I guess I still don't even know. I know a little bit (teensy, tiny) about Santa Monica and Venice. I know their vibes at least, kinda, but LA is giant and in between the pockets of action, my limited experience tells me there are mostly empty streets. I mean there are cars, but no people. Mondonna was very awesome and picked us up at the airport and let us stay at her place. It totally ruled. As we were driving to her place I couldn't really imagine places with life because there were really no people around. Though to be fair it was Sunday morning. And even once we got to Mondon's place I couldn't imagine where all the alleged action of Santa Monica was. And then, a twenty minute walk west brings you to shops and restaurants and a pier so packed with people we could barely walk with a pusher. I did not see a lot of that huge city but I saw that a lot. Empty streets and suddenly BAM, a bunch of people! Heaps of 'em.
Even though I thought I couldn't imagine the place, once I was in LA it turned out my subconscious had expected plenty, because so much seemed totally expected. Like the tall palms and wide streets of Beverly Hills; waitresses telling customers things like "oh, right now I'm doing improv at the Groundlings"; table neighbours saying things like, "My friend is friends with Mirando Kerr so she and Orlando were at my friend's wedding so none of the guests were allowed to take photos"; big freeways; the crazy grossness of Venice Boardwalk. But some things were not expected. There are trees everywhere. And the green was a goddamn delight to my eyes. Venice beach is great, as long as you are nowhere near the boardwalk, it's beautiful with hills in the distance and an expanse of sand, the likes of which I have rarely seen. Sitting on an LA beach was a true delight I did not really anticipate. And the food is consistently good, the sandwiches, I mean they were all really good. They can really make the shit out of a salad sandwich, you guys. And there is the weird, not completely unexpected voyeur-exhibitionist element. Like Muscle Beach, a gym on the beach where people an just go and pump iron in public, the skate park was surrounded by so many people watching the skaters, and along the beach there are all these circus training spots. I don't know what they are actually, but there are high rings and ropes to climb and I saw tight rope walkers, just people doing this stuff and other people watching. That's kind of strange, right?
And when you drive into the hills the is all this nature, tall trees, then desert. Right there in the city, you guys!
LA. I don't quite get it, but I kinda like it.