mangosteen: (allwork)
[personal profile] mangosteen
I've been flying quite a bit for business, lately. By the end of this month, I'll have 15,000 butt-in-seat miles from the beginning of 2014. It's a truism that one conference room looks very like another*, but every now and then I get free time and get to explore a bit.

Earlier this week I was in Los Angeles, and I want to give a megaphonic shout-out to [ profile] pseydtonne for giving me the urban-planning nerd's tour of West Hollywood and the surrounding area.

Note: I have a thing for statutory demarcation points. Kilometre Zero in France, IND chaining zero**, etc. This trip I added the geographic center of the Studio Zone (aka the "Thirty Mile Zone" or "TMZ")***. I'm open to more suggestions.

As we were driving around, it became pretty clear that LA is finally catching onto the idea of needing public transit, and unlike other cities, it has a lot of land to build on due to current lower density, and enough leeway in rights-of-way to route around transit-blockers such as Beverly Hills****. The "subway to the sea", "streetcar to the sea", and expo line extension projects are all really interesting, because a new generation doesn't actually want to be driving as much. They have built it, and people are using it. The only way that a transit line direct to LAX ever happens is over the car rental and taxi lobbies' collective dead body, but it's a good start.

Another interesting point is how there's a whole bunch of buildings/areas that don't look terribly iconic, but look very familiar for one reason or another, typically because they were used in a movie set for something. When you live and work in the dream factory, you make dreams out of the the stuff you have around the house.

Realization: I've always thought of LA as "25 suburbs in search of a city", but it's actually much more accurate to say that it's "six or seven crystallization nuclei that all ran into each other" (h/t [ profile] palmwiz)

In short, I really wouldn't mind going back and exploring more... and this incredibly biased kid who was born in Queens is slowly beginning to understand how people can live in LA.

* When your head's down over your pieces, brother.
** Rather hard to stand at that one.
*** Yes, the middle of the intersection. Only for a moment, and it was late.
**** Which now joins the club that counts as members Arlington (MA), Georgetown (VA), Cobb County (GA), San Mateo County (CA), and Chris Christie (NJ).

Date: 2014-03-22 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, yes, I can attest to [ profile] pseydtonne's tours. :-) He gave me a wonderful one, including dinner and dessert, last December when I was out there for project training.

Date: 2014-03-22 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You were born in Queens!? This explains so much.

Date: 2014-03-22 04:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I also never expected to enjoy LA, but I've had a rollicking great time every single time I've been there. Not sure I could live there, but fabulous to visit.

Date: 2014-03-24 04:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's how I felt, coming from a lifetime of eastern seaboard obsession. Then my wife got a job here and I decided I wouldn't let myself feel like I'm in exile.

Once you accept that pizza is not the comfort food here but burritos are, it gels. The city unveils itself as it feels you are ready.

I still get this thrill after two and a half years here. I was trapped in traffic all the way to Orange County on Saturday, because I wanted to visit the old electronics stores. On the way home, I caught the fireworks over Disneyland... from the expressway next to the park (I-5 in Anaheim). Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?" was playing on the stereo. This also meant I was ahead of the traffic that leaves the park when it closes, so I was flying up the road. 9:28 pm. Perfect.

Date: 2014-03-23 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Time to watch Who Killed Roger Rabbit again, and see how it is about the deliberate killing of Los Angeles' public transport infrastructure.


Date: 2014-03-24 04:24 pm (UTC)
drwex: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drwex
Interesting. When I visited LA some 20-ish years ago it had the sense of making jarring changes when you did so much as cross a city block.

Date: 2014-03-24 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, Los Angeles Street downtown is still like that. On one side, hipsters and all sorts of folks. On the other, NO ONE after 5 pm. It's creepy.

Date: 2014-03-24 05:39 pm (UTC)
drwex: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drwex
Yeah, I remember that. I remember LA as being the only city in which I'd felt The Fear.


mangosteen: (Default)
Elias K. Mangosteen

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