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Nominal Me

I'm falling in love with my camera and taking photos everywhere I go. That, combined with my passions for politics, sports, religion and other things we all agree on, makes this blog persist.


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Location: Astoria, New York, United States

I'm born in Manhattan and raised in Queens.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Los Angeles

So I have arrived in Los Angeles. Well, at least I drove through it. Most people who are "in L.A." aren't really in L.A., they are in the surrounding communities. L.A. is a fabulous collection of suburbs and sprawl with a five hour rush hour.

Traffic is getting worse, according to Lynell George of the Los Angeles Times:

It doesn't matter what hour of day, what day of the week, whether school is in session or a big Laker game is on TV. It can be a SigAlert or a mattress on the road or no discernible cause, as is the case more and more. Moving through Los Angeles has become increasingly nasty.

At some point during the last five years, traffic for Angelinos became like weather in places that have seasons—occasionally pleasant but often so miserable that you wished you lived elsewhere.

Gridlock has become not just the stuff of small talk, but a topic likely to dominate an entire evening's conversation. Radio updates now tell us not just where the jackknifed big rig has lost its load, but just how long to the minute (or hour) your commute will extend because of it. You can have traffic alerts sent to your cellphone or PDA and preview the traffic flow on your computer screen.

And we'll need all this assistance because it's only going to get worse: The Public Policy Institute of California projects that overcrowding will cause travel time in the state to increase by as much as 48% by 2025.

Los Angeles has so much to offer, but you have to go through this to get to it. The traffic is a real barrier, and the crazy driving habits of many Angelinos make it worse. I drive a box truck and many of the people near me did not fully appreciate my blind spots. It's a formula for disaster for them, as they probably do not fully appreciate the fact that my truck does not stop on a dime either.

The surrounding areas are beautiful though. L.A. has great -- earthquake ready -- mountain ranges.

Los Angeles is fun, but without New York City public transportation services it just doesn't match up. It shouldn't take two hours to get somewhere.

It is odd too, that a city that presumably cares more about the environment probably chokes the Earth with more toxins on a per-capita basis than most places. The sheer amount of idle cars on Southern California's freeways must do more damage to the Earth than all of the vegetarians and sushi-eaters do to try to save it.

Slate recently did a story on biking in Los Angeles. It would be a nice, if impractical, gesture, and would make the city a nicer place.

I have a bunch of friends here, but I think I'm too "New York" for the place. A friend of mine used "far out" in a sentence today. I don't think I can talk like that.

Also, Los Angeles steals from Greek people, so I can't live here.

RELATED LINKS:
America's Treasures

3 Comments:

Blogger Janet said...

It looks to me that people aren't actually in LA because they're always on the roads, TRYING to get there.:)

Sunday, 04 December, 2005  
Blogger DDD said...

Still, LA has the ocean right there and the mountains a few hours away. I'd live there.

Monday, 05 December, 2005  
Anonymous Stumbling Uke said...

San Diego - Yes.
San Francisco - Yes.
Santa Barbara - Yes.
Northern Cali - Yes.
Los Angeles - No freakin' way in hell. The mountains and beaches are nice, but the overall atmosphere blows. But hey, I'm a New Yorker, so it's understandable.

Monday, 05 December, 2005  

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