Unicorns – Out With the Old, With Caveats

The Castle Green is a landmark just outside the main thrust of Old Town Pasadena’s downtown strip. In a city like Los Angeles, the old only survives as long as it takes someone to come up with the sleeker and newer.

Of the architecture preserved as classic examples of a bygone era, most of it is kept with this air of kitsch that demeans the whole enterprise in my opinion. The Castle Green was one of the rare exceptions. I was never sure, but I’d have been unsurprised to find out that Hemingway, Fitzgerald, or other legends of the Jazz age had passed through there in their heyday.

Although, now that I think on it, Fitzgerald’s heyday had passed by the time he relinquished himself to Los Angeles.

At any rate, Los Angeles’ mishandling of its past isn’t a unique sin. In America the past and heritage is such a short term concept compared to elsewhere in the world that it’s no wonder we don’t have a good sense of how to handle it. America was founded on the systemic overwriting of another civilization, and I suppose we considered it fair to continue that overwriting even with our own.

This isn’t meant to be some diatribe against manifest destiny, but it very well ends up being just that in spite of it. All this is just to say, from the grand scheme down to the immediate, we’re usually pretty eager to get out with the old and in with the new.

Castle Green, by its anomalous exception of that emphasizes how widespread that mentality is to me.

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