From Scott Timberg’s When the Next Wave Wipes Out:

WHEN Emily Cook, a screenwriter, bought a house four years ago in Eagle Rock, a neighborhood on the Northeast side of Los Angeles, she fantasized what the area might look like in a year or two, with cafes and boutiques replacing tattered old businesses. “It was like fantasy football,” said Ms. Cook, 38, who also sings in a band named Fonda.

Sound familiar? How ’bout ….

But Ms. Cook has stopped fantasizing about what might be, and started worrying about what might shut down. The flower store has closed; no gourmet market is moving in. Lucy Finch, a vintage boutique, folded last month. That Yarn Store, a hangout for crochet-heads, didn’t survive a bad winter.

OK, so Bremerton’s yet to make it to where it appears LA’s Eagle Rock was pre-recession, but we can draw some easy parallels. It’s an endless guessing game as to what’s going into the old Penny’s building, when the empty space at Fourth & Pacific will get a tenant, when Calvary Chapel will replace the dead bulbs on the Roxy’s marquee, and … But, perhaps unlike Eagle Rock, I think Bremerton’s best days are ahead of it. I can’t quantify that except that I still detect strong optimism, and a groundswell of enthusiasm and entrepreneurialism. 2009 will be an interesting year. Here’s hoping it’s better than what’s happening in Eagle Rock.

The new residents brought prosperity and, the locals say, a little arrogance as well. “They sounded the trumpets and announced a vision of something like Silver Lake or Los Feliz,” said Bob de Velasco, who runs Commercial Printing Network, a copy shop. “But it’s not going to happen. Eagle Rock wasn’t meant to have that. Eagle Rock is an old-fashioned, atmospheric town.”

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