Pete's Blog

Los Ang-guh-leez

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That's what I liked to call it, anyway, on our visit to Pasadena last weekend. The Person Beside Me was embarrassed, even though I only said it to her. It could have been worse - a phrase the PBM hears from me fairly often - I wanted to get off the plane in Burbank and shout "Look, Ma! Californy!" It was my first time in LA, and I liked it. It's the only city I've ever been in where people wearing sweats look like they made a real fashion choice. You can complain all you want about people in airports or theaters who look like they've come to mow the lawn, but in Pasadena everybody looked like they were going to or coming from the beach. It''s like Cape Cod with high-end stores. Perhaps this is because LA weather is beach weather. We had sunny skies with highs in the 70s all the time, the first weekend in March. "Looks like another perfect day," Randy Newman sings. "I Love LA." That's another cool thing about the place - it's full of song cues. One afternoon I was walking around Pasadena (and yes, you see plenty of people on foot there) when I realized that I was walking along Colorado Boulevard. Colorado Boulevard! Jan and Dean's classic "Liittle Old Lady from Pasadena," one of my favorite records from the pre-Beatles world of surf- and car-songs, subverts the used-car salesman's cliche ("She only drove it to church.") by turning the lady in question into a leadfooted street racer. "She's the terror of Colorado Boulevard." I spent the day humming "GO, Granny! GO, Granny! GO, Granny, GO!" Unlike the chockablock cities of the East, LA is filled with empty spaces because you can't build just anywhere in a place without water. So when you look up you see mountains that barely show the traces of a road. I have never been anyplace like it.

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