walking around West LA
Sunday, April 30 2000
Kim and I have been arguing about my crappy old Huffy bike, which I've been keeping locked to a parking regulatory sign out in front of our townhouse. She's is concerned the neighbors will view it as an eyesore and that it will eventually lead to neighbor problems. But I've looked high and low and there's simply no other place to put it. I suppose I could put it in the basement, but just getting into the basement is a hassle. Since we don't have a key to the pedestrian basement entrance, we're forced to rely on bulky electronic transmitters. Today Kim demanded that I put my bike in the shrubbery alongside the house, and to humor her I somehow managed to do as she'd directed. But I almost destroyed the poor thing in the process. The Huffy is old and jury-rigged and it takes nothing to cause a fender to start rubbing against one of the wheels in a way that is difficult to fix.
Today Kim was leaving for the night to attend a tantra seminar in Carlsbad (near San Diego). I dropped her off at the Union (train) Station in downtown Los Angeles this afternoon and had the rest of the evening all to myself. It was the first opportunity in a long time for me to kick back in the bathtub and not have to worry about anyone barging in.
I also went on a walk around my neighborhood all by myself, for once not having any one else's agenda (either Sophie or Kim's) to direct me. I could do things that are normally difficult or impossible: look through dumpsters, duck into computer shops, that sort of thing. Actually, though, there were no tempting dumpsters anywhere along my walk and I only found one computer store on Wilshire that was open on a Sunday. I bought two ethernet cards and a DVD drive to replace an inexplicably dead 45x CDROM.
As I walked east down Santa Monica Blvd., I noticed that nearly every corner was occupied by the peculiar commercial development which I've seen only in West LA. These developments consist of L-shaped commercial strips, usually in two levels. On the inside of the L-shaped bend there's usually a corkscrew driveway leading down into underground parking. You can find any sort of business in these corner commercial centers, from providers of "Payday Loans" to budget beef-bowl Japanese fast food restaurants to Pizza Inns to computer literacy schools. There must be a good dozen of these commercial centers within easy walking distance of my townhouse. As Kim was saying the other day, our neighborhood isn't too different from Midtown Manhattan (if you discount the palm trees).
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