Monday, July 05, 2004

To live and die in LA.

My better half David and I got back from our Los Angeles County tour this afternoon without a hitch. His new (to him) 1997 Volkswagon Golf got us there via the 5 at 31 mpg and scooted us around LA at 28 mpg. Those Germans know how to build a vehicle, I tell you what.

Our tour stops included Calabasas, West Hills, Culver City, Santa Monica, Tarzana, Long Beach, Torrance, and more - certainly one of the more representative selections of locations if one wants to get a feel for the County of Angels. Calabasas, for example, is blessed by the residency of such celebrities as Sinbad, Priscilla Presley, Will Smith, and Billy Blanks (of Tae Bo fame). In Culver, however, well, it's pretty easy to find a streetside velvet painting vendor or buy oranges from a traffic island at a red light. Long Beach, of course, is home to the world's largest Cambodian population outside Cambodia, has a thriving gay and lesbian community, and is home to one of the ten busiest ports on the planet.

For all my complaints that Los Angeles is inhabited exclusively by 90-pound blond women who drive Chevy Tahoes and vapid white kids who wouldn't recognize hard work if it booted them in the butt, I must be fair and concede that my description only applies to a select few. It's a richly diverse (ethnically, socioeconimically, religiously, politically, etceterally) area whose residents are unified only by a tolerance for smog, a generally amiable attitude toward the Lakers, and a willingness at some level to comingle with people who look, speak, and act differently from themselves. Just don't get me started on the proportion of SUVs on the road.

The Knyght Ryder show for the City of Torrance annual fireworks show was fantastic. If you live in SoCal and need some 80s entertainment, you'd be a fool to miss them. They do public venues, clubs, weddings, and baptisms. Had they been a band when I was 13, and has I been raised Jewish, they totally would have done my Bat Mitzvah.

Oh, and for those of you craving a Ken Jennings update, he's now won $774,960 over the course of 24 appearances. Effing A.


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