Archive for May 23rd, 2006

Re: L.A.X

I go to L.A. tomorrow! Hello, Mulholland Drive and smog and Getty Museum and In-N-Out Burger!! Goodbye (for now), F train and street fairs with mozzarepas and people with souls.

Not to go all Sebastian Junger on you, but I would like to discuss right now how I am a perfect storm of all things East Coast. From my delightfully prudish and expletive-free New England upbringing to my mow-over-slow-tourists-on-the-sidewalks-of-New-York pace and my knowledge of the lyrics to “Welcome to Miami (Bienvenidos a Miami)” I am a microcosmic representation of every exit off of I-95. Even the one you get off at to visit South of the Border and buy fireworks.

I just never had that much exposure to the West Coast aside from the song-slash-guidebooks “Free Fallin'” and “I Love L.A.”, but something tells me I shouldn’t use Tom Petty and Randy Newman as reliable sources. If I did, I’d still think that short people got no reason to live (untrue! Have you seen “Little People, Big World”?), and I won’t even get into the mental anguish caused when I actually thought Alice in Wonderland was turned into yellow cake and eaten by the Mad Hatter.

Don’t come around here no more? No problem.

Honestly though, when I think of L.A., my mind’s ear immediately hears the nasal twang of “She’s a gooood girl, loves her mama, loves Jesus, and America too” and from there I begin a whimsical journey through magical places like Ventura Boulevard and Reseda and freeways (not highways like me- remember, I’m good old Interstate 95 personified). Why freeway? Why not just highway like the rest of us call it? But then I go all J.D. from Scrubs and start daydreaming about that scene from one of the best movies ever (and my one other source for L.A. information), L.A. Story,where it’s “open season on the L.A. freeway” and I picture myself joyriding and shooting other cars with Marilu Henner in the passenger seat helping me re-load my gun.

I am hoping that my trip will shed some light on the myths and misconceptions I have about the West Coast, about it being dirty and full of plastic people who walk too slowly but call that “being laid back”. (I don’t know if I can take the West Coast walker’s pace, it may turn into open season on the L.A. sidewalks if I don’t efficiently walk where I need to go with as few human obstacles as possible – I hope Marilu is up for taking out some pedestrians). I am not going with the mind of a cynical New Yorker though. Remember, I am all things East Coast, so I am going out there with the mind of, say, a New Hampshire-ite, someone used to living free or dying,
someone who climbed Mount Washington or had a car that did,
someone who is crazy enough but genius enough to see and convince others they also see an Old Man on the Mountain

so that everytime I pass one of Randy Newman’s L.A. landmarks I can hopefully Love It too.

Century Boulevard…
we love it!
Victory Boulevard…
we love it!
Santa Monica Boulevard…
we love it!
6th Street…
we love it! we love it! we love it!

Not sure if I have enough love to give to a bunch of streets, but I will surely try.