solution to the problem was to take the sign down completely. I 100% do not care about that sign. I do care about access to the beauty and serenity of Griffith Park. It’s one of the things both Katie + I treasure most about this city. I also can’t help but think that the reasons given today by the some of the same people behind that flyer some years back—safety of residents + tourists, effect of the trailhead access on the neighborhood—are but a veneer to truly classist reasons my neighbors have for wanting to close off Hollyridge.
I know you’ve pledged support to these very same people on this very same issue, but I want to make clear that we don’t all feel this way. In fact, knowing my neighbors, I’d say most of us do not. Please take the time to follow up on your other promise to not succumb to a “knee-jerk reaction” on this issue. It would be unfair mostly to the very residents of Beachwood Canyon you’re hoping to serve with this move. Please take the time to hear from the rest of us—the ones not shouting in your ear.