The City of Los Angeles is changing. Public transportation is no longer a punch line (more like a second thought – “I guess I could take the train”) freeway widening projects are in full motion and downtown has become a legitimate entertainment destination. Besides the coastline and beaches, everything else can be moved, improved and smoother right?
Well – because I absolutely love urban settings, I’ve decided to relocate to downtown Los Angeles. This is a bit of homecoming for me since I lived there six years ago. Back then – I was a bit naïve, but also a little adventurous. Nothing was really open, dining was limited, there wasn’t a grocery store (that you’d want to buy groceries from) and you really didn’t want to venture out too far at night. Not because you felt danger lurking, but because no one else did.
Fortunately, none of that affected me very much. I’d still leave my place at 5:00 A.M. to run or walk to a local gym. I also believe that the elements around you become familiar with your movements – so, as strange as this may sound – I felt protected. Faces become familiar. When faces become familiar, you begin to loosen up. They also loosen up. You smile and they smile back which leads to conversation.
In 2006, the downtown population was estimated at around 35,000 – today that number is closer to 60,000.
Now that I’m back, I’m rethinking my approach the second time around. Previously, I limited myself to short visits & trips – the Library, Staples Center for Laker/Clipper games and the occasional daytime bike ride around the western half of the area. Now that there’s more to see and do, my goal is to do and see more – and share it with you.
One of my first projects will be – riding the bus and/or train to work. Since I find absolute joy in complaining about gas prices and congestion – it’s time for yours truly to put my money where my mouth is (as an added incentive, I plan to deposit any money I would normally spend on gas into a jar for 6 months). The goal is to drive one workday per week. One less car on the road , fewer emissions in the air and one less person for the city to give a ticket to. Yes, I’m inadvertently trying to put meter maids out of work. Think I can do it? Yeah, me either – but – I’ll try.
Now, I will admit that I haven’t been on the R.T.D. (commonly referred to in my neighborhood as – the Rina, Tina & Dina when I was growing up – now known as the Metro) in over 20 years.
I’ll take with me a fist full of horror stories and several – you wouldn’t believe what I saw on the train – to make it interesting.