Day Dates In Los Angeles

Day Dates In Los Angeles

“A sip of wine, a cigarette, And then it’s time to go. I tidied up the kitchenette; I tuned the old banjo. I’m wanted at the traffic-jam. They’re saving me a seat.” Leonard Cohen

L.A. is a car city. Most people drive; whether it’s to work or to grab a coffee at the Starbucks down the street. It doesn’t matter if your office is in walking distance, you’ll hop in your car to get there. Since everyone drives everywhere, LA traffic can turn a quick trip into a long commute.

Los Angeles had the world’s worst traffic in 2016  beating out Moscow for the top spot in the rankings released by traffic firm INRIX. According to the survey, Los Angeles motorists spent an average of 104 hours stuck in traffic last year. The worst traffic day is Friday.

I moved to the Venice Marina Del Rey area last summer if you did not read my sad moving blogs. My friends and family live on the other side of the 405 freeway. This means that the city’s congestion now confines me to my own area on week day evenings. Local neighborhoods have had to become more self-sufficient with interesting restaurants, bars, cultural and recreational sources as more and more  people do not want to sit in traffic to go out at night.

It’s traditional to make plans with people at night. I tried when I first moved here to continue to meet people during the week. “I’ll be there in twenty minutes,” I would say when I was in standstill traffic and knew it would be at least an hour. I would have to leave at four o clock for a seven o clock dinner. A two-hour dinner in town became a five-hour dinner with traffic and parking.

I began to only accept invitations to things I had to do – celebrations, rock concerts and a few events. I stopped going to the theatre, ballet and gallery openings downtown on week nights.  All these things were available on weekends. I started to stay home on weekday evenings unless people wanted to drive to the beach or at least to my side of the 405.  I blamed it on my puppy’s anxiety (which is sad but true). My friend’s and family did not want to make the drive here after the first new house inspection. Guys will do it.

 Recently I started making day dates with my friends on the other side of the 405 and the east side of town. If you go to a movie in a crowded mall on an afternoon, the theatre is empty. You can park on the first level and not spend a half hour getting out of the parking lot. The ridiculously crowded restaurants have plenty of space available. The concession stand is empty and will even make a fresh batch of popcorn or pot of coffee if you ask nicely. There are no lines for the bathroom. I do the weekend theatre matinees  downtown and have an early dinner to try a trendy downtown restaurant. Weekend brunches are my best friend though as it gets closer to the summer the traffic  near the beach will be a problem.  Lunch dates always work.  My friends aren’t thrilled with the new arrangement but they are doing it and agree it is relaxing and fun.

I am no longer losing entire days of my life sitting in traffic. There are plenty of other things I can do with those 104 hours.

Fly safe,

JAZ

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Things I Will Miss, Things I Will Not Miss

Things I Will Miss, Things I Will Not  Miss
“Anyway, it doesn’t matter how much, how often, or how closely you keep an eye on things because you can’t control it. Sometimes things and people just go. Just like that.” Cecilia Ahern

Things I Will Miss

Wide open spaces, all my big art, large rooms, my kitchen table that I made from collecting sea glass on the beach with my family and friends one summer, walking down my driveway to get the paper on Sunday, high ceilings, green everything outside, nature, flowers, avocado and lemon trees, my stuff,  not needing window coverings, my big bedroom,  Chickenman, my garbage cans,  my gas station, Miripolsky,  my big driveway to park in, my photo albums, parrot sculpture, from old car parts, funny chair, Mandeville Christmas “kindergarten sex”, lights, all my record albums on the wall, Twenty Sixth Street Mart, my large wall construction,  quiet, walking my dog in the country, lots of trees and flowers, nearby hiking trails, cello, safety, smelling jasmine ( always reminds me of Greece).

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Things I Will Not Miss

Water damage, middle of the night coyote kills, screaming animals,  smoke alarm going off in the middle of the night for no reason, setting my burglar alarm off, rattlesnakes, more water damage, weird bugs, mice, lizards in the house, bees,  ants, dead animals in the driveway, big orange garden snakes, brush clearance, fire safety, broken pipes, even more water damage, phone problem that no one can fix, laundry problem that took weeks to diagnose and fix,  mold, mold testing, mold repair,  more ants, constant house maintenance, backyard and pool maintenance, big animals running alongside my car at night.

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Things I Will Miss

Vicente foods, neighbors, my gas station, my Dry Bar girls, art I will have no more from for, kid art, my gym,  Fear No Art, cute deer in driveway, morning light, family memories, living in the country in the city, Ernie, coming home to my beautiful house after a long trip,  nests with baby birds, my squirrels, the way the light hits my green vintage vases on my kitchen window in the morning when I’m making coffee, cheap art from our first house, the parrots that fly by around 5pm,  my juice bar, Brian Andreas, family memories, photographs I have no room for, walking my dog up on Westridge and watching the sunset, my kids stopping by to hang out in their rooms, my giant closet and all the other closets, the space to keep everything,

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Things I Will Not Miss

Coyotes in driveway stalking my dog, deer jumping in front of my car (sorry), the drive to Silverlake, actually the drive to anywhere I have to be, having to pass the 405 on Sepulveda, rush hour traffic on Sunset ( which starts at 230), 0possum, raccoons, seeing dead animals on the road every morning,  more broken pipes, BIKERS, house construction blocking the road- all the time, my air conditioning units, seeing prisoners do brush clearance,  weird refrigerator leak,  dark roads, driving up the canyon at night in the pouring rain, fallen trees blocking the road, something is  broken and needs to be repaired, fixed or replaced for a lot of money.

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Fly safe,

JAZ

How To Annoy People In Los Angeles, California

How to Annoy People In Los Angeles, California

“Los Angeles is a large city-like area surrounding the Beverly Hills Hotel.” Fran Leibowitz 

Leave your turn signal on for ten miles. Drive very slowly in the fast lane.

Talk about how much better New York is and how more real New Yorkers are. Fill in any other state or country here.

Say that the acting business is all about luck.

Ask us about celebrity dieting, gossip, their fitness DVDs or their clothing lines. Most of us don’t care about them on the way up or the way down.

Tell us again that people don’t walk here. We haven’t heard it before.  Add that our public transportation sucks,. We know that is why a lot of us don’t use it.

Which would be another complaint. The traffic is really bad for us also.
Yes we have traffic for no apparent reason at 2:00 in the afternoon.

Complain about the air pollution. We know  because we don’t have good public transportation.

Ask us if we know someone more important who can read your script.

Take up the whole lane with your bike and don’t pay attention to traffic signs.   (that means you Mandeville Canyon riders)

Name drop celebrities or ask us who we know.

Bring up juice fasts, vegan restaurants,  or talk about how  much better your Mexican food is. (unless you are actually from Mexico). My kids who were born and raised in Los Angeles are serious carnivores.

Bring up new age anything, psychic pet healers, yoga, Pilates.  bar method, Scientology , Kabbalah, acupuncture, Tai Chi or ask about mercury in retrograde.   Everyone does not  like to talk about it.

Ask us if we drive to the gym. We do. Sometimes we go to lunch and pick up our kids in our workout clothes. I drive to walk my dog.

Tell us that you think that you look fat when you are thinner and more fit than we are.

Ask if the construction on the 405 affects us. It affects me every day and night.

Tell us there is no culture here.  There is plenty but some of it you have to look for.

Insult our artists. Some of them matter. Some of them you have heard of. All of them are cooler than you.

Leave the movie theatre as soon as the film ends. We like to read the credits and see who we know on the film and we don’t like you walking in front of us when we do.

Talk really loudly on your cell phone in a public place about all the movie business related things you are doing. We know it isn’t true.

Say you haven’t had any work done.  We know that isn’t true also.  We are from LA and we are professionals at being able to see that.

Ask questions about surfing, skating or being blonde.  We all can’t answer those.

Make comments about our weather.  We live here because we like it.

Ask us why we wear jeans in nice restaurants. Because we can.  We also wear boots, scarves, shorts and bathing suits year round.

Ask us why we wear Uggs and flip flops everywhere. I don’t know.

Ask us if we are ready for the “big one”.  If you need to know, go on facebook. Every time there is a tremor everyone reports it – as in “Did anyone else feel that?”

Fly Safe,

JAZ