It’s now Tuesday morning here in L.A.
So far, I’m unimpressed. L.A. seems to be comprised primarily of slum districts separated by run down stretches of freeway that connect small pockets of wealthy folks… Essentially, if you never get off the freeways you could easily be convinced that the L.A. basin is nothing but millionaires and the places they shop. But if you get off on the wrong exit, it’s a real learning experience.
Shaun and I went to L.A. proper Saturday, but took side streets to make the trip – the poverty in this town is shocking. Most of our trip took us through the middle of Inglewood which is evenly divided into Hispanic and Korean ‘sectors’ along Western Blvd. Then, once we made it into L.A., it was 7pm and the tent cities of homeless had sprung up along the streets. Thousands of tents, boxes, and shopping carts laden with worldly possessions lined the streets – it was surreal.
For the most part my adventures in L.A. have centered on finding some place to eat. While this sounds funny, it’s completely true – the L.A. area is so ‘ownership centric’ that only 1 out of several hundred stores is a restaurant, the rest are clothing stores, shoe stores, furniture stores, car dealerships… anything you can imagine that provides something you can ‘own’. There is also the added challenge of there not being a single straight road –anywhere-, and getting to a specific location is a study in creative navigation which usually results in at least two u-turns, several mad dashes across 5 lanes of traffic, and at least one trip down an alley.
There is one small glimmer of happiness in the fact that restaurants that have died everywhere else in the world still live on here – if you can find them. We’ve seen everything from that Shakey’s Pizza to a CoCo’s and a real Wienerschnitzel.
All in all this trip has shown me that any thought of moving to California, at least the L.A. area, is a bad thought.