02 December 2008

Los Angeles - not like what you see in the movies.

Los Angeles is dirty. 

I rarely make it out of my little bubble, also known as Marina Del Rey, but sometimes duty calls. 

I've had to head into downtown over the past couple of weeks for an assignment for school at the APLA (Aids Project Los Angeles) and am still wondering how this city has yet to eat me alive.

Yesterday, driving starts out like any normal day. Bumper to bumper, nonsensical honking and defensive driving - nothing new. I obviously woke up without my thinking cap on, because I headed into downtown about 9:30 am, and any common idiot knows that Los Angeles morning rush hour begins at 6 am and ends about 2 pm, approximately 15 minutes before afternoon rush hour starts. As I white knuckle it down the freeway, careful to stay in the slow lane - which is usually between a bus and a diesel - I took in the environment around me. Just coming from a short trip home in Utah, my bar may be set a little high, but I couldn't help but dry heave as I took in the gloriousness that is downtown L.A. Graffiti gangs and plant/tree destroyers seem to have taken control of the freeway. Bless their hearts, the city of Los Angeles would be seeming to clean up their freeways with the sporadic cones and construction signs strewn about the roads - no sign of workers though. 

As soon as my eyes adjusted from staring at the grime, stuck at a dead stop, for what seemed like hours, a small break in the traffic happens - (instant heart elevation). Cars are immediately speeding and swerving through each other, which I'm guess the loving term, "rat race" comes from. Don't worry about blinkers. They are absolutely unnecessary in these situations. Also seemingly unnecessary, are cops. I guess they have bigger fish to fry. Like parking on the side streets, waiting to give parking tickets - they know better than to be out driving on the streets. Having a talent for keeping your foot on the brake and accelerator at the same time is something people should know before being allowed on the roads. Traffic seems to come to a stop almost as quickly as it cleared. False hope, and an immediate crushing of my spirits. Still, my heart manages to stay elevated to the point of concern until I park my car - about 82 minutes later.

Who said Christmas in California only existed at Disneyland? I had at least 2 people holding signs saying Jesus was coming, 1 bum singing Christmas songs, and another wearing a Santa hat in the block I had to walk to the APLA. I love the holidays. Also in that block walk, I managed to step in an unidentified substance (I don't want to talk about it) which is the reason I will be needing new tennis shoes this Christmas. Smart decision to put away the flip flops this morning. 

I showered for a full hour once I got home.

3 comments:

Amy and Anna said...

Oh L.A....so full of itself.

Ashley Engar said...

loved the post keep them coming...

joncampbell21 said...

Wow, I am so jealous..........