LA is a Great Big Freeway?

I apologize for being M.I.A. for the last month or so. However, I will be filling you in on what I have been up to and, at the same time, keep up my commitment to blog more frequently.

The holiday season was busy with two of my children preparing to go off to study in international locations. One is off to do an exchange at Trinity College Dublin. The other is starting her M.F.A. at the University of Southern California. Today’s blog is about my trip to LA to help her settle in.

Anticipating our impending LA adventure I lost sleep thinking about the two of us alone in the vast and sprawling LA. I must admit one of my biggest fears was the thought of driving in Los Angeles. After picking up our rental car our first priority was to find my daughter a place to live. As a spring session admission she didn’t get a spot in graduate housing and, with scant knowledge of the LA neighbourhoods, we were scrambling.

“L.A. is a great big freeway.
Put a hundred down and buy a car.
In a week maybe two they’ll make you a star
Weeks turn into years. How quick they pass
And all the stars that never were
Are parking cars and pumping gas”

Images of L.A.

 Despite my fears the trip started smoothly enough. We found housing, the rental car was awesome and driving around LA was actually quite easy. What made the trip so wonderful though was the sunny, warm weather of Southern California.  I finally got it! ‘It’ being why snowbirds head to the warm climates of the southern United States. There is an energy and optimism that comes from being in the sun. You can feel this when dealing with the people who are all so warm and friendly.  This is less common in Vancouver, where the service is so often indifferent or worse.  This openness and friendliness is where the Americans get it right.

“Got on board a westbound 747

Didn’t think before deciding what to do

Ooh, that talk of opportunities

TV breaks and movies

Rang true

Sure rang true
Seems it never rains in southern California

Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before

It never rains in California

But girl don’t they warn ya

It pours, man it pours”

I found this vintage postage of the Beatles in California at a street market in Amsterdam.

Yes, LA can be ‘a great big freeway’ but this perception is the result of trying to find a centre which simply does not exist. It is more useful to see LA a series of individual communities tied together by the freeway like a string of pearls.

More LA neighbourhoods to come…..

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