Friday, November 23, 2007
Overnight from L.A. to Ft. Lauderdale
Still in L.A.: an overpass over Beaudry, dripping with vegetation, on the way home from downtown.
We've exchanged one set of palm trees for another. We're in the Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Palm Beach metropolitan area for Thanksgiving, visiting relatives. This part of Florida is incredibly, terrifyingly flat. From the airplane, arriving in Fort Lauderdale, it looks as if God drove a gigantic steamroller (or steam iron) over the place. (Apparently, South Florida is so flat because it was all once an ancient sea floor; as we all know, it may one day return to that state.)
Still in L.A.: a sign with unclear meaning on Glendale Blvd.
From the ground, driving along the huge, wide roads, with massive intersections (as John Updike observed in Rabbit is Rich, all designed for the convenience of South Florida's driving seniors), the flatness in all directions makes me feel like I might just fall off the face of the earth.
The Ft. Lauderdale airport at 5:05 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Someone's luggage is surely languishing in the vanishing point of this picture.
The Ft. Lauderdale airport smells faintly of mildew and damp carpet. The carpet, by the way, throughout the airport, is hideous: some kind of dark gray background with a dark purplish floral-type pattern. All dirty and faded, and very early 90's. That moldy smell in the air may just be that of moisture in the air, which is deeply unfamiliar to me after a few years in L.A.
The view from the freeway headed toward Palm Beach, around 7:20 a.m.
The sunlight in Florida is sort of like the sunlight in California -- imperious, all-commanding, with absolute dominion -- but wetter and grayer somehow. Like California, South Florida is in a terrible drought. (Just a bit to the north, Atlanta is said to have just three months of water left.)
We're going to Everglades National Park tomorrow. We'll visit the American crocodile and the Florida panther, who are probably not happy with the recent weather.