Beachwood Canyon’s Summers of Discontent

July 13, 2011 § 7 Comments

Hollywoodland Under Excavation 7/12/11/Hope Anderson Productions

Like a lot of other people, I moved to Beachwood for some peace–and much of the year, I get it. Birds sing, coyotes hunt, owls hoot–it’s a natural wonderland, especially at night. But not in summer. My six summers here have been noisy enough to drive me indoors during the day, while many nights have been almost sleepless, thanks to my neighbor’s 1am-6am parties.

The fact that Beachwood Village is a natural amphitheater–it was the precursor to the Hollywood Bowl–makes things exponentially worse.* Every sound is magnified. A couple of nights ago, two children and their father were calling for their dog on the street above me, but it might as well have been in my bedroom. People overhear neighbors’ bedroom intimacies, phone conversations and random comments from the Beachwood Market, whether they want to or not. The only good thing about this forced eavesdropping is that it’s often difficult to know where the noise is coming from, as sounds bounce back and forth across the Canyon. (On the other hand, the distortion makes it harder to tell the cops where to go to shut down the all-night party.)

In summer, construction-related noise makes it impossible to be outside during the day. Currently, we’re under siege because the streets are being dug up for new sewer lines. Trucks grind their way up Beachwood Drive at 7am, after which jackhammering goes on until 4:30pm, with an hour off for lunch. I work wearing Bose noise-cancelling headphones, as I did during my first and second summers here. During those years, my across-the-street neighbors built a 20-foot-high retaining wall and, the following summer, had it faced with stone that was cut, deafeningly, in front of their house. They managed to go on vacation during the worst of it, leaving their neighbors to endure weeks of ear-splitting noise.

Then there are the parties. There currently are four “party houses” in the upper Canyon–houses rented to tenants who hold all-night parties. This number doesn’t include houses, like the one around the corner from me, that are owned by people who party all night. After more than two years of sleepless Saturday nights, I finally impressed upon my neighbor that I wasn’t going to lose any more sleep over her noise–which, thanks to our topography, is funneled directly into my bedroom. The next step, I promised, would be lawyers.

Since then, her party noise has died down dramatically. Perhaps this is because of my threat, but I suspect it might have something to do with my neighbor’s loud nocturnal fights with her boyfriend. These can be heard two houses away, but at least they don’t go on all night.


Next time: High season for tourists.

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§ 7 Responses to Beachwood Canyon’s Summers of Discontent

  • I am deeply sympathetic to your plight and glad not to be the only guy who needs to take certain measures in order not to be tortured by city noises, the worst being those caused directly by inconsiderate neighbors. I have two exotic machines from Brookstone to cancel out freeway sounds, often stuff my ears with tissue in the movies or in restaurants, and am practically on a first-name basis with the folks at Animal Services regarding a neighbor’s barking dogs (a stern letter from A.S. has finally got the owner to keep them quiet, for now).

  • pms says:

    and the helicopters!!!!!….

  • Barbee Andrina says:

    I am just tired of being told “should move” or “shouldn’t have bought here”.
    My husband bought here in 1957 and enticed me here because of the
    beauty, privacy, peace and quiet. Oh! to turn back the clock.

  • Derek Powell says:

    I simply can’t believe the amount of traffic on the street right now!

  • Sam says:

    Where do they get the money from to party ? who has the money to party these days ?

    Everyone I know is working their butts off, no time to party,


  • B says:

    Hey there-

    Which are the 4 party houses everyone is referring to? What street are they on? I live in beachwood canyon- I am a homeowner, and I throw lots of parties. But mine are all inside my house (i have a very small patio), so I dont think i am bothering people…but maybe I am?

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