Technically Hollywood

As Haim plays in the background through record player speakers, we snack on some cheese at Devin’s dining room table.

Devin is the best host, always has been.

You can see the Hollywood sign as you come up the main road to her house just off in the distance – she dwells in a house just behind an apartment building. It’s a gem of a find in Hollywood.

Devin is the type of person that creates endlessly – creates the space she wants to be in, creates the life path she wants to be on, creates the outfits she effortlessly dons. She’s just real – real in the realest sense of the word.

This drizzly day in Hollywood is spent wandering in and out of her home. I take way too many photos before we head to Necromance to get an anniversary gift for her fiancé. 

She looks down at her black diamond engagement ring, and we chat:

How would you describe the day you were born? 

I was born on August 5th 1990. I was late…didn’t want to come out. *Laughs* Mom had gone to a BBQ earlier in the day and when they were walking there, she said to my dad “this baby’s gonna come out today!” …and I did. *Laughs* And then I almost died, so that’s cool.

On like a scale of 1-10 where 1 your baby is dead and 10 your baby is perfectly fine, I was a 2. So that’s good. I was also born with 12 toes, which makes it even better. *Laughs* 

So that’s how I would describe that!

Sounds eventful! So when did you move to LA and why?

I actually think it’s only been like 4 months since I moved, and I moved because 1) I was working in the music industry and, 2) I knew I wanted to find other opportunities to work in music. And being in LA is the place to do that. So that is that!

What neighborhood do you live in?

I’m not sure! Technically it’s Hollywood, and it’s on the cusp of little Armenia. And that’s all I know. It’s just before you hit Echo Park.

Like East Hollywood? It’s not Hollywood-Hollywood quite yet. It’s like a weird in-between neighborhood.

Why did you decide to move right here in “technically Hollywood”?

I was looking in Echo Park but parking is a big deal to me, cause I’m not a fan of parking 5 miles away and walking. But I was looking in Echo Park because there’s a bunch of people my age there, there’s a lot of events and venues in that direction.

But I just wasn’t finding anything and it was expensive. I found this place online and my dad was free one day so we waltzed down to the leasing office and talked to them.

It was really crazy because it’s my own little house with my own little parking spot and my own little backyard for my own little dog!

[She squeezes her pup in her lap]

And it should be more expensive than it is and it’s not so that is a good thing. It’s not exactly the location I wanted cause I wanted to walk to things and I’m not around things I can walk to. But there’s the occasional homeless person singing in the alley at night so it’s perfect.

[I snap away as we talk. I show her the photo I just took, “Oh I like the shadow on my face!”]

Is there any other place in LA you’d like to be?

I was looking up by Dodger’s stadium cause its above Echo Park with really safe neighborhoods and it’s not so hustle and bustle. It’s more like a neighborhood vibe. So that was really cool I was looking there too. Someday if I ever decide to stay in LA and make a lot of money I want to move to Hancock Park. Because it’s beautiful. And it has beautiful homes.


What would you say LA’s best feature is?

Diversity. Every neighborhood has its own feel. So you never really feel like you’re in the same place when you’re in all these different places. I think people think of it as a big city but there’s all these hiking trails and parks. It’s still very LA…with the health conscious people…and like snootiness…but for the most part people are nice that I’ve encountered.

…what was the question? *Laughs* I got so lost in my brain that I forgot!

Best feature!

Oh right, yes I’d say the diversity. I get much of it here – I live between two Starbucks and two Denny’s. And if you go out on Sunset to the left those are the sketchy ones but if you go to the right that’s where all the people and their little dogs and their Lulu Lemon gym outfits go. One Denny’s its very evident when you go there late at night they kind of section off the restaurant based on the people that come in. Brian and I went in one night and there was definitely a meth head section! *Laughs* So ya I’d say diversity. It’s great. Keeps life entertaining. So fun.


Do you have a secret spot?

Ive only been here for like three weekends, but there’s one place in Echo Park on Sunset called the Black Cat. It’s great and it's so good and it's an old lesbian bar. Now it’s a restaurant and I’m in love with it. I haven’t gone to the bar yet cause I’ve only gone for breakfast but I want to sit at the bar and have a cocktail cause it’s so cute.

You don’t really feel like you’re in LA-- it has a New York feel to it, just from the way it’s decorated. I just want to sit there all day and hang out there. Its cool.  It has a café vibe.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with LA?

Oh yes, there’s just too many people and it takes waaaaayyy too long to get anywhere. And too many of the people… either they’re like douche bag LA drivers or tourists and don’t know how to drive in LA *laughs* and its so annoying. So that’s my main hate for LA is it’s too crowded. And it gets expensive at times. Other than that, I really love it. I

t has more good qualities than bad I’d say.

What keeps you here?

My job. The industry I want to work in and Brian [her fiancé] is moving out here next month and he’s working to get into the music industry too. And in the long run we’d like to be in Nashville but in the mean time we’re here in LA.

And I mean we started our own event production…it’s not a company yet...but company is the word you would use. It’s called Meow City we had our first event the other night. So LA’s just a really great place to network and meet people. We had some girls at our event the other night that are in some big indie bands that just happened to show up, and we had a great turnout for the first event. So getting ourselves established and doing our own thing on top of work cause eventually we’d like that to be our main source of income. So ya that’s why I stay!


What do you do?

I work in music publishing. I am the licensing coordinator. We get a lot of searches for TV and film and trailers for movies so I assist in that department and manage the office. It’s interesting, its cool, and on the side I started Meow City. So hopefully that does as well as I hope it does. Eventually I’d like to do more event stuff.

Why is it called Meow City?

A while ago, it was just kind of an idea that popped into my head: that we’d start a record label and he [Brian] just kind of came up with Meow City and I don’t know. Brian is a weird person. He just came up with it so it stuck.

When did you know you were an Angeleno if you consider yourself one? 

I don’t know if its happened yet! I saw you ask people this and I was like thinking about it and I really don’t know that it's happened yet but it's gonna happen. I don’t know! I don’t know what would qualify for that. So I guess when it happens I’ll let ya know! *Laughs*

The Most Instagrammable Place in LA

There's this house in the Hollywood Hills owned by the Stahl Family. It's one of the most iconic pieces of architecture in the world, and most recognizable piece of architecture in LA. 

The family bought the piece of land for $13,500 in 1954 and proceeded to build their dream home on it. All 2200 square feet of it. 

Better known as Case Study House # 22, The Stahl House is perched on a private road in West Hollywood with a 270-degree view of the LA basin from anywhere in the house  (most all the walls are glass). From Santa Monica, To Long Beach, to Downtown. 

The family still owns the house and sometimes stay in it, stepping out for the small groups of intrigued LA-ers to experience an hour of tranquility and general jealousy of the most instagrammable piece of history in LA. 

This past Saturday marks my second visit to the Stahl House, this time with new friends: Puno & Sarah

Photo Cred & Editing by @punodostres

Photo Cred & Edited By @punodostres



Photo Cred @micahheykoop




@punodostres & @sarahtrevino


@sarahtrevino & @punodostres


@sarahtrevino & @punodostres 


Skid Row & The Book Club

Teresa came into my office every evening after she ate dinner in the kitchen and before she went back in to volunteer.

She was living on the women’s floor at the mission I worked at, and was one of the most kind, confident “everything would be fine and is fine” people I’ve ever met.

She would tell me about these moments where she was volunteering at places around Skid Row (even though she lived there) and would meet volunteers that would invite her to things. She had seen this play with a volunteer that had given her a ticket because she was so kind to them, and even had been invited to dance classes, which of course she went to. Girl can move.  She also went to this seminar about relationships led by a married couple that were also psychiatrists.

They had written a book called “How We Love.

She knew that I was newly-engaged at the time and went into the key points of the seminar – the key moments that really touched her. We sat there, long after I was supposed to go home for the night, and cried and talked and she shared their website with me. She said that I had to buy the book – if she had it she would let me borrow it.

I got it, and man was that book a tough read. It tore into every experience I’d ever had and ripped up my usual fatalistic perspective. It broke down the types of people who have specific types of childhoods and how that relates to their relationships with their significant others.

It was exactly the part of my life that I had left unchecked, and exactly the part that I needed to get stirred up like sand in a sifter. Every couple of days, she would come back in and check on how my reading was going.

“Hey bayby didja get that book?”

Ooooooooh Lord, they gotchya this week didn’t they!”

She came every Tuesday and Thursday and would ask me what I learned. We would go over what we were feeling and thinking about the stories. She shared her past. I shared mine. It was our little book club.