Flying to L.A.

Short trip out to L.A. to visit a conference.  It’s funny to fly out to L.A. for work, being used as I am to the city as a vacation destination.

My first time was in 1998, shortly before I moved to the States for good. It was the last weekend of my stay in San Diego, and I had decided I needed to at least see Los Angeles before flying back and returning who knows when.

I took my Nissan Sentra, the most beat up car I have ever driven, and rattled on I-5 from Mira Mesa to Laguna Beach. Brief stop there to find out there was really nothing for me to do but to watch a bunch of surfers in wet suits freezing in expectation of a Killer Wave.

Then I drove. And I drove. And I drove. It just wouldn’t stop. I finally made it to Venice Beach, which struck me as terribly touristy. I drove farther North and stopped at the beach in Santa Monica, moved on to Beverly Hills, through West Hollywood to Hollywood proper.

I looked at my map and realized I had not touched a tenth of a tenth of the city, and I was already falling asleep. I stayed in the car overnight (how VERY dangerous!), then decided to drive on to Palm Springs. I drove for hours on end, never seeing an interruption in the City. It went on and on until it hit the desert and ran out of steam.

I would drive through L.A. another few times, always en route to my favorite destination, San Diego. I would eat something, drink something, but never fall in love or even really appreciate the town, just like any other Californian outside of L.A.

I wonder if things will be changing some time in the future. Will there be a moment when you can stand on the bluffs of Torrey Pines in San Diego and not notice any more the difference in color between the sky to the angeleno North and the Mexican South? Will there be a moment when angelenos will learn to do without cars?

A friend of mine, Mike, lived there for a while, but never made friends. Same thing here in the Bay Area.  Did Californians invent a new lifestyle, or are they just too busy to have a lifestyle at all?

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