December 1, 2011

The Step-Down Room

The step-down room on the second floor was added to the Victorian in the 1940s. It is the most popular bedroom in the house, with good reason, beginning with the four steps leading from door to floor. 

Sunken rooms are fun, especially in a hippie house where everyone lives in voluntary poverty.

When my friends began occupying the Victorian in 1978, they used the step-down room to put together editions of their radical newspaper. The newspaper’s overflowing archives and parties have since been moved to the basement of the back house, so that the step-down room has passed from occupant to occupant, and I mean couple to couple.

Jim and Joyce lived in the step-down room 20 years ago. Now they live in Long Beach. Jim still enjoys driving up and answering the phone at the house on Saturdays, while everyone works at the soup kitchen.

The ceiling in the step-down room was painted a few years ago by a couple who fell in love after meeting here. After they moved out, Kurt and Sybilla moved in for a year.

Now the step-down room happens to be my girlfriend’s room.

Last night I fell asleep staring at the ceiling and listening to the sound of helicopter blades churning over Occupy L.A. Five members of this community were present at the eviction. Four were arrested.

I’m so grateful there was no serious violence, despite the local newscast repeatedly and unequivocally stating beforehand that 15 to 30 “bad apples” among the protestors were going to become violent with the police and the police will have to respond.

Don’t you just love it when reporters tell you the story before it ever happens.

Of all the garbage the local newscast dished out, my favorite was a demonstrator grabbing the microphone of an on-scene reporter and criticizing the mainstream media for showing images of people with gas masks ready instead of interviewing school teachers planning to be arrested. The station cut away to another reporter on the scene showing protestors with gas masks ready.

This morning, I flew to Cleveland to complete the data analysis for my animal shelter story. I'm really looking forward to sharing it here later this month.

Issues of fairness and justice have been on my mind, and how these sorts of stories are told. I find myself thinking about the future of this world plenty lately. 

But mostly I just like hanging out in the step-down room.




50 comments:

EcoGrrl said...

I like the footprint the best... btw u familiar w DAWG santa barbara? It's where i adopted my girl 8 yrs ago...amazing group...

Ed Pilolla said...

i'm not familiar, but i will see what i kin learn online...
thanks:)

Brian Miller said...

cool looking place ed...ugh on the way the media (arm of those behind the evictions) and the way they tell the story...

Jill said...

I can see why you enjoy the step down room. Great history there. Love the foot prints.

Pat Hatt said...

The media is all about ratings, so they are full of 99.9% crap. So are you hoping the stepdown room will share it's magic with you and your gf too?

Yvonne Osborne said...

I love the Walmart sign the best. I want it for my sister-in-law. See,I don't understand how you can tout organics and sustainable living and then buy shit at Walmart. They'll undercut us every step of the way. They'll cut our feet off at the ankle and tell us to have a nice day. That store encapsulates what is wrong with this country. The parking lots are full.

Ed, I love how you concern yourself with issues of fairness and justice. I love that most of all.

It's nice to have some first-hand accounting of the Occupy movement. Keep it up.

If I'm ever in southern Cali., I want to see the hippie house and fall in love in the step down room.

Little Ms. Fun said...

"The Step Down Room"...I love the romance of that!! It sounds like a very nice place. The footsteps on the steps are great! Almost like a little mystery and a little history. What are you going to leave behind so your stay will be remember?

About the reporters...that's their job. The make up bull crap to suck in viewers. I think most of the world knows not to believe half the crap they say anyways. Either way, I could see where that would be annoying.

Slamdunk said...

That would be an interesting room to poke around in and reflect.

I regularly talk about media distortions. I am still amazed at how many folks that I associate with consider anything heard on the "news" as completely accurate.

I hope your trip is productive.

Birdie said...

for the obvious reasons of manipulation i stopped watching the news ... i love the footsteps, i had to smile as you reminded me of me & hubby when we lived in one tiny room for years - fun memories ... enjoy :-)
and honestly i cannot wait for your animal shelter story Ed!
i believe that Gandhi's quote 'be the change you want to see in the world' is one of the answers ...

suvaiba said...

omg the guitar <3
you know i so look forward to read your posts.
and the pix are soooo beautiful those bottles just add on the glam. <3
tc

Sheila Moore said...

What a cool room. And it's interesting to read first hand experiences (esp the sounds) of Occupy. Also sounds like you have a pretty cool job. Safe travels to you.

Geraldine said...

this sounds like such a cool house and with a lot of history to go with it. thanks for sharing with us, more photos please! I love how the light plays a part of them too.

Anthony Duce said...

Enjoyed the read, the history of the room, and your enlightened point of view.

KarenG said...

Interesting post! I've never heard of a step-down room. I've lived in many homes over the years, several quite old in the Midwest, but don't believe any had a step down room. I can see where it would be a favorite hangout.

Claudia said...

the room looks really cool..love the painting and the steps..and most of all the guitar -makes me wanna grab it and start playing..smiles

Wine and Words said...

Does look like an awesome space and very inspiring in terms of creativity. It's got that VIBE...ya know? Looking forward to your piece.

Marjorie said...

are you a journalist or volunteer? basically what is you occupation. your writing is very interesting (in a good way). i love homes with history :)

New End Studio said...

Fresh flowers, plants, and pictures on the walls- make the room special.

The "news" media is a mess everywhere. They're unreliable and slanted on every angle.

Ed Pilolla said...

i make no money so i don't have an official occupation. i am a reporter by trade. the people i am living with know i am working on a major project that involves my experiences as a guest of the community and volunteer at the soup kitchen since 2006. it's one of those projects where i keep thinking, maybe i'll get it done next year:) but i do intend to get it done next year.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I'm reminded of A.A. Milne's poem about Halfway Down, one of my favorite poems. :-) Keep on trucking, Ed!

My Inner Chick said...

---Such comfort, color, and character.

ed, you live like a true writer...

Xx

Mary said...

Ed, I so look forward to your animals shelter story. I will definitely keep checking your blog for it. Sometimes animals are more 'human' than people....

Laurie Kolp said...

The step down room sounds like a story in and of itself.

I, too, dislike how the media sensationalizes stories.

LOLA said...

Girlfriend? Ed, why are you in the closet and Girlfriend is in the step-down room?

Love,
Lola

Kathy G said...

It took me a while to click through to all the links, but they provide an interesting backstory to what you're about and what you're doing. Thanks

Bernie said...

I truly understand the occupy movement perhaps because I am one of the 99%.
I like the step down room, good vibes........:-)Hugs

Amish Stories said...

Hippies those were the days, when they protested for a noble cause like stopping the war in Vietnam. But as I've grown older I've become more conservative in my thinking and really don't understand what the heck these folks now are protesting about. The last time that i looked it was not against the law to make money and be profitable! And I've learned that sometimes as much as one hates war it is necessary to defend one self, we just have to pick and chose much better and have an end game before we involve ourselves in a war and put American lives on the line. Richard

Jannie Funster said...

ED! You are a true artiste, and thank you for those wonderful photos!!! Those bottles are awesome.

I bet your guitar loves YOU!!

We have a bit of a step-down room too, but with no cute "foots" painted on the treads. :)

xo

Simurgh said...

nice footprint

Ed Pilolla said...

richard, thanks for the comment.

we disagree. every aggressive military action throughout history was sold to the imperial population as 'defense.' from hitler into france and russia and poland to the u.s. into panama and iraq and afghanistan. and the romans too.

i'd welcome capitalism into parts of our economy, notably the financial industry. the big banks screw up, crash the economy and get bailed out. that's not capitalism. they should have failed. there were hundreds of other banks. the bailout was unnecessary.

oceangirl said...

It is a beautiful room, in a beautiful house. I have always liked to wonder what stories old homes hold. Who lived in them, who was born and who died. No wonder there is romance in everything you shared with us because there is real romance in it. Hope your trip is good and successful.

Stephanie D said...

Sounds like that room has a rich history. Very cool. And thanks for the comment on my post today. First time in a while that I leapt out of bed eager to write.

Enchanted Oak said...

Was over at Yvonne Osbourne's place because of her comment at my place, saw your comment at her place, came over here to your place, and there is no telling, I think, where on earth this day will take me.

Enjoyed poking around here with you. In a previous life, I was an LA journalist, working out of Century City and West Hollywood. You made me remember some great times. Now I live north in a town on the 101, and I actually have an assignment deadline to meet tomorrow, shouldn't even be here.

I like what I read here, though, and will be back.

Carol Riggs said...

Lovely photos! I especially like the one with the green bottle. :) Step-down/sunken rooms are cool! I think it'd be great to live in such an artsy house.

I'm so glad there was no serious violence at the Occupy LA. And yeah, so much for "unbiased" reporting...

Daydreamertoo said...

Yes, you have to love it when the press tell you the news...before it happens. Amazing.
What an interesting life you all live. Nothing beats helping others, does it. Karma.

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

What a neat room :) I used to live in Sunset Beach by Long Beach.

There are so many sad things going on. It's hard not to think about it.

forgetmenot said...

Ed, Thanks for your nice comments on my blog--I always appreciate them. The world never has and never will be a "fair" place-it is what it is! The world will continue on, but it never hurts for any of us to try to "right a wrong" when we can. I love the foorprints on the steps and I have always loved "levels" in houses. I look forward to your story on
the animal shelter. Sounds like you had an interesting Thanksgiving. Mickie :)

♫♪♥PhilO♥♪♫ said...

Old places, old stories :)
I love the pictures :)

Being Pramoda... said...

Lovelyyy :) i love violine too..:) very sweet write up..

eflores said...

Thank you for sharing the photos, very interesting post!

Erick Flores

Zeba said...

Wow. I had NO idea. Sigh. Beautifully put across. And the images.

Amish Stories said...

Thanks for your blog visit Ed, and to take a page from 1968 your post was really groovy and solid! Richard from Amish Stories

~*Princesa Fiona*~ said...

I love anything Victorian, even if it's only the name of something I have to check it out :)

So many stories live inside these walls. The 'step down' room sounds like my kind of place to escape to, relax, create, write and ponder life. Maybe I'd even pick up the guitar and learn to play it ~ I may even remember a few chords *grin* They are such beautiful instruments!

You have a very interesting life, Ed, because it's different than the average ~ thanks for sharing your journey with us :)

Jyoti Mishra said...

step down room n guitar pic was lovely !!!

Always great to visit u :)

Impulsive Addict said...

Ed, I had to scroll waaaay down to comment because you're so popular and now I don't remember what I was going to say. However, I do love that step down room! And you even play guitar? I'm impressed!

Ed Pilolla said...

don't be impressed. it's not my guitar:)

hedgewitch said...

It's always like connecting with a better version of my past reading your posts, Ed. Maybe if a few more of my generation had stayed wild *and* sane instead of letting ourselves be persuaded into the money cage, we could have had a different world for your generation, instead of a worse cesspool than when we started. Keep on truckin, man.

magdalawit makonnen said...

I haven't seen the step down room! It looks pretty :) I miss the worker house... So many great memories....

Prime Aque said...

You have a very interesting story Ed, your life is quite a journey worth sharing to all of us here... the idea of a step-down room in new to me but I enjoy reading this entry, your blog and work is interesting, I want to read more about your activities... Keep it coming my friend and I will be always here :)

Ostensible Truth said...

love the step-down room - and the media - of course they pump up their stories with crap, reminds me of the london riots here, the way they told it was rather different to what was going on! and they're doing the same with the occupy movements all over - a way to destablise from the sidelines, which shows the extent of their credibility. anyways, i ramble, great to read this loved the footprints! and issues of fairness and justice should be on everyone's mind = good stuff!