Culture

I’m a city girl always: Just don’t ask me to drive in Los Angeles

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I am a New Yorker in Los Angeles.  We are a growing group out here. Perhaps we got tired of the various snowmageddons we have been through the last few years. Perhaps we think we can make it on Hollywood since we made it in new York and as good old Frank Sinatra reminded us  “In old New York If I can make it there. I’ll make it anywhere.”  Despite Los Angeles being an urban metropolis, it is a city that does sleep. I have been quite surprised by that. Although, luckily for me, I live near a 24-hour IHOP. Although, for the life of me, I can’t imagine going there at 3am. I just like knowing that it is open just in case of anything. A greasy burger with a side of pancakes may be the best thing in the world at 3am when you are trying to figure out whether to sleep or wake up. At least, that is how it was in New York. As you can probably see I am a city girl. For many people out there, country life is everything and more. I get that. I get simplicity and being able to see the stars. There is something awesome about being out in the  countryside that lets you feel one with the world.  What I don’t get is suburban living. I can’t even process that right now. Back to the city way of life.

 

I love everything about city living. Well, almost everything. I love pizza, shopping, skyscrapers, shopping and walking. I love looking at the street art. I love good restaurants where I can get awesome bread pudding.

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I do not like driving. I do not drive as I am a New Yorker.  I have had brief thoughts of learning how to drive so that I can get around more easily in Los Angeles. Brief thoughts. However, today I just saw my fifth accident in five months at the same street corner. For some reason, people just keep driving into poles, fire hydrants and just plain old spinning out of control. I don’t get it.  Do they just give a driver’s license to anyone in Los Angeles?  Is it that there are so many cars that statistically there is bound to be an accident every few seconds?

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Whatever the answer is to why there are so many accidents in Los Angeles, I don’t really care. I just say “thanks, but no thanks” to driving here.  When I was a young girl in the South Bronx, I witnessed a horrible car accident. An elderly man in a beige trench coat was pushing  a little shopping cart making his way across the street when a city bus ran him over. One moment he was walking across the street living his life and then he was flattened away. I quickly looked away but stood around just like the hundred other people that were around. No one knew what to do. I was scared by the scene and didn’t understand why he had to die that way. The image stayed with me for a long, long time. I have never learned to drive and have always been afraid I would be a horrible driver. I most certainly do not want to put other people’s lives at risk. I am getting older as time stops for no one. I have no idea whether I will eventually learn. Time will tell. Luckily there is public transportation and now Uber. Its the way of the city.

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10 replies »

  1. My daughter, the one who lives in L.A., was in a multicar accident on the freeway where she ended up facing oncoming traffic. Fortunately there were no injuries. For some time now, she has wanted to get out of CA, and the majority of med schools to which she’s applied are in big cities with public transportation. My mom, who has lived in Torrance for nearly the last fifty years, would not agree with your perspective. In her mind, if you can’t find it in Torrance, you don’t need it!

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