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Fast Climb From 'Funky' to 'Upscale'

September 14, 1989

How can an area go from "funky" to "upscale" without any breathing spell in between?

My wife and I (and eventually our two kids) have had a Silver Lake home with a lake view for 26 years. We have always been committed to living in the city. In the beginning, one acquaintance dismissed Silver Lake "as an area where a fairly decent house can be right next to one that is a dump." It was only about a year ago that one of our more affluent friends called us "eccentric" for living here.

In a way, they are right. Silver Lake bears little resemblance to the wealthy suburbs. We are far more racially and ethnically diversified. There always has been a far greater "live and let live" attitude as there is a wide range of financial and social classes. The counterculture came here early and left later than most (in fact there are still remnants here).

Therefore, we take umbrage when we are characterized by editorialists as "upscale" people who are so crass that we are only thinking of our wallets by making the aesthetic argument against the Department of Water and Power to protect our reservoirs. It really bites when DWP-inspired character assassins claim we want people in South-Central Los Angeles to pay more so that we can maintain our pristine views.

That is really a bum rap because probably no other area in Southern California has lived with and fought harder for better race relations than Silver Lake. And all of us, regardless of color or ethnicity, love the view.

FLOYD A. OLIVER, Silver Lake

An editorial in the Sacramento Bee characterized Silver Lake as an area of "wealthy landowners" whose aesthetics were endangering "the poor people, literally and figuratively, who live down below."

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