Convinced that after Europe fell to the Germans, America would reduced to anarchy, so Nazi sympathizers built a compound in the Pacific Palisades for refuge in the 1930s. Silly Nazis.
Shortly after Pearl Harbor was bombed, these bigoted geniuses, who had thrown $4 million into the unfinished compound they called Murphy Ranch, were arrested for espionage. Today, some of the structures still stand, in what is a strange, overlooked area of LA. On Sunday, my friend Mike and I explored it.
To get down to the ranch requires a traverse down a dizzying, much too narrow set of stairs that seem to go on forever. The world’s worst DIY project. Mike held me responsible for his life.
LA was covered in graffiti until the city really cracked down. But because Murphy Ranch is the place that time forgot – not to mention pretty challenging to access – it’s the last bastion of taggers. We passed these two knuckleheads mid paint-job.
The penalty for spray-painting is five grand, so you may not want to tag your username, ace.
We decided to keep walking deeper into the forest, and then things got even trippier, as we came upon this firing range. A closer inspection revealed live ammo, so we quickly pushed on.
That was when it when full-on nutty, as we discovered it was a boy scout camp – but not just any camp – the boy scouts were orthodox Jews, who’d staked their territory with Israeli flags. Mike’s head exploded. I thought it was the ultimate F-you to the Nazis.
Actually, it’s a one-bedroom. But living in an apartment is one of the many sacrifices I make while I happily pursue my dream. And I love the pursuit. I love the people, the challenges, the city of Los Angeles, and, most of all, the feeling that makes my heart quicken every time I get to do the thing that I love: acting.
My name is Matt Shevin. You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org