The days have been hot – pushing 90 degrees – and it’s been humid (that’s known as “monsoonal moisture” in these parts), but I’ve been walking because it’s what I do. And of course I’ve been doing it early-ish or late-ish in the day to avoid the worst of the heat, and I’ve been walking more or less in the neighborhood, although trying to head for those streets that, for one reason or another, I never usually walk down.
It must be a few years since I walked past the garden below, with its blue glass decorations. It’s right alongside the street, and most of those bottles and vases are just a stone’s throw away, and yet they remain intact. This seems a reason to be cheerful.
They’ve been trimming – pollarding, I suppose is the word - the trees in parts of the neighborhood – a huge operation, big trucks, a big crew, a big mess, especially when it comes to the ficus trees – a job that needs doing, and it doesn’t do the trees any harm, they'll be back just as big next year, but of course it does mean there are certain sidewalks where you can’t walk at all. And it must be said that the guys on the crew, while by no means hostile, didn’t look very cheerful: maybe it’s the heat, and maybe the one below just doesn’t like being photographed.
Now, I don’t know much about the school system in Los Angeles. Some people say it’s a disaster, some people send their kids to public schools (which means exactly the opposite in the States than it does in Britain) and they say they’re fine. Even so, this sign warning drivers that there’s a school nearby, may be a symbol that not everything is absolutely as it should be.
Of course you can’t (and shouldn’t) walk in LA without being aware of the traffic. Mostly it’s about avoidance, and yet my inner motorhead never quite gives up, and when I see a truck like this one, my heart does leap just a little.
And you know, I’m always fascinated by the wrapped cars of Los Angeles that I see when I’m walking. I know there are wrapped cars in plenty of other places but I’ve never seen so many as here, and I’m never sure whether it’s for protection from the sun or to dissuade low-lifes from running a screwdriver along your paintwork, not that one precludes the other. Sometimes it’s a full cover:
Sometimes just half:
But how about this one, gift-wrapped, padded, in disguise:
As you can probably work out, this is some some kind of forthcoming model from one of the big manufacturers, being secretly road-tested. Of course, a cynic might think that under the disguise there’s going to be some big, ugly, penis-substitute of a pickup truck, essentially no different from any of the other monsters on the roads. My inner motorhead can be pretty cynical.
And of course, the Los Angeles housing crisis rumbles on, and here’s one feller who’s found a temporary solution:
It looks like one of those “forts” that kids build in their grandparents’ back yards, although since the guy was passed out and there was “drug paraphernalia” visible on the mattress, the phrase “not in my back yard” sprang rather readily to mind.