Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ten Observations on Visiting Los Angeles

I'm in Los Angeles this week, attending a conference during the day and visiting my son in the evenings. As you might expect, I have a few observations on visiting this amazing city, based on the accumulated experiences of a day and a half...

1. When big windstorms come up, huge chunks of palm trees come down onto sidewalks and streets. If you get a chunk of palm frond stuck in the undercarriage of your car, it makes a really awful noise as you drive down the street.

2. I've never seen so many blondes in one place. No guesses as to how many of them are genetically, rather than artificially, blonde.

3. Driving in Los Angeles is a lot like driving in Washington, except that the traffic actually moves. It may be bumper-to-bumper, but it's moving at about 75mph. Cars have two horns, and most drivers can maneuver at high speed while blowing their horns and giving you the finger with both hands. Reminded me of New York.

4. I heard more English spoken in Mexico than in most of LA.

5. I've visited cities smaller than LA International Airport. Most of them have better traffic.

6. My hotel gave me a warm chocolate chip cookie as a welcoming gift when I checked in. I guess they were out of the surf and turf.

7. It's illegal in California to use a cell phone while driving. Apparently, the law has not been widely publicized. 'Nuff said.

8. No matter where you want to go, the route you need to take is under construction. So are the detours. I've never seen a GPS unit shrug before.

9. Zoning requirements apparently require every block of West Hollywood to have at least four stores selling new guitars, used guitars, guitar lessons, guitar repairs, or something else dealing with guitars. Judging from the quality of the street musicians, the stores selling guitar lessons are not doing well.

10. My son crushed me in a Scrabble game last night. I thought I'd raised him to treat his elders better.

I'll be here another two days, so there may be other observations coming...

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



John A Hill said...

10. My son crushed me in a Scrabble game last night. I thought I'd raised him to treat his elders better.

Must be a generational son occasionally manages to do the same.

Capitol Hill 20210 said...

Hey you - sorry I have been lazy commenting. I am thinking of transferring out to LA actually -- let me know if you think I would actually fit in out there.

Have a Great Tripm

Mike said...

You forgot to mention the air being as think as pea soup. I couldn't be outside for 5 minutes there without starting to cough.

As far as #2 goes. I know a verification process you can do. I'll send you a picture tutorial.

Gilahi said...

I've never seen a GPS unit shrug before.

Cracked me up.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

It's illegal to use a cell phone while driving here in Britain as well.

Mike said...

I meant 'thick', like me.

Amanda said...

Many of your points today reminded me of my first time visiting LA. It was also my first time visiting the US and I was with 2 other friends. Coming from Malaysia, we were totally unfamiliar with the whole process of hiring a car and reading those lousy maps they come with. There was no GPS at that time. We had to find our way to the hotel and then the Costa Rican embassy. Thankfully, due to the flights, we had about 3 days to do that and we also managed to find Universal Studios.

Leslie David said...

Yes traffic really does move out there. Same in Canada--merging at 100kph.