A walk through Sunset Boulevard reminds me of an aftermath of a war, with many fallen soldiers and only a small few who have weathered the storm. One such example was a small auto shop by a hill. In face of numerous spaces awaiting development, the old business remains running. It would be easy to miss if one fails to differentiate between the intricate chainlink fences that enclosed all the business including a luxury apartment.
Threats of gentrification infect the neighborhood one shop at a time. In place of long established mom-and-pop stores, new “hippie” boutiques, empty spaces waiting for development, and luxury apartments pepper the boulevard.
It’s difficult not to compare the boulevard to a (n.) in various stages of decay. A collection of buildings that used to be a hardware store now stand abandoned, probably soon to be demolished like the others. Empty plots of land appear to be out-of-place in a 100-year-old street.
It makes one wonder what had happened in the years that preceded. What exactly is gentrification and what has it done to Sunset Boulevard?
Beyond the empty plots of land and deserted businesses, what could be the stories of the families that used to own these businesses and the community members that used to frequent them? What does it take for a business to survive in the face of gentrification?