Monday, December 05, 2005
In which our blogger recalls winters past
And then there are days like today where everything feels ridiculously sweet. Driving down Sunset Boulevard after work, DeeLite blaring with the windows down in the Dodge Intrepid, rolling into ninety thousand miles on the odometer and the automatic transmission is just sailing along nicely. I settle into the huge velvet couch of the front seat and squeeze the mushy brake at a red light, watch someone in dark clothing dash across the street between traffic. Los Angeles is a weird place, but I am starting to really like it.
Downtown, in the Financial District where I work, is soulless and empty, but that’s okay. No one really stays there after six. (Except for the people that do.) I roll down Grand, past the Disney Concert Hall, and I’m back on Cesar Chavez. Up the hill I go, and Cesar Chavez becomes Sunset, signs remind you that it was once Route 66. On my way home tonight I was driving behind someone in a silver Volkswagen “Pointer” with plates from some state in Mexico. Another startling reminder that I wasn’t on the F train back to Brooklyn anymore. On the way into work today there were cop cars sealing off a portion of Sunset, somewhere in Silverlake. There were small crowds behind the police tape. And there, on the bridge, it looked like there was a body under a blanket. With all that sunshine and all those palm trees, living in very soft Los Feliz, I sometimes forget that Los Angeles is significantly more dangerous than New York. It’s cold, but not cold enough. I can’t see my breath. I don’t like this in-between cold you get in L.A. You don’t quite accept that it’s cold – it’s always sort of warm the next day – so you don’t mentally adjust, and you remain indignantly cold all winter long. Back east, you realize it’s cold and it’s not going to be warm tomorrow when you are walking home at night (4:15 p.m.) and the snot dripping from your nose freezes National Geographic-style. When I was a kid, it was so cold in Connecticut, a rubber football we were playing with at recess in January shattered when we tried to punt it.