Ah, Los Angeles 1

Much better writers than I have dealt with traffic here. Its presence is always felt. When you think about leaving the house, you have to decide the best possible route which depends on, among other things, the time of day and the day of the week. Although that’s true of most cities, we all have our favorite routes that we learn over time. Here, you throw the favorites out and deal with the reality of the day. You must check with a traffic service?the LA Times provides a good one?that gives up to the moment exit by exit info on the highways and accident reports for the surface streets.

You’ve done your homework. When you leave the house, you bunch appointments together because your day will be taken up by getting where ever you are going and back. Going to a movie or grocery shopping is an exercise in patience and persistence. You pray to whatever saints you think might be looking down on you and take off.
In a city that has come to define log jams, it is interesting that being late for an industry meeting is not acceptable period. The rule of thumb is that you should, within LA County, give yourself 1 hour to get where you?re going. It could be five miles away but give yourself an hour. Highways, surface streets, it?s always a guessing game. You can never tell when an accident or landslide will slow everything down to a crawl. No matter where you?re going, there are thousands of other people going to that neighborhood. So sit back, turn on your blue tooth and call all the people you?ve been putting off calling. Take something to read?in case you actually get there in ten minutes?and something to eat and drink in case it really gets bad.

The thing I didn?t remember at all was the power of the pedestrians. Contrary to Missing Persons? ?Walking in LA?, people do walk in LA by the thousands. What?s interesting is that these people, most of whom just got out of their vehicles, stroll across the streets as if they have no reason to get anywhere. They stop, have conversations, reminisce, change directions and basically make drivers go insane. Trying to turn left or right is an exciting contest between on coming traffic, lights and pedestrians. Whatever you do, don?t find yourself caught by a light in the middle of a crosswalk or a serious ticket awaits. As near as I can tell, no other traffic rules exist.

As I said before, we live on a hill. This neighborhood has hills so steep that the roads and sidewalks end and stairways begin. People actually live somewhere between the lower part and the upper. They carry their groceries, their trash and their children up and down flights and flights of cement stairs every day.

For instance, we live on Lower Angelus. Our house is a lovely, small cottage from the early twenties. Probably a house for film workers because this neighborhood was where the very early studios worked. For anyone who?s familiar with early comedies?i.e., Laurel and Hardy?the stairs were used extensively as gags. The stars of the day lived on Upper Angelus and the stigma of living on Lower Angelus still exists.

The entertainment industry permeates every aspect of life. Everyone here is basically a star-in-waiting or hoping to do business with a star. We bought a new couch and the owner of the shop made an effort to introduce himself and be nice to us because we might make it someday and we could recommend Denzel Washington to his shop.

Next, donuts and Thai massage.

Love and light always


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